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

* FBI cannot locate anthrax case lab notebook for the day first letters were mailed!

Posted by DXer on August 25, 2016

DXer says:

The former lead investigator of Amerithrax, Richard L. Lambert, has brought a whistleblower suit in federal district court.  He has alleged that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information that is exculpatory of the late scientist, Bruce Ivins.

NYT interview of former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert: “a staggering amount of exculpatory evidence” regarding Dr. Ivins remains secret
Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 16, 2016

FOX NEWS interview with RICHARD LAMBERT … Former agent claims FBI concealing evidence in anthrax case
Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 22, 2015

FBI fights release of exculpatory information regarding 2001 anthrax attacks
Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 10, 2015

Ivins/Amerithrax-Notebook 4282 FOIA follow-up by DXer
Posted on June 13, 2016

By letter dated August 23, 2016, Attorney Matthew Hurd denied Kenneth Dillon’s appeal of the FBI’s denial of his request.  Dr. Dillon had requested all documents not yet produced relating to Dr. Bruce Ivins during the September-October 2001 time period.



Dr. Dillon has a related pending request for the “Interim Case Management Summary” authored by Richard Lambert.

Many observers, including most outside scientists, have argued that the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” was unpersuasive.  The FBI reasoned that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab on particular dates.  Some DOJ and FBI officials reasoned he must have been making and preparing a powderized anthrax to kill 5 people.  I  have interviewed the Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat, however, and he does not deny responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings.

Yazid Sufaat says that, contrary to some media reports, he was successful in developing anthrax, but prefers other bugs; he views anthrax as good for sabotaging, but not killing
Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 30, 2015

Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician tells DXer that he realizes that by addressing these issues he may “jack myself up” but says that the “plan is on the way” — what does he mean when he says the “plan is on the way”?
Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 1, 2012

Hambali: Recommendation for Continued Detention (excerpt)
Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 25, 2011

There were Al Qaeda operatives meeting with Mohammed Atta in the United States that were not caught (or were caught and released).

Ken Dillon asks … Who Was the Real Anthrax Mailer? … the key people in the anthrax mailings were not Bruce Ivins or Steven Hatfill … instead, they appear to have been Ali al-Timimi and Abderraouf Jdey.
Posted on March 28, 2010

Atta Was Coordinating With Jdey’s Associate Al-Hazmi, First In Fort Lee, NJ In Late August 2001 And Then In Laurel, MD in September 2001 ; Jdey’s Associate Nawaf Al-Hazmi Had Been At The Planning Meeting At Yazid Sufaat’s Kuala Lumpur Condo With Anthrax Planner Hambali And Anthrax Lab Director Yazid Sufaat And Yet The FBI Never Told The Public That Jdey Had Been Detained Along With Moussaoui In August 2001 (With Biology Textbooks) And Then Released
Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 25, 2012

DXer says … Adnan El-Shukrijumah, son of Saudi missionary, was the Fall 2001 anthrax mailer and FBI is withholding relevant documents
Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 12, 2016

DXer says: Adnan El-Shukrijumah is the anthrax mailer … on or about 9/13/2001, he phoned from KSM’s house to tell his mom he was coming to the US
Posted on June 6, 2014

Requestor Dr. Dillon is an academic and publisher.  He is a former intelligence analyst associated with the US State Department.  In testing the FBI’s theory that Dr. Ivins had no reason to be in the lab, he has sought Lab Notebook 4282 which contains contemporaneous handwritten notes about one of the many experiments he was working on (at pages 65-70).  The pages were first obtained by the FBI in 2003 and put in Part 1A of an FBI 302 report.  See 1A GJ 1100.

In response to Dillon’s FOIA request for information relating to Ivins’ activities in Sep.-Oct. 2001, the FBI falsely claimed that it had uploaded the information (such as Notebook 4282) to the FBI’s “Vault”
Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 15, 2015

The original was then seized again in 2007 and not returned.  An FBI agent in an excel spreadsheet that has been produced explains that the notebook has entries from the time of the mailings. (See Part 55 of 59 of Amerithrax documents in the FBI’s “Vault.”)   The FBI and DOJ have failed to produce the notebook despite requests by both me and Dr. Dillon.  Specifically, there are notations from September 14, 15 and from September 18, 2001, the date of the first mailing.

The Army has sought the return of the notebooks taken by Dr. Ivins for years — and has uploaded all those that it has and that eventually were returned by the FBI.  Notebook 4282, however, still has not been returned.  According to USMRMC FOIA Officer Sandra Rogers, the FBI still has not returned Notebooks 4037, 4010 and 4282, preventing the Army from uploading them in USAMRMC’s excellent reading room that was created containing my FOIA requests directed to USAMRIID.

I have uploaded the FBI discussing the documents relating to Notebook 4282 that is still subject of the DOJ and FBI’s game of hide-the-ball at the hyperlinks above.  I have forwarded them to Attorney Matt Hurd.  Attorney Hurd, who has been very gracious, has expressed a willingness to have an attorney reconsider the denial.  But that will lead to an attorney doing the same ineffectual searches in the decades-old database being used of words like “Notebook” “USMRMC.”  Instead, Attorney Hurd should pick up the phone and call FOIA analyst Meredith Savary or former lead Amerithrax investigator Richard Lambert or someone currently at the FBI who would know and ask where to find the documents.  To claim that the dog ate the lab pages in Dr. Ivins’ notebook on the date of mailing of anthrax that killed 5 people is unacceptable.  I am advised by FOIA Officer Ms. Rogers that the Notebook 4282 that the FBI has not returned is titled “Anthrax.”

This past week, Hambali, the supervisor of Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat, saw the light of a courtroom for the first time since his capture in 2003.  That’s an incredible 13 years without any transparency about his involvement in Al Qaeda’s anthrax program.

On this issue of the FBI blaming Dr. Bruce Ivins for the anthrax mailings,however, there is no justification for there not to be government in the sunshine.  The Department of Justice and FBI should comply with FOIPA.  The Department of Justice and FBI, first and foremost, should stand for the rule of law.

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

9 Responses to “* FBI cannot locate anthrax case lab notebook for the day first letters were mailed!”

  1. DXer said

    Note that no one has yet explained why the FBI initially claimed it could not find the Notebook 4282, or why after being retrieved over a half year ago, it was not produced then.

  2. DXer said

    Lawmakers urge Trump to avoid picking a partisan for FBI job

    “Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, continued to argue that the president should consider Merrick Garland, the federal judge nominated to the Supreme Court last year by President Barack Obama but who was denied a hearing by Republicans.”


    I think the suggestion of Merrick Garland is misconceived. He is Chief Judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. That’s a hugely satisfying (I presume) and important job. More importantly, I don’t think he would even want to work as an at-will employee under President Trump, who according to Harvard Law Professor Tribe, may be subject to impeachment.

    Garland is a personal hero of mine. I was trying to get out of working on tobacco cancer cases at his law firm and he was my last resort. I went to him and explained that years earlier, the law firm representative who conducted an initial interview had promised me I wouldn’t have to work on tobacco cancer cases if I didn’t want.

    He was the only one on the 4-member assignment committee that accepted that the promise was a promise that should be honored. But while I think he would make a fantastic FBI Director of historic proportion, I am skeptical he would take the job even if it were offered. Senator Grassley and the others should be ashamed that they did not give him a hearing and the opportunity for an up-down vote. (They were free to vote against him).

    As for Harvard Law Professor Tribe’s suggestion that President Trump is subject to impeachment, although Tribe was my constitutional law professor, he never clicked with me like Cox did. His textbook was red rather than brown for gosh sake. What was he thinking?

    I took a constitutional seminar from Archibald Cox, and I imagine that Cox would tuck one arm to his side, and walk the class through the relevant language, and agree with Professor Tribe.

    Ann Coulter says “I think everyone who voted for him [Trump] knew his personality was grotesque.” Huh. I am unclear as to where a “grotesque personality” ends and a pattern of poor judgment begins. I would have thought that whether a candidate had a temperament that was suitable to lead the country would be the most important consideration.

    If Vice President Pence comes to assume the reins, hopefully he’ll ask the FBI to stop withholding Notebook 4282.

    People can disagree with the Vice President’s political views, but his temperament seems well suited to the Oval Office.

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

  3. DXer said

    ISIS Anthrax Arrests Could Signal America’s Worst Nightmare Is …

    Daily Caller-7 hours ago
    Two Islamic State operatives were arrested in Kenya after trying to launch an anthrax attack, raising fears the terrorist group is increasingly …

    Comment: Nah. My worst nightmare is an aerosol attack on NYC and DC. I expect DOJ Civil would then say they cannot provide Notebook 4282 and the other documents that show why Ivins was in the lab because government workers have been sent home on account of the aerosolized anthrax release.

  4. DXer said

    Would an anthrax attack cause DOJ and FBI to do competent searches?

    Two medical students with links to terror group arrested at Malindi Hospital By Cyrus Ombati
    Read more at:

    Arrest of the two comes two months after another medical Intern Mohamed Ali Abdi was arrested in Wote hospital Makueni County for conducting clandestine online recruitment to ISIS and being engaged in planning an anthrax attack. There is growing concern that ISIS/ISIL is targeting young Kenyans particularly graduates in different fields such as medicine, engineering, computer science for recruitment into terror activities. When Ali was arrested in April, police boss Joseph Boinnet said he had been engaged in active radicalisation and recruitment of university students and other youths into terrorism networks.

  5. DXer said

    I’ve sent this to DOJ Attorney Hurd in hopes that he can find someone on staff that can successfully track down Notebook 4282. While he is at it, he should grab Notebook 4037 and Notebook 4010. Notebook 4010 relates to Flask 1029, the so-called murder weapon. It’s pretty incredible that the FBI never gave it back to USAMRIID so it could be uploaded to the FOIA room along with the other notebooks.

    I sent this post to DOJ attorney:

    “To be fair, if you look at the massive amount of good work the DOJ and FBI have done on Amerithrax, and the detailed documents produced, it is clear that the agencies are both busy and good at what they do. It’s not the DOJ FOIA operation’s fault that staffers are relegated to a very outdated indexing system.

    Let’s try to help the DOJ attorney working at DOJ FOIA to find Notebook 4282, which has the notations from September 14, 15 and 18, 2001.

    Putting aside the Central Indices, to which I don’t have access, let’s go to the documents that have already been produced.

    Let’s start at Part 55 of 59 sections from the “Amerithrax” documents.

    The first page refers to the Chemical-Biological Sciences Unit (CSU, at the FBI Laboratory, Quantico, Virginia).

    Now jump ahead to 279A-WF-222936-SCI-18.

    The designation SCI perhaps refers to “science” and may help as a locator.

    The analysis refers to work done in April 2007 for a Federal Grand Jury subpoena number 5429 issued in the District of Columbia on March 20, 2007.

    The purpose was to identify previously unknown transfers of Flask 1029 (i.e., transfers not on the RMR-1029 inventory) and to obtain additional handwriting exemplars from the time of the mailings to compare against the attacks.

    The page provides an inventory of the laboratory notebooks review with notations indicating: date received, date reviewed, date returned, review, comments on the contents of the notebook, and 1B numbers (if applicable). (It was never returned).

    Notebook 4282 is specifically mentioned. The page states “Pages 65 through 70 contain experiments conducted between 08/23/2001 and 09/18/2001, including the growth of Ba Ames.”

    The issue of “growth of Ba Ames”, of course, is highly relevant, given that we know the anthrax used in the attack did NOT come directly out of Flask 1029 but had to have been grown.

    An Excel Spreadsheet is provided “RIID NOTEBOOKS.xls” which states in most pertinent part:(Page 5 of 7 of the spreadsheet and Page 53 of 120 in Part 55 of 59 of the Amerithrax documents:

    “Copied several pages from time of mailings. See 1A GJ 1100”

    Then at page 55 of 120 it provides some additional detail:

    Notebook #4282, Bruce Ivins [redacted] 08/09/2001 to 08/16/2002.

    The name of the other person, I venture, is Fellows. The DOJ shredded her civil deposition. That’s right. The DOJ shredded her civil deposition. I don’t know what we have here but we certainly do not have government in the sunshine.

    The entry states “anthracis strain gelatin studies”, “spore production of different strains of anthracis,” “different colony morphology noted in Kruger A (pg. 11).

    Now as a lay person, I’ve asked what “gelatin studies” concerned. I’ll assume the phrase does not refer to silica gel but the entire point of getting people on the same page is that they do not have to rely on assumptions.

    I also have ventured that the Kruger A was supplied by Dr. Kimothy Smith. Dr. Smith was the fellow testing the Ames samples submitted for the FBI (at NAU) — with that testing proving critical. The FBI based its case on a finding of a negative match of the sample submitted in February 2002 when it should have been positive. If there was a crazy conflict of interest (through no one’s fault) at the heart of the government’s “Ivins Theory”, we are not in a position to judge because someone is playing hide-the-ball with Notebook 4282.

    Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s former associate had been given permission to use a B3 by Dr. Smith and the fellow had been supplied virulent Ames by Bruce Ivins. He thanked Patricia Fellows (the one whose deposition the DOJ shredded) for technical assistance.

    (I learned of him from my friend “Tawfiq” Hamid, who sometimes consults with the CIA and had once been recruited by Ayman Zawahiri into his jihad organization — “Tawfiq” Hamid withdrew when he was asked to bury a security officer near the mosque.)

    But most of all, Dillon and I seek the notebook for the more mundane reason of showing why Ivins may have been in the lab on September 14, 15 and 18. The FBI reasoned he had no reason to be in the lab.

    To the contrary, the evidence being withheld would seem to suggest yet another experiment that required lab work.

    One purpose of the grand jury subpoena was for additional handwriting exemplars but we already know — and credit the FBI’s handwriting expert — that Ivins probably did not write the anthrax letters, judging from the handwriting.”

    • DXer said

      Now as to Notebooks 4037 and Notebook 4010, if you want to see major hide-the-ball, go to Part 55 of 59 of the Amerithrax documents in the Vault, and turn to page 52 of 120. The DOJ has redacted even the summary notation of those notebooks.

      The Army has uploaded 15 of Ivins’ notebooks. But the Army cannot upload these two notebooks, because like Notebook 4282, the DOJ says the dog ate them.

      Notebook 4010 relates to Flask 1029, the so-called “murder weapon.”

      DOJ’s selective production of documents does not constitute government in the sunshine — which is the purpose of FOIPA.

      Where DOJ alleges that a government scientist murdered 5 people using a government strain of anthrax, it should not withholding the Notebook relating to the so-called murder weapon. The entire notebooks should now be given to the Army for uploading.

      You may be deeply disturbed when you learn the reason Notebook 4037 was allowed to go MIA.

  6. DXer said

    If the FBI and DOJ cannot locate the lab notebook (in its own files) for the days they claim suspect Bruce Ivins had no reason to be in the lab, then why should the world or country expect the agency to be able to discover a clandestine laboratory? Would they just lose that evidence or pretend it didn’t exist (for their own reasons)?

    World not prepared for biological attacks, new technology threats: Ban Ki-moon
    By IANS | Aug 24, 2016,

    “There are no global treaties to prevent a biological weapons attack, and the world is not adequately prepared to deal with one, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday.

    Speaking to the Security Council in New York, Ban said that while multilateral agencies are in place to verify nations are not developing chemical and nuclear weapons, no such mechanism exists for biological agents.

    “The impact and consequences of a biological attack on a civilian target could far exceed those of a chemical or radiological attack,” Ban told the council.”

    UN Chief Warns World Not Prepared to Deal With Biological Attack

    “There are no global treaties to prevent a biological weapons attack, and the world is not adequately prepared to deal with one, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Tuesday.

    Speaking to the Security Council in New York, Ban said that while multilateral agencies are in place to verify nations are not developing chemical and nuclear weapons, no such mechanism exists for biological agents.

    “The impact and consequences of a biological attack on a civilian target could far exceed those of a chemical or radiological attack,” Ban told the council.”

  7. DXer said

    “The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 directs agencies to notify all requesters of OGIS’s mediation services as
    of July 1, 2016. As a result, we expect our caseload to grow dramaticall over the next quarter and coming year.”

    See the link for current OGIS stats:

    Average response time in days to make initial contact for
    requests for assistance?

    Average processing time to close a request for

    OGIS processed what percent of requests for assistance
    within the established timeframes?

    OGIS currently has how many complex cases pending

    What is the average age of pending OGIS cases?

    Processors on average close how many cases per week?

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