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

* DOJ should overcome FBI’s withholding of documents about its “highly controversial” Ivins Theory so that people can get on same page and the history can be written

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 29, 2016

It wasn't Ivins

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 7.02.36 AM

12 Responses to “* DOJ should overcome FBI’s withholding of documents about its “highly controversial” Ivins Theory so that people can get on same page and the history can be written”

  1. DXer said

    http://englih.aawsat.com/2016/10/article55360330/eu-amends-list-of-terrorist-persons-organizations

    EU Amends List of Terrorist Individuals, Organizations

    Abdullah Mustafa

    Brussels-On 11 October 2016, the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIS, al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities removed Yemeni national Nasir Abd al-Karim Abdullah al-Wahishi from the Sanctions List and enacted Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, also known as Joe, to the same list.

    Sufaat was accused of being the founding member of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) who worked for al-Qaida’s biological weapons program, provided support to those involved in al-Qaida’s 11 Sep. 2001 attacks in the United States and was involved in JI bombing operations.

    He was detained in Malaysia from 2001 till 2008 and was later arrested in 2013 and sentenced to 7 years in Jan. 2016 for failing to report information relating to terrorist acts.

  2. DXer said

    The anthrax mailings related importantly to national security — as does the upcoming Presidential election.

    The Editors of Foreign Policy have weighed in for the first time ever.

    “A Donald Trump presidency is among the greatest threats facing America, and the Republican standard-bearer is the worst major-party candidate for the job in U.S. history.”

    In the nearly half-century history of Foreign Policy, the editors of this publication have never endorsed a candidate for political office. We cherish and fiercely protect this publication’s independence and its reputation for objectivity, and we deeply value our relationship with all of our readers, regardless of political orientation.”

    “It is for all these reasons that FP’s editors are now breaking with tradition to endorse Hillary Clinton for the next president of the United States.”

    “Our readers depend on FP for insight and analysis into issues of national security and foreign policy. We feel that our obligation to our readers thus extends now to making clear the great magnitude of the threat that a Donald Trump presidency would pose to the United States. The dangers Trump presents as president stretch beyond the United States to the international economy, to global security, to America’s allies, as well as to countless innocents everywhere who would be the victims of his inexperience, his perverse policy views, and the profound unsuitability of his temperament for the office he seeks.”

  3. DXer said

    • The Anthrax Letters That Terrorized a Nation Are Now Decontaminated and on Public View

    Carriers of the deadly anthrax bacteria, these letters—on loan from the FBI—can be seen at the National Postal Museum,

    By Jackson Landers
    smithsonian.com
    September 12, 2016 2:48PM

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/anthrax-letters-terrorized-nation-now-decontaminated-public-view-180960407/#gSeEJCJi3FI1SPhH.99

    Ross • 4 minutes ago
    • Jackson, I realize in the context of your article, the phrase “cave in Afghanistan” was just loose hyperbole.

    But I wanted to pass on some facts about Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab in 2001 (which moved from Kabul to Kandahar) so the phrase does not mislead anyone. Al Qaeda’s anthrax lab was not in a cave. In May 2001, it was in Omar Hospital in the pathology lab. Then with the arrival of a lot of equipment obtained from Pakistan, it was moved to Kandahar. It was not in a cave.

    Garvey, PhD, now head of forensics for Philadelphia PPD, did the testing of the strain detected in Afghanistan while he worked for the CIA. He says the anthrax detected was the Ames strain, the strain used in the attack. He has said this in a published paper online — in his PhD thesis. He says it hasn’t been the subject of discussion because the FBI is suppressing the information through overbroad classification.

    I have interviewed the Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat and he does not deny Al Qaeda’s responsibility for the anthrax mailings. When I sent Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat a picture of the anthrax spore concentrate that was cultivated in the Afghanistan vaccine lab, he (affably) refused to identify the strain. He pled the Fifth. (The Taliban controlled the lab, as was explained early on in an Economist article.)

    Richard Lambert, former head of Amerithrax, has publicly said that the FBI is withholding a staggering amount of information exculpatory of Bruce Ivins. He has sued as a whistleblower in federal district court.

    I obtained from DIA (under FOIA) the plans for Al Qaeda anthrax lab. It was very sophisticated compared to your misleading cave reference. Abdul Rauf refused to cooperate with me unless I paid him money. (The CIA interviewed him in a Pakistan intelligence safe house where they were served tea and cookies by Rauf Ahmad’s servant; so he apparently is used to being treated very well by his questioners).

    The head FBI scientist has publicly said at the official presentation that no sophisticated equipment was needed. The anthrax could have been air-dried, according to the FBI.

    Tom Ridge says the anthrax was tested by Al Qaeda on animals. This past week Tom Ridge has urged that incoming postal packages be tracked by the USPS, like they are by FedEx and UPS. He says it is a gaping hole in our national security.

    Ayman Zawahiri has threatened 1000s of 9/11 attacks — and note the letters were dated 9/11. Let’s avoid the next attack by avoiding loose hyperbole. Whatever our theory of Amerithrax, let’s appreciate that the devil lies in the details.

    A massive amount of exculpatory evidence is being withheld by the FBI according to the FBI’s lead investigator who has brought a suit in federal district court. For example, evidence from KSM and Hambali on the issue is being suppressed by the FBI. See public statements by former lead Amerithrax investigator to the New York Times and FoxNews. Hambali, who was Yazid Sufaat’s supervisor, had his first day in court after 13 years. He was required to remain silent while he was filmed for 10 minutes.

    Yazid Sufaat met with Adnan El-Shukrijumah at KSM’s house at the time (on or about 9/11) that Adnan called his Mom in Florida to tell her he was coming back to the US. The first letter was mailed on 9/18. The FBI is withholding all the documents relating to Shukrijumah’s association with Atta at a Sarasota residence.

    15 years later, it is time for there to be greater transparency so that the history can be written. The Smithsonian, above all, should stand for that principle. And sound analysis of the science requires transparency and disclosure of the contemporaneous documents said by the former lead Amerithrax investigator to be exculpatory of Bruce Ivins. For example, the DOJ and FBI have refused to produce Notebook 4282 that shows Ivins was in the lab on the dates, including the date of mailing, that the FBI says he had no reason to be in the lab.

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

  4. DXer said

    A DC mystery behind a 9/11 newspaper column

    Eamon Javers | @EamonJavers
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/08/a-dc-mystery-behind-a-911-newspaper-column.html

    On Wednesday, an alarming headline appeared on the website of USA Today atop an opinion column written by former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. “15 years after 9/11, a gaping security gap,” it said.

    The column was perfectly timed, coming just four days before the anniversary of the attack on the United States — a moment when the tragedy was certain to be on the minds of millions of Americans. And Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania, had a tough message for his readers: America is not safe. “There remains a gaping hole in our national security preparedness, coming from a largely ignored source,” Ridge wrote.

    The threat on Ridge’s mind doesn’t come from ISIS-inspired killers inside the United States, as in the recent attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino. Instead, the threat Ridge wrote about comes from the post office.

    ***

    “Small packages coming into the United States from foreign postal services are not monitored or tracked, as required by law.” In an interview with WTOP radio in Washington, Kayyem underscored the point. “The gap is essentially when mail is sent to the United States from foreign countries; if it’s of a certain weight, it doesn’t go through normal cargo surveillance like the mail that is sent through private mailing services such as UPS and FedEx,” Kayyem said.

    Where is the money coming from?

    Still, the mystery remained: Where is the money coming from for all this?

    Another clue can be found in public records.

    Ridge and Kayyem both mentioned two public companies: UPS and FedEx. Ridge wrote that those companies follow strict new security procedures implemented after Sept. 11, but their government-run competitor, the U.S. Postal Service, does not — despite a law called the Trade Act of 2002 and a recommendation by Congress that agencies “be provided with the electronic security data necessary to weed out dangerous packages.”

    Senate records reveal that this exact issue is one focus of the lobbying effort of UPS, which has spent more than $4.5 million lobbying in Washington so far in 2016.

    Among the various measures UPS is pushing on Capitol Hill, the documents show, is a bill that would “apply customs and security parity to posts and the private sector for all parcels imported to the U.S.”

    A spokeswoman for UPS, Kara Gerhardt Ross, said that the parcel service company is familiar with Americans for Securing All Packages. In fact, she said, UPS contributes to a trade association that finances the new nonprofit. She would not disclose dollar amounts. “We’re aware of the group and we’re supportive of it,” Ross said.

    • DXer said

      Advocates Call for International Shipment Screening for Drugs, Weapons

      A national security group is aiming to close a postal service loophole that they say is contributing to the opioid crisis.

      By Kimberly Leonard | Staff Writer Sept. 9, 2016

      http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-09/advocates-call-for-international-shipment-screening-for-drugs-weapons

      Comment:

      This article notes, as an aside, that private companies like FedEx do not need a warrant to open packages. I was pretty annoyed this week when I recently received a mini-IPAD by FedEx in a torn package. It was the type of plasticized envelope (containing a box) that is very durable and so it is pretty ridiculous that it was subjected to a force sufficient to tear it (if that was what happened). The IPAD screen was smashed and would cost $199 to replace. It had previously stolen from my hotel room in Philadelphia — it was being returned to me after being recovered. (The IPAD no doubt revealed where I think the $500 million in stolen Isabella Gardner paintings were hidden; but I’ve posted that on this blog so who cares). I asked the shipper, ECO-ATM, to send a photo of the device as taken upon being recovered — when the original thief sold or attempted to sell it at the reverse ECO-ATM machine. My suspicion is that the original perp may have smashed it and that ECO-ATM, the company that recovered it and was returning it, was simply too inefficient or indifferent to share with me that it was ruined.

      I highly recommend making note of the serial number of your electronic devices and then reporting the serial number to ECO-ATM if your device gets stolen. Law enforcement estimates that 1 of 10 of their processed devices are stolen but that people are just too disorganized to know their serial number and report it to the company.

      I still am tracking the original thief using a different tracking device at places on Arch Street in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

      Check out the new, well-priced TrackR. It’s not what I use but it gets the price for such crowd-sourced GPS devices to an attractive price-point.

    • DXer said

      Tom Ridge’s Op Ed reminds me that while Zawahiri struggles this week to remain relevant by issuing a video describing the 9/11 attacks as “blessed,” I have attributed the 1997 letter bombs to DC and NYC papers to Zawahiri and other Blind Sheik supporters.

      Anthrax and Zawahiri’s ’97 Letter Bombs to DC/NYC Papers
      Posted by Ross on Sunday January 18, 2004 at 8:09 am MST (from PHXNews.com)
      http://www.brazoshealth.org/sites/all/themes/health/images/pdfs/AnthraxandZawahiri.pdf

  5. DXer said

    Scientists help solve 37-year-old anthrax mystery

    By Judith Miller

    Published September 07, 2016
    FoxNews.com

    Some 37 years after the deadliest known release of anthrax spores in history in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk, American scientists have sequenced the genome of ant

    ***

    Some 15 years ago this month, one week after 9/11, letters filled with less than a quarter of an ounce of anthrax spores killed five, infected 17, and caused what the FBI estimated at over a billion dollars of damage. After the longest, most complex investigation in American history, the FBI asserted that Bruce Ivins, a scientist at the government’s premier bio-defense lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland where bio-weapons were once made before President Nixon banned them, had sent the lethal anthrax letters to journalists and two Democratic senators. A year-and-a-half after Ivins committed suicide in July, 2008, the FBI closed its investigation. Prof. Keim was one of the scientists on the independent National Academy of Sciences panel that wrote a report about the FBI’s scientific evidence.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/09/07/scientists-help-solve-37-year-old-anthrax-mystery.html

    • DXer said

      15 years after 9/11, the heartbreak remains
      https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2016/09/07/years-after-heartbreak-remains/5ckdFXzZvvjYO44234Ql5O/story.html

      I kept a journal. “October 4, 2001, A plane flying from Ben Gurion Airport to Siberia exploded today in mid air over the old Soviet Union. A 63-year old Florida man has been hospitalized with anthrax.”

      “October 7: War looms.”

      “More anthrax. Now there are ground troops in Afghanistan.” Oct. 21, 2001.

      “Last week, a New York woman, Kathy Nguyen, died of anthrax.” Nov. 7, 2001.

      “A passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami tried to ignite explosives he had hidden in his shoes. He was 6’4”. The flight attendants and passengers wrestled him down and tied him to his seat and a doctor sedated him. The plane was diverted to Boston.” Dec. 22, 2001.

      Last March, I visited the 9/11 Memorial. It’s a somber place. Respectful of what happened. Educational. Rubble transformed to beauty.

      But heartbreaking. Because it exists. Because it is yet another beautifully constructed memorial where we go to mourn and remember the dead. And try so hard to understand why they died.

  6. DXer said

    Biological Threats in the 21st Century – August 2016

    The Politics, People, Science and Historical Roots

    Edited by: Filippa Lentzos (King’s College London, UK)

    Biological Threats in the 21st Century offers a fresh understanding of contemporary biological threats to national security. Readers are introduced to the politics, people, science and historical roots of contemporary biological threats through up-to-date, rigorous and accessible chapters written by leading academics and supplemented by expert point-of-view contributions and interviews.

    The book provides inspiration and resources for students and researchers, as well as policy makers in government, the public policy sector and the wider community. It is particularly pertinent for those interested in biological disarmament, non-proliferation, counterterrorism and health security.

    Contents:
    • Editor’s Introduction: The Politics, People, Science and Historical Roots (Filippa Lentzos)
    • Crossing the Normative Barrier: Japan’s Biological Warfare in China in World War II (Jeanne Guillemin)
    • Past Proliferators:
    • The British, United States and Canadian Biological Warfare Programs (Brian Balmer & John Ellis van Courtland Moon)
    • Point of View: Open-Air Biowarfare Testing: American and British Experiences (Leonard A Cole)
    • The Soviet Biological Warfare Program (Jens H Kuhn & Milton Leitenberg)
    • Point of View: Life Inside the Soviet Bioweapons Program (Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley)
    • The Iraqi Biological Warfare Program (Tim Trevan)
    • Point of View: Hunting Saddam’s Biological Weapons: A First-Hand Account (Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack)
    • The South African Biological Warfare Program (Alastair Hay)
    • Point of View: Open Secrets: ‘Truth Telling’ and Transitional Justice in Revealing Biowarfare Programs (Chandré Gould)
    • Bioweapons in Today’s Context:
    • RISE, the Rajneeshees, Aum Shinrikyo and Bruce Ivins (W Seth Carus)
    • Point of View: Inside the Mind of a Bioterrorist (Toby Ewin)
    • Aftershocks of the 2001 Anthrax Attacks (Kathleen M Vogel)
    • Point of View: The Threat of Misuse (Gigi Kwik Gronvall)
    • Searching for Cures or Creating Pandemics in the Lab? (Nancy D Connell & Brian Rappert)
    • Point of View: Dangerous Life Sciences Research (David R Franz)
    • Ebola: From Public Health Crisis to National Security Threat (Nicholas G Evans)
    • Point of View: Building a Sustainable Biodefense Industry (Jacob Thorup Cohn)
    • Quandaries in Contemporary Biodefense Research (Gregory D Koblentz)
    • Disarmament and Non-Proliferation:
    • The Traditional Tools of Biological Arms Control and Disarmament (Marie Isabelle Chevrier & Alex Spelling)
    • Witness Seminar: Origins of the Biological Weapons Convention (Jeanne Guillemin, Matthew Meselson, Julian Perry Robinson & Nicholas Sims)
    • Interview: Unconventional Weapons and Activist Scientists (Steven Rose & Filippa Lentzos)
    • Point of View: Responsible Science: Strategies for Engaging Key Stakeholders (Jo L Husbands)
    • Interview: International Security and Counter-Terrorism (Trevor Smith & Filippa Lentzos)
    • Point of View: The Front Lines of Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation (Melissa Finley & Jennifer Gaudioso)
    • Roundtable: The Future of Biothreat Governance (Iris Hunger, Jez Littlewood, Caitriona McLeish, Piers Millett & Ralf Trapp)

  7. DXer said

    The author of the chapter excerpted above is W. Seth Carus, PhD.

    “Dr. Carus is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University. His research focuses on issues related to biological warfare, including threat assessment, biodefense, and the role of the Department of Defense in biodefense. He also studies the history of biological warfare, and has written a working paper, Bioterrorism and Biocrimes: The Illicit Use of Biological Agents in the 20th Century, and several articles on allegations of biological agent use. He has been at NDU since 1997. From 2003 to 2013 he also served as the WMD Center’s Deputy Director.

    From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Carus was detailed to the Office of the Vice President, where he was the Senior Advisor to the Vice President for Biodefense. Before assuming that position, he was on the staff of the National Preparedness Review commissioned to recommend changes in homeland security organization and supported the Office of Homeland Security while it was being established.

    ….

    Dr. Carus has a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.”

    http://dss.missouristate.edu/Carus.htm

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