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

* EU: Yazid Sufaat, also known as “Joe”, who worked for Al-Qaida’s biological weapons program, provided support to those involved in Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks

Posted by DXer on October 21, 2016


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.

41 Responses to “* EU: Yazid Sufaat, also known as “Joe”, who worked for Al-Qaida’s biological weapons program, provided support to those involved in Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks”

  1. DXer said

    Yazid Sufaat,

    You should write a book now about the things you know and explain things from your perspective.

    Your amiability will lead you to be highly readable.

    Malaysian scientist who ran al-Qaeda’s anthrax lab freed from police monitoring, official says
    • Yazid Sufaat, 58, has been allowed to leave the house and use the internet as a ‘free man’ since being removed from surveillance in November 2021

  2. DXer said

    JI arrests, 20 years on: The long hunt for hardline fugitives who fled Singapore

    There was more. Two of the Sept 11 hijackers of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon had visited Malaysia in 2000 and stayed with JI operative Yazid Sufaat.

    Yazid and Malaysian JI member Faiz Bafana – who was in the Singapore cell and nabbed by the ISD – also assisted 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui when he visited Malaysia in late 2000.

    Mr Pellegrino was granted access to interview Faiz, who later testified against Moussaoui.


    Faiz also provided leads on Al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, or Sammy, who was involved in a plot to bomb the US embassy in Singapore, along with other Western embassies. He was arrested in Oman in early 2002, and is now serving a life sentence in the US.

  3. DXer said

    “20 Years After 9/11, Al-Qaida Retains a Deadly Relevance in Malaysia,” Dec 2, 2021
    Rueben Dass and Jasminder Singh

    “In 2001, Yazid Sufaat was alleged to have gone to Kandahar to help al-Qaida develop anthrax as part of the group’s biological program.”

  4. DXer said

    In the fictionalized “Hot Zone: Anthrax,” said to be “inspired” by true events, Episode 6 has a news commentator saying the FBI had no one in custody. In December 2001, the Malaysians who arrested Yazid Sufaat when he tried to enter the country. But the Malaysians were not cooperating with the FBI. It was not until Fall of 2002 when the FBI first interviewed him. Mueller even went to Malaysia to seek cooperation. Yazid Sufaat attended Sacramento State. Yazid Sufaat in correspondence with me pled the Fifth Amendment and would not the strain he was using. He is as amiable as he is pious. The Malaysians, to gain leverage, at one point, threw his wife in prison too but Yazid Sufaat still refused to cooperate. He felt he had been betrayed by his country and was sore.

  5. DXer said

    Feared terrorist leader who is believed to have orchestrated the Bali bombings reveals sick web of secret Jihadist fundraising posing as charity boxes in normal supermarkets
    • Terrorist leader Aris Sumarsono, known as Zulkarnaen, arrested in November
    • Senior member of militant Jemaah Islamiah and orchestrated the Bali bombings
    • Zulkarnaen revealed the terror group had fundraised by using fake charity boxes
    • Indonesian police said over 20,000 boxes had been placed around the country
    • Stall and supermarket owners had no idea the boxes were funding terror group
    PUBLISHED: 00:40 EST, 27 December 2020 | UPDATED: 00:40 EST, 27 December 2020

    They have released video of Zulkarnaen talking to officers after his arrest and detailing his role in a series of deadly bombings in his homeland.

    And he revealed the secret meetings that led up to the decision by JI to bomb two nightclubs in Bali in October 2002, along with how other bombings were planned and executed.

  6. DXer said

    Today –

    Unfair to compare Yazid Sufaat to LTTE suspects – Yazid’s lawyers

    Lawyers representing former Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) detainee Yazid Sufaat have deemed it unfair to compare his case to that of those detained under the same law over alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

    Yazid, formerly detained over suspected links to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, was released and placed on house arrest last week after years in jail.

    In a statement today, his lawyers sought to clarify several “misconceptions” about the case, stressing that the terrorism charges brought against him have “never been proven”.

    They explained that Yazid was first incarcerated without trial for eight years under the now-abolished Internal Security Act (ISA) for “purported involvement” in Sept 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the US.

    “(An allegation) which has never been proven in any court of law,” said counsel Amer Hamzah Arshad, New Sin Yew and Joshua Tay.

    He was then re-arrested, detained and denied bail under Sosma for allegedly spreading terrorist ideology and recruiting terrorists. The charges against him were later withdrawn by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

    He was then charged for not providing information to the authorities, which he pleaded guilty to and served a sentence for.

    Upon his release, Yazid was re-arrested on what his lawyers deemed as “vague allegations” under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012 (Pota). He remained in detention until last Wednesday.

    Be fair in opposition to Sosma

    His lawyers disagreed how Yazid’s release had been used to argue in favour of the alleged LTTE supporters.

    “At no point in time was Yazid found guilty of being a terrorist or spreading terrorist ideology.

    “Hence, it is unfair to compare Yazid’s case with the LTTE case without an appreciation of all the facts. If at all, Yazid’s case is another clear example of how Sosma and Pota could be abused by the authorities.

    “To question why Yazid is being released is unfair to him,” they said.

    Amer, New and Tay further opined that objection to detention-without-trial laws like Sosma and Pota ought to extend to detainees.

    “Unlike now, there were no strong objections by politicians (who are now in power) back then when Sosma was used against Yazid and a few others…

    “Those who oppose laws that allow for detention without trial should oppose its use against all people including Yazid and the LTTE detainees, regardless of race, religion, or political ideology,” they said.

    Yesterday, Klang MP Charles Santiago decried Yazid’s release as a “double standards” and compared his history of terrorism allegations to those recently charged with being linked to now-defunct Sri Lankan terrorist group LTTE.

    “Compare this (Yazid’s) ‘resume’ against the 12 Malaysians who were arrested for alleged links to the now-defunct LTTE.

    “They are two state assemblypersons, a Physics and English teacher, a chief officer of a corporation, a taxi driver, a scrap metal collector, a despatch rider and a storekeeper plus two others who also do not have a curriculum vitae as impressive as Yazid’s,” said the Pakatan Harapan backbencher.

    The state lawmakers charged are DAP’s G Saminathan (Gadek) and P Gunasekaran (Seremban Jaya).

    The police and Home Ministry have maintained that the 12 were charged based on strong evidence of terrorism.

    Harapan component party DAP, however, sees the charges as a possibility of it being targeted by the “deep state”.

  7. DXer said

    Malaysia’s release of militant linked to 9/11 attacks will spook US, says security expert

    Reuters file photo
    Yazid Sufaat, a US-trained biochemist, was reported to be directly involved in the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Centre twin towers in New York.
    Published22 NOVEMBER, 2019UPDATED 22 NOVEMBER, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR — Authorities’ decision to free Yazid Sufaat, the Malaysian militant directly linked to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, will trigger concern from the United States, according to a security researcher based there.

    Professor Zachary Abuza of the National War College in Washington told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) that US security and counter-terrorism experts were taken aback by Malaysia’s move.

    “The US will be very concerned, as he is an unreconstructed terrorist committed to perpetrating mass murder in the furtherance of his extreme ideology,” the specialist in regional terrorism and insurgencies was quoted as saying.

    “He had everything in place to mass produce anthrax for Al-Qaeda, and was simply waiting to acquire the virulent Ames strain.”

    On Wednesday night, Bukit Aman counter-terrorism chief Datuk Ayob Khan Pitchay confirmed that Yazid was released as his detention order under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) 2015 has expired.

    Mr Ayob said Yazid would be restricted to Ampang here and must obtain police permission to leave the area.

    Authorities also sought to assuage public concern by publicising that Yazid has been made to wear an electronic monitoring device and barred from owning a phone or accessing the Internet at least for the next two years.

    Yazid’s release is concerning as it comes at a time when the Islamic State, which was previously thought to have been defeated, has been given a new lease of life after US President Donald Trump unexpectedly withdrew his country’s forces from Syria.

    The move allowed Turkey to launch attacks on the Kurdish forces that had been guarding captured IS combatants, allowing an unknown number to escape.

    Malaysia was among source countries for fighters who joined the IS terrorist group.

    Dr Abuza told the SCMP that Yazid must be closely monitored as he was “a potent recruiter and inspiration”.

    Another counterterrorism expert, Mr Ahmad El-Muhammady, said he believe Yazid was not a security risk but must be observed as he would be a prized asset for militant groups.

    “He has been waiting for this moment for so long, reuniting with his family. Personally, I’m so happy to know he has been released,” Mr El-Muhammady, who interviewed Yazid in 2017, told the SCMP.

    “I believe he will spend time more with his family. I believe he knows the risks of re-engaging in whatever forms of security offences that might put him in harm’s way.”

    A trained biochemist and former army captain, Yazid has been involved in terrorist activities since the early 1990s, when he sought to develop biological weapons for al Qaeda.

    Yazid is Malaysia’s direct link to al Qaeda’s 2001 attack on the US. He is said to have hosted leaders of the terrorist group at his home while they planned the attack. MALAY MAIL

  8. DXer said

    Terrorist linked to Al-Qaeda will be freed next month, confirms Malaysian police chief
    PUBLISHEDOCT 23, 2019, 7:06 PM SGT

    “He has served his sentence, and only if he commits an offence after his release, will the police take action,” Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador told reporters after officiating the 69 Commando Golden Jubilee at the General Operations Force base in Ulu Kinta, Ipoh.

    Comment: I watched a Netflix movie “The Maze” about a prison escape by 38 IRA prisoners. We can wish Yazid Sufaat steers clear of trouble moving forward. His success in business years ago in his blood testing business may have in part been due to his affability and easy manner. He reminds me of the main character in The Maze.

  9. DXer said

    Nov 2, 2018 – Ex-al-Qaeda man has not been deradicalised, will be released next year, says expert.

    Comment: Yazid Sufaat, it’s been a long time since you were riding the California highways on your motorcycle and had long hair. (Early on I commuted on BART and didn’t get out much; then while representing SMUD, barely made it out of the nuclear plant). But people may not realize how Americanized you are as the result of your years here in the States. If the Big Guy approves — if that is his plan — why don’t you share in a blog what the FBI is blacking out in the 22 page Table of Contents given the judge.

  10. DXer said

    Yazid Sufaat, why did you think that you could be treated as a postal worker?

    Assuming the authorities release you next month, are you going to write a book if your Big Guy approves?

    “In Yazid Sufaat v Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (2009), the issue was whether a preventive detainee can vote as a postal voter under the Electoral Postal Voting Regulations 2003. While agreeing with the rest of the Bench that the applicant did not qualify as a postal voter, Justice Zainun was strongly critical of the Election Commission’s failure to provide for alternative ways to enable the detainee to exercise his constitutional right.”

    Tribute to a retired judge

    • Reflecting On The Law
    • Thursday, 22 Nov 2018


    Click to access elections-postal-voting-regulations-20031.pdf

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

  11. DXer said

    People aren’t as scared of biological warfare ‘as they should be,’ according to the head of Silicon Valley’s largest startup accelerator

    Peter Kotecki
    Sep. 6, 2018, 11:26 PM
    Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator — Silicon Valley’s largest startup accelerator— believes biological warfare is the greatest threat to humanity, and people “aren’t as scared enough about that as they should be.”

    Two years ago, Altman said he would escape to New Zealand with billionaire Peter Thiel in the event of a pandemic. Altman recently told Bloomberg that he was just joking back then, but the 33-year-old has certainly put thought into emergency planning. Altman’s go bag includes a gun, water, a tent, batteries, antibiotics, blankets, and gas masks.

    “The world is so interconnected now that if anything was to happen, we would all be in pretty bad shape, unfortunately,” Altman told Bloomberg. “I don’t think you can just run away and try to hide in a corner of the Earth.”

    New Zealand has become a popular destination for many tech millionaires worried about an upcoming apocalypse. According to Bloomberg, seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have bought bunkers and placed them in New Zealand over the past few years.


    In a 2017 op-ed for Business Insider, Bill Gates wrote that an airborne pathogen has the potential to kill more than 30 million people within one year. Such an outbreak, he wrote, could occur in the next 10-15 years.


    I’ve readied a 70-acre island and been its only inhabitant on most days for about a half decade. There is an elaborate trail system — so I could outrun a single pursuing zombie. I bought a SOG tactical throwing hatchet — thinking that a zombie would more easily grab a standard hatchet.
    And, finally, I was allowed to buy a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. I haven’t opened it yet because I think my wife expects there will be adult supervision when I do.

    The power company delivers power to the island’s three customers. It cost the company $15,000 to hire the barge and deliver and replace a couple of poles recently. Best tasting coffee I’ve ever tasted.

    But I think if I were in a major city I would want a motorcycle so as to avoid a traffic jam. It could be a pretty simple scooter. People’s first reaction will be to get on major highways and then they will be stuck in a traffic jam.

    On the subject of MREs, avoid anything with eggs in it and be careful of the heating element.

    But there’s certainly no reason to be “scared” of biological warfare.

    Just reason to thank in advance the first responders and law enforcement who work to keep us safe.

    It is wrong for the President to undermine the public’s confidence in the FBI. Disagree with the FBI? Sure. Criticize? Complain? Where one thinks it is warranted. But let’s not ever take the DOJ and FBI for granted. They are an important rudder in our ship of state.

  12. DXer said

    If I am understanding things correctly — and former lead Amerithrax AUSA Kenneth Kohl spent 2011-2015 as the Resident Legal Advisor in Kuala Lumpur advising on counterterrorism, then he has my profound respect. Frustrated by the FBI’s withholding of documents, I’ve been too free to say mean things. But maybe there is a reason for secrecy that I’m just not understanding. Maybe I’m too quick to attribute things to CYA. As for his fellow AUSA’s failings, well … I’ve been there, done that.

    If the District Court judge were now simply to review the ICMS en camera, and order the disclosure of the forensic findings and the 16-page Ivins section, then justice will have been served. And the rule of law embodied by FOIA will have been upheld.

  13. DXer said

    January 2000 – Malaysian intelligence monitors a meeting of suspected al Qaeda operatives in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia shares surveillance photos and information with the CIA. The meeting takes place at a condo owned by Yazid Sufaat.

    January 15, 2000 – The CIA tracks Nawaf Alhazmi from the Malaysian summit to Los Angeles. The CIA does not alert the INS or the FBI of Alhazmi’s entry into the US.

  14. DXer said

    Super Bowl terror threat: Secret national security terror documents found left on plane

    SECRET documents about a Super Bowl terrorism drill from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were found left on a commercial plane weeks before the huge game raising questions about confidence in the US government.

    By Laura Mowat
    PUBLISHED: 12:22, Mon, Feb 5, 2018 | UPDATED: 12:48, Mon, Feb 5, 2018

  15. DXer said

    New book says amount of mustard gas exposure in World War II may be higher than acknowledged by government

    • By Chuck Raasch St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    • 50 min ago
    • (0)

    Comment: This weekend, at the New York City museum on the Upper West Side, I saw the large painting “Gassed,” picturing blindfolded lines of men being led, each with their arm on the shoulder of the man ahead of him.

  16. DXer said

    Emergency Drill Tests Anthrax Response

    March 2, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    The Feb. 23 drill participants included local pre-registered businesses, who picked up medication at the county’s back-up medication distribution location.

    While the Health Division maintains a First Responder Plan providing medication to EMS, Fire, Police and other county first responders, the Fixed Facility Plan is targeted at county businesses and schools. Facilities enrolled in the plan are eligible to receive medication for their staff and family members first, prior to medication being provided to the general public at community clinics.

    Comment: Hmmm….

    In the event of a mass aerosol attack, preregistered businesses would have dibs on antibiotic — with priority over members of the general public.

    That presents an interesting moral issue. I presume the idea is that there are efficiencies in distribution. I would find the issue not at all concerning if we were talking about nursing homes and schools. But to give corporations priority over members of the public is troubling. Instead, preregistering businesses willing to be points of distribution to the public seems like a more suitable idea. To give employees of corporations an advantage in staying alive in the event of a mass anthrax attack doesn’t seem right.

  17. DXer said

    An Islamic State hacker faces jail after stashing material on a memory stick disguised as a cufflink and plotting to bring down enemy drones.

    Samata Ullah, 34, admitted yesterday that he was a key member of an Isis online collective calling itself the Cyber Caliphate Army and was planning weapons programmes.

    The cufflinks that hid tiny USB drives
    Ullah, from Cardiff, south Wales, was arrested after an international manhunt by British and American security services. His conversations with the terror group were found on the mobile phone of an operative in Kenya accused of planning an anthrax attack.

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

  18. DXer said

    Michael Osterholm may have the ear of Vice President Pence like he did Vice President Cheney.

    This past week:

    The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributors
    The Real Threat to National Security: Deadly Disease

    Finally, there is the danger of diseases deliberately spread by terrorists. Bill Gates, who has put much of his sizable financial resources as well as his brainpower into public health, wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2015: “Of all the things that could kill more than 10 million people around the world, the most likely is an epidemic stemming from either natural causes or bioterrorism.” More recently, at this year’s Munich Security Conference, on the possibility of terrorist-engineered viruses he noted: “They are probably the only thing that can kill a billion.” For example, the science exists to reconstruct the smallpox genome from readily available lab materials, with the added possibility of altering the virus just enough that our existing vaccine would be ineffective.

    The military has figured out how to convince congressional funders that the only way to maintain defense is to appropriate money before a crisis. You don’t start building the weapons and training all the soldiers after the first shot has been fired. The only way we can win the inevitable microbe wars is to do the same — to have new vaccines and antibiotics and trained personnel ready before the crisis hits. We cannot rely on pharmaceutical companies to create drugs and vaccines for markets that do not yet exist. Only the government can do this. The additional expenditures would be truly economical in terms of lives saved.

    We are talking about national security on the most existential level.

    Michael T. Osterholm is an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Mark Olshaker is a documentary filmmaker. They are the authors of “Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs.”

    In 2000:

    Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe Hardcover – September 12, 2000
    by Michael T. Osterholm Ph.d (Author), John Schwartz (Author)

    In the interim:

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

  19. DXer said

    I am not current on following the twitter feed of Yazid Sufaat’s charming daughter. Either she or her mom, Chomel, may have shared how Yazid Sufaat is faring in prison. In his prior stint, Malaysian authorities mistakenly thought (or at least claimed) that he was reformed. But I think they mistook his affability and personal graciousness for a change in commitment or ideology. I have never known him to be repentant or regretful for the innocents who died in the Fall of 2001. Personally, I think he is misreading (and ignoring) key hadiths.

  20. DXer said


    It would violate the hadiths to attack crops or livestock — or women or children — with biological weapons. The affable Yazid Sufaat, an imam, should have known that.

    Bioterrorism threat: No worries for now

    Nawar Firdaws
    January 31, 2017

    Police say they are monitoring it in collaboration with authorities in other countries.

    PETALING JAYA: Police have sought to assure the public that they are in a constant state of alert to threats of bioterrorism.

    Special Branch director Mohamad Fuzi Harun said Malaysian authorities were in collaboration with their counterparts in other countries in monitoring the threat.

    The issue made the news recently with a warning from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said this new form of terrorism, involving the purposeful spread of diseases, could cause “very, very huge” damage.

    Speaking to FMT, Fuzi said police believed that terrorists and their local sympathisers did not currently have the ability to pull off a bioterrorist attack.

    Even if they did, he added, “we are prepared for it. We have been collaborating with other countries.”

    His confidence was shared by biosecurity expert Zalini Yunos of the Science Technology Research Institute for Defence.

    She said the authorities were “well prepared” to deal with any bioterrorist attack. “Our public health and medical preparedness measures are in place, and we have a strong surveillance system for detection of infectious diseases.”

    She acknowledged, however, that bioterrorism was no longer mere fiction. She noted that information on how to alter a microorganism’s DNA had become easily available with the rapid development of biotechnology and bioengineering.

    “Terrorist groups or lone wolves can potentially use such information to create a new and deadly superbug that is resistant to medical treatment, or to recreate eradicated germs such as smallpox,” she said.

    According to Zalini, Malaysian authorities are concerned over bioterrorism because it posed a threat to public health as well as the national economy. “We have a large agriculture industry and biological weapons can be used to attack plant and animal resources.”

    She also spoke of “a certain degree of risk” from those who have access to biological agents at their workplace. Such a threat could come from disgruntled employees or those experiencing financial problems. They could provide biological agents to terrorists.

    “We have many government and private research institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and universities working on life sciences research and with various pathogens which can be obtained by evil doers if biosecurity measures are not in place,” she said.

    “Open access to biological research and scientific information and knowledge via the internet is a concern as this information can be readily acquired by terrorist groups or a lone wolf to develop bioweapons.”

    However, she added, a complicated process would be involved in transforming a deadly virus or bacterium into a disease that could be easily spread and thereby become an effective weapon.

    “In Malaysia the authorities have a database in place of pathogens that research institutions are working on, and the research is monitored closely. This is especially true with research involving genetically modified organisms.”

    She said biological weapons were not easily accessible in practice though it would be in theory.

    She explained that simple laboratories could be set up by assembling items from everyday household tools and second-hand equipment available online. These facilities can be used to culture existing viruses or bacteria before they are turned into biological weapons.

    “In practice, such engineering is not simple to do,” she said. “But it may be in the near future. Terrorist groups with enough resources may have the ability to obtain the required manpower and necessary infrastructure to produce bioweapons.

    “Advances in biotechnology have opened the doors to many possibilities of creating designer diseases and novel pathogens.”

  21. DXer said

    Congress needs to act now to prevent another biodisaster like anthrax, Zika

    By Jeff Schlegelmilch and Ellen P. Carlin, opinion contributors – 01/30/17 05:20 PM EST

    In September 2001, letters containing anthrax spores were mailed via post to federal offices and news outlets; in addition to their intended targets, they contaminated postal facilities and private homes along their way. Twenty-two people contracted anthrax, and five of them died.

    The extraordinary events that fall, which included the closure of contaminated House and Senate office buildings, the preventive administration of antibiotics to 10,000 people, and a years-long criminal investigation stymied by insufficient microbial bioforensics science, revealed weaknesses in our national capacity for handling major biological events.

    Jeff Schlegelmilch, MPH, MBA, (@jeffschlegel) is the deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute (@columbia_ncdp). He has served as a local public health planner and an epidemiologist as well as a consultant to local, state and federal health agencies. He has developed and evaluated numerous programs related to biodefense including those related to bioterrorism detection systems, countermeasures distribution programs, and interagency epidemiological modeling processes.

    Ellen P. Carlin, DVM, is senior health and policy adviser for EcoHealth Alliance (@EcoHealthNYC). She supports science and policy programs there that advance the ecological health mission of the organization, including co-directing the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense (@BiodefenseStudy). She handled the biodefense and medical preparedness portfolios for the House Committee on Homeland Security for more than five years. She is an adjunct research scientist with the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, and also practices small animal clinical medicine.

  22. DXer said

    Bill Gates Warns Of Potential Damage From Bioterrorism, Dangers Of Epidemics
    22 January 2017, 9:41 pm EST By Athena Chan Tech Times

    Bioterrorism damage could be ‘very huge’ if it happens, Bill Gates warns
    Arjun Kharpal | @ArjunKharpal
    Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 | 1:03 PM

  23. DXer said

    In the CIA’s new electronic reading room:

    “Hambali also reported that while KSM and he were discussing suggestions by Yazid Sufaat to bomb a monument in the United Kingdom, KSM made the point that the plan was a good one, although targets in the United States were preferable to those in the United Kingdom.”

    Click to access 0006566541.pdf

  24. DXer said

    How a Pandemic Might Play Out Under Trump

    It’s not clear that the next administration is ready to deal with an outbreak of Ebola, pandemic flu, or other emerging diseases.

    People march to end Ebola in New York, October 24, 2014. Andrew Kelly / Reuters
    • Ed Yong
    • 8:00 AM ET

    Even so, the early months of a new administration are uniquely vulnerable. Consider the bio-terror attacks of September 2001, when anthrax-laced letters were mailed to offices in the wake of the World Trade Center collapse. Tommy Thompson had been HHS Secretary for just eight months, and “didn’t seem to trust the career part of the government,” says Lynn Goldman, Dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. “He didn’t trust the experts in government to talk to the public.” People heard wrong or confusing pronouncements, while postal workers didn’t get guidelines on protecting themselves.

    “This kind of communication issue often happens during the transition,” Goldman says. She blames the frequent lags in appointing the middle-level deputies and assistant secretaries who connect newcomers at the top of the government with experienced health workers at the bottom.

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

  25. DXer said

    Obama Advisers Urge Action Against CRISPR Bioterror Threat

    MIT Technology Review-Nov 18, 2016
    In a letter to the president, advisers say an “exponential” increase in biotechnology has created powerful tools that terrorists could exploit.

    In a letter to the president, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) urges the creation of a new entity charged with developing a national biodefense strategy within six months. Such a strategy was developed in 2009, but it’s carried out by several government agencies in an uncoördinated approach, says Piers Millet, a bioterror expert at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

    The council is also urging the president to ask Congress to establish a $2 billion fund to respond to public health emergencies that could be caused by new biotechnologies.


    Are mute swans a boon or menace? Governor Cuomo now has signed into law the bill that will protect my mute swan friend Ernie for a bit. Ernie is not nearly as menacing as some made him out to be — so long as you had a sense of humor in March when he would try to sink your pontoon boat as you passed his family’s nest. I would tell passengers that he was trying to eat the seaweed — but no, he was definitely trying to sink the boat.

    But what about CRISPR? I’ve got money riding on the outcome of the patent dispute among the inventors (involving EDITAS) and so I’ll avoid dwelling on the issue.

  26. DXer said

    Pompeo, named to be CIA Director, attended West Point, where he graduated first in his class, and Harvard Law School, where he was an editor on the Harvard Law Review. He is opposed to closing the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, and has also advocating for strengthening U.S. surveillance capabilities.

    “Robust surveillance, drawing on a variety of technical and human intelligence and backed up by rigorous investigation of all leads, is the best way to mitigate the threat,” of terrorism, he wrote in a January 2016 Wall Street Journal op-ed.

    Well, Congressman Pompeo, I hope you do Gannett House proud in the “rigorous investigation of all leads” in mitigating the Al Qaeda and ISIS anthrax threat.

    Anthrax, Al Qaeda and the Infiltration of US Biodefense

  27. DXer said

    With former DIA head Michael Flynn appointed National Security Adviser, maybe a more transparent approach to the anthrax threat will be taken, with some historic context fleshed out. (Maybe not — it’s hard to predict what change in personnel will bring). But I’ve never seen DIA as part of the problem. At least prior to August 2003, when there was a change in personnel among DIA analysts, was part of the solution.

    With Hambali (captured in August 2003) not even seeing a court room for 13 years — and the FBI allowed to withhold Ivins notebook from the day of mailing — it seems that a more transparent approach is preferable.

    If Michael Flynn is looking for a former DIA analyst knowledgeable about the anthrax threat, he could turn to James Vandevelde, at the CTC not so long ago.

    An ominous post-9/11 warning
    Americans are less safe now than they were prior to Sept. 11

    “Think, too, about the fact that those who postpone blowing themselves up are developing new and improved martial skills. “They write about and share ‘Lessons Learned’ all the time,” Gen. Flynn said. He recalled that not long after Sept. 11, 2001, anthrax was used in an act of terrorism that killed five people. “If that anthrax had been dispersed more efficiently,” he said, “it could have killed a quarter-million people.” Also worth bearing in mind: Just eight years separates the first attack on New York’s World Trade Center in 1993, in which six people were killed, from the 2001 mass murders.”

    • DXer said

      Perhaps Flynn would avoided the chief blunder of the last 15 years — the invasion of Iraq.

      Former Military Chief: Iraq War Was A ‘Failure’ That Helped Create ISIS

      “We strategically marched in the wrong direction.”

      11/30/2015 03:19 pm ET | Updated Dec 01, 2015

      Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who came up through intelligence positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that the George W. Bush administration’s Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

      “It was a huge error,” Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.

      “As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him,” Flynn went on to say. “The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”

      Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, also said that the American military response following 9/11 was not well thought-out at all and based on significant misunderstandings.

      “When 9/11 occurred, all the emotions took over, and our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them,’” he said.

      Instead of determining why the U.S. was attacked by terrorists, Flynn said, the Bush administration was looking at where the terrorists came from and locations to attack.

      “Then,” Flynn said, “we strategically marched in the wrong direction.”

      Following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 based on sketchy evidence presented by the Bush administration that linked weapons of mass destruction and terrorist organization Al Qaeda to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The fall of Hussein resulted in chaos and led to a power vacuum in the region that terrorist organizations, like the Islamic State, have taken advantage of.

  28. DXer said

    Former DIA Director Michael Flynn may be Secretary of Defense or National Security Adviser. He gave this interview after leaving DIA:

    JK: When you were asked recently at the Aspen Security Forum whether the United States is safer from the terrorist threat today than before 9/11, you answered no.

    “Flynn: I know that’s a scary thought, but in 2004, there were 21 total Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 18 countries. Today, there are 41 Islamic terrorist groups spread out in 24 countries. A lot of these groups have the intention to attack Western interests, to include Western embassies and in some cases Western countries. Some have both the intention and some capability to attack the United States homeland.
    For instance, we’re doing all we can to understand the outflow of foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq, many of them with Western passports, because another threat I’ve warned about is Islamic terrorists in Syria acquiring chemical or biological weapons. We know they are trying to get their hands on chemical weapons and use what they already have to create a chemical weapons capability.

    Remember anthrax was used in 2001 [killing five people] and pretty much paralyzed Capitol Hill. If that anthrax had been dispersed more efficiently, it could have killed a quarter million people.”

  29. DXer said

    Retired Lt. General Ron Burgess, former director of the DIA, is a leading contender for director of national intelligence.

    I would love to see James Vandeveld, a former DIA analyst familiar with Amerithrax, be able to see that some gaps in analysis be filled.

    Here is a partial biography of Ronald L. Burgess:

    LTG Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., USA

    March 2009 – July 2012

    Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., became Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in March 2009.

    Lieutenant General Ronald L. Burgess, Jr., was commissioned in Military Intelligence through the Auburn University ROTC Program in 1974. He earned a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Southern California in 1980, and a Master of Military Arts and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in 1986.

    His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic Course, the Military Intelligence Officers Advanced Course, the Command and General Staff College, the Advanced Military Studies Program, and the Air War College.

    Lieutenant General Burgess has held a variety of key staff and command positions.

    His staff assignments include: Assistant Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Washington, D.C. in 1990; G-2, 25th Infantry Division (Light) from May 1993 to May 1994 at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. He served as Director of Intelligence, J-2, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from May 1997 to June 1999; Director of Intelligence, J-2, U.S. Southern Command from June 1999 until May 2003, and Director for Intelligence, J-2, The Joint Staff from June 2003 to July 2005. Lieutenant General Burgess assumed duty as the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Customer Outcomes in August 2005 transitioning to Director of the Intelligence Staff in February 2007. He was dual-hatted twice as the Acting Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence from May 2006 to October 2007, and January to February 2009.

  30. DXer said

    Former Congressman Mike Pence long ago opined in a public letter that Al Qaeda was involved in the anthrax mailings. He now is slated to be the country’s next Vice-President. Will Notebook 4282 from the date of mailing now be produced so as to help to finally resolve the issue? A government mediator wrote a couple weeks ago and was preparing to contact the FBI.

    But if Vice-President Pence were to order a review of Amerithrax, the FBI would find that it was no longer business as usual in Washington.

    “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


    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

    • DXer said

      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 year, 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.

  31. DXer said

    Full transcript: GQ commentator Keith Olbermann on Recode Media

    by Eric Johnson@HeyHeyESJ Oct 15, 2016, 12:00pm EDT

    “Against my will, I covered the Monica Lewinsky story for 218 consecutive shows in 1998. And the last week we were on, two of the guests, there was a fellow who was a strategist, I don’t remember his name, but the other one was Dr. Richard Haass who later worked in the Bush Administration. And we were talking about anthrax and Al-Qaeda. This is 1998 and it’s like, “Wow, that’s terrifying, let’s revisit this.” And we didn’t. We changed topics. So I’ve been on the wrong side of it. I did not stop in the middle of a Lewinsky conversation and say, “I just get this sense there’s something more important happening in the immediate future maybe we should be talking about.” I

  32. DXer said

    U.S. ag’s biodefense still inadequate

    Published on: Nov 1, 2016

    When U.S. troops went into an Afghanistan cave in 2002, they found an Al-Qaida list of planned bioweapon pathogens, including six human pathogens, six livestock and poultry pathogens and four plant pathogens, Gen. Richard Myers, interim president of Kansas State University, said at a recent Bipartisan Policy Center panel discussion highlighting the threat of bio/agroterrorism and the importance of including agriculture in biosecurity and biodefense.


    “I think these are issues that deserve the highest attention and the most critical prioritization as we look at public policy in the context of national security,” Daschle said as he described his firsthand experience with bioterrorism during the 2001 anthrax attacks. “I don’t think anyone disputes the importance of the issue, but what I don’t think has happened is that we have given it the kind of attention that it so justly deserves.”

    Rogers, former chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, pointed out that terrorists have become much more sophisticated, highlighting the discovery of a laptop in Syria with a documented strategy for using biological warfare.

    “It will happen,” Rogers said. “It is a matter now of: Are we prepared to deal with it, and have we set ourselves up for being successful in either beating it, disrupting it or reacting to it? And I think today, probably not.”

    Comment: There was once a reader and wonderful correspondent who owned one of the largest and most famous poultry-associated companies in the world. From reading news of arrests and local news reports around the country, I never had any doubt that poultry was under potential threat. There was an unnoticed early case in the midwest that involved cell members who worked at a poultry processing plant. One of the roommates, an Egyptian, was researching pathogens that couldn’t be detected in the water supply at his local public library.

    There were kicked in doors, denials, detentions, deportations and US and Canadian classification orders requiring secrecy extending decades. Let’s hope we never have the sort of clarity that a future attack might provide — or admissions after any operatives in the US or other countries are no longer the thumb of authorities.

    This one’s for you, Mitzi.

    • DXer said

      When he was arrested in 2002, Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi’s fake ID gave the address of “New Branswick.” New Brunswick was 4 miles from Franklin Park, the place in New Jersey used on the fictitious return address in the anthrax mailings. He was carrying over $80,000 in cash — and nervously bit his lip in November 2002 as DEA agents searched the greyhound bus transiting North Carolina on the way from New York City to Houston. In a trial in Detroit, he would be convicted of being part of a cell supporting terrorists, but his conviction was later reversed on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. He had lived in Detroit with the two men who were with the Egyptian scientist in Canton, Ohio public library in May and June 2001 researching anthrax and other pathogens.FN/


      “No Threat to Canton, Mayor Says Egyptian Man Who Researched City Water System, Parasitic Diseases at Library ‘Just Had Conversations,” Akron Beacon Journal, October 6, 2001

      “Terrorist Investigation Heads To Local Library,” Clickondetroit, October 5, 2001

      The Egyptian scientist’s roommates worked at a chicken processing plant.

      In late 2002, when Elmardoudi was apprehended on a bus going from New York City to Houston while transiting North Carolina, he was taken to Detroit, Michigan on the terrorism charges, where he stood trial, was convicted, and jailed. He was convicted along with Moroccan Karem Koubriti of conspiring to support Islamic extremists plotting attacks in the United States and the Middle East. That case had begun with a raid on a Detroit apartment just a week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when the FBI raided an apartment where Al Qaeda operative Nabil Al-Marabh had been staying. Al-Marabh had contacted with Atta, Al-Shehhi and two other hijackers. The former Boston cab driver Al-Marabh once distributed up to $200,000 between Afghanistan training camps. Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, then 37, and Karim Koubriti, 24, were found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists. Prosecutors had alleged the four men worked as a sleeper cell and conspired to help terrorists by raising money and producing false documents. The government had claimed that Elmardoudi was the leader of the alleged cell. Prosecutors said their plot was hatched before they arrived in the United States in the late 1990s and 2000. Prosecutors relied upon a videotape and sketches found in the apartment raid showed potential targets including Las Vegas and Disneyland, and U.S. military installations in Turkey and Jordan. Defendants said a video depicting scenes of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was an innocuous travelogue. The prosecution’s star witness was Youssef Hmimssa, who later lived with Elmardoudi. Hmimssa claimed that Elmardoudi told him about the possibility of attacks on the United States one month before the Sept. 11 hijackings.

      Elmardoudi’s conviction for supporting terrorism was reversed due to the prosecution’s withholding of evidence said to cast doubt on who made the drawings and on the credibility of Hmimssa’s testimony.

  33. DXer said

    Bioweapons and Scientific Advances

    4 Nov 2016

    By Claudia Otto and Oliver Thränert for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

    “In September and October 2001, letters containing finely milled anthrax spores were sent to two US senators and several US journalists. These letters resulted in 22 anthrax infections and five deaths, but the case was never officially solved. The terrorist organization al-Qaida developed an interest in ricin and anthrax, but failed in its efforts to recruit scientists from the former Soviet weapons program.”

  34. DXer said

    Terrorism comes in many forms, and Chandler Hassan, an M.S. student in chemistry and biochemistry, is most interested in the addressing the biological kind. He’s been studying the 2001 anthrax attacks, in which the U.S. Postal Service was unknowingly used to conduct an act of bioterrorism, and is working with faculty advisor Ernesto Abel-Santos on potential treatments for the deadly bacteria.

    “As we’re moving forward here, 15 years removed from this incident, we’re asking ourselves, ‘Are we any safer today than we were then?’” Hassan said. “That’s an issue that our presidential candidates and all political leaders are going to have to answer, and we expect the answer to be yes.”

  35. DXer said

    You and CRSPR.

    On Patrol with America’s Top Bioterror Cop, MIT Technology Review, October 20, 2016

  36. DXer said

    An Invitation

    From: [Tom Daschle]
    To: [John Podesta]
    Date: 2016-01-12 19:29
    Subject: An Invitation

    Dear John,

    We hope this note finds you well. I’m sure things are very busy for you right now!

    Former Congressman Mike Rogers and I invite you to join us for a salon dinner discussion on biodefense on February 22nd at 6:00 pm at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. As you know, biosecurity is an issue that I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with first hand when anthrax was sent to my Senate office. However, even with the anthrax attacks that took place in 2001, and the Ebola outbreak in 2014, biodefense isn’t being as seriously considered as I believe it should be.

    Mike, as I am sure you know, during his time in office was the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Mike built a legacy as a tireless and effective leader on biodefense, counterterrorism and national security policy. Mike currently hosts a nationally-syndicated radio show, is a CNN national security commentator, a Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute and serves on the Board of Trustees at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

    Last year, I had the privilege of serving on the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense led by Governor Ridge and Senator Lieberman. Mike briefed the panel and informed our final recommendations. Now that that the panel’s report has been released, we believe we have an opportunity to elevate the political prioritization of biodefense and preparedness, as well as advance near and mid-term changes to address the challenges and gaps we continue to face.

    Mike and I would like to bring together a small group of thought leaders, such as yourself, for an informal discussion. Ideally, we would like to build on the discussion that the Blue Ribbon Panel Study began, and identify some actionable priorities. In the end, we hope to use the ideas gathered during the dinner discussion to develop both short-term and mid-term strategies for increasing political interest in improving our national health security.

    Given your experience and expertise in these areas, Mike and I are hopeful that you will be able to join us.

    All the best,

    Tom Daschle
    Former US Senate Majority Leader

    Mike Rogers
    Former Chairman, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

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