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

Posts Tagged ‘* anthrax science’

* 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

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“This case was hailed at the time as the most important case in the history of the F.B.I.,” Mr. Lambert said. “But it was difficult for me to get experienced investigators assigned to it.”

He said that the effort was understaffed and plagued by turnover, and that 12 of 20 agents assigned to the case had no prior investigative experience. Senior bureau microbiologists were not made available, and two Ph.D. microbiologists who were put on the case were then removed for an 18-month Arabic language program in Israel. Fear of leaks led top officials to order the extreme compartmentalization of information, with investigators often unable to compare notes and share findings with colleagues, he said.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tennessee last Thursday, Mr. Lambert accused the bureau of trying “to railroad the prosecution of Ivins” and, after his suicide, creating “an elaborate perception management campaign” to bolster its claim that he was guilty.

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Source: Former F.B.I. Agent Sues, Claiming Retaliation Over Misgivings in Anthrax Case
By SCOTT SHANE … APRIL 8, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/ex-fbi-agent-claims-retaliation-for-dissent-in-anthrax-inquiry.html?_r=0

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* USAMRIID Special Pathogens Branch sent DARPA-funded Ames to the University of Alabama and IITRI in Chicago; IITRI tested decontamination agents with AMES-RIID spores in addition to avirulent strains

Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 1, 2015

SpecialPathogensshipments

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* Was the 340 ml. of genetically matching virulent Ames shipped from Dugway to USAMRIID in June 2001 tested for the genetically distinctive subtilis contaminant — Or did it go missing?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 9, 2015

Dugwaysubtilis

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* Is CDC going to tell USA Today’s Alison Young about the 2007 probe of the earlier misshipment of anthrax? Bruce Ivins asked: “Does this refer to any material that DPG sent here for irradiation, then was sent back?”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 18, 2015

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* more on the 2007 probe of the misshipment of anthrax that CDC does not want you to know about

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 18, 2015

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* 2007 probe of misshipment that CDC doesn’t want you to know about

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 18, 2015

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* Dugway anthrax irradiation scandal – USAMRIID’s Bruce Ivins in 2008 recognized that a 50% check of samples “leaves us ‘better safe than sorry’ ” (as opposed to other’s insistence that only 10% was necessary)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 13, 2015

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* Pentagon Accidentally Sent Live Anthrax to 9 (now 11) States from Dugway in Utah

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 27, 2015

Update (6/3/15):  Officials said it’s possible that shipments were sent to more than four dozen laboratories in the U.S. and abroad.

The Pentagon told reporters Wednesday that 51 laboratories received shipments of anthrax, across 17 states (plus D.C.) and three foreign countries over a period of at least ten years.Anthrax was even detected at the Pentagon yesterday, The Daily Beast’s Nancy Youssef reported, when the Defense Department admitted it didn’t know everywhere it had sent the toxic bacteria.

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UPDATE (6/2/15):  Pentagon Accidentally Sent Live Anthrax to at least 28 labs in 12 states and the District of Columbia, and Australia, South Korea and Canada

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UPDATE …Thu May 28, 2015

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Washington (CNN)Four lab workers in the United States and up to 22 overseas have been put in post-exposure treatment, a defense official said, following the revelation the U.S. military inadvertently shipped liveanthrax samples in the past several days.

CNN learned on Wednesday a Maryland-based lab received the live samples, which prompted an across the board urgent review to see whether any other live anthrax has been shipped.

Officials are concerned because samples left over at the lab in Dugway, Utah, where the samples originated, were tested and determined to contain live agent.

The shipments, thought to be dead, were shipped under less rigorous conditions than the live agent protocol.

NBC News reported that the anthrax was sent via FedEx.

Company spokesman Jim McCluskey wouldn’t directly confirm the report.

“FedEx is committed to the safe transport of all customer shipments, and our priority is the safety of our employees,” he said. “We will be working closely with the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control to gather information about these shipments.”

Science experts told the Defense Department there was no risk to the public from shipping in those containers. However, four workers across the nine states that received the shipments have been put on post-exposure treatment, because they handled samples.

Pentagon spokesman, Col. Steve Warren, said one sample was also sent to the Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition Program at Osan Air Base in South Korea.

“The sample was destroyed in accordance with appropriate protocols,” Warren said.

Up to 22 people in a training laboratory were exposed, according to a statement from the base.

“All personnel were provided appropriate medical precautionary measures to include examinations, antibiotics and in some instances, vaccinations,” the statement said. “None of the personnel have shown any signs of possible exposure.”

The facility was decontaminated afterward and the anthrax destroyed.

The investigation

Samples are supposed to be rendered dead before they are shipped under a routine research program. All military, government and commercial labs that may have received samples are now reviewing their inventory of anthrax.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating in conjunction with the Defense Department and said they do not suspect any risk to the public.

“CDC is working in conjunction with state and federal partners to conduct an investigation with all the labs that received samples from the DOD,” Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman said. “The ongoing investigation includes determining if the labs also received other live samples, epidemiologic consultation, worker safety review, laboratory analysis and handling of laboratory waste.”

A military spokesman confirmed there is no known public risk nor any illnesses reported.

“The DOD lab was working as part of a DOD effort to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment,” said Warren, the department spokesman. “Out of an abundance of caution, DOD has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation.”

The investigation began after a request from a private commercial lab.

“The lab was working as part of a DOD effort to develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats,” McDonald said. “Although an inactivated agent was expected, the lab reported they were able to grow live Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).”

The CDC has sent officials to the military labs to conduct on-site investigations, he said.

CNN’s Debra Goldschmidt contributed to this report.

original report …

 

A Pentagon lab accidentally shipped live samples of anthrax to private labs in nine states,according ABC News. The shipments, received in the last several days, have prompted an investigation with the CDC to determine if the lethal bacteria was inadvertently sent anywhere else. A senior defense official told The Daily Beast there is no known risk to the general public and no suspected or confirmed cases of anthrax infection in potentially exposed lab workers. The Utah lab that sent the samples was working with the Department of Defense to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment. “Out of an abundance of caution, DoD has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation,” Department of Defense director of press operations, Col. Steven H. Warren said in a statement.

more from CNN …

Washington (CNN)CNN has learned a lab inadvertently received live anthrax samples from the U..S military in the last several days prompting an across the board urgent review to see if any other live anthrax has been shipped.

The sample came from a military lab at the Dugway, Utah, Army facility, according to two defense officials.

They did not disclose the lab that received the live anthrax, but said it was that lab that reported receiving the live agent sample. Samples are supposed to be rendered dead before they are shipped under a routine research program.

All military, government and commercial labs that may have received samples are now reviewing their inventory of anthrax.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating the incident, in conjunction with the Defense Department, and said they do not suspect any risk to the general public at this time.

“CDC is working in conjunction with state and federal partners to conduct an investigation with all the labs that received samples from the DOD,” Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman said. “The ongoing investigation includes determining if the labs also received other live samples, epidemiologic consultation, worker safety review, laboratory analysis and handling of laboratory waste.”

A military spokesman confirmed there is currently no known public risk, nor any illnesses reported stemming from the incident.

“The DOD lab was working as part of a DOD effort to develop a field-based test to identify biological threats in the environment,” said Col. Steven H. Warren, a department spokesman. “Out of an abundance of caution, DOD has stopped the shipment of this material from its labs pending completion of the investigation.”

The investigation began after a request from a private commercial lab.

“The lab was working as part of a DOD effort to develop a new diagnostic test to identify biological threats,” McDonald said. “Although an inactivated agent was expected, the lab reported they were able to grow live Bacillus anthracis (anthrax).”

The CDC has sent officials to the military labs to conduct on-site investigations, he said.

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* Katherine Heerbrandt: the location of biological agents is top secret in Maryland … including the anthrax lab at the Southern Research Institute’s facility in Frederick, Maryland … why?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 1, 2011

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drug discovery research at Southern Research Institute

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see prior posts …

* Dr. Bruce Ivins, upon the poor quality of Dugway spores being produced, and given that he did not trust Battelle to do the spores, thought Southern Research Institute was a possibility

* when did Southern Research Institute (SRI) first obtain virulent Ames and from whom?

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Katherine Heerbrandt wrote in Gazette.com (3/28/11) …

  • Maryland state law mandates that the number and location of labs which handle dangerous pathogens  remains confidential, including the Souther Research Institute lab in Frederick. 

read the entire article at … http://www.gazette.net/stories/03282011/frednew161459_32575.php

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About Southern Research …

  • Southern Research is a self-sustaining contract research organization and an incorporated affiliate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
  • As a leading contract research organization, Southern Research provides preclinical drug development services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on an outsourced basis. Southern Research provides services in all phases of the early-stage drug discovery and development process and provides clients with comprehensive services and support to assist them in streamlining their custom drug discovery and development programs.
  • Southern Research and  its staff are recognized internationally for the discovery and evaluation of anticancer therapeutics and the evaluation of antiviral and antimicrobial drugs, biologics, and vaccines.
  • One of Southern Research’s labs is located at 431 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD
  • Infectious Disease Vaccine Development
    • Available Animal Models for NIAID Category A-C Pathogens

Anthrax – NHP, mouse, and rabbit

Inhalational anthrax – mouse and rabbit

NOTE: all of the above is from the Southern Research Institute’s web site at http://www.southernresearch.org/

LMW COMMENT …

  • So many secrets in this anthrax case.
  • The Maryland law is insane.
  • Any facility that works with dangerous pathogens should be known to the public which lives near it and regulated by appropriate public health agencies.
  • If there is not adequate security to protect the lab from unwanted intruders, the lab should not be in business.

So why does the Maryland secrecy law exist?

what is the history of the law?

who was behind its adoption?

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* Aren’t the documents identifying the Red Team scientists who advised against pursuing the Silicon Signature subject to FOIA?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 15, 2011

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