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

Posts Tagged ‘silicon’

* an article by Drs. Hugh-Jones, Rosenberg & Jacobsen highlights key unanswered questions in the FBI anthrax investigation … such as where and how were the anthrax spores in the attack letters prepared?

Posted by DXer on June 13, 2011


anthrax spores


The 2001 Attack Anthrax:  Key Questions, Potential Answers

Martin E. Hugh-Jones, PhD, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, PhD, Stuart Jacobsen, PhD



Ten years after the anthrax attacks, almost three years after the FBI accused a dead man of perpetrating the 2001 anthrax attacks singlehandedly, and more than a year since they closed the case without further investigation, indictment or trial, the FBI has produced no concrete evidence on key questions:

1. Where and how were the anthrax spores in the attack letters prepared?  

  • The FBI has ignored the most likely laboratories, on the basis of unwarranted assumptions that the spores were made covertly, by the perpetrator(s) of the attack, and during the interval between 9/11 and the mailing of the letters.

2. How and why did the spore powders acquire the extraordinarily high levels of  Silicon and Tin found in them?  

  • The FBI has repeatedly insisted that the powders in the letters contained no additives, and that the Silicon in the powders was incorporated naturally during growth.  
  • But they also claim that they have  not been able to reproduce the high Silicon content in the powders.  
  • They have not admitted to any  attempt to determine the chemical form of the Silicon; and they have avoided mentioning the Tin content.  
  • We present a likely explanation for the elements and the properties of the spore preparations that have been observed.

3. Where did the anthrax spores become contaminated by a rare strain of B. subtilis?  

  • The FBI has never located the source of the strain, but they never searched in the most likely places.


Next Steps

  • Concerns about the validity of the FBI’s conclusions will persist until these questions are addressed.  
  • Further scientific investigation may be the only way to bring the facts of the case to light.
  • That will require scientific expertise and political neutrality, ideally with full access to all that the FBI knows, and with the resources to commission additional work if the existing scientific information is inadequate.  


read the entire article at …


posted on BWPP forum …  … subscription required

The BioWeapons Prevention Project (BWPP) is a global network dedicated to the permanent elimination of biological weapons and of the possibility of their re-emergence. It was launched in 2003 by a group of non-governmental organizations concerned at the failure of governments to fortify the norm against the weaponization of disease. BWPP monitors governmental and other activities relevant to the treaties that codify that norm.


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* The DOJ should disclose under FOIA the 2004 article provided by Dr. Bruce Ivins to the FBI regarding silica and Bacillus spore suspensions

Posted by DXer on May 31, 2011



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* Keith Olbermann: anthrax, silicon, Iraq … government scientist conveniently changes his mind

Posted by DXer on May 22, 2009


Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann on Countdown …watch the Olbermann video at …



The original government position was that silicon was added to the anthrax by the person who prepared the powder for mailing.

SInce Iraq was one of 3 countries with that capability (the U.S. and Russia are the others), the silicon addition allowed suspicion to fall on Iraq and add another plank in the case for invading Iraq in the Bush/Cheney war of choice. See Colin Powell at the U.N. waving a vial of anthrax and warning that Iraq had bioweapons and the ability to deliver them to the eastern shores of the U.S.

Now, however, Dr. Bruce Ivins has been identified by the FBI as the sole perpetrator, and there seems to be a concensus that Ivins did not have the capability or wherewithall to add silicon.


Suddenly, the government scientist has changed his view. How convenient.


Posted in * anthrax science, * FBI anthrax statements, * Iraq & anthrax | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

* silicon evidence points beyond Fort Detrick and Dr. Bruce Ivins

Posted by DXer on May 20, 2009

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silicon evidence points beyond Fort Detrick and Dr. Bruce Ivins

“Anonymous Scientist” writes …

  • When the FBI sought a search warrant from a judge to search Ivins’ home and Detrick they stated they were looking to find evidence including spores with a unique never-before-seen silicon signature.
  • This is contained in the affidavit released just after the news of Ivins’ death came out, stating: “Microscopic examination of the evidentiary spore powders recovered from all four letters identified an elemental signature of Silicon within the spores. This Silicon signature had not been previously described for Bacillus anthracis organisms.”

see …

  • The silicon found in the mailed spores is very significant. The FBI admit that 1.45% silicon was found in the Leahy spores. That’s a huge amount – higher than any amount that’s ever been seen before in spore preparations – even ones where silicon has been deliberately added (which Detrick never does).
  • But the FBI NEVER DID FIND SPORES LIKE THIS IN DETRICK.  And yet their official story today is that Ivins must have managed to make them – somehow.

If the FBI cannot explain how that got there,

then they have to look beyond Detrick.

  • In addition, Sandia showed that the spores were not coated with silica nanoparticles (an old technology to weaponize spores). Instead Sandia found a layer of polysiloxane on the spore coat but under the exosprorium.
  • They couldn’t explain how it got there, but they concluded it must be some freakish “accident”.
  • However, things have advanced since the old nanoparticle technology days and a more sophisticated way to weaponize spores is to use polymerized glass –  silicon in a liquid form which polymerizes on the spore coat. That explains how it got there.
  • The FBI themselves said they found polymerized glass back in April 2002 – but today they have apparently changed their minds about that, and the FBI and Sandia are apparently ignoring that April 2002 announcement as if it never took place.

The point is – all of this points to a lab other than Detrick,

and to a scientist other than the supposed (according to the FBI) sole perpetrator Dr. Bruce Ivins.


Posted in * anthrax science, * questioning the FBI's anthrax investigation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

* Stuart Jacobsen: regarding silicon content, the FBI made deliberate misrepresentations (5-12-09)

Posted by DXer on May 12, 2009

The silicon content is perhaps the single most important piece of forensic evidence supplying a unique fingerprint and pointing directly to the lab that manufactured the mailed material. But since the FBI cannot link the silicon content to Detrick or Dr Ivins they are pretending that the silicon content is not important at all.

This goes beyond bad science – it’s simply a deliberate misrepresentation of science.
Let’s first of all make some general statements. There are many chemicals – asides from seed spores and nutrients – that are used in preparing anthrax spores. These include NH4SO4, MgSO4·7H2O, MnSO4·H2O, ZnSO4·7H2O, CuSO4·5H2O, FeSO4·7H2O, CaCl2·2H2O, K2HPO4, and  glucose.

Silicon is NOT a needed element in the production of spores, and it is not usually found in appreciable amount. If EDX is carried out on spores it is likely that all the aforementioned elements will be found in some quantities. These elements are S, Mg, Mn, Zn, Cu, Fe, Ca and K.

The FBI seem to be claiming that silicon is always found “naturally” in spores – as if the chemistry of silicon is a vital component of the spore microbiology and spores could not form without it.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are some elements for which this IS true. For example, this is true for the element calcium. Calcium undergoes specialized biochemical reactions with dipicolinic acid – and dipicolinic acid is always found in large quantities inside Bacillus spores. Thus it is no surprise that calcium is also found in large quantities in Bacillus spores. Calcium is a metal and readily forms calcium ions (Ca+) in water solution – allowing calcium to readily react with organic molecules like dipicolinic acid.

This is NOT true for the element silicon – there are no specialized biochemical reactions for silicon in solution as the FBI appear to be claiming to support their “no surprise to find silicon” argument.

The FBI certainly don’t want to comment on this paper recently published by pacific Northwest labs. They made Bacillus spores and performed trace elemental analysis by a technique called TOF-SIMS.

The link is here:

They found lots of elements present – silicon was NOT one of them. This is not surprising – if you don’t add silicon to the spores in the first place you don’t find it there later.

The FBI do not appear to understand this rather simple concept – or rather since it doesn’t fit with their Detrick/Ivins theory, they would rather brush it all under the carpet.

The FBI meanwhile, seem to be selectively leaking cherry picked results from old papers that DID find silicon in spores.

They are leaking results reported in a book titled “Cytological and Chemical Structure of the Spore” in a chapter authored by W.G. Murrell, D.F. Ohye and Rosalind A. Gordon, circa 1969.  This chapter by Murrell reports a number of spore preparations that show silicon content. What they conveniently fail to mention, however, is that Murrell, an Australian working in New South Wales had a certain protocol when he prepared his spores – he always did preparations in a 20L ferementer and he always used a silicone antifoam agent

see link here:

So, Murrell deliberately added a silicon compound and  – not surprisingly, then detected silicon.

The bottom line here is really very simple.

If there are no spores inside Detrick containing amounts of silicon similar to the mailed spores then the mailed spores were NOT made at Detrick.

The NAS team should perform a deep dive into the FBI scientists lab notebooks. The FBI labs apparently performed Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) spectroscopy to measure the silicon content of all the spores. The exact details of this need to be known. How much mass of sample was used? How was the sample prepared and diluted for ICP runs? What standards were used to calibrate for silicon? What does the raw data look like? What were the ICP results for the Daschle, NYP and Leahy powders?

Finally the NAS team should obtain the original lab notebooks from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). AFIP performed EDX spectroscopy and it is reported by a government official that the silicon spike in the EDX spectrum peaked near the top of the screen.

This quote comes from Major General John Parker and can be read at this link:
 Maj. Gen. John S. Parker, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at the time of the attacks, says he saw AFIP’s lab reports. “There was a huge silicon spike” consistent with the presence of silica, he says. “It peaked near the top of the screen.” 

EDX can also be used for quantitative elemental analysis. These AFIP results should be reviewed by the NAS team and explained.


Dr. Stuart M. Jacobsen … whose Ph.D. is in chemistry, is a researcher in the field of solid-state electronics. Based in Dallas, Texas, he has published over fifty papers in the field of electronic materials and the preparation and properties of fine-grained powders, and holds eighteen United States patents.


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