Skip to comments.Anthrax Mailings: Connecting the Dots [to al-Qaeda]
Posted on 01/19/2004 11:00:30 PM PST by flamefront
[An extensive set of articles referred to lay out a definitive explanation on the source of the anthrax mailings.]
"Dad," he whispered. His Dad could barely hear him. "'I've been arrested, I'm being taken, I don't know where or why." Moazzam Begg was in the trunk of a car being taken away from his apartment in Islamabad. He had been picked up by Pakistan and US agents. The Britoner had come to Pakistan with his wife and children after the US strikes began in Afghanistan. It was February 2002. Months later, he would confess to being involved with an Al Qaeda plot to disperse weaponized anthrax using a drone. His name had been found on a money transfer in the one-room chemical bunker of Egyptian scientist Midhat Mursi at a camp in Afghanistan.
In early June 2003, a Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") report publicly disclosed that the reason for Mohammed Atta's and Zacarias Moussaoui's inquiries into cropdusters was for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. An early September 2003 Newsweek article included a rumor by a Taliban source that at a meeting in April 2003 Bin Laden was planning an "unbelievable" biological attack, the plans for which had suffered a setback upon the arrest of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ("KSM") the previous month in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In November 2003, a report by a UN Panel of experts concluded that Al Qaeda is determined to use chemical and biological weapons and is restrained only by technical difficulties.
In November 2003, it was widely reported that a potential terrorist plot had been thwarted in late 2002 after a London-based group tried to buy half a ton of saponin. Saponin enhances the transmission of molecules through biological cell membranes. When combined with a potent toxin, it can ease the absorption of the poison through the skin, experts say. Midhat Mursi had worked on a chemical additive to increase skin absorption.
The CIA reportedly has been quietly building a case that the anthrax mailings were an international plot. This is old news. It's just no longer bureaucratically impolite to openly contest the FBI's (former) theory about a lone, American scientist. Many people have argued that a US-based Al Qaeda operative is behind the earlier Fall 2001 anthrax mailings in the US, and that the mailings served as a threat and warning. This would follow the pattern of letters they sent 1997 to newspaper branches in Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as symbolic targets. The letters bombs were sent in connection with the detention of those responsible for the earlier World Trade Center bombing in 1993. Handwritten notes and files on a laptop seized upon the capture of KSM, Al Qaeda's #3, included a feasible anthrax production plan using a spray dryer and addressed the recruitment of necessary expertise. What your morning paper did not tell you, however, was that the CIA seized a similar disc from Ayman Zawahiri's right-hand, Ahmed Salama Mabruk, 5 years earlier. The computer disk was confiscated from him during his arrest by the CIA in Azerbaijan and reportedly handed over to the Egyptian authorities. Mabruk, at the time, was the head of Jihad's military operations. There is a risk that observers underestimate the time that Al Qaeda has had to make progress in such recruitment and research and development.
Some may still think that even in the final stages of the 9/11 plot, Zacarias Moussaoui was going to fly a 5th plane into the Capitol or White House. There is an e-mail by Moussaoui, however, dated July 31, 2001 indicating that he sought to take a crop dusting course that was to last up to 6 months. Moreover, in March 2003, Mohammed, reportedly said that Moussaoui was not going to be part of 9/11 but was to be part of a "second wave." Accused September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui told his trial judge that he had an al Qaeda mission that would have come after the terrorist attacks. KSM explained that his inquiries about crop dusters may have been related to the anthrax work being done by US-trained biochemist and Al Qaeda operative, Malaysian Yazid Sufaat. Al Qaeda's regional operative, Hambali, who was at a key January 2000 meeting and supervised Sufaat, has been captured. Hambali reportedly is cooperating. Zacarias Moussaoui, never the sharpest tool in the shed and thought by his superiors to be unreliable, has told the judge at his trial in a filing that he wants "anthrax for Jew sympathizer only."
Sufaat, according to both KSM and Hambali, did not have the virulent US Army Ames strain that would be used. That would require someone who had access to the strain. But if experience is any guide, nothing would stand in the way of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri's decade-long quest to weaponize and use anthrax against US targets that was described by one confidante to an Egyptian newspaper reporter. The islamist had been released from Egyptian prison and had known Zawahiri well for many years. Zawahiri was the leader of a faction of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad known as the Vanguards of Conquest. He was seeking to recreate Mohammed's taking of mecca by a small band through violent attacks on Egyptian leaders. By the mid-1990s, Zawahiri had determined that the group should focus on its struggle against the United States and hold off on further attacks against the Egyptian regime. A key question is how they acquired the anthrax strain first isolated by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab in 1980. According to senior counterterrorism officials, both here and abroad, among the supporters of these militant islamists were people who blended into society and were available to act when another part of the network requested it.
A few days before Christmas 2003, after a renewed audiotape threat by Zawahiri of attacks, to include in the US homeland, the threat level was raised to orange or "high." According to some reports, Zawahiri is thought by intelligence to be Iran, on the border adjacent to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Wherever he is, authorities need to focus on the traceable connection between him and those he recruited.
First, Al Qaeda has had anthrax, the raw seed product in its unweaponized form, since at least 1997, when it was purchased by Bin Laden through the Moro Islamic Liberation Front ("Moro Front" or "MILF"). Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's #2, is head of Al Qaeda's biochemical program. The CIA has known of Zawahiri's plans to use anthrax for a half decade. The confidante and right-hand man of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri admitted that Zawahiri succeeded in obtaining anthrax and intended to use it against US targets. Another senior Al Qaeda member (a shura or policy-making council member no less) was working for the Egyptian intelligence services and he confirmed the report in a sworn lengthy confession. Even Zawahiri's attorney in 1999 said that Bin Laden and Zawahiri were likely to resort to the biological and chemical agents they possessed given the extradition pressure senior Al Qaeda leaders faced. A recently released islamist who had been a close associate of Zawahiri said that Zawahiri spent a decade and had made 15 separate attempts to recruit the necessary expertise to weaponize anthrax in Russia and the Middle East. The US Army recipe was not used, and obtaining the unprocessed Ames strain of anthrax used does not pose much of an obstacle or warrant the weight given it by some press accounts. There was lax control over the distribution of the Ames strain that was used, especially in light of the fact that transfers were not even required to be recorded prior to 1997. Significantly, the individual who isolated it nearly a quarter century ago (now retired), upon being contacted, does not report that he sent the only copy of the strain to Ft. Detrick.
Al Qaeda's anthrax production plans on Khalid Mohammed's computer did not evidence knowledge of advanced techniques in the most efficient biological weapons. At least according to the public comments by bioweaponeer experts William Patrick and Kenneth Alibek, under the optimal method, there is no electrostatic charge; in the case of the anthrax used in the mailings, there was an electrostatic charge. Although there was a dominance of single spores and a trillion spore concentration, there were clumps as large as 40 - 100 microns. (Spores must be no bigger than 5 microns to be inhalable.) As Kenneth Alibek, the former head of Russia's anthrax production program, explained on March 31, 2003 in response to a written question, "This anthrax wasn't sophisticated, didn't have coatings, had electric charge and many other things." Many point to the trillion spore concentration as extraordinary. It is far simpler, however, to achieve a trillion spore concentration in the production of a few grams than in industrial processing typical of a state sponsored lab. The "trillion spore" issue was at the heart of a lot of mistaken theories of the matter concluding that state sponsorship was necessarily indicated. The reported finding at Dugway undermines the argument of both the "bomb Iraq" crowd and the liberals focused on Dr. Steve Hatfill who object to US biodefense research because they view it as being useful for offensive purposes.
USDA employee Johnelle Bryant first told us, in sensational detail, of Atta's inquiries about purchasing and retrofitting a cropduster. Khalid Mohammed then told interrogators that Zacarias Moussaoui's inquiries about crop dusting may have related to Yazid Sufaat's anthrax manufacturing plans. Although the details of the documents on Mohammed's computer may (or may not) point to possible difficulties in aerial dispersal, they are fully consistent with the product used in the anthrax mailings. Al Qaeda had both the means and opportunity.
US-trained Malaysian biochemist Yazid Sufaat met with 9/11 plotters and two hijackers in January 2000. Sufaat was a member of Al Qaeda and a member of Jemaah Islamiah ("JI"). JI has ties with the Moro Front. Sufaat used his company called Green Laboratory Medicine to buy items useful to Al Qaeda. (Green symbolizes "Islam" and Prophet Mohammed's holy war). Zacarias Moussaoui, who had a crop dusting manual when he was arrested, stayed at Sufaat's condominium in 2000 when he was trying to arrange for flight lessons in Malaysia. Yazid Sufaat provided Moussaoui with a letter indicating that he was a marketing representative for Infocus Technologies and allegedly provided him $35,000. The crop dusters were to be part of a "second wave."
After 9/11, Yazid Sufaat traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan to work for the Taliban Medical Brigade and to continue his work with anthrax. As described in US News, a former reporter from the Kabul Times apparently actually met Sufaat, without realizing it, while traveling near Kabul in October 2001, perceiving him as Filipino. The fellow was carrying papers from Zawahiri and bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax. Sufaat was arrested in December 2001 upon his return to Malaysia. Newsweek reported that a "second wave" involving biological attacks had been thwarted upon the arrest of Al Qaeda members who had been intended to provide logistical support.
Various doctors, both foreign and American, are associated with Al Qaeda leaders or operatives, to include the doctors Abdul Qadoos Khan, a bacteriologist from Rawalpindi and Aafia Siddiqui, PhD, from Karachi. Microbiologist Abdul Qadoos Khan was charged along with his son, Ahmed, for harboring the fugitives. As of March 28, 2003, he was in a hospital for a cardiac problem and had been granted "pre-arrest bail." Yet all you read about at the time was the arrest of the son Ahmed Abdul Qadoos, who receives a stipend from the UN for being officially low-IQ due to lead poisoning.
It was Khalid Mohammed who told authorities about MIT-trained biologist Aafia Siddiqui, who at one time was thought to be traveling with a Florida "Atta level" pilot. All the Pakistani press reported that she was nabbed in Karachi after being spotted at the international airport on March 29. For the longest time, no US newspaper had yet reported that she was captured and instead stories continued to state that the FBI is seeking her for questioning. If the sources relied upon by these journalists did not even know (or would not reveal) that Aafia had been caught, why do these reporters think they know what's going on in the Amerithrax matter? Amerithrax is a confidential investigation. The Pakistan ISI and CIA rarely grant press interviews in connection with an ongoing manhunt. The CIA did not even allow the FBI access to KSM for 10 days after his arrest. As agent Van Harp, then head of the Amerithrax investigation said, the information coming from Khalid Mohammed is classified with the authorities releasing only certain limited information. According to the Pakistan reports, Aafia Siddiqui was spotted at the international airport and detained (after she was followed to a relative's house). Some reports say she was coming from abroad, but the original report the others are all copying say she was coming from "upcountry." (Karachi is in the south). The reports say she is suspected of having been a member of Al Qaeda's "Chemical Wire Group." Perhaps something got lost in the translation, but the phrase "Chemical Wire Group" has appeared in all the english Pakistan and India papers.
Officials have not publicly confirmed anything about the detention or interrogation. There still is a very hot pursuit of the "Atta-level" Florida pilot that Siddiqui is thought to have known and been assisting. He is said by one FBI agent to be "very, very, very" dangerous. The United States truly no longer has time for faulty analysis or politically-based preconceptions. In early June 2003, a CIA report concluded that the reason for Atta's and Zacarias Moussaoui's inquiries into cropdusters was in fact for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. It has long been known Osama Bin Laden was interested in using cropdusters to disperse biological agents (since the testimony of millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam).
The hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi appears to have contracted cutaneous anthrax in Afghanistan. It's reasonable to credit his statement that he got the lesion after bumping into a suitcase he was carrying at a camp in Afghanistan. The lesion is further evidence of Al Qaeda's anthrax production program in Afghanistan.
One potential lead concerned a Fort Lee New Jersey $100,000 processor possibly of a type that could have been used to weaponize the anthrax. The processor was paid for in cash after a check-kiting scheme. The processor was delivered to a business front in Ft. Lee at 215 Main St. The address was 1 mile from pilot Nawaf al-Hazmi at 96 Linwood Plaza, one of the two hijackers who had attended the January 2000 meeting with anthrax technician Yazid Sufaat. Nawaf Al-hamzi and Khalid Almidhar stayed at Yazid Sufaat's condominium outside Kuala Lumpur. It eventually was determined that these two were on a level comparable to Atta for planning purposes.
The present evidence relating to Atta's travel to Prague does not warrant a conclusion that Al Qaeda obtained the Ames strain from Iraq. Iraq, however, remains a possible source of the Ames. Former Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek has said that a key Russian scientist assisted Iraq and that Russia had the Ames strain. Zawahiri traveled to Baghdad in 1998 with an entourage to attend the birthday party of Saddam's son. The papers found at headquarters of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's secret police, show that an entourage from Al Qaeda group was sent to the Iraqi capital in March 1998 from Sudan. According to at least some reports, Bin Laden rejected the suggestion of a closer alliance -- preferring to pursue his own concept of jihad. Two top Iraqi scientists, code named Charlie and Alpha, are helping the coalition to learn more about Iraqi's anthrax program, according to Dr. David Kay, head of the Iraq survey group in charge of the hunt for WMD. He has said that the Iraqis made surprising innovations in the milling and drying processes needed to weaponize anthrax.
Second, the media coverage has been seriously confused on the issue of motive and the reason Senators Daschle and Leahy would have been targeted -- tending to simplistically view them as "liberals." Zawahiri likely targeted Senators Daschle and Leahy to receive anthrax letters, in addition to various media outlets, because of the appropriations made pursuant to the "Leahy Law" to military and security forces. That money has prevented the militant islamists from achieving their goals. Al Qaeda members and sympathizers feel that the FBI's involvement in muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines interferes with the sovereignty of those countries. Indeed, the "Leahy Law" had one of its most well-known applications in Indonesia. Senator Leahy was Chairman of both the Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI and Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of foreign aid to these countries. In late September 2001, it was announced that the President was seeking a blanket waiver that would lift all restrictions on aid to military and security units in connection with pursuing the militant islamists. This extradition and imprisonment of Al Qaeda leaders, along with US support for Israel and the Mubarak government in Egypt, remains foremost in the mind of Dr. Zawahiri. At the height of the development of his biological weapons program, his brother was extradited and executed pursuant to a death sentence in the "Albanian returnees" case. It's hard to keep up with the stories about billion dollar appropriations, debt forgiveness, and loan guarantees to countries like Egypt and Israel and now even Pakistan -- and those appropriations pale in comparison to the $87 billion in a "Supplemental" appropriation relating to the invasion of Iraq. Al Qaeda had a motive in mind.
In his Fall 2001 book titled "Knights under the Banner of the Prophet," Zawahiri argued that the secular press was telling "lies" about the militant islamists -- to include the suggestion that the militant islamists were somehow the creation of the United States in connection with expelling the Russians from Afghanistan. Zawahiri argued instead that they have been active since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in Egypt because of the treaty between the Camp David Accord and the resulting peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The anthrax letters were sent on the date of the Camp David Accord and then the date Anwar Sadat was assassinated as if to underscore the point to anyone paying attention. Most of the "talking heads" on television, however, knew only that Daschle and Leahy were liberal democrats and did not know anything of Al Qaeda beyond what they read in the newspapers. The FBI's profile includes a US-based supporter of the militant islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft has always said that an "either-or" approach is not useful. The media has tended to overlook the fact that when the FBI uses the word "domestic" the word includes a US-based, highly-educated supporter of the militant islamists.
There is an emerging consensus that anthrax was contained in a letter to AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer -- in a goofy love letter to Jennifer Lopez enclosing a Star of David. A report by the Center for Disease Control of interviews with AMI employees (as well as detailed interviews by author Leonard Cole) supports the conclusion that there were not one, but two, such mailings containing anthrax. (The letters apparently were to different AMI publications -- for example, one may have been to the National Enquirer and another to The Globe.)
Third, this tactic of letters is not merely the modus operandi of these militant islamists inspired by Zawahiri, it is their signature. The islamists sent letter bombs in January 1997 to newspaper offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. in connection with the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center and the imprisonment of the blind sheik, Sheik Abdel Rahman. The former leader of the Egyptian Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya ("Islamic Group"), he was also a spiritual leader of Al Qaeda. The letter bombs were sent in connection with the treatment of the Egyptian islamists imprisoned for the earlier attack on the WTC and a related plot. The purpose of the letter bombs -- which resulted in minimal casualty -- was to send a message. (There is an outstanding $2 million reward). There was no claim of responsibility. There was no explanation. Once one had been received, the next ten, mailed on two separate dates, were easily collected. Sound familiar? Two bombs were also sent to Leavenworth, where a key WTC 1993 defendant was imprisoned, addressed to "Parole Officer" (a position that does not exist).
Abdel Rahman's son was captured in Quetta, Pakistan in mid-February 2003. That arrest in turn led to the dramatic capture of Khalid Mohammed, Al Qaeda's #3. Mohammed was hiding in the home of the Pakistani bacteriologist Dr. Abdul Qadoos Khan. Along with Zawahiri, Abdel Rahman and his two sons have long had considerable influence over Bin Laden. He reportedly treated them like sons. Zawahiri and OBL are Rahman's friends. The imprisoned WTC 1993 plotter Yousef was KSM's nephew. Thus, the leaders in charge of Al Qaeda's anthrax production program had a close connection to those imprisoned in connection with the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center. Osama Bin Laden had asked Iraqi intelligence for technical assistance in sending letter bombs a half year before the Al Hayat letters were sent.
A sender purporting to be islamist sent cyanide in both early 2002 and early 2003 in New Zealand and ingredients of nerve gas in Belgium in 2003. There's even a chapter titled "Poisonous Letter" in the Al Qaeda manual. Just because Al Qaeda likes its truck bombs and the like to be effective does not mean they don't see the value in a deadly missive. As Brian Jenkins once said, "terrorism is theater."
The mailer's use of Greendale School is revealing. Documents establish that Zawahiri used "school" as a code word for Al Qaeda in his correspondence. Green symbolizes Islam and was the Prophet Mohammed's color. By Greendale School, the anthrax perp was being cute, just as Yazid Sufaat was being cute in naming his lab Green Laboratory Medicine. "Dale" means "river valley." Greendale refers to green river valley -- i.e., Cairo's Egyptian Islamic Jihad or the Islamic Group. The sender is announcing that he is of either Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Group or Jihad-al Qaeda, which is actually the full name of the group after the 1998 merger of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda.
Fourth, as to opportunity, though seldom reported, there is a wealth of "open source" information about possible Al Qaeda or Egyptian Islamic Jihad or Islamic Group in the United States and Canada. The public information mostly relates to those suspected sleepers who have been detained or who are at large and are being sought. Zawahiri's mission in the United States in 1995 was to do spadework for terrorism, not fundraising. He traveled under an alias and was accompanied by a US Army sergeant anemd Ali Mohammed. What mosques exactly did they visit and who did they meet?
Whatever your political persuasion (mine is Naderite), the FBI and CIA deserve our support. We are, after all, in this together. First, the nature of such an investigation is that we lack sufficient information to second-guess (or even know) what the FBI is doing. Media reports are a poor approximation of reality because of the lack of good sources. Second, hindsight is 20/20. Third, with the "new age" Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in charge of the investigation, it is not likely we could do better in striking the appropriate balance between due process and national security.
Finally, the "Hatfill theory" seems to have been exhausted or at least lost public favor. The "Hatfill theory" accusing Dr. Stephen Hatfill was always highly dubious. The suspicion was founded on many false premises, and there was no reliable evidence indicating his guilt. The FBI's fixation on Hatfill (at least as rumored by some reporters) may have stemmed from a warning by one Senator that careers hung in the balance. Leahy's chief of staff started with the strong predisposition that some right-winger was involved because two liberal democrats had been targeted. The Hatfill theory -- to include ongoing interviews and ongoing 7/24 surveillance by 8 surveillance specialists -- is now the subject of a pending civil rights claim of uncertain merit. The statute of limitation for the libel suit threatened against the New York Times expired in most jurisdictions the first week in July 2003. The Hatfill theory ironically may best be understood as an Al Qaeda theory, with a coincidental Malaysian connection adding to the other circumstances. Given the regrettable leaks that he was under suspicion, it is only fair that the FBI leak with equal enthusiasm the fact that Dr. Hatfill has now been dropped as a suspect.
You know, I've wondered why he's so adamant about it. He doesn't strike me as your typical hard left-winger, though it might be possible that he is. I suspect that the answer is that he desperately wants to be in the spotlight, and his web page has certainly gotten him some attention; he's actually been interviewed and prominently mentioned in magazines.
And of course it goes without saying that you don't get any attention from the "mainstream" media by stating what is obvious to most people: that it was most likely Muslim terrorists (clue: read the letters). You get attention by saying that it was an angry white dude, because this is exactly what the media wants to hear and what they've been rooting for all along.
"The electrical charge helps make the spore become airborne at the slightest puff of air."
I think if you read that article again you'll see that William Patrick said no such thing. The writer of the article wrote that. You add quotes, but the writer did not. It's the AP writer's misinterpretation of what was said. It's a lot of people's misinterpretation and results from the comments about how the spores seemed to jump off the microscope slides, etc.
Presumably, that's also where you got your misinterpretation from.
The fact that spores were difficult to control on a microscope slide has nothing to do with how well it floats in the air.
They got it wrong the same way you got it wrong. Deliberately.
The LA Times article didn't get anything right. They indicated that my Fake Detective site is the anthrax site which is visited by the FBI, etc. On their wire-service version they even give the URL for my Fake Detective site and said that's my anthrax site.
Do you like what the LA Times said about you?
I've mentioned the Milwaukee guy as being a possible source for the anthrax, but I've said over and over that he has a PERFECT ALIBI for the time of the mailings. I do NOT believe he's the mailer.
Who is your suspect then? A person that you don't have a shred of real evidence against - just your "gut feeling"? How does that make you any different than Barbara Hatch Rosenberg? BHR suspected Hatfill on her gut feeling. How are you any different?
Who says I don't have a shred of evidence? The fact that I won't tell people who I suspect or what evidence I have is what separates me from Barbara Hatch Rosenberg. My "person of interest" has suffered no effects from the fact that I find him to be of interest. And the reason he has suffered no effects is because I keep what I know between me and the FBI. And he was of interest to the FBI long before I ever heard of him.
No. The statement you attribute to William Patrick is clearly not his statement. It's not written as such. And as you point out, it contradicts what he's said elsewhere.
Is that really so difficult for you to understand?
I know this from what I've read and from the fact that the FBI stated to Time Magazine that I've told them nothing about the case that they didn't already know.
My apologies to you and to Mr. Getman. It's sometimes hard to tell one person from another when you say exactly the same things.
This is my last message for today. Signing off.
No comment, Sherlock.
By the way, Ed, thanks for repeatedly posting the link to your website. Have you found a publisher for your book yet? You probably will soon, and it shouldn't be that hard -- Matsumoto never has problems finding publishers.
Because of the snowstorm yesterday, I had the time to look up how to post "hot" links. So, I practiced a bit. ;-)
Have you found a publisher for your book yet? You probably will soon, and it shouldn't be that hard -- Matsumoto never has problems finding publishers.
Matsumoto has the right credentials and the right contacts. Getting a book published is all about good credentials and good contacts. I have neither.
If you don't have the right credentials, you are just another guy who thinks he can write a book. Publishers get hundreds of letters each week from such people. They even have terms for it. The letters come in "over the transom", meaning they come in without a good referral. And because of that, they go onto the "slush pile", which is the stack of letters someone will read when they get the time.
Yesterday I received a good example of what happens when a person who doesn't have a referral sends out a query letter. It's HERE.
Note that it was returned unopened. Note that they knew what was in the letter without opening it. Note that they have a rubber stamp to tell people how to properly send such letters.
I sum things up this way:
One fact seems evident in all the articles: Spores in a biological weapon should not have an electrostatic charge. The unanswered questions are about why that is true.
Actually, I don't think he refiner, either. If you looked at my site at all you would see that I constantly mention two people, and I even have "profiles" for both of them: The "supplier" and the "refiner/mailer". I just abbreviated the term "refiner/mailer" down to "mailer" on this forum for no particular reason. I won't do that again.
Plus, I never said I had any evidence against him. My interest in him is because of the FBI's interest in him - and because of his perfect alibi. I've never mentioned his name anywhere. I've never spoken to the FBI about him.
And I don't recall ever saying there was no silica in the Daschle anthrax. It's fully evident that there was silica or silicon in the anthrax somewhere. The question is whether or not the spores were COATED with silica.
The best experts who have seen the Daschle anthrax - Patrick, Alibek, Meselson - say the spores were NOT coated with anything.
Gary Matsumoto's nonsensical article in Science Magazine uses Richard Spertzel as an "expert". And Spertzel admits he not only doesn't know how the anthrax was made, he says he would require a staff of scientists and a year to figure it out. He merely speculates that the spores were coated with silica, and Matsumoto evidently interpreted that speculation as if it were fact.
Which GAO article is that? I have a GAO article near the very top of my reference section. It's THIS ONE. It's the last reference in the general references at the very beginning before I go into references by date.
If you are talking about a different one, give me the URL and I'll add it to my site.
The term "key component" is open to interpretation. The true experts say the anthrax was not coated. So, what "key component" means is anyone's guess.
You've already said the CDC doctors made an error
If they believe there were two anthrax letters sent to AMI, then yes, they made an error. The evidence says there was only one anthrax letter sent to AMI. The J-Lo letter clearly did not contain anthrax.
The CDC only has testimony that there were two letters which contained powder. Any conclusion that both contained anthrax is a false conclusion. Beyond any doubt.
I'm only saying what the evidence says. If I'm wrong, show me evidence that I'm wrong and I'll apologize and make corrections. Don't show me opinions. Opinions are worthless. The anthrax case shows we can find "experts" with opinions on all sides of every issue.
It could be done, Alibek says, with "a very simple, nonindustrial process -- a very primitive process -- that could let you get a trillion spores in one gram. You can't make hundreds of kilos, but you could make hundreds of grams at this concentration." Source: HERE.
Patrick, who holds patents for techniques used to make weapons-grade anthrax, said that the type of spores mailed to the offices of Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., could have been processed in a crude laboratory "as long as you are dealing with small quantities of material." Source: HERE.
He doesn't specifically say that the spores were not coated, but he does specifically say that the spores could have been made with a very "primative process". And coating spores would not be a "primative process".
"smaller than naturally occurring anthrax spores"? Really? Is that possible? Check it out. Spores only come in one size, and anyone who talks about changing their size to make them smaller is talking through his ass.
I don't know what the people at AFIP meant by "key component". But they did NOT say the spores were coated. NO ONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY SEEN THE SPORES OR EVEN PICTURES OF THE SPORES HAS SAID THEY SAW A COATING. All talk of a coating is pure speculation.
Nonsense. Where did you get that nonsense? It seems to be some misconception derived from speculation about van der Waals forces.
I've discussed the subject of spore clumps at length with Martin Hugh-Jones at LSU. He's probably the world's leading expert on the subject. Spores do not clump together in Nature. They have no opportunity to clump together in clumps of "hundreds" of spores. Natural "clumps" consist of tens or hundreds of spores mixed with animal fats and other animal materials, plus whatever happens to be in the ground under the dead animal: dirt, decaying vegetation, etc.
Why are all these qualified PhDs saying the spores were altered? Are they ALL wrong?
They were just speculating. Time will tell if their speculation was correct or not.
And you also dodged my question about Meselson.
I'm not "dodging" it. I'm ignoring it. It's an attempt to get into some kind of personal attack upon Professor Meselson. It's some kind of ad hominem argument where instead of discussing what Professor Meselson has said about the anthrax you want to discuss something he said in the past - with the idea that if you can prove something there it will have some meaning on everything he says. It's the same reason you bring up things about me that have nothing to do with the case. It's personal attacks. When you can't argue the facts effectively, you attack people personally. I won't sink to that level.
I don't have a "silica theory". I'm just weighing the evidence. Statements from top experts on weaponize anthrax - Meselson and Alibek - say that the spores were not coated. They cite other possible reasons for the detected presence of silica or silicon. Examples: Something natural occurring as suggested by the 1980 study of Bacillus cereus. The use of some silicon product in the drying process that left a residue. Some silicon material in some aspect of the growth medium or the refining process. I've also talked with an expert who says:
"Many pharmaceuticals and polishing compounds are Silicon Dioxide (SiO2). A bulk analysis of supposed Anthracis spores and/or rods would obviously show Silicon. Furthermore, against what background medium was the analysis performed? My specimens are typically on a small Silicon chip. So, trying to analyze a 0.3u-2um spore on a Silicon die is a rather waste of time."
There seem to be many possible explanations besides a coating.
It seems to me that you are the only one making things up here. I've explained everything I've said, giving links to all or nearly all sources. You may not believe what those sources say, or my interpretation of things, but saying I'm making things up is nonsense and you know it. That "expert" and I discussed things by private e-mails, so his name is not for public consumption.
In message #90 you stated:
Ernesto Blanco started getting sick on September 23. So according to you, he got sick BEFORE the "only" anthrax letter was opened - 2 days before!
I told you where I got my September 28 date from. It's from HERE. Where did you get your September 23 date from? Did you just make it up?
Since you seem to be just sinking lower and lower into personal attacks, I've got better things to do. I may check back in a few hours. Then again, maybe not.
At the time when I posted "you didn't answer my question", he had not yet been zotted. And at no time did I ever ping or e-mail JR or any of the Admin Moderators suggesting that they look into him or that he be booted.
It appears to me as though he was zotted either late last night or early this morning. I'm not entirely certain as to why he was, but if I had to guess I'd say that one of the Admins probably decided to check up on him and found out that he's been posting under multiple names. The people who administer this site really don't care for it when people come trolling on here using a slew of different usernames and assuming multiple personalities.
By the way, this guy who has at various times posted under the names Anthrax-Profiler, Princeton, Van der Waals, and who knows how many other user names is not a Freeper in the true sense of the web site, he's a single-minded nut who keeps coming on here to try and promote his crazy theory. If you saw some of his numerous web sites you'd see what I mean. But the bottom line is that I did not "have the guy zotted" as you say.
But hey, all these CDC doctors are wrong, and you are right - correct?
They may not all be wrong, but they apparently do not agree. And they change their minds from time to time. Many of the onset dates have been changed. You are evidently just looking at obsolete data.
Check this CDC page and you will see that they use the same onset date for Ernesto Blanco as I use - September 28. Here's the graph from that page:
Also check the CDC page HERE. where they very clearly say that Ernesto Blanco's onset date was the date I use: September 28. If you can't find it, it's in Table #1 and Blanco is Case #4.
Perhaps they changed their mind and decided that "fatigue" was not sufficient to be officially the onset of a disease. As I recall, they changed Bob Stevens onset date for that reason.
If you check the UCLA data for the onset date you will see that Stevens' attending physician gave an onset date of Sept. 28, but the CDC uses Sept. 30, which UCLA considers "most likely".
You really are getting tiresome with your snide remarks.
I've got better things to do than to argue with you. So, this is the end of this thread for me.
Evidently he had other transgressions that did him in.
Thanks, sanchito, for the laugh... it DOES look like what you say, but that's not what happened.
Most other people look at ALL the FACTS and draw INTELLIGENT conclusions based on these FACTS.
Against my own better judgement, I'm responding one last time to you.
You apparently cannot read. In message #91 I very clearly stated:
Ernest Blanco evidently inhaled anthrax spores when he dumped the mail bag containing the anthrax letter onto a sorting table, then checked the bag to make certain it was empty, and then folded the bag so it could be returned to the post office. That probably happened on Friday, September 21, 2001, or Monday, September 24.
I don't know how more clearly I can say that Ernesto Blanco was exposed before the letter was opened. So were the postal workers who handled that unopened letter and other unopened letters.
What's so difficult to understand about that?
The conclusion of the CDC is that they have no idea when Ernesto Blanco was exposed. You yourself pointed that out when, in message #136, you posted a link to the obsolete CDC chart HERE and HERE. Can't you see the big question mark indicating that they do not know how long the incubation period lasted? Moreover, that CDC chart was last reviewed on December 20, 2001 and is therefore very obviously obsolete.
The current and up-to-date information about Ernesto Blanco is HERE. It was last reviewed January 12, 2004. It says Blanco's onset date was September 28, and that's the date I use. So, the September 24 onset date you said in message #136 that you use is based upon obsolete information.
So, as you say, "Most other people look at ALL the FACTS and draw INTELLIGENT conclusions based on these FACTS." Maybe it's time for you to start doing that instead of just ranting like some snotty 14-year-old.
Have a nice day.
Hmmm. So I have to respond again to show that you cannot read. On the UCLA site, Ernesto Blanco's onset date is given as September 28, which is the date I've stated again and again I use.
I did not "lobby" to have Ernesto Blanco's onset date changed. I don't recall ever discussing Ernesto Blanco's onset date with UCLA. We discussed Bob Stevens' onset date, which they did change to September 30. But they didn't change it because I lobbied them. They changed it to agree with the CDC's onset date for Stevens. The official CDC date for Stevens is HERE and is September 30.
You really do need to learn how to read.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.