Skip to comments.Hatfill v. US - DOJ and FBI Statement of Facts (filed Friday)
Posted on 04/13/2008 8:20:52 AM PDT by ZacandPook
On Friday, the government filed this statement of the facts in its memorandum in support of its motion for summary judgment in a civil rights and Privacy Act lawsuit brought by Dr. Steve Hatfill.
The anthrax attacks occurred in October 2001. Public officials, prominent members of the media, and ordinary citizens were targeted by this first bio-terrorist attack on American soil. Twenty-two persons were infected with anthrax; five died. At least 17 public buildings were contaminated. The attacks wreaked havoc on the U.S. postal system and disrupted government and commerce, resulting in economic losses estimated to exceed one billion dollars. The attacks spread anxiety throughout the nation already in a heightened state of alert in the wake of the attacks of September 11 and left behind a lasting sense of vulnerability to future acts of bioterrorism. Given the unprecedented nature of the attacks, the investigation received intense media attention. Journalists from virtually every news organization pursued the story, sometimes conducting their own worldwide investigation to determine the person or persons responsible for the attacks and the motive behind them.
A. Journalistic Interest In Hatfill That Predates Alleged Disclosures
Testimony has revealed that at least certain members of the media began focusing their attention upon Hatfill in early 2002 because of tips they had received from former colleagues of his who found him to be highly suspicious. Articles about Hatfill thus began to appear in the mainstream press and on internet sites as early as January of 2002, and continued until the first search of his apartment on June 25, 2002, which, in turn, led to even more intense press attention.
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a Professor at the State University of New York, for example, complained in January and February 2002 on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website of the FBIs apparent lack of progress on the investigation, and described generally the person she believed was the anthrax perpetrator. Analysis of Anthrax Attacks, Possible Portrait of the Anthrax Perpetrator (Section IV.6), Defendants Appendix , Ex. 1. Rosenberg did not identify Hatfill by name, but described him in sufficient detail: a Middle-aged American who [w]orks for a CIA contractor in Washington, DC area and [w]orked in USAMRIID laboratory in the past and [k]nows Bill Patrick and probably learned a thing or two about weaponization from him informally. Id. In his amended complaint, Hatfill states that Professor Rosenbergs Possible Portrait of the Anthrax Perpetrator . . . described [him].
In addition to her postings on the FAS website, Professor Rosenberg also presented a lecture on February 18, 2002 at Princeton Universitys Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, entitled The Anthrax Attacks and the Control of Bioterrorism. Ex. 2. During the course of her lecture, Rosenberg stated that she had draw[n] a likely portrait of the perpetrator as a former Fort Detrick scientist who is now working for a contractor in the Washington, D.C, area[.] Ex. 3. Rosenberg also commented upon Hatfills whereabouts on the date of the attacks, stating that [h]e had reason for travel to Florida, New Jersey and the United Kingdom where the attacks had been and from which the letters had been purportedly sent that [h]e grew [the anthrax], probably on a solid medium, and weaponised it at a private location where he had accumulated the equipment and the material. Id. Rosenberg also stated that the investigation had narrowed to a common suspect[,] and that [t]he FBI has questioned that person more than once[.] Id. Former White House Spokesperson, Ari Fleischer, immediately responded to Rosenbergs comments, stating that there were several suspects and the FBI had not narrowed that list down to one. Ex. 4. The FBI also issued a press release, stating that it had interviewed hundreds of persons, in some instances, more than once. It is not accurate, however, that the FBI has identified a prime suspect in this case. Id. Rosenbergs comments and writings were subsequently pursued by The New York Times (The Times). In a series of Op-Ed articles published from May through July 2002, Nicholas Kristof, a journalist with The Times, accused Hatfill of being responsible for the anthrax attacks. Kristof wrote on May 24, 2002 that the FBI was overlooking the anthrax perpetrator, noting that experts (Professor Rosenberg) point to one middle-aged American who has worked for the United States military bio-defense program and had access to the labs at Fort Detrick, Md. His anthrax vaccinations are up to date, he unquestionably had the ability to make first-rate anthrax, and he was upset at the United States government in the period preceding the anthrax attack. Ex. 5.
Hatfill first noticed the Kristof columns in May 2002. Hatfill Dep. Tran. in Hatfill v. The New York Times, No. 04-807 (E.D.Va.), Ex. 6, at 13: 3-6. According to Hatfill, [w]hen Mr. Kristofs article appeared, it was the first [time] that [he] realized that [his] name [was] in the public domain with connection with an incident of mass murder. Id. at 16:15-18. Hatfill has charged that The Times began the entire conflagration and gave every journalist out there reason to drive this thing beyond any sort of sanity. Mr. Kristof lit the fuse to a barn fire and he repeatedly kept stoking the fire. Id. at 43:19 - 44:1. In July 2004, Hatfill thus filed suit alleging that these articles libeled him by falsely accusing him of being the anthrax mailer. Complaint, Hatfill v. The New York Times, No. 04-807 (E.D.Va.), Ex. 7.
Hatfill alleges in that lawsuit that Kristof wrote his columns in such a way as to impute guilt for the anthrax letters to [him] in the minds of reasonable readers. Id. ¶ 12. The articles, Hatfill claimed, which described his background and work in the field of bio-terrorism, state or imply that [he] was the anthrax mailer. Id. ¶ 14. Hatfill specifically alleged that statements in Kristofs articles were false and defamatory, including those that stated that he: (1) unquestionably had the ability to make first-rate anthrax; (2) had the ability to send the anthrax; (3) had the access required to send the anthrax; (4) had a motive to send the anthrax; (5) was one of a handful of individuals who had the ability, access and motive to send the anthrax; (6) had access to an isolated residence in the fall of 2001, when the anthrax letters were sent; (7) gave CIPRO [an antibiotic famously used in the treatment of anthrax infection] to people who visited [the isolated residence]; (8) his anthrax vaccinations were up to date as of May 24, 2002; (9) he failed 3 successive polygraph examinations between January 2002 and August 13, 2002; (10) he was upset at the United States government in the period preceding the attack; (11) he was once caught with a girlfriend in a biohazard hot suite at Fort Detrick [where Hatfill had concedely worked] surrounded only by blushing germs. Id. ¶ 16 (brackets in original). Hatfill alleges in his lawsuit against The Times that [t]he publication of [Kristofs] repeated defamation of [him] . . .gave rise to severe notoriety gravely injurious to [him]. Id. ¶ 29. The injury, Hatfill alleged, was [made] all the more severe given the status and journalistic clout of The Times. Id. This harm was compounded, Hatfill alleged, by the fact that these articles were thereafter repeatedly published by a host of print and on-line publications and on the television and radio news in the following months. Id., ¶ 30.
The case was initially dismissed by the trial court. Hatfill v. The New York Times, No. 04-807, 2004 WL 3023003 (E.D.Va.). That decision was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 416 F.3d 320 (4th Cir. 2005). Upon remand, the trial court granted The Times summary judgment, finding that Hatfill was a public figure and public official and had failed to present evidence of malice. Hatfill v. The New York Times, 488 F. Supp. 2d 522 (E.D. Va. 2007). In arriving at that conclusion, the court considered Hatfills repeated media interviews before the attacks; the fact that he had drafted a novel, which he registered with [the] United States Copyright office, describing a scenario in which a terrorist sickens government officials with a biological agent; and had lectured on the medical effects of chemical and biological agents. Id. at 525.
Although not recited by the district court in The New York Times litigation, Hatfill also talked directly to reporters about his suspected involvement in the attacks. Brian Ross of ABC News, and his producer, Victor Walter, for example, talked separately to Hatfill on two to three occasions as early as January and February 2002, Ross Dep. Tran., Ex. 8, at 263:14 - 270:1, and continued talking to Hatfill until May of that year. Id. Ross also spoke to Hatfills friend and mentor, William Patrick, about Hatfill. Id. at 287:9 - 295:12. These meetings were prompted by discussions ABC News had in January 2002 with eight to twelve former colleagues of Hatfill at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). Id. at 242:7 - 246:14. Hatfills former colleagues found him to be highly suspicious because of a number of things he had done when he worked at [USAMRIID], and this behavior was strange "and unusual and they felt that he was a likely candidate. Id. at 242: 7-17. These meetings were also prompted by ABC Newss own investigative reporting into Hatfills background; the more ABC News learned the more interested [they] became in Hatfill. Id. at 264: 14-15.
Scott Shane of the Baltimore Sun also spoke to Hatfill in February 2002. Shane also spoke to USAMRIID employees who had worked with Hatfill. Ex. 9. These employees stated that they had been questioned by the FBI and asked about a former Fort Detrick scientist Hatfill who returned a few years ago and took discarded biological safety cabinets, used for work with dangerous pathogens. Id. at 1. These employees claimed that Hatfill ha[d] expertise on weaponizing anthrax and ha[d] been vaccinated against it[.] Id. Shane also called one of Hatfills former classmates, who was plagued by questions from the Baltimore Sun and others within the media regarding Hatfills alleged involvement with the large anthrax outbreak in Zimbabwe[.] Ex. 10. According to Hatfill, this classmate was told by Shane that Hatfill was purportedly responsible for mailing the anthrax letters and also starting the [anthrax] outbreak in Zimbabwe/ Rhodesia twenty years before. Ex. 11, at AGD29SJH00014; see also e-mail to Hatfill fr. DF Andrews, dated Mar. 1, 2002, Ex. 10. Hatfill told Shane in February 2002 that he had been questioned by the FBI and that he considered the questioning to be part of a routine effort to eliminate people with the knowledge to mount [the] attack. Ex. 9. Hatfill also confirmed for Shane that he had taken an FBI polygraph. Ex. 12, at 2. In March 2002, Hatfill left Shane a frantic telephone message reportedly stating how he had been [in the bioterrorism] field for a number of years, working until 3 oclock in the morning, trying to counter this type of weapon of mass destruction and fearing that his career [was] over at [that] time. Ex. 13, at 2. According to Hatfill, Shane later Case 1:03-cv-01793-RBW Document 232-2 Filed 04/11/2008 Page 17 of 73
____ Hatfill did not sue either Shane or Rosenberg, even though Hatfill has stated that Rosenberg caused the focus on him. Ex. 14, at 10. Because Hatfill believed that the portrait Rosenberg painted at the February 2002 Princeton conference and in her website postings was so identifying and incriminating, however, Hatfill advised Rosenberg through his lawyers that before [she] get[s] close to describing him in the future, by name or otherwise, [that she] submit [her] comments for legal vetting before publishing them to anyone. Ex. 15. There is no evidence that the agency defendants bore any responsibility for the media presence. Information about FBI searches is routinely shared with a variety of state and local law enforcement authorities. Roth Dep. Tran., Ex. 16, at 163:5 -165:21; Garrett Dep. Tran. Ex. 17, at 79: 8-18. ______
compounded Hatfills problems by calling his then-employer, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and accusing Hatfill of being responsible for the anthrax attacks, Ex. 11, at AGD29SJH00014, which, according to Hatfill, cost him his job as a contractor at SAIC. Id. 1
The media frenzy surrounding Hatfill intensified upon the search of his apartment on June 25, 2002, and the search of a refrigerated mini-storage facility in Ocala, Florida on June 26, 2002. Both were witnessed by the media, and the search of his apartment was carried live on national television. In addition to the television coverage, the searches generated a slew of articles about Hatfill throughout the media, one fueling the next. The Associated Press, for example, detailed in an article, dated June 27, 2002, Hatfills (1) work as biodefense researcher, including studies he had conducted at SAIC, and the work he had done at the USAMRIID; (2) his educational background; (3) where he had previously lived; and (4) security clearances he had held and the suspension of those clearances. Ex. 18. The Hartford Courant reported these same details, and additional information regarding Hatfills purported service in the Rhodesian army. Ex. 19. The next day -- June 28, 2002 -- the Hartford Courant reported details about Hatfills background in biological warfare, his vaccinations against anthrax, questioning that purportedly had occurred among Hatfills colleagues, his educational background (including the claim that he had attended medical school in Greendale), and lectures that he had given on the process of turning biological agents into easily inhaled powders. Ex. 20. None of this information is attributed to a government source.
B. Hatfills Public Relations Offensive
In July 2002, after these reports and after the first search of Hatfills apartment on June 25, 2002, Hatfill retained Victor Glasberg as his attorney. Glasberg Dep. Tran., Ex. 21, at 12: 16-19. Glasberg believed that any number of people in the media [had] overstepped their bounds. . . . prior to July of 2002 . Id. at 141:1 - 142:6. To counter this information, Hatfill set out on a public relations offensive of his own to turn [the] tide. Id. at 138: 20-21, 178: 12-13.
Recognizing that Hatfill continue[d] [to] get killed with bad press, national as well as local[,] Hatfill drafted a statement and Glasberg forwarded that statement in July 2002 to Hatfills then-employer at Louisiana State University (LSU). Ex. 11, at 1. The statement detailed Hatfills background, including his medical training and employment history, and provided details about Hatfills involvement in the anthrax investigation, including how he had been interviewed by the FBI and had taken a polygraph examination. Id. at AGD29SJH00002-13. Hatfills statement corroborated the conversations that Hatfill reportedly had with Scott Shane of the Baltimore Sun in February 2002, and how that interaction had purportedly cost Hatfill his job at SAIC in March 2002. Id. at AGD29SJH00014.
In his July statement, Hatfill was careful not to blame DOJ or the FBI for his troubles or for any wrongdoing for the information about him that had made its way into the press. He touted the professionalism of the FBI, noting that [t]he individual FBI agents with whom [he had come] in contact during this entire process are sons and daughters of which America can be justifiably proud. They are fine men and women doing their best to protect this country. Id. at AGD29SJH00016. Hatfills objection lay with the media, whom he labeled as irresponsible[,] for trading in half-truths, innuendo and speculation, making accusations and slanting real world events . . . to gain viewer recognition, sell newspapers, and increase readership and network ratings. Id.
As the investigation proceeded, however, Glasberg publicly criticized investigators on the date of the second search of Hatfills apartment, August 1, 2002, for obtaining a search warrant rather than accepting the offer Glasberg had allegedly made to cooperate. Ex. 22. So angry was Glasberg with investigators that he wrote a letter, dated the same day as the search, to Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth C. Kohl, denouncing the fact that the search had been conducted pursuant to a search warrant. Ex. 23. Glasberg forwarded a copy of this letter to Tom Jackman of the Washington Post, and to the Associated Press, the morning of August 1st. Glasberg, Dep. Tran., Ex. 24, at 265:12 - 266:5; see also Ex. 25 (Glasberg memorandum to file, stating, among other things, that Glasberg showed Jackman Kohl letter on August 1, 2002).
On the day of the search, an FBI spokeswoman at the Bureaus Washington field office, Debra Weierman, confirmed that the search was part of the governments anthrax investigation. Ex. 25. Weierman added, however, that she was unable to confirm that [investigators were acting on a search warrant] or to provide any further information about the search. Id.
The next day August 2, 2002 Glasberg faxed the Kohl letter to members of the media. Ex. 26. In the fax transmittal sheet accompanying the Kohl letter, Glasberg also advised the media that: Dr. Hatfill was first contacted by the FBI earlier this year, as part of the Bureaus survey of several dozen scientists working in fields related to biomedical warfare. He was voluntarily debriefed and polygraphed, and voluntarily agreed to have his home, car and other property subjected to a lengthy and comprehensive search by the FBI. He and his lawyer Tom Carter were told that the results were all favorable and that he was not a suspect in the case. Id. at AGD16SJH03106. Subsequent to the fax transmittal by Glasberg, Weierman confirmed that the search had been conducted pursuant to a search warrant, but only after receiving appropriate authorization from her superiors. Weierman Dep. Tran., Ex. 27, at 93:16 - 94:14.
Hatfill had also accompanied Glasberg for his interview with Jackman the day before to address the media feeding frenzy. Ex. 28. Glasberg provided Jackman with the promise of an [e]xclusive personal statement from Hatfill and the promise of [n]o other press contacts pending publication of the article. Id. Glasberg thus provided Jackman background information about Hatfill, Rosenbergs statements, and other publications. Ex. 25. Hatfill reportedly complained to the Washington Post in the interview about the media feeding frenzy, and about how his friends are bombarded with press inquiries. Ex. 29, at 1. Hatfill also complained about the [p]hone calls at night. Trespassing. Beating on my door. For the sheer purpose of selling newspapers and television. Id.
C. Attorney General Ashcrofts Person of Interest Statements
Following this media frenzy, not to mention the two searches of Hatfills apartment, former Attorney General John Ashcroft was asked on August 6, 2002 (at an event addressing the subject of missing and exploited children) about Hatfills involvement in the investigation. Jane Clayson of CBS News asked General Ashcroft about the searches and whether Hatfill was a suspect in the investigation. Ex. 30, at 2. General Ashcroft responded that Hatfill was a person of interest. General Ashcroft cautioned, however, that he was not prepared to say any more at [that] time other than the fact that he is an individual of interest. Id. At the same media event, Matt Lauer of NBC News also asked General Ashcroft whether Hatfill was a suspect in the investigation. Ex. 31. General Ashcroft responded that Hatfill was a person that that the FBIs been interested in. Id. at 2. General Ashcroft cautioned that he was not prepared to make a . . . comment about whether a person is officially a . . . suspect or not. Id.
General Ashcroft made the same comments at a news conference in Newark, New Jersey on August 22, 2002, stating that Hatfill was a person of interest to the Department of Justice, and we continue the investigation. Ex. 32, at 1. As in his previous statements, General Ashcroft refused to provide further comment. Id. When asked upon deposition why he referred to Hatfill as a person of interest in the anthrax investigation in response to these media inquiries, General Ashcroft testified that he did so in an attempt to correct the record presented by the media that he was a suspect in the investigation, which he believed served a necessary law enforcement purpose. Ashcroft Dep. Tran., Ex. 33, at 81: 5-12; 103:18; 108: 9-13; 138: 5-7; 125: 18-21; 134:22 - 136:8. Prior to making these statements, General Ashcroft did not review or otherwise consult any investigative record, id. at 128:14 - 129:12, much less any record pertaining to Hatfill.
General Ashcrofts initial statements on August 6, 2002 were followed, on August 11, 2002, by the first of Hatfills two nationally televised press conferences. Ex. 34. During his press conference, Hatfill lashed out at Rosenberg and other journalists and columnists who he believed wrote a series of defamatory speculation and innuendo about [him]. Id. at 3. In apparent response to the person of interest statements, by contrast, he stated that he did not object to being considered a subject of interest because of [his] knowledge and background in the field of biological warfare. Id. at 4. This was consistent with Hatfills statement to ABC News earlier in 2002 in which he stated that his background and comments made him a logical subject of the investigation. Ex. 35. As noted, moreover, Glasberg told the media -- almost a week before the first of General Ashcrofts statements -- that Hatfill was first contacted by the FBI [earlier that] year, as part of the Bureaus survey of several dozen scientists working in fields related to biomedical warfare. He was voluntarily debriefed and polygraphed, and voluntarily agreed to have his home, car and other property subjected to a lengthy and comprehensive search by the FBI. Ex. 26.
Hatfills second press conference was held on August 25, 2002. In the flyer publicizing the conference, Hatfill identified himself to the media -- in bold lettering -- as the person of interest at the center of the federal Governments [anthrax] investigation. DA, Exhibit 36.
D. Clawsons Sunshine Policy
Patrick Clawson joined the Hatfill team in early August 2002 as spokesperson and fielded hundreds of inquiries from members of the press worldwide regarding Dr. Hatfill[.] Ex. 12, at 13. Clawson believed it best to employ a media strategy that would, in his words, let it all hang out. Id. at 50:10. Clawson felt that permitting maximum sunshine into . . . Hatfills existence would do both him and the public the best good. Clawson Dep. Tran., Ex. 37, at 50:16-18.
The majority of Clawsons communications with the press regarding this case have been oral and by telephone and he did not keep a press log or any other regular record of such contacts with the press. Ex. 12, at 13. Clawson nonetheless admitted upon deposition that he revealed numerous details about Hatfills personal and professional background to members of the press (Clawson Dep. Tran., Ex. 37, at 101:9 - 105:21), including Hatfills professional expertise (id. at 103:10 - 105:21), use of Cipro (id. at 123:16 - 130:11, 248: 8-13), whereabouts on the days of the attacks (id. at 148:12 - 158:10, 361:15 - 362:3), expertise in working with anthrax (id. at 194:13 - 195:8), former service in the Rhodesian Army (id. at 210:9 - 211:10), and drunk driving arrest (id. at 795: 7-9, 798: 4-6). Clawson also told reporters what had been purportedly removed from Hatfills apartment during the two searches of his apartment on June 25, 2002 and August 1, 2002 (including medical books and a jar of bacillus thuringiensis (BT)) (id. at 121: 6-12, 131:2 - 131:12, 14:8 - 147:3, 313: 3-10). Clawson also freely relayed to the press that bloodhounds had been presented to Hatfill during the investigation (id. at 200: 15-19); that Hatfill had been the subject of surveillance (id. at 123:12-15, 428: 19-21); that Hatfill had taken polygraphs (id. at 135:16 - 137:17); and that he had submitted to blood tests (id. at 137:18-138:5, 347: 6-10).
In furtherance of Clawsons sunshine policy, Hatfill, Clawson, and Glasberg, together, provided countless on-the-record, on-background (i.e., for use, but not for attribution), and off-the-record (i.e., not for attribution or use) interviews to counter misinformation. Although Hatfill repeatedly claimed upon deposition not to remember what he said during these interviews, he acknowledged in his responses to the Agency Defendants interrogatories having such conversations with, in addition to Mr. Jackman, Judith Miller of The New York Times, Jeremy Cherkis of the City Paper, Guy Gugliotta of the Washington Post, David Kestenbaum of National Public Radio, Rick Schmidt of the LA Times, Rob Buchanan of NBC Dateline, Jim Popkin of NBC News, Dee Ann David and Nick Horrock of UPI, Gary Matsumato of Fox TV, Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, and David Tell of the Weekly Standard. Ex. 12, at 3-4. With respect to the Matsumato interview, Glasberg warned Hatfill before the interview that he should not be quoted, nor should Matsumato say or imply that he spoke with him. Ex. 38, at 1. Glasberg warned Hatfill that Matsumato must be willing to go to jail rather than reveal word one of anything [he] says on deep background. Id.
All of these disclosures became too much even for Glasberg, who attempted to put a stop to them. In August, when Jackman aired his exclusive interview with Glasberg and Hatfill, Glasberg heralded the success of his public relations strategy noting that Rosenberg, Shane and Kristof are, [each] of them, in varying stages of sulking, licking their wounds, reacting defensively and changing their tune. Ex. 39. Slowly Glasberg advised both Hatfill and Glasberg to observe the rule of COMPLETE SILENCE regarding anything and everything about the case[.] Ex. 40 (emphasis in original). Ultimately, in September 2002, Glasberg ordered Clawson to stand down, noting [w]hat you know, you know, and you have put virtually all of that into the public record. Fine. That is where we are, and for good or ill we can and will deal with it. But we must put a full stop to any further conveyance of substantive data about ANYTHING from Steve to anyone [but his attorneys]. Ex. 41 (emphasis in original). To no avail. On October 5, 2002, Hatfill and Clawson appeared together at an Accuracy in Media Conference. Hatfill was asked about the reaction of bloodhounds, and stated, Im not supposed to answer things against . . . but let me tell you something. They brought this good-looking dog in. I mean, this was the best-fed dog I have seen in a long time. They brought him in and he walked around the room. By the way, I could have left at anytime but I volunteered while they were raiding my apartment the second time, I volunteered to talk with them. The dog came around and I petted him. And the dog walked out. So animals like me (laughter). Ex. 42, at 2.
Disclosures from the Hatfill camp to the media continued. For example, between late 2002 and May 8, 2003, Hatfills current attorney, Tom Connolly, and CBS News reporter James Stewart had multiple telephone conversations and two lunch meetings. Ex. 43. According to Stewart, Connolly told Stewart that the investigation was focusing on Hatfill, and detailed at great length the FBIs surveillance of Hatfill. In virtually every one of these conversations, Connolly encouraged Stewart to report on these subjects. Id. at 96.
E. Louisiana State Universitys Decision To Terminate Hatfill
At the time of the second search of his apartment in August 2002, Hatfill was working as a contract employee at the Louisiana State University (LSU) on a program to train first responders in the event of a biological attack. This program was funded by the Department of Justices Office of Justice Programs (OJP) as part of a cooperative agreement. Ex. 44. Under the terms of the cooperative agreement, OJP maintain[ed] managerial oversight and control of the program. Id. at 2. Following the second search of Hatfills apartment on August 1, 2002, Timothy Beres, Acting Director of OJPs Office of Domestic Preparedness, directed that LSU cease and desist from utilizing the subject-matter expert and course instructor duties of Steven J. Hatfill on all Department of Justice funded programs. Ex. 45. LSU, meanwhile, had independently hired Hatfill to serve as Associate Director of its Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education. Following the second search, LSU placed Hatfill on administrative leave. Ex. 46. LSU then requested a background check of Hatfill. Ex. 47. During the course of that investigation, the University became concerned that Hatfill had forged a diploma for a Ph.D that he claimed to have received from Rhodes University in South Africa. Hatfill explained to Stephen L. Guillott, Jr., who was the Director of the Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education at LSU, that [h]e assumed the degree had, in fact been awarded since neither his [thesis advisor] nor Rhodes University advised him to the contrary. Ex. 48. LSUs Chancellor, Mark A. Emmert, made an internal decision to terminate [LSUs] relationship with Dr. Hatfill quite independent of [the DOJ e-mail] communication. Ex. 51.
Hatfill has now testified that in fact he created a fraudulent diploma with the assistance of someone he met in a bar who boasted that he could make a fraudulent diploma. Hatfill Dep. Tran., Ex. 49 at 19:20 - 20:12. Glasberg, moreover, has stated under oath that Hatfills earlier attempted explanation was untrue. Glasberg, Dep. Tran., Ex. 21, at 314:10 - 317:2. In a nationally televised 60 Minutes episode that aired in March 2007, Connolly confirmed that Hatfill forged the diploma for the Ph.D from Rhodes University. Ex. 50, at 3.
F. Hatfills Amended Complaint
Hatfill claims lost wages and other emotional damages resulting from General Ashcrofts person of interest statements and other for-attribution statements by DOJ and FBI officials. He also seeks to recover for certain other alleged leaks by DOJ and FBI officials. Hatfill additionally asserts that the defendants violated the Act by purportedly failing to (1) maintain an accurate accounting of such disclosures, which he asserts is required by section 552a(c) of the Act; (2) establish appropriate safeguards to insure the security and confidentiality of the records that were purportedly disclosed, which he asserts is required by section 552a(e)(10); (3) correct information that was disseminated about him that was inaccurate or incomplete, which he asserts is required by section 552a(e)(5); and (4) establish adequate rules of conduct, procedures, and penalties for noncompliance, or to train employees in the requirements of the Act, which he asserts is required by section 552a(e)(9). Defendants are entitled to summary judgment.
The FACTS are that your constant repeating of the phrase “no experts SAW any additives” is just plain wrong. In short, it is a lie - as I have demonstrated. It shows how desperate you are to avoid the FACTS when you have to lie over and over and over and over again.
The FACTS are that many experts DID in fact see silica. And one or two claim they did not - but these claims are highly questionable given that they only saw a selective portion of the evidence.
The experts I quote saw ALL of the evidence. These are the undisputed FACTS.
Dr. Alibek’s assistant points out that some people might have the exosporium mistaken such a ring — bacillus anthracis has an exosporium whereas some common simulants do not.
But let’s get back to your silly arguments which you’ve never taken the time to modify or update. You argue that the hijackers had no accomplices and if they did the FBI would be talking about them. Putting aside the BOLOs issued in connection with various accomplices, let’s consider the so-called “911 imam” discussed in the 911 Commission Report.
Al-Timimi’s counsel explained in a court filing unsealed in April 2008: “[911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.”
Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi), who met with hijacker Nawaf, reportedly was picked up in Yemen by Yemen security forces at the request of the CIA in the summer of 2006. British and US intelligence had him and others under surveillance. Al-Timimi would speak alongside fellow Falls Church imam Awlaqi (Aulaqi) at conferences such as the August 2001 London JIMAS and the August 2002 London JIMAS conference. They would speak on subjects such as signs before the day of judgment and the like. Dozens of their lectures are available online. Unnamed U.S. officials told the Washington Post in 2008 that they have come to believe that Aulaqi worked with al-Qaida networks in the Persian Gulf after leaving Northern Virginia. One official said: There is good reason to believe Anwar Aulaqi has been involved in very serious terrorist activities since leaving the United States, including plotting attacks against America and our allies. Some believe that Aulaqi was the first person since the summit meeting in Malaysia with whom al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi shared their terrorist intentions and plans, former Senate Intelligence committee chairman Bob GrahamGraham wrote in his 2004 book Intelligence Matters.
Awlaqi was hired in early 2001 in attempt by the mosques leaders to appeal to younger worshipers. Born in New Mexico and raised in Yemen, he had the total package. He was young, personable, fluent in English, eloquent and knowledgeable about Middle East politics. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Al Hazmi worshiped at Aulaqis mosque for several weeks in spring 2001. The 9/11 commission noted that the two men apparently showed up because Nawaf Hazmi had developed a close relationship with Aulaqi in San Diego. In 2001, Awlaqi came to Falls Church from San Diego shortly before Nawaf did. Awlaqi told the FBI that he did not recall what Nawaf and he had discussed in San Diego and denied having contact with him in Falls Church. The unclassified portion of a U.S. Department of Justice memorandum dated September 26, 2001 states
Aulaqi was familiar enough with Nawaf Alhazmi to describe some of Alhazmis personality traits. Aulaqi considered Alhazmi to be a loner who did not have a large circle of friends. Alhazmi was slow to enter into personal relationships and was always very soft spoken, a very calm and extremely nice person. Aulaqi did not see Alhazmi as a very religious person, based on the fact that Alhazmi never wore a beard and neglected to attend all five daily prayer sessions.
In March 2002, Awlaqi suddenly left the US and went to Yemen, thus avoiding the inquiry the 9/11 Commission thought so important. (Eventually Aulaqi would be banned from entering both the UK and US because of his speeches on jihad, martyrdom and the like). Aulaqi attempted to get al Timimi to discuss issues related to the recruitment of young Muslims, according to a court filing by Al-Timimis attorney at the time, Edward MacMahon. McMahon reports that those entreaties were rejected. The Washington Post explains that After leaving the United States in 2002, Aulaqi spent time in Britain, where he developed a following among young ultra-conservative Muslims through his lectures and audiotapes. He moved to Yemen, his familys ancestral home, in 2004. Before his arrest in Yemen in mid-2006, Aulaqi lectured at an Islamist university in Sana run by Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and was designated a terrorist in 2004 by the United States and the United Nations.
In court documents in New York filed in 2004, the United States alleged that while in the US, Aulaqi served as vice president of a charity alleged to be a front that sent money to al-Qaeda. The Washington Post reports that tax records show that in 1998 and 1999, while in San Diego, Aulaqi served as vice president of the now-defunct Charitable Society for Social Welfare, Inc., the U.S. branch of a Yemeni charity founded by Zindani. Documents filed in 2004 in Alexandria, Va., recount that in 2002, Aulaqi returned briefly to Northern Virginia where he visited Al-Timimi and asked him about recruiting young Muslims for violent jihad.
Law enforcement sources told the Post that Aulaqi was visited by Ziyad Khaleel, who the government has previously said purchased a satellite phone and batteries for bin Laden in the 1990s. The Post explains: Khaleel was the U.S. fundraiser for Islamic American Relief Agency, a charity the U.S. Treasury has designated a financier of bin Laden and which listed Aulaqis charity as its Yemeni partner. An article by Susan Schmidt, the Washington Post explains: The FBI also learned that Aulaqi was visited in early 2000 by a close associate of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called Blind Sheik who was convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he had ties to people raising money for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas, according to Congress and the 9/11 Commission report.
He now has been released. What did Awlaqi, detained in mid-2006 and held for a year and a half, tell questioners, if anything, about his fellow Falls Church imam and fellow Salafist conference lecturer Ali Al-Timimi? The Washington Post reports that in a taped interview posted on December 31, 2007 on a British Web site, Aulaqi said that while in prison in Yemen, he had undergone multiple interrogations by the FBI that included questions about his dealings with the 9/11 hijackers. I dont know if I was held because of that or because of the other issues they presented, Aulaqi said. What other issues did they present? Aulaqi said he would like to travel outside Yemen but would not do so until the U.S. drops whatever unknown charges it has against me.
You, of course, conveniently say that Geisbert said “probably” one day and coveniently omit that he said he’d know for sure the next day. And so he spent half a day at AFIP the next day and they CONFIRMED the additive was SILICA.
AFIP independantly CONFIRMED this in their NEWSLETTER.
These are the FACTS. I know you can’t handle FACTS but you have to live with FACTS.
Then why don't you identify them? Why absurdly distort a report where someone evidently believed they saw SIGNS OF BENTONITE and claim it means they saw a coating of silica?
And why do you endlessly try to shift the discussion from seeing a COATING to detecting silica? Those are NOT the same thing.
It is a LIE to claim I said something when I did NOT say it.
It also shows how desperate you are to prove your silly beliefs because you have no FACTS to support your silly beliefs.
No one actually saw any coating of silica on the attack spores. You are LYING if you claim they did.
Geisbert and Jahrling directly state that they SAW the silica. Although AFIP don’t actually say the precise words “we SAW the silica” it is impossible to measure EDX signals without also recording the SEM image - so clearly they also SAW the additive. But since they didn’t actually write “we saw the silica on the SEM picture” that allows you to claim they didn’t see it - an argument akin to saying - “how should I believe you when you write it was a hot day when you didn’t actually write that it was day and not night?”
Another expert said he saw a brown ring - demolishing your “nobody said they SAW any additive” immediately.
At least have the courage to tell the truth. Lying about the FACTS only exposes the weakness of your arguments.
Pretending the AFIP article says something different than it actually says is another example of your twisted beliefs. The AFIP Newsletter seems to truly terrify you - which speaks volumes about your agenda.
Try looking at the FACTS.
KSM likely will have a trial this year — before Hatfill will. Al-Hawsawi too. (It was actually his laptop that had the anthrax spraydrying documents on it.) What will they say about Al-Timimi? What will he say about anthrax?
Executions sought for 9/11 defendants
Authorities closed in on KSM in Spring 2003. When arrested, US citizen and NYC resident Uzair Paracha said he had met in February 2003 a chemistry professor who was supposed to help Al Qaeda with biological and chemical weapons. It was a big break, therefore, when the son of the imprisoned blind sheik, Abdel Rahman, was captured in Quetta, Pakistan in mid-February 2003. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman from Aghanistan spoke alongside Ali Al-Timimi at IANA conferences in 1993 and 1996. The blind sheik’s son Mohammed Abdel-Rahman had recently had been in contact with Khalid Mohammed, Al Qaeda’s #3. Two weeks after Mohammed’s capture, authorities raided microbiologist Ali Al-Timimis townhouse in Alexandria, VA, and searched the residence of a couple of PhD level drying experts in Idaho and Upstate NY, along with various others associated with IANA. Mohammed Abdel-Rahman then provided information that led authorities to the home of the bacteriologist that had harbored KSM. Anthrax spray drying documents were found, both on a computer and in hard copy.
One report indicates that authorities, with the help of American communications experts, traced an email that Mohammed Abdel-Rahman had sent to an email associated with the home of bacteriologist Qadoos in Rawalpindi. Yet another report says that some unidentified Egyptian collected a $27 million reward for informing on KSM and then relocated first to Great Britain and then to the US. (Perhaps this is a different Egyptian or perhaps the intelligence officials are seeking to cause turmoil among the blind sheiks supporters). According to Amnesty, Abdel-Rahman Jr. was whereabouts unknown as of 2006. He is not on the list of Gitmo detainees.
In June 2003, a UN report explained that Al-Qaeda has a WMD Committee, which according to the report, is known to have approached a number of Muslim scientists É to assist the terrorist network with the creation and procurement of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Mohammed Abdel Rahman, a member of the 3-member WMD committee, knew Ali Al-Timimi. Ali Al-Timimi conducted a summer camp at a park in Frederick, Maryland over the years. The kids liked the outdoors and ponds. The FBI searched the parks ponds more than once claiming that Dr. Hatfill had once suggested that someone could weaponize anthrax and discard the equipment in a pond.
Mohammed Abdel-Rahman is one of the missing prisoners whose absence from Guantanamo leads human rights researchers to believe that the CIA is still operating secret prisons. There is a possibility that he was rendered to Egypt. This is the possiblity I favor. The US has refused to comment on where he is. (He is one of the subjects of the FOIA lawsuit filed by NYU, HRW, etc.)
The very well-informed Pakistani journalist Zahid Hussain says in his book, Frontline Pakistan that KSM was actually captured in February from a house in Quetta presumably the same one where Abdel-Rahman was captured. Supposedly he had been tracked for four weeks before that. Zahid Hussain says that they did not make his arrest public because they wanted to capture other al-Qaeda members or sympathizers, such as the Qadoos family. This would be consistent with the strident denials by the bacteriologists family that KSM was captured at their home. The arrest of KSMs other nephew, Musaad Aruchi, for example, is supposed to have led them to many others. Aruchi is another of the missing prisoners.
The timing of the raid on Al-Timimis house two weeks later and the arrest of animal geneticist and experienced PhD researcher expert at mixing with silica certainly suggests that it was connected. They had been engaged in surveillance and trashing and interception of targets related to the charity for many months. The investigation — including arrests, searches, and some convictions — apparently did not produce any prosecutable evidence of anyone’s involvement in Amerithrax. The timing of the February 26, 2003 raids, however, perhaps related to what Mohammed Abdel-Rahman and KSM told authorities, for example, about Aafia Siddiqui, who was connected to the blind sheiks Al Kifah organization. An AUSA has said that Aafia was prepared to participate in an anthrax attack if asked. She opened up a mailbox in Gaithersburg, Maryland as part of operations.
Then why don't you give us the actual quotes? Why do you quote Richard Preston's description of how they saw "goop" and "fried egg gunk" and claim it MEANS they saw a silica coating?
It does NOT mean that. It means they saw something and didn't know what it was. They had to go to AFIP to try to determine what it was.
It is scientifically absurd to believe that they saw silica oozing out of a spore when they heated the spore in an electron beam -- particularly when that spore was killed by dipping it in CHEMICALS prior to putting it into the TEM.
What kind of fantasy causes you to believe that silica can be absorbed INTO a spore and ooze out of the spore when heated?
Pretending the AFIP article says something different than it actually says is another example of your twisted beliefs.
Any claim that the AFIP article says they saw a coating on the Daschle spores is a lie. Pretending the AFIP article says something different than it actually says is another example of your twisted beliefs.
it is impossible to measure EDX signals without also recording the SEM image
Right. And they SAW no SILICA COATING because others looking at the spores SAW NO SILICA COATING, plus AFIP makes no CLAIM of seeing any silica coating. They don't even say they SAW any additives. In fact they say just the opposite:
Ft Detrick sought our assistance to determine the specific components of the anthrax found in the Daschle letter, said Florabel G. Mullick, MD, ScD, SES, AFIP Principal Deputy Director and department chair. AFIP experts utilized an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (an instrument used to detect the presence of otherwise-unseen chemicals through characteristic wavelengths of X-ray light) to confirm the previously unidentifiable substance as silica.
Your facts are not facts. They are your beliefs based upon your distorting of the facts.
Did the captured Al Qaeda anthrax spray drying documents use silica?
On March 23, 2003, the Washington Post reported on documents allegedly discovered at the Abdul Qadoos Khan residence — on a seized laptop — relating to biochemical weapons. The documents indicated that Al Qaeda leaders may already have manufactured some of them. The documents at the Qadoos home reveal that Al Qaeda had a feasible production plan for anthrax. Confronted with scanned handwritten notes on the computer, Mohammed reportedly began to talk about Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program. KSM, however, denies that it was his computer — he says it was the computer of Mustafa Hawsawi, who was captured at the home the same day. In 2001, before departing for the UAE, Al-Hawsawi had worked in the Al Qaeda media center (Al Sahab (Clouds) in Kandahar. (The letter containing the first anthrax went to the American Media in Florida had blue and pink clouds on it.)
Hawsawi worked under KSM who in turn worked for Zawahiri. Al-Hawsawi was a facilitator for the 9/11 attacks and its paymaster, working from the United Arab Emirates, sending thousands to Bin Al-Shibh in the summer of 2001. After 9/11, he returned to Afghanistan where he met separately with Bin Laden, Zawahiri and spokesman Abu Ghaith. KSM worked closely with al-Hawsawi and it would make perfect sense that the computer is actually al-Hawsawi’s. The fact that the anthrax spray drying documents were on that computer, however, and that he had worked for Al Sahab in Kandahar in 2000, serves to suggest that the undated documents predated 9/11, particularly given that extremely virulent anthrax was later found in Kandahar. At the same time, it suggests that Al-Hawsawi has personal knowledge relevant to anthrax. Al-Hawawi in turn worked with Aafia Siddiqui’s husband-to-be, KSM’s nephew Al-Baluchi, in the UAE in the summer of 2001 providing logistical support for the hijackers.
Hawsawi worked as a financial manager for Bin Laden when he was in Sudan. He was associated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura leader Mahjoub, who was Bin Laden’s farm manager in Sudan. Mahjoub was the subject of the anthrax threat in January 2001 in Canada, upon announcement of his bail hearing. The day after Mahjoub’s bail was denied on October 5, 2001, the potent stuff was sent to US Senators Daschle and Leahy.
The Washington Post explained that “What the documents and debriefings show, the first official said, is that “KSM was involved in anthrax production, and [knew] quite a bit about it.” Barton Gellman in the Post explained that Al Qaeda had recruited competent scientists, including a Pakistani microbiologist who the officials declined to name. “The documents describe specific timelines for producing biochemical weapons and include a bar graph depicting the parallel processes that must take place between Days 1 and 31 of manufacture. Included are inventories of equipment and indications of readiness to grow seed stocks of pathogen in nutrient baths and then dry the resulting liquid slurry into a form suitable for aerosol dispersal.” The Washington Post story notes that U.S. officials said the evidence does not indicate whether al Qaeda completed manufacture. The documents are undated and unsigned and cryptic about essential details.
An unclassified memo lists some of the contents of the computer that had the anthrax spraydrying docs.
In addition to establishing him as paymaster for the hijackers, Al-Hawsawi’s computer disks reportedly also included lists of contributors worldwide, to include bank account numbers and names of organizations that have helped finance terror attacks. In press accounts, one unnamed government official confirmed that the information has yielded the identities of about a dozen suspected terrorists in the US.
In his substituted testimony in the Moussaoui case — the guy Al-Timimi and Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali had talked about helping — Al-Hawsawi says he became part of Al Qaeda’s media committee in Afghanistan in about July 2000. KSM joined the committee in February 2001. Hawsawi lived at the media office. For about 4-5 months in 2000, Hawsawi worked as a secretary on al Qaeda’s media committee. Hawsawi’s role “was to copy compact discs and reprint articles for the brothers at the guesthouse in Qandahar. After 2000, Hawsawi worked at the direction of Sheikh Mohammed, transferring funds, and procuring goods.”
The first time that Hawsawi was asked to be come involved in operational activities was about March 2001, when he took his second trip to the UAE. Although Sheikh Mohammed did not use the word “operation,” Sheikh Mohammed told Hawsawi that he would be purchasing items, receiving and possibly sending money, and possibly meeting individuals whom Hawsawi would contact or who would contact him. Sheikh Mohammed also told Hawsawi that his stay would be lengthy, so he should rent an apartment. Sheikh Mohammed said Hawsawi did not need cover because he was carrying a Saudi passport, and it was a common practice for a Saudi to rent an apartment in the UAE. In approximately August 2001, Hawsawi, with Sheikh Mohammed’s blessing, decided to take an English course.
Sheik Mohammed told Hawsawi that he would be in contact with individuals called ‘Abd Al-Rahman (Muhammad Atta) and the “Doctor” (Nawaf al-Hazmi). Atta called Hawsawi four times while in the US. Hawsawi says he was never in contact with Hani or Nawaf while in the US. On September 9, Ramzi bin Shibh told him the date of the planned operation and urged that he return to Pakistan. He flew out on 9/11 and after a night in Karachi, flew on to Quetta.
Hawsawi stated repeatedly that he never conducted any activity of any type with or on behalf of Moussaoui and had no knowledge of who made Moussaoui’s travel arrangements. Documents reportedly show that al-Hawsawi worked with the Dublin cell to finance Moussaouis international travel. Hamid Aich was an EIJ operative there who once had lived with Ressam, the so-called millennium bomber, in Canada.
The indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui named al-Hawsawi as an unindicted co-conspirator. Moussaou had tried to call KSM and Hawsawi as witnessses. That indictment reported that al-Hawsawi was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 5, 1968. Hawsawi had left Kandahar for Dubai by late June 2001. The Moussaoui indictment alleges that on September 11, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi then left the UAE for Pakistan.
Hawsawi has said that it was Qahtani who was to have been “the 20th hijacker” rather than Moussaoui. Qahtani, Hawsawi said, had trained extensively to be one of the “muscle hijackers.” Atta went to pick Qahtani up at the Orlando airport but immigration officials turned Qahtani away. Of Moussaoui, al-Hawsawi said he had seen Moussaoui at an al-Qaeda guesthouse in Kandahar, Afghanistan, sometime in the first half of 2001, but was not introduced to him and had not conducted any operations with him. At Moussaoui’s trial, the government pointed to FAA intelligence reports from the late 1990s and 2000 that noted that a hijacked airliner could be flown into a building or national landmark in the U.S., but viewed that scenario “as an option of last resort” given the motive of the attack was to free blind sheik Abdel Rahman. Flying a plane into a building would afford little time to negotiate.
Zacarias Moussaou reportedly was in Karachi with anthrax lab tech Yazid Sufaat on February 3, 2001 when they bought air tickets through a local travel agency for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They reportedly left on a flight for Kuala Lumpur on February 8, 2001. Moussaoui began at the Norman, Oklahoma flight school on February 26, 2001. KSM says that Moussaoui’s inquiries about cropdusters may have related to Hambali and Sufaat’s work with anthrax.
Another reason not to underestimate Hawsawi’s possible role in an anthrax operation is his contact with al-Marri. Al-Marri, who entered the country on September 10, 2001, was researching chemicals in connection with a “second wave.” Al-Marri was also drafting emails to KSM. Although al-Marri denies being in contact with Hawsawi, phone records show otherwise. Email evidence also confirms messages drafted by al-Marri to KSM. The fascinating and groundbreaking article this year by Susan Schmidt of the Washington Post on al-Marri notes that al-Marri picked up $13,000 in cash from al-Hawsawi. Al-Marri made the mistake of opening the briefcase containing the money in bundles and peeling off a few hundred dollars to pay his bail after being stopped on a traffic charge a couple days after 9/11.
References to al-Hawsawi turned up in the Dublin, Ireland, office of a Saudi-backed charity suspected of having links to bin Laden upon a raid after 9/11 by Irish authorities. The fact that Hawsawi was in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as of late June 2001 — and this connection to the Dublin charity — may both be relevant in threading the anthrax needle.
Computer held by Khadr’s sister contains al-Qaeda files, RCMP say
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
May 15, 2008 at 4:48 AM EDT
“Court documents filed in one of her brother’s cases show the Mounties say they found a hard drive that includes ‘material dealing with bomb making, ricin, techniques of assassination, chemicals, poisons, silencers, etc; incoming and outgoing e-mails of Zaynab Khadr.’”
[But what’s the context? TrebleRebel and Ed likely have the Al Qaeda manual available to be downloaded upon a major network’s broadcasts about it from years ago — perhaps 2002. Zaynab might have been following current news like many others.]
The article continues:
“The once-secret RCMP memo of August, 2005, then goes on to describe other seized files, including “some sort of military operational plan to infiltrate Burma and establish an al-Qaeda base, curriculum for religious studies at al-Faruq training camp, techniques to invade prisons, contract for immoral acts; administrative letters from [Osama bin Laden], ETC.”
“A court-filed transcript shows her brother, in a subsequent RCMP interview, upheld that much of the extremist propaganda on the laptop did not belong to Zaynab. ‘That’s my father’s hard drive,’ Abdullah Khadr told the Mounties. He later added that he had personally directed his sister to upload certain jihadist material.”
Very cool. So they apparently have a hard drive from the late Khadr senior. Given his Canadian cell (led by Khadr) had ties to the Florida cell — and the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone — operations may have been compromised in ways not disclosed by this news report or revealed in the RCMP memo as redacted (even if only years after the fact).
“Records show the Mounties were very curious to know about the family’s relationship with a reputed al-Qaeda bomb-maker - since killed - known as Abu Khabbab Al-Masri, whom the RCMP suggest actually wrote many of the seized files. “He knew my father but they were not on good terms,” Abdullah Khadr told the Mounties.”
Oops. Abu Khabbab Al-Masri in fact is not dead. See Washington Post report a year after he was mistakenly thought killed.
But this perhaps is very significant. Abu Khabbab was on the 3-member WMD Committee with Mohammed Abdel-Rahman.
Let’s review what we know about Abu Khabab who at last report was not in fact killed by the January 2006 bomb.
According to a May 7, 1999 email, the modest amount of $2,000 to $4,000 had been marked for startup costs of the program. A letter dated May 23, 1999 written by one of Zawahiris aliases mentions some very useful ideas proposed by chemical engineer Abu Khabab al-Masri aka Midhat Mursi that had been discussed during a visit to the training camp Abu Khabab. It just needs some experiments to develop its practical use. Especially promising was a home-brew nerve gas made from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed up penetration into the skin (using a surfactant).
In Afghanistan, Zawahiri was assisted by Midhat Mursi (alias Abu Khabab). In his late 1940s, Mursi had graduated from the University of Alexandria in 1975. An Egyptian chemical engineer, he ran the camp named Abu Khabab. Intelligence reportedly indicates that Midhat Mursi has for some time been linked to the Kashmir-based Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET). LET is the group connected to the Virginia Paintball group. Midhat Mursi was widely reported and believed to have been killed in a January 2006 bombing raid in Pakistan at a high-level terror summit at which Zawahiris son-in-law was also killed. But a year-and-a-half later, the Washington Post matter-of-factly announced: U.S. and Pakistani officials now say that none of those al-Qaeda leaders perished in the strike and that only local villagers were killed. Al Qaedas experimentation with its chemical weapons has been featured on the nightly television news picturing a dog being put to death. Director of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, Jonathan Tucker, an expert retained by the government to determine the chemical used in the video, opined that it was hydrogen cyanide. As journalist John Berger explained of the tapes: US intelligence said al-Qaidas chemical weapons programme was centered in Darunta camp. The mastermind behind experiments was allegedly Egyptian Midhat Mursi, who ran a section of the camp known as Khabab, and who worked mainly with Egyptians. Experts said that all but one of the voices on the tapes shown yesterday by CNN spoke in Egyptian accents. KSM had non-pilot hijackers practice how to slit passengers’ throats by making the hijackers practice killing sheep, goats, and camels in connection with the planned “Planes Operation.” Did the Amerithrax perpetrators similarly practice killing animals?
Ahmed Ressam testified at his trial in New York that he participated in experiments using cyanide gas pumped into an office building ventilation system at a training camp run by bin Laden in Afghanistan. Abu Khabab camp was within the Darunta Camp, which also included the Assadalah Abdul Rahman camp, operated by the son of blind cleric Omar Abdel Rahman.
Ayman liked the idea to make a home-brew nerve gas from insecticides and a chemical additive that would help speed penetration into the skin. In a June 1999 memo, however, he talked about building labs (with one being closed every three months so it can be moved and replaced by another), and planned to have them covered with oil paint so they might be cleaned with insecticides.
George Tenet, in At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, summarized:
“The most startling revelation from this intelligence success story was that the anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning. As best as we could determine, al-Zawahiri’s project had been wrapped up in the summer of 2001, when the al-Qaida deputy, along with Hambali, were briefed over a week by Sufaat on the progress he had made to isolate anthrax. The entire operation had been managed at the top of al-Qai’da with strict compartmentalization. Having completed this phase of his work, Sufaat fled Afghanistan in December 2001 and was captured by authorities trying to sneak back into Malaysia. Rauf Ahmad was detained by Pakistani authorities in December 2001. Our hope was that these and our many other actions had neutralized the anthrax threat, at least temporarily.”
In an April 1999 memorandum, Zawahiri wrote that the destructive power of these [biological] weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapons. *** [D]espite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concern that they can be produced simply. Demonstrating that Al Qaedas knowledge and expertise was still at a very early stage in Spring 1999 despite the grand statements and threats the earlier year, the memorandum read:
To: Muhammed Atef
From: Ayman al-Zawahiri
Folder: Outgoing Mail
Date: April 15, 1999
I have read the majority of the book [an unnamed volume, probably on biological and chemical weapons] [It] is undoubtedly useful. It emphasizes a number of important facts, such as:
1) The enemy started thinking about these weapons before WWI. Despite their extreme danger, we only became aware of them when the enemy drew our attention to them by repeatedly expressing concerns that they can be produced simply with easily available materials.
b) The destructive power of these weapons is no less than that of nuclear weapons.
c) A germ attack is often detected days after it occurs, which raises the number of victims.
d) Defense against such weapons is very difficult, particularly if large quantities are used.
It continued: I would like to emphasize what we previously discussedthat looking for a specialist is the fastest, safest, and cheapest way [to embark on a biological- and chemical-weapons program].
Simultaneously, we should conduct a search on our own.*
** Along these lines, the book guided me to a number of references that I am attaching. Perhaps you can find someone to obtain them.
The memorandum goes on to cite mid-twentieth-century articles from, among other sources, Science, The Journal of Immunology, and The New England Journal of Medicine, and lists the names of such books as Tomorrows Weapons (1964), Peace or Pestilence (1949), and Chemical Warfare (1921).
The April 1999 email to Atef indicated Ayman had read one USAMRIID authors description of the secret history of anthrax reported by USAMRIID the book was called Peace or Pestilence. That was 2 1/2 years before the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. Post-9/11, we have had the same history avidly reported to us by critics of the biodefense industry. Ayman, well-aware of USAMRIIDs history with anthrax, may have had an operative or some other sympathizer arrange to obtain the US Army strain that would point the public and authorities to this history confounding true crime analysis at the same time providing moral justification for the use anthrax under the laws of jihad. His interpretation alluded to in the repeated citation to a particular koranic verse was that jihadists should use the weapons used by their enemies.
Khadr knew Mahjoub whose bail was denied on October 5th, 2001, causing the anthrax to Senator Leahy and Senator Daschle to be mailed immediately thereafter (sometime between October 6th - October 9th).
Mahjoub had stayed with Khadr’s in-laws for 3 weeks upon first arriving in Canada. Suspecting Mahmoud Mahjoub of being a shura member of the Vanguards of Conquest and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Canadian intelligence officials alleged Mahjoub had significant contacts with persons associated with international Islamic terrorism including Osama Bin Laden, Ahmad Khadr, Essam Marzouk, Vanguards founder Ahmed Agiza, and Osama Bin Ladens principal procurement agent for weapons of mass destruction Mubarak Al Duri, who also for a time was from British of Columbia.
By way of background, on January 23, 2001, Mr. Justice Nadon had issued an order holding that the Court did not have jurisdiction to decide the constitutional and Charter issues raised by detainee and dismissed that part of the motion. A letter was received January 30, 2001 at the Citizenship and Immigration Office threatening to use anthrax. It was sent to Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan who had cosigned the detention certificate. Authorities suspected that the letter was sent by militant islamists in protest over the detention of Mahjoub, who ran Bin Ladens farm in Sudan. Mahjoub had been sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in 1999 by Egyptian authorities for his involvement in Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Now, he was being detained without charges under an order cosigned by Immigration Minister Caplan and threatened with deportation. The postmark has never been publicly identified. Separately, hoax letters were also sent to American businesses and a Walmart in Saanich, British Columbia. Mahjoub had been in regular contact with a man named Marzouk, who had trained the 1998 embassy bombers and was captured in Baku, Azerbaijan in August 1998.
When the letter was received in January 2001, the letter was sent by Department of National Defence jet to the Canadian Science Center for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg for examination. Authorities also sent the filters from the Jean Edmonds buildings ventilation system. Authorities said they were treating it as a possible terrorist act against the department and noted that it was the first time a government department has been targeted in this way. The Ottawa alert came after one of the employees working in the Ministers office opened a plain white envelope at 11:15 a.m. The employee discovered powder and a piece of paper in the envelope. Police refused to reveal from where it had been mailed. One source said the letter was unsigned and mostly gibberish. (Indeed, the Fall 2001 letters might be described as mostly gibberish, and certainly the JLo letter talking about Jennifer Lopez planned wedding could be.) An internal government memo distributed to staff said an initial analysis of the envelope revealed some traces of bacteria.
Bill Patrick, who often worked with George Mason University students in northern Virginia, had written a report in 1999 for a consultant SAIC at the request of Dr. Steve Hatfill. As one bioterrorism expert commented about the report: Anytime you pick something up like this, and it seems to layout the whole story for you months or years before the fact, your immediate response is to step back and say whoa, something may be going on here. Our attacker may very well have used this report as something of a if not a template, then certainly as a rule of thumb.
After the January 2001 anthrax threat, Canadian defense research team undertook to assess the risk. The report titled Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters issued September 2001. In contrast to the 1998 study by William Patrick that had been requested by Dr. Hatfills employer SAIC, the Canadian study found considerable exposure to those in the room resulted when such a letter was opened. Bacillus globigii spores (in dry powder form) were donated by the US Department of Defense (Dugway Proving Ground, Utah). Stock concentration powder was -1 x 10 11 cfu/gm. The anthrax sent to the Senators had a smaller particle size tending toward a uniform 1 micron, subject to clumping that easily broke apart. Bacillus globigii (BG) spores are routinely used as a simulant for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores. The letter was prepared by putting BG spores in the center of a sheet of paper, folding it over into thirds, placing the folded sheet into the envelope and sealing using the adhesive present on the envelope. The envelope was then shaken to mimic the handling and tumbling that would occur during its passage through the postal system. The aerosol, produced by opening the BG spore containing envelope, was not confined to the area of the desk but spread throughout the chamber. Values were almost as high at the opposite end of the chamber, shortly after opening the envelopes. 99% of the particles collected were in the 2.5 to 10 mm size range. The report explained: In addition, the aerosol would quickly spread throughout the room so that other workers, depending on their exact locations and the directional air flow within the office, would likely inhale lethal doses. Envelopes with the open corners not specifically sealed could also pose a threat to individuals in the mail handling system.
More than 80% of the B anthracis particles collected on stationary monitors were within an alveolar respirable size range of 0.95 to 3.5 µm. Thus, the simulant performed very well. Those who continue to argue that the Daschle product was so advanced beyond what the US could do are mistaken. Indeed, the more notable question is why such a good product was prepared in response to a threat letter sent to an immigration minister. The reason perhaps is that authorities knew that it was Al Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad that sent the letter. The CIA and CSIS apparently feared that the Vanguards of Conquest would use the good stuff.
The CIA knew EIJ intended to use anthrax from the proclamations of Jaballahs friend, the captured military commander Mabruk and Jaballahs brother-in-laws former law partner al-Zayat. Authorities knew Al Qaeda was getting technical assistance from scientists and that many of the senior Egyptian leaders had advanced or technical degrees. The specifications provided by Dugway perhaps involved treated fumed silica and a spraydryer (with a last critical step reserved to be done at Dugway) likely were based on what Al Qaeda might send with a little help from their friends.
Canadian officials explained they e-mailed the study to the CDC soon after reports of the discovery of anthrax at the American Media Inc. headquarters in Florida. The e-mail, however, was never opened, reports the lead CDC anthrax investigator, who regrets that he never read the email. It is certainly relevant data, but I dont think it would have altered the decisions that we made. At one point, about 2,000 CDC employees were working on the anthrax matter. This Canadian report was perhaps the single most important scientific data point for the CDC to take into account. It certainly was one of the most important reports for the FBI to take into account. Bail was denied by decision on October 5, 2001. Then highly potent anthrax was sent as early as the next day just as had been promised. But Ayman had returned to the target of his greatest interest rather than a Canadian immigration minister, he and Shehata and their colleagues targeted the minister who oversaw the Department of Justice and appropriations to Egypt and Israel, and who gave his name (the Leahy Law) to the law that permits continuing appropriations to Egypt in the face of allegations of torture. Zawahiri never makes a threat he doesnt intend to try to keep.
The Canadian experiments in 2001 showed that if anthrax spores were finely powdered, a letter could release thousands of lethal doses of the bacteria within minutes of being opened. Furthermore, large amounts of material leaked out of sealed envelopes even before they were opened. By then, more than two dozen federal government employees knew of the Canadian studies, which showed that a real anthrax threat letter was a far more dangerous weapon than anyone had believed. Within days, a dozen more people were informed of the now highly relevant experimental findings. One FBI squad was focused on people who may have known of the study such as William Patricks friend, Dr. Steve Hatfill. Another squad would be focused on the usual suspects and their friends. For the next seven years, the investigation would be shrouded in great secrecy.
It turns out we may know what was on Khadr’s hard drive in Pakistan. The question now is: who else is on Jaballahs or Mahjoubs Friends and Family Calling Plan? The authorities apparently already know the answer and have just been bashful.
It’s hardly a distortion of the facts. How could they identify a previously unidenfiable substance unless it already had been seen?
Demon in the Freezer states in very plain English that they SAW an additive - and the next day they took the sample over to AFIP and identified this ALREADY SEEN additive as silica.
Your attempts to pretend these words don’t exist appear to expose an agenda of some kind. The AFIP announcement seems to truly terrify you.
Can you quote this new book CRUSH THE CELL (2008), which according to the flap, is “Written by a man who is arguably the country’s most authoritative voice on counterterrorism...”
He writes at page 203:
“In my opinion, this attack was conducted by someone with experience in biological weapons programs and access to military grade anthrax spores. It wasn’t al Qaeda, because bin Laden’s MO is to kill without warning. This theory is shared by most analysts in NYPD (and we had our own hunches about who was involved). The terrorist sent a letter with the spores to warn the recipients, knowing that if caught early, anthrax is often treatable with antibiotics. However, the attacker didn’t anticipate all the consequences of his treacherous warning, and innocent people died. The attack was probably staged as a post-911 attack warning that the country was vulnerable to biological attack.” (p. 203)
It is by Michael A. Sheehan. You might link and his biography at NYPD and DOS in counterterrorism.
Let’s take the FBI’s theory that Al-Timimi was somehow involved. Is Mr. Sheehan that the warning given excludes Al Qaeda? It was not until June 2002 that Al Qaeda’s minions had a fatwa justifying the mass murder using biological weapons. As for Mr. Sheehan, he is relying on an oversimplified bogey man view of Al Qaeda that overlooks their piousness requiring that they play “by the book” (the koran and hadiths) — that is, until at least they have a formal opinion on point distorting interpretation of the prohibitions relating to the conduct of warfare. “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors... ,”- says the Koran (2:190).
New York Post office employee and blind sheik spokesman Abdel Sattar, explained in his 2004 trial testimony that in an interview, Mustafa Hamza, who took over from Taha as Islamic Group leader after the Luxor debacle in which in 58 tourists were murdered, was asked how can you explain killing tourists. Mustafa Hamza answered in every moment and action, the group starts off by consulting with the righteous Olama. No action is initiated without fatwas from our trusted Olama — meaning scholars in the plural. In other words, before carrying out an operation, they get a fatwa. He confirmed that fatwas are important because they are authoritative statements by religious leaders declaring what is and is not Islamically permissible. Sattar had a copy of the book written by former Islamic Group leader Taha justifying the attacks that had been committed, to include Luxor that was uploaded at the website maintained by London-based Vanguards of Conquest publicist Al-Sirri.
The Koran and hadiths provide extensive guidance on the honorable conduct of warfare. One of the leading non-muslim expert on the subject was Princeton’s Bernard Lewis. For years, Princeton University Middle Eastern history Professor Emeritus Bernard Lewis’ writing on the clash between islam and the west would be translated by the Muslim brotherhood and handed out as pamphlets outside of mosques. After the 1998 “Crusaders” statement by Bin Laden and Zawahiri, Lewis wrote an article “License to Kill, Usama Bin Ladin’s Declaration of Jihad,” in Foreign Affairs: “Obviously, the West must defend itself by whatever means will be effective. But in devising strategies to fight the terrorists, it would surely be useful to understand the forces that drive them.”
After 9/11, Lewis admonished the Pentagon Defence Policy Board to consider how much worse the devastation could have been on Sept. 11 if the terrorists had used a weapon of mass destruction such as Iraq was said to possess. In a September 27, 2001, in an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal, the 87 year-old historian explained the use of biochemical weapons by Al Qaeda: “the laws of jihad categorically preclude wanton and indiscriminate slaughter. The warriors in the holy war are urged not to harm noncombatants, women and children, ‘unless they attack you first.’
Even such questions as missile and chemical warfare are addressed, the first in relation to mangonels and catapults, the other to the use of poison-tipped arrows and poisoning enemy water supplies. Here the jurists differ— some permit, some restrict, some forbid these forms of warfare. A point on which they insist is the need for a clear declaration of war before beginning hostilities, and for proper warning before resuming hostilities after a truce. As Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman once said in the context of criticizing Sadat’s peace with Israel: “Believers govern according to God’s laws and do not change or replace a single letter or word of them.”
In an essay Islam and Terrorism, Bilal Philips, a key religious mentor of GMU microbiology grad Ali Al-Timimi, explained the principles of islamic jurisprudence of islamic warfare:
Islam opposes any form of indiscriminate violence. The Quran states: Anyone who has killed another except in retaliation, it is as if he has killed the whole of humankind. [Quran Surah #32 Verse #5] There are strict rules regulating how war may be conducted. Prophet Muhammad forbade the killing of women, children, and old people and the destruction of Churches and Synagogues or farms. Of course, if women, children or the elderly bear arms they may be killed in self-defense.”
“Defending Islam and the Muslim community is a primary aspect of the physical jihad which involves taking up arms against an enemy. God states in the Quran Permission to fight has been given to those who have been attacked because they are wronged. And indeed, Allah is Most Powerful. [Quran Surah #22 Verse #39] and Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress the limits. Indeed Allah does not love transgressors. [Quran Surah #2 Verse #190]. Muslims are also enjoined to fight against tyranny. The Quran states, Why shouldnt you fight in the cause of Allah and for those oppressed because they are weak. Men, women and children who cry out, Our Lord! Rescue us from this town of oppressors [Quran Surah #4 Verse #75]
As Ali Al Timimi once explained: “Modern warfare did not exist during those times when they wrote those classical books of fiqh.” The old principles therefore must be relied upon to guide the issue in new times.
Spokesman al-Kuwaiti was giving a plain warning in the Fall 2001 threat letter — not disclosed until 2006 — that the green light had been given for US -bio attack (1) from folks that were US-based, (2) above suspicion, and (3) with access to US and UK government and intelligence information. “The Truth about the New Crusade: A Ruling on the Killing of Women and Children of the Non-Believers,” by Ramzi bin al-Shibh, argues that “the sanctity of women, children, and the elderly is not absolute” and concludes that “in killing Americans who are ordinarily off limits, Muslims should not exceed four million noncombatants, or render more than ten million of them homeless.” Spokesman Abu Ghaith used the same figure in June 2002 in arguing in favor of the moral right to use biological or chemical weapons.
A book commemorating the September 11 “raid” was published by Majallat al-Ansar and consisted of four essays. It addresses the importance that any attack comply with the laws of Sharia. “Some people see fit to raise the issue of Islamic principles of warfare. They claim that the raid does not observe those principles and that Sharia errors occurred. Some ‘modern’ legal scholars see the raid as a violation of the Sharia.” The book continued: “Everyone knows that the groups in the traditionalist mujahid movement are more committed than anyone else to Sharia in their actions. After all, their actions can cost them their dearest possession after their faith — their souls.” While purporting not to want to get entangled in a discussion of the legal technicalities, the author then addressed at length why the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon was justified under the laws of sharia.
Vince Cannistraro, a former chief of CIA counter-terrorist operations, discussed the requirement of warning under the laws of jihad on NPR in connection with the Al Qaeda audiotape by Bin Laden that aired shortly before the November 2004 election. In the case of anthrax, Ayman Zawahiri likely considers that the warning required under the laws of jihad has been given.
Zawahiri is the grandson of and quite proud of the well-known Pious Ambassador, who was President of Cairo University. Dr. Zawahiri is reserving himself a spot in a bad place by reason of his botched analysis of the hadiths and teachings of Mohammed governing warfare (no women, children, noncombatants etc.) The same principles prohibit attacking livestock, crops or wells. Judging by the interpretive texts, it would seem that Al Qaeda and the anthrax mailer have violated the Quran and hadiths by killing noncombatant women and children, and even the aged. It cannot be persuasively argued that those noncombatant women and children and the aged attacked the jihadists first. An infant visiting ABC was infected by the anthrax. Before the military tribunal, KSM says the koran forbids killing children. He noted that warfare is guided by the koran and hadiths.
The head of Egyptian Islamic Group, who approved of Sadat’s assassination and was released after a quarter-century in prison, said of 9/11:
“The killing of businessmen is forbidden by Islamic law and the World Trade Center was all businessmen. The killing of women and children and old people is forbidden by Islamic law and many of those were killed in the building.”
Thus, the harshest judgment may await true believers in another world.
As for pundits — those with government experience or otherwise — the perils of publication are that when you put your money down you take your chances.
As I've told you a hundred times, Richard Preston's book "The Demon In The Freezer" makes the answer to that question absolutely clear.
When Tom Geisbert did his first examination of the Daschle spores under a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), he had killed the spores by dipping them in CHEMICALS. The process is described step by step in Preston's book, and I repeat much of it in Chapter 15 of my book.
Because Geisbert killed the spores with CHEMICALS, under high magnification the electron beam heated the spores and caused the spores to ooze some mysterious "goop" out from inside the spores. It is also described as "fried egg gunk" and "splatty stuff" when it bursts out of the spores..
From page 139 and 140 of my book (things in quotes are also from Preston's book):
Under the TEM, The view was wall to wall spores - The material seemed to be absolutely pure spores.
With ten thousand times the magnification of a standard microscope which uses glass lenses and a beam of light to image a sample, the TEM uses electromagnetic lenses and a thin beam of electrons. (Unlike a scanning electron microscope (SEM) which can only see the outer surface of an object, the TEM can also penetrate objects to view the internal structure - much like an X-ray machine. But that only works if the specimen is thin enough, less than 100 nanometers. The spores were 10 times that thick, so Geisbert was using a TEM to look at the outside of the spores.)
Geisbert turned a knob and zoomed in, searching for smallpox viruses which are a fifth the size of an anthrax spore. As he searched, he didnt find any smallpox, but he began to notice something else. He noticed some kind of goop clinging to the spores, according to Preston. It was a kind of splatty stuff.
Geisbert then turned up the power to get a closer look and crisper image. As he did, he saw the goop begin to spread out of the spores. Those spores were sweating something.
Peter Jahrling came in to see how things were going, and Geisbert demonstrated the phenomenon for him. Watch, he told Jahrling. He then turned the power knob, there was a hum, and The spores began to ooze.
According to Preston:
Whoa, Jahrling muttered, hunched over the eyepieces. Something was boiling off the spores. This is clearly bad stuff, he said. This was not your mothers anthrax. The spores had something in them, an additive, perhaps. Could this material have come from a national bioweapons program? From Iraq? Did al-Qaeda have anthrax capability that was this good.
There is the "UNIDENTIFIED SUBSTANCE" they went to AFIP to identify. They believed that an "additive" was oozing out of the spores under high magnification. They needed the EDX at AFIP to figure out what that "additive" was.
How can you not see that?! It is absolutely clear beyond any doubt.
And it is equally certain that the "goop" was the chemicals Geisbert used to kill the spores. It is presposterous to believe that some kind of silica was INSIDE the spores and oozed out under high power!
I could, but what would be the point? It's just another "expert" saying what I've been saying for six years. The information is already all over my web site. Another voice doesn't mean anything. It would be like me saying, "I told you so."
Besides, I think Sheehan is almost certainly wrong when he says, In my opinion, this attack was conducted by someone with experience in biological weapons programs and access to military grade anthrax spores." The spores were NOT military grade. They were microbiology lab grade.
On second thought, that quote may make the whole passage worth mentioning on my site. I just need to go to Barnes & Noble to check the passage for myself and to see what else might be mentioned. There's no rush. It can wait for my Sunday comment.
BTW, this probably explains why I get so many visits to my web site from the NYPD.
I neglected to mention that when AFIP detected silicon and oxygen in spores killed with radiation, Geisbert put two and two together and ASSUMED that the goop which oozed out of the spores he had killed with CHEMICALS was something made from silicon and oxygen.
In layman's terms, "it was a comedy of errors."
Somehow, I expect your answer will be that until you see Geisbert stand before the world and fess up, your beliefs (which are absolutely NOT supported by facts) are just as good as any analysis which carefully examines the facts.
Mr. Sheehan continues:
“The weapons-grade anthrax powder was sent by normal mail... Incredibly, law enforcement and public health officials were very slow in recognizing that in fact the country was under biological attack.
So the mad scientist upped the ante by improving the quality of the finely powdered spores and sending it to the U.S. Congress. This finally got people’s attention. For years FBI thought that the quality of the anthrax, particularly in the later attacks, pointed to a link with government biological programs and that the perpetrator was probably embedded in one as a scientist or technician. To my great surprise, in late 2006, five years into the investigation FBI revised this assumption and has since broadeneed the search beyond the biological weapons community. No explanation has been given as to why the Bureau’s thinking changed.”
Okay, let’s consider the FBI’s thinking. (Actually, the FBI’s thinking hasn’t changed on the technical sophistication; in the real world of how the change in the press articles evolved, I circulated the two sentences just for fun. (Dr. Beecher was kind enough to send a copy of the article). I wanted to stir the pot and get TrebleRebel and Ed going again because it is cheap entertainment. But different leaks are all reconcilable — yes, silica was detected (AFIP), no it could not be seen in the SEMS (Alibek, Meselson) such as in the pictures in Aerosol article or in the treatise MICROBIAL FORENSICS; and yes, it was “pure spores.” But it was pure encapsulated spores, which is why the elemental analysis showed silica. See PhD thesis by Alibek’s assistant two doors down from Al-Timimi.
But let’s consider the FBI’s thinking, its profile, more broadly and compare it to Mr. Sheehan’s (mistaken) understanding.
An FBI Special Agent in the Minneapolis, MN Field Office, Harry Samit unsuccessfully appealed to his superiors for a FISA warrant that would permit him to view the contents of Moussaouis computer in the weeks leading up to 9/11. He wrote an August 18, 2001 email: What does everyone think of calling in the NSDA Behavioral Assessment quacks? They probably have a psyche profile for an Islamic Martyr and could tell us if our 747 guys fit.
Samits memo had explained that Moussaoui was connected to a radical fundamentalist group in Chechnya, whose leader Ibn Khattab had ties to Bin Laden. For this reason, it is imperative that his effects be searched in order to gather intelligence relating to these connections and to any plans for terrorist attacks against the United States or United States Persons to which he may be a party. He wrote: I am so desperate to get into his computer, Ill take anything. A colleague emailed Samit: thanks for the update. Very sorry that this matter was handled the way it was, but you fought the good fight. God Help us all if the next terrorist incident involves the same type of plane. take care Cathy.
The emails were dated September 10, 2001.
Quoted in a June 2002 Wall Street Journal column titled “The “lone wolf” theory is evidence of the Bureau’s ineptitude,” FBI Special Agent Rowley was highly critical of the FBI in “chalking this all up to the ‘20-20 hindsight is perfect’ problem.” The Minneapolis agents who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui before September 11 had quickly identified him as a terrorist threat and identified the legal grounds on which he has since been indicted. Agents in Phoenix had sounded an alarm about suspicious Arabs taking flight training. So she argues that “this is not a case of everyone in the FBI failing to appreciate the potential consequences.”
Authors John Schwartz and Minnesota University Professor Michael Osterholm in a book Living Terror published in December 2000 explain that bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and William Patrick each believed he was working to match a threat from a resourceful and brilliant enemy. I keep that in mind when people ask me how anyone could do such a terrible thing: how anyone could contemplating creating chances that you could kill so many. The answer makes me terribly uncomfortable it could be anyone, even the nicest guy you ever met.
The FBIs stock profile concerning a biological agent was a lone, unstable individual. In October 2001, the profilers pretty much just reached into the filing cabinet. One Special Agent involved in profiling such incidents explained in a conference, at which Dr. Steve Hatfill was also a presenter: The closest Ive ever come to biological-chemical issues is when the toilet on the 37th floor gets backed up *** It isnt the Middle Eastern people. It isnt white supremacists. It is the lone individual, lone unstable individual. That statistically, from the cases that we have, is the biggest threat right now.
Clint Van Zandt, former FBI profiler when asked, Do I think this case will be solved?, said Yes, I do. I think there will be something scientific or something behaviorally that will break this case. But Ted Kaczynski took 18 years. Ted Kaczynskis brother turned him in after his wife urged that his brother’s writing and views matched Ted’s writing on the subject of technology and society.. As Roscoe Howard, U.S. Attorney for Washington, DC, said of Amerithrax: You always need a break whether Kaczynkis brother coming forward or John Wilkes Booth breaking his leg. Dr. Cyril Wecht poses some of the the questions presented by Amerithrax: “What was the intended message? Why were those victims selected? Why did these acts of malevolence cease?”
FBI Special Agent Fitzgerald, who had some early involvement in Amerithrax in issuing the “profile,” years earlier had special responsibility for scrutinizing the language of the manifesto in UNABOM. In late September 2001, his colleague from UNABOM, Kathleen Puckett turned in her study of “lone wolves” to include Kaczynski and others. Dr. Puckett sees howling loneliness as the key characteristic of a lone wolf. Before turning to work on domestic terror cases of the 1990s, her counterintelligence work typically involved Soviet spies. She would go and kibbitz the local agents on what she perceived as the personality of the subject. She retired on September 30, 2001 and handed in her study on lone wolves on her way out the door. By October, her colleague Fitzgerald was turning in a lone wolf profile for his assignment in Amerithrax. Judging from his comments to the media, he was tone who was swayed that Daschle and Leahy were Democrats.
Hunting the American Terrorist (2007), by History Publishing is dedicated in part to the victims of the anthrax mailings. Dr. Terry Turchie and Dr. Kathleen Purkett appear to agree with the Special Agent Fitzgeralds profile from October 2001. (Fitzgerald was their former team member) They write:
Then, right on the heels of 9/11, another wave of attacks paralyzed the east cost of the United States. During the week of September 18, 2001, five letters containing micronized anthrax were mailed to addresses between New York and Florida. They targeted journalists, U.S. Senators, and news magazines. As in the case of Kaczynski and Rudolph cases, the envelopes had fictional return addresses.
Notes accompanying the mailings were supposedly from Islamic fundamentalists, and almost everyone in the government and the media quickly cast blame in that direction.
For those of us who were involved in the domestic terror campaigns of the 1990s, however, the anthrax mailings had all the earmarks of a lone wolf.
One person’s lonely lone wolf is another man’s US-based dedicated islamist operating under strict principles of cell security. It seems that the FBI was making the same mistake it — and the NYPD — made in the case of the assassination of Rabbi Kahane 10 years earlier by the blind sheik’s bodyguard Nosair.
Inexplicably, the profilers — who were not part of the Task Force — do not seem to have been persuaded after 9/11 by the open source intelligence that Zawahiri had obtained anthrax for the purpose of weaponizing it for use against US targets. Upon the act of war, what was needed was profiling by counterterrorism intelligence analysts, not crime profilers experienced in bank robbery, arson, sexual abuse or even Soviet intelligence cases. If intelligence analysis is an art, criminal profiling is drawing with crayons. A profile in connection to a persons facial features might refer to what they look like in the dark. But, here, war had been declared. A weapon had been used by the enemy it had previously said it would use that specific weapon. Intelligence analysis, not profiling, was what was needed. The profilers apparently did not take to heart or learn the lesson of the al Hayat letter bombs in December 1996. James R. Fitzgerald, head of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, told an interviewer: The attacker appears to be an opportunist [who] took advantage [of the terrorist attacks].” He continued “The rhetoric [in the letters] is made to sound like what a nonterrorist thinks a terrorist sounds like. The perpetrator was probably a right-winger with an ax to grind. Its no secret that they [the intended recipients] are Democrats. People, including the Unabomber, have used representational targets for years. Alluding to the mistaken notion that security guard Richard Jewell was responsible for the Olympic Park bombing, Vincent Cannistraro, formerly of the CIA, explained of the profile that the FBI are intellectually convinced theyre on the right track, but they dont want to come up with a janitor theory thats wrong again. The vague profile was fine but Agent Fitzgerald’s expanded comments to the press about the profile missed the mark. FBI profiler Fitzgerald, however, can be forgiven his early miscalculations. Such a profile likely was useful in supporting warrants in the US in connection with a variety of leads that prudently needed to be pursued. The forensics, without more, tended to point to a “domestic” source.
The official published profile was very vague and spoke of a nonconfrontational loner carrying a grudge. Malcolm Gladwell, author of the acclaimed Blink, in his New Yorker article concludes that criminal profiling is no different than a parlor trick known by astrologers for years.
[Forensic psychologist Laurence Alison] wanted to know why, if the F.B.I.s approach to criminal profiling was based on such simplistic psychology, it continues to have such a sterling reputation. The answer, he suspected, lay in the way the profiles were written, and, sure enough, when he broke down [a particular] analysis, sentence by sentence, he found that it was so full of unverifiable and contradictory and ambiguous language that it could support virtually any interpretation. Astrologers and psychics have known these tricks for years.
It is unlikely that profiling will be a particularly significant portion of any prosecution. It was not in the Unabom case. Kaczynski fit the profile relied upon by the Task Force in many (if not most) respects but he differed from the profile in several important respects. Kaczynski was not among the top 200 suspects primarily because of his age. He was 13 years older than the age in the profile being relied upon by the Task Force. At the time of the first bomb in May 1978, he was 36. Significantly, although he may have a meticulous mind, he was very unkempt in appearance. It was thought that the serial bomber would be very neat. The UNABOM profile then was substantially revised based on the writings of the bomber. The most important change was that estimates of the bombers intelligence were greatly increased. Based on the content of the manifesto, the FBI profilers should have profiled someone who did not rely on technology someone living in Wild Nature who had no electricity and a garden for self-sufficiency. Sometimes it seems that profilers have a tendency to say counterintuitive things lest it seem like ordinary common sense.
Gladwell explains that profiles have rarely solved a crime:
A profile isnt a test, where you pass if you get most of the answers right. Its a portrait, and all the details have to cohere in some way if the image is to be helpful. In the mid-nineties, the British Home Office analyzed a hundred and eighty-four crimes, to see how many times profiles led to the arrest of a criminal. The profile worked in five of those cases. Thats just 2.7 per cent, which makes sense if you consider the position of the detective on the receiving end of a profilers list of conjectures.
Victims and targets were highly skeptical of the FBIs profile. David Pecker, the AMI publisher commented:
I dont believe in coincidences. I still think it was tied to al-Qaida. I dont believe it was domestic.
The emphasis in the press reports has always, however, been on the suggestion that the mailer likely is domestic rather than foreign a lone, male scientist who works in a lab. The profile was issued shortly after the White House meeting where it was agreed that Al Qaeda was the likely culprit, but that the theory and the possibility of a state sponsor would not be discussed. Vice President Cheney was not at all impressed by the FBIs profile and went on television to express his skepticism. Although the FBI profile was widely criticized by experts and in editorials in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and other newspapers and magazines, it was more flexible than its critics imagined. The Amerithrax profile of a loner with a grudge permits a variety of motivations. The FBI uses the word domestic to include Americans sympathetic with an extremist islamic cause. The Washington Post explained in late October: The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service are considering a wide range of domestic possibilities, including associates of right-wing hate groups and U.S. residents sympathetic to the causes of Islamic extremists. FBI profiler James R. Fitzgerald, head of FBIs Behavioral Analysis Unit, argued that the product could have been made for equipment costing as little as $2,500. Profilers were not actually part of Amerithrax Task Force and it is not clear how steeped they were in the historical evidence of Zawahiri’s intent to use weaponized anthrax, relying on the cover of charities and universities. Fitzgerald testified at civil deposition that on first hearing term person of interest had never heard Hatfills name.
Actually I didnt focus as much on the term as I did the individual that was named because I had never heard the name before or even if there was a name. I dont even remember if there was a name associated when the term person of interest first came out. But I remember saying oh, maybe they finally have someone in the anthrax case because I was out of the loop at this point.
Outside pundits covered the entire range. Jason Pate, of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, said of the numerous private anthrax theories that have arisen:
We all have our pet theories. But none seems to fit the facts exactly. Dr. Rosenberg thinks its a disgruntled worker conspiracy. Drs. OToole and Inglesby think its Sept. 11 accomplices. I think its some right-wing extremists. But maybe its a disgruntled right-wing extremist scientist accomplice.
An interesting article in MIT Technology Review in March/April 2006 is based on interviews with Sergei Popov (an expert at GMU who had worked as a Russian bioweaponeer), University of Maryland researcher Milton Leitenberg, Harvards Matthew Meselson, Rutgers Richard Ebright and others:
There are now more than 300 U.S. institutions with access to live bioweapons agents and 16,500 individuals approved to handle them, Ebright told me. While all of those people have undergone some form of background check to verify, for instance, that they arent named on a terrorist watch list and arent illegal aliens its also true, Ebright noted, that Mohammed Atta would have passed those tests without difficulty.
Thats the most significant concern, Ebright agreed. If al-Qaeda wished to carry out a bioweapons attack in the U.S., their simplest means of acquiring access to the materials and the knowledge would be to send individuals to train within programs involved in biodefense research. Ebright paused. And today, every university and corporate press office is trumpeting its success in securing research funding as part of this biodefense expansion, describing exactly whats available and where.
The analytical problem is that researchers tend only to focus on their narrow field. So an analyst focused on Al Qaeda may not know anything about US biodefense programs. An analyst knowledgeable about US biodefense programs may not know anything about Egyptian Islamic Jihad. To knowledgeably address the issue of infiltration and the use of universities and charities as cover which the documentary evidence shows Zawahiri planned to do and did in his anthrax weaponization program requires a willingness to become knowledgeable and investigate the different substantive areas.
Brian Levin, a domestic terrorism expert at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, once reasoned that the people committing these acts are foreign-based or have foreign sympathies. It would seem to me to be improbable that a domestic extremist would be able to put together such an attack in such a short period. Was there something forensically about the anthrax that the FBI was not disclosing relating to the detection of silicon dioxide (silica) that in addition to the strain used, pointed to someone with access to US biodefense information? Was the FBI truly fixated on U.S. scientist Steve Hatfill? Or was the media merely fixated on the possible lead they are in the best position to know about? The camera trucks can get to Frederick by the 5 oclock news and be home in time for dinner. The cooperation of the Pakistan ISI is not required to be able to film the draining of a Maryland pond. Certainly, the prosecutor heading the Amerithrax prosecution was throwing gasoline on the fire by fueling a Hatfill theory with his specious exclusives he was feeding to ABC News, Newsweek and the Washington Post. His daughter then worked for microbiologist Ali Al-Timimi pro bono on his criminal defense.
More fundamentally, all the really interesting stuff is classified. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) unit in the Department of Justice has traditionally been known as the Dark Side. Everything coming from Khalid Mohammed, according to Agent Van Harp, is classified. To understand the matter, journalists would have to have the cooperation of someone coming over from the Dark Side which would be a felony. The solution to the Amerithrax case did not likely lie at the intersection of Bin Laden and Saddam streets among those cubicles at Langley with desktop PCs, not unlike any other office. Instead, it likely lies with the Zawahiri Task Force at Langley (if it still exists) which hopefully has an intersection of Ayman Avenue and Rahman Road. If not, we might be looking at a different crossroads altogether.
The Report of the Joint Inquiry Into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, addresses strategic analysis, training and staffing. Did the agents and analysts in the basement of Quantico who came up with the FBIs profile have relevant training or input from analysts expert in Al Qaeda? Assuming they did, did an investigative bias creep into their approach to the anthrax mailings that should instead have been informed by a strategic understanding of Zawahiris Vanguards of Conquest and its modus operandi? Did the profilers know of the al Hayat letter bombs (related to the imprisonment of the blind sheik) and KSMs threat to use biochemical weapons in retaliation for the detention of the blind sheik and other militant islamists? Did the profilers know of the role of Islambouli, the brother of Sadats assassin, in working with KSM in planning the attacks on the United States? Just as with 9/11, the correct understanding of the anthrax mailings begins with a trail that leads back to Malaysia, Khalid Mohammed, Hambali, Yazid Sufaat, Rauf Ahmad, Zacarias Moussaoui, various charities, the Albanian returnees trial, Bojinka, and even the assassination of Anwar Sadat. As George Santayana said, Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Vice-president Cheney explained in mid-October 2001:
What we do know - we know a number of things. We know that Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda Organization clearly have already launched an attack that killed thousands of Americans. We know that for years hes been the source of terrorist attacks against the United States overseas, our embassies in East Africa in 98 the USS Cole last year, probably, in Yemen. We know that he has over the years tried to acquire weapons of mass destruction, both biological and chemical weapons. We know that hes trained people in his camps in Afghanistan, for example; we have copies of the manuals that theyve actually used to train people with respect to how to deploy and use these kinds of substances. So, you start to piece it altogether. Again, we have not completed the investigation and maybe its coincidence, but I must say Im a skeptic.
In late October 2001, top Administration officials including CIA Director Tenet surmised that Al Qaeda was responsible for the anthrax mailings, according to Woodwards Bush at War: Tenet said, I think its AQ meaning Al Qaeda. I think theres a state sponsor involved. Its too well thought-out, the powders too well refined. It might be Iraq, it might be Russia, it might be a renegade scientist, perhaps from Iraq or Russia. Tenet still thinks that 6 years later. In 2002, Cofer Black feared an aerosolized attack using anthrax on DC and NYC.
One intelligence official has suggested that one reason that the FBI has not emphasized the possibility of a foreign source is that it might require UN involvement in the investigation pursuant to certain biological weapons protocols. The US specifically rejected Frances suggestion in October 2001 that there be a UN resolution condemning the attacks on the grounds that the Security Council had no role to play unless there was clear proof that the perpetrator was foreign. Bob Woodward quotes Lewis Scooter Libby, Mr. Cheneys chief of staff, in explaining why the administration did not acknowledge an al Qaeda link, even though it thought there was one: If we say its al Qaeda, a state sponsor may feel safe and then hit us, thinking they will have a bye, because well blame it on al Qaeda.
While developing the ever-growing evidence of Al Qaedas efforts to weaponize anthrax, they continued to aggressively pursue, as an alternative, a bioevangelist theory. For example, one doctor who came to be of interest to authorities (and whose home was raided) developed a hypothetical scenario involving an anthrax attack: At 7:30 a.m., this date, a group known as The Friends of Yousef (a group supported by the HAMAS terrorist organization) called in a threat to CNNs San Francisco Bureau, the emergency preparedness doctor wrote in his scenario. The group informed the network that they are prepared to make multiple airborne releases of a large quantity of an allegedly new strain of anthrax. A different so-called person of interest had been interviewed in 1997 on how a bioterrorist might have weaponized plague in his kitchen.
Hatfill, a former USAMRIID scientist, who knew bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and William Patrick, was the subject of a lot of leaked reports and then later was the plaintiff in various civil suits. He once explained his view of the true crime matter:
Throughout this entire year Ive tried to sit on the fence. There are times when I think it could be domestic. There are times when I think its foreign. I dont know. I dont have enough information. I havent seen the powder. I dont have enough scientific evidence to make any sort of determination except that when these deaths happened I think we all thought it was terrorism. It was a follow-on to 9/11, and I for one was shocked when the FBI declared that this was a domestic incident. I thought they were out of their minds. Its hard to make any decision unless you have the evidence. I havent seen the powder. I cant comment on it its sophistication or anything else. I dont have enough data to make a firm conviction. However, I believe if it had been domestic after the millions of dollars and thousands of man- hours that the FBI has put into this, I think those people would be in jail now. And I think the fact that there is no suspect points us towards perhaps a foreign power or a terrorist group involved just simply by the process of elimination.
In its March 31, 2005 Report to the President, the Commission on Intelligence Capabilities said: competing analysis is of no use, even counterproductive, if there is no attempt at constructive dialogue and collaboration.
In September 2005, Debbie Weierman, a spokeswoman for the FBIs Washington field office said that this globe-spanning investigation remains intensely active and broadly focused. According to one recent letter to a Congressman rejecting the request for a briefing, the investigation has spanned six out of seven continents. The FBI had conducted 9,100 witness interviews, 67 searches and issued 6,000 grand jury subpoenas.
In a press conference in October 2005, Director Mueller said that the FBI was pursuing all domestic and international leads. He told the public to remember Oklahoma City. Remember 9/11. Both crimes involved a hatred of US policy. He declined to say if they had a suspect. That year, FBI agents visited Asia, Africa and Afghanistan in the course of the Amerithrax investigation. You can reach online a video of FBI Director Muellers October 2005 Briefing on the Amerithrax Probe.
Attorney General Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 18, 2007:
Senator, Director Mueller, I believe, has offered to get the chairman a briefing. And were waiting to try to accommodate the chairmans schedule to make that happen.”
We understand the frustration and the concern that exists with respect to the length of time. This is a very complicated investigation. I know that the director is very committed to seeing it to some kind of conclusion in the relatively near future.
No progess was announced over the course of the next 9 months. Senator Leahy was totally dissatisfied with the vague briefing he received and in an interview by a blogger, sounded very angry. The new Attorney General who taking over in Fall 2007 is former United States Chief Judge Mukasey for the Southern District of New York. Mukasey presided over the trial Sheik Abdel Rahman and his codefendants for the plot to destroy New York City landmarks. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit commended him for his fairness and impartiality.
Whatever your political persuasion, and whatever disagreements about individual issues relating to due process and civil liberties, the FBI and CIA deserve our support on this issue. We are, after all, facing this threat together. First, the nature of such an investigation is that we lack sufficient information to second-guess (or even know) what the FBI and Postal Inspectors on the Amerithrax Task Force are doing. Media reports are a poor approximation of reality because of the lack of good sources. Indeed, there has been compartmentalization and divergent views even within the Task Force. Second, hindsight is 20/20. Third, now that the leaks relating to US scientist Dr. Steve Hatfill seem to have long since been plugged, it is not likely we could do better in striking the appropriate balance between due process and national security. The FBIs profile includes a US-based supporter of the militant islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft once explained 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. Whatever your political persuasion, and whatever disagreements about individual issues relating to due process and civil liberties, the FBI and CIA deserve our support on this issue. We are, after all, facing this threat together. First, the nature of such an investigation is that we lack sufficient information to second-guess (or even know) what the FBI and Postal Inspectors on the Amerithrax Task Force are doing. Media reports are a poor approximation of reality because of the lack of good sources. Indeed, there has been compartmentalization and divergent views even within the Task Force. Second, hindsight is 20/20. Third, now that the leaks relating to US scientist Dr. Steve Hatfill seem to have long since been plugged, it is not likely we could do better in striking the appropriate balance between due process and national security. The FBIs profile includes a US-based supporter of the militant islamists. Attorney General Ashcroft once explained 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. As Ali Al-Timimi’s counsel notes in a late 2007 court filing unsealed (except for certain redacted passages) in April 2008, Al-Timimi “was considered an anthrax weapons suspect.” Mr. Michael Sheehan may not have known that. Someone might ask him that. (NYPD fought for years for an SCI vault.) .
Your “belief” that Geisbert, who was HEAD OF THE ELECTRON MICROSCOPY LAB at Detrick, is somehow a buffoon who had never looked at a bacteria sample before in his life under an electron microscope is only matched by your stupefying combination of ignorance and arrogance.
And that somehow he managed to find the very same spores that he accidentally “fried” the next day at AFIP, where likely dozens of PhD staff and technicians were involved in looking at the most important sample that had ever come into their laboratory is another example of your cluelessness. But hey, when you have an agenda why care about facts?
The additive was seen on ALL the spores - the ones sterilized by irradiation as well as the ones sterilized with liquid chemicals.
The AFIP Newsletter seems to terrify you. It very clearly states that the silica was the key aerosol enabling component. I’m sure the staff at Detrick and AFIP are none to happy that Beecher basically accused them of incompetence - maybe that explains why someone decided to leak an email to Fox News. I wonder what else is going to come out? Probably more terrifying news for you.
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