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 media spores contained significantly more silica than the senate spores. Naturally you interpret this finding of a silica additive to mean “contamination” by silicon and oxygen. This is almost akin to saying that a harmless powder was sent that was accidently contaminated with anthrax spores.
It’s called spin.
The facts, however, say otherwise.
It’s always a sure sign that a spinmeister is at work when he is forced to flat out lie about the facts. Such as Meselson does when he claims to C&E News that AFIP released a spectrum showing “only a silicon peak” - when the FACTS show that the spectrum they released was a reference sample of silica.
Preston’s book is a book by an outsider.
My information is from the insider who lived it.
Ed, I’m just reporting what the SEMs and EDX showed. That’s just a factual matter.
Almost nothing about the anthrax attacks is remotely indicative of the modus operandi of a serial killer. If he were, we almost certainly would have seen more anthrax letters by now, assuming that he is in fact still alive and on the loose.
My guess is that Preston may think he's somewhat similar to Theodore "The Unabomber" Kaczynski, but even the frequent description of Kaczynski as a "serial killer" is debateable. I always thought of him as more of an anarcho-terrorist than a true serial killer myself.
That's the way it should be with lab contamination.
1. The particles of glass (or silica or polymerized glass) are too small to be seen with a TEM. That means the particles could be anywhere from a single molecule on up to hundreds of molecules.
2. The particles are floating around in the nutrients. They either came off the glass walls of the fermenter or they came in the nutrients.
3. A bacterium has no mouth. It absorbs food through its skin (outer membrane).
4. Just like you and I, a bacterium has some ability to know what food it can digest and what it cannot.
5. Glass is not food for a Bacillus anthracis bacterium.
6. The larger particles of glass will not pass through the membrane. But smaller ones can -- if they are small enough.
7. Therefore, there would be a LOT MORE glass particles on the outside of a bacterium than gets inside the bacterium.
8. When a bacterium is about to die and begins to form a spore, just some of the tiny particles that managed to get INSIDE the bacterium will become part of the spore.
9. The "crude powder" in the media letters would have MUCH more glass on the surface of the dead bacteria because of all the glass particles that were too big to be absorbed and got stuck to the outer surfaces.
10. The spore that forms inside the bacterium will have only the smaller particles of glass that got through the mother germ's membrane.
Purification gets rid of all those dead mother germs, dead bactria and all the silica stuck to them. Therefore, it seems perfectly logical that the media powder would show many times as much glass as the purified spores.
I don't know what kind of fantasy you have dreamed up to explain things. Why don't you enlighten us by telling us how many people were involved in the massive conspiracy required to make your fantasy a reality?
Your information is nearly worthless because it's all filtered through your beliefs.
You began with a fantasy that the "crude powder" in the media letters was mostly silica, and for some fantasy reason they REMOVED the silica to create the Senate powder.
Who knows what you now believe? We certainly don't know what the AFIP report actually said.
Where did I say that the “crude powder” in the media letters was mostly silica?
What I said is above. There is no reason to put different words in my mouth.
I have no problem not passing on information to you — what critical sources have to say. I thought you appreciated it.
My friend went with the “911 imam” Aulaqi on Hajj in Spring 2001. The group hired Aulaqi to be one of the imams who guided the group. He and the other three imams were very intolerant of non-Muslims — especially Jews. My friends says one of the other imams was the imam who ran “Holy Land Foundation.” He admitted in fundraising appeals in Saudi that his group was giving aid to families of suicide bombers.
The imams — including Aulaqi — took the group to the plant in Medina where the Quran is printed. Women were not allowed to go beyond the waiting room. The men were given an audience with the head of the printing plant — who urged need for a “holy war” against “the Jews.”
My friend got to talk to Aulaqi in great detail since he and Aulaqi were roommates for the hajj (they shared the same room — double occupancy).
My friend passes on these stories only to show that Aulaqi was deep into hard-core political islam. He was not a cleric who just said prayers and counseled people as some of his supporters have suggested. Don’t be fooled by the moderate talk intended for public consumption — whether by Anwar or by Ali.
My friend was describing going through the airport — it was very important that all the books be orthodoxy. He could have had all manner of bad things in his suitcase — it was having only the right books that was important. He noted that Aulaqi would wear his heavy traditional Yemen robes. (Sa’naa is high up and gets cool at night). In Saudi Arabia, in contrast, they wear a thin white robe and it is always hot in the desert.
Sami al-Hussayen’s uncle was head of the mosques at Mecca at Medina. His uncle stayed in the same hotel as two key hijackers. When the FBI questioned him, he feigned a seizure. Even though the doctors said nothing was wrong with him, he was allowed to return home. In his pre-911 visit, he visited both Anwar and Ali.
Although Anwar Aulaqi preferred living in the US, he comes from a well-to-do, well-established family in Yemen. The FBI questioned hm repeatedly about anthrax and other matters over his 18 month detention. He is staying put in Yemen, he says, given the possibility that the US might want to bring charges on unspecified matters.
Anarcho-terrorist is a good description. I think of Kaczynski as a nordicist anarchist but anarcho-terrorist is better yet. If you look at paras. 222, 227 and 229 of the manifesto he expressly asks the nazis to join with him.
In the 1970s William Pierce of the National Alliance (the propagandist and former right-hand man for American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell) railed against the advance of technology just like Kacyznski did.
Ted’s brother David lived in a hole in Texas for much of the period 1983-1989. In 1985, David gave his friend Joe LaFollette an idea for a book called TECHNOPHOBIA on a camping trip. It’s on file at the Library of Congress. Joe told me he whipped it off in a month at a computer lab. It’s about a guy who wakes up bearded and unkempt having dreamt he killed a bunch of people. The fellow in the book used a knife. David came here once to speak about the death penalty. I wanted to ask him if he knew what Ted was doing in the garage where they lived in 1978 and 1979.
TrebleRebel, you know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the Americas Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesnt want to go to war, the three most powerful men in America are named “Bush”, “Dick”, and “Colon,” and the guy who is 95% certain a First Grader wrote the anthrax letters as part of a conspiracy thinks he’s the voice of reason.
Professor Meselson was shown photos showing what has been called “fried egg goop” (or whatever the phrasing) from Preston’s book.
I know your lay person’s theory.
Did you discuss with Professor Meselson what he thought of those photos he was shown? What did he think it was? Did he originate your “to err is human” theory? Does he support it? Did you discuss it? Thanks. I’ve never seen Professor M. acknowledge he was shown those oozing “fried egg” images or discuss them. I’m curious as to his view.
I haven't discussed anything with Professor Meselson in a long time. Most of our conversations took place in late 2002 and early 2003. If he was shown pictures of the "goop" oozing out of the spores in the TEM, he never mentioned it to me -- or to anyone, as far as I know.
Did he originate your to err is human theory? Does he support it? Did you discuss it?
My "to err is human" analysis of the facts is my own. Professor Meselson had nothing to do with it. I have no idea what he thinks of it. We never discussed it.
I do appreciate it. It's just sometimes very frustrating to have to figure out what the facts are after you and TrebelRebel have twisted and distorted them to fit your beliefs. It would be much easier to just see what the actual information is.
But I'll analyze information whatever way it comes.
“If he was shown pictures of the “goop” oozing out of the spores in the TEM, he never mentioned it to me — or to anyone, as far as I know.”
Given he was in fact shown the images, and has chosen not to ever mention it — while emphasizing that the SEMS he saw had no silica he could see, I find that interesting and would recommend that someone ask him to see if he, as an expert, shares your view. While he has not seen all of AFIP’s data, others have.
I agree that it is very, very interesting that he chose to emphasize, over and over again, that he was shown pictures of spores by the FBI that appeared to contain no additives. And yet he failed to mention that he was also shown the pictures of the “fried egg goop” spores.
This reminds me of his spin over the AFIP data - spinning to C&E News that AFIP released a spectrum showing only a silicon peak - when the FACTS are that the ONLY spectrum AFIP released was the reference spectrum of silica they used to prove that it really was silica in the Daschle spores.
Give it a try. It seems to be something of interest only to you.
As I understand it, in early 2002, Professor Meselson, Ken Alibek and a few others were shown between 5 and 8 micrographs of the Daschle anthrax because the FBI was looking for some explanation for why silicon and oxygen would be detected when there were no silica particles visible under an SEM. (I suppose it's possible that some of these photos may have been the photos of spores oozing "goop," and they may have been asked about them, too. The subject was never mentioned, possibly because it would be obvious that the "goop" came from the chemicals used to kill the spores. Also, possibly, because it showed a simple mistake that no one needed to tell the public about.)
After that event, Professor Meselson recalled reading something about silicon being detected in spores, and he found two articles from 1980 which explained it as most likely being the result of lab contamination.
Eight or more months later, The Washington Post published a screwball article titled "FBI's Theory On Anthrax is Doubted" which suggested that there was fumed silica in the Daschle anthrax.
In their letter to the editor of the Washington Post, Meselson and Alibek wrote:
The article quoted unnamed sources as saying that the spores had been formulated with a product called fumed silica, which, under an electron microscope, "would look like cotton balls strung together into strands that branch out in every direction."
Both of us have examined electron micrographs of the material in the anthrax letter sent to Sen. Tom Daschle, but we saw no evidence of such balls or strands.
So, Meselson and Alibek only said they saw no signs of fumed silica. They said nothing about any "goop." The "goop" would not be relative to the subject of the letter.
Hmm. Right. There were also a lot of messages that March. And that was when Prof. Meselson sent me the copies of the 1980 reports. Interesting. I thought those discussions were a lot earlier. Thanks for reminding me.
I just wanted to remind you of when you were forwarding dozens of private correspondance emails to Meselson without permission.
It discusses a LOT about lab contamination, though. And that would include "naturally occurring silicon."
But no need to correct any of that.
There is a need, but it wasn't Professor Meselson's role to do it. General Parker told a Congressional committee that his scientists made mistakes because they had no familiarity with anthrax powders. If he wasn't specific enough, he's one of the people you should be pointing at.
Yeah, include the word “Parker” and “mistake” in the same sentence and spin that into Parker saying: “we thought there was silica but we made a mistake”. The same page from your usual playbook.
Parker only said that they decided to call the powder highly energetic instead of weaponized.
Parker VERY CLEARLY AND IN PLAIN ENGLISH said they found silica. AFIP said in EVEN PLAINER ENGLISH the silica was there as a key aerosol-enabling component.
How come you two aren't telling us your alternate theories about why the media anthrax had more "glass" than the senate anthrax?
ZACKandPOOK, is it because your theories have no basis in science?
TrebelRebel, is it because your theories require that thousands of scientists and FBI agents all be involved in some massive conspiracy?
Inquiring minds want to know.
No, you are referring to the stack of SEMS that Professor Meselson viewed during the course of a half-day at the Field Office and lab. I am referring to the images he has never discussed or publicly acknowledged seeing — shown him on a separate occasion — that had the oozing goop. Entirely different images. Different occasions. Different presenter.
You say I am the only one interested in what the oozing goop was. To the contrary, you are the one who wrote on it, self-published a book, and have posted on it for five years without ever so much as asking the experts available to you about it.
I already did tell you why the media anthrax had more silica. It was because it was an earlier step in processing. The silica can then be removed through repeated centrifugation. Ed, as was explained under oath, Dwight Adams did not feel comfortable with telling the Senate Staffers certain things. That is the way it should be. It would be against basic investigative technique to disclose all you know — such as signatures. Moreover, as Agent Lambert (or was it Director Mueller) has explained, it might allow biodefense measures to be spoofed. Due to the absorption by the exosporium, even after the silica has been removed, you get this big spike in the EDX. The scholarly articles relied upon by Professor Meselson (relating to the natural tendency to absorb silicon) do serve a purpose in explaining why silica was detected even though none could be seen (in the same way his curiously persistent claims about Sverdlosk might have led to stricter standards in meat inspection.
Don't you get tired of distorting the same facts over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over?
General Parker also said other things immediately after they learned that there was silicon and oxygen in the Daschle anthrax.
It's interesting that Preston's book says that "by lunchtime" on October 25, 2001, AFIP had determined "that there were two extra elements in the spores: silicon and oxygen."
And, at 12:55 P.M. EDT on that same day this was said at a press conference:
Q General Parker, can we ask you a question, sir? If you wouldn't mind stepping up to the podium. I take it that some of the tests that you were alluding to are on this chemical agent that's been mixed in with the anthrax to modify the electro-static properties of the anthrax. Can you tell us what your preliminary investigation shows about that? And who has the ability to alter the electro-static properties of anthrax spores?
MAJOR GENERAL PARKER: Well, first of all, your question is complex, and I'd like to say that, although we may see some things on the microscopic field that may look like foreign elements, we don't know that they're additives, we don't know what they are, and we're continuing to do research to find out what they possible could be. They're unknowns to us at this present time.
Q Can you tell us who has the ability to alter the electro-static properties of anthrax spores in order to allow them to become more easily aerosolized?
MAJOR GENERAL PARKER: Sir, that's beyond my knowledge. I don't know.
Yes, but that is EXACTLY what I said, too.
So, you have added nothing. Are you just agreeing with my analysis?
I thought you had some notion of them ADDING silica, then REMOVING it, then ADDING it back again.
Q: Does that suggest then that there was no additive, there's been nothing in the spores to make them more -- or nothing added to the spores to make them more easily aerosolized?
MAJOR GENERAL PARKER: Complicated question. We do know that we found silica in the samples. Now, we don't know what that motive would be, or why it would be there, or anything. But there is silica in the samples. And that led us to be absolutely sure that there was no aluminum in the sample, because the combination of a silicate, plus aluminum, is sort of the major ingredients of bentonite.
But the significance is -- I don't know what the significance is.
MAJOR GENERAL PARKER: May I repeat what I said? The Daschle sample is very fine and powdery. It appears that -- and I'm talking gross, looking at the specimen grossly, not under the microscope. The New York Post sample is very granular, by comparison. And when you look at the two samples under the microscope, the Daschle sample is very pure and densely compact with spores. And so is the New York Post sample, but not quite as dense -- I'm talking magnitudes of, you know, times 10 difference, maybe, between the density of the two samples. Both samples are densely populated with anthrax spores.
Incredible that he actually wrote a book centered around the goop, paid thousands of dollars for copies today gathering dust in his garage, and now he says he was never interested in the goop in the first place.
Also the fact that he seems to be now terrified that another party showed Meselson the goop pictures speaks volumes. The red font will get bigger and redder :))))
That’s super if you understand this. There was more silica in the media anthrax than the Senator anthrax. Source: someone who saw the AFIP reports on both. Now we can move on. There is more than one method to remove the excess silica but repeated centrifugation serves nicely. For 5 years, you argued that silica served no purpose in weaponizing anthrax used in aerosols (when not used in a bomb) which was seriously and fundamentally confused. It would be silly for someone to pay attention to your discussion of silica given you were as confused as one could possibly be all this time.
Just more distortion of the facts.
I only mention the "goop" briefly in one chapter, and then just to show it was meaningless. And nothing has changed.
If you can't say something without distorting the facts, that just shows that you have nothing to say.
That's a total lie, of course.
I've always said that they ADDED silica to weaponized anthrax to keep it from clumping.
And I've always said that silica was NOT added to the attack anthrax. The silicon and oxygen was lab contamination. Nothing has changed about that.
If you have to distort the facts and lie to make a point, it just proves you have no point to make.
You are distorting things again.
I wrote: Don't you get tired of distorting the same facts over and over
General Parker said they found silica, but he ALSO said:
we don't know that they're additives, we don't know what they are, and we're continuing to do research to find out what they possible could be. They're unknowns to us at this present time.
It is a distortion of the FACTS to say that Parker said there was silica in the anthrax without also mentioning that he didn't know that it was an additive, he didn't know exactly what it was or why it was there.
You distort the facts by using only words that make him seem certain, while the context shows he is totally UNCERTAIN about what they'd found.
AFIP stated in very plain English that the silica Parker announced the presence of was a key aerosol enabling component of the Daschle anthrax.
The AFIP lab deputy director, Florabel Mullick, said “This [silica] was a key component. Silica prevents the anthrax from aggregating, making it easier to aerosolize.
You do remember forwarding a private email that morning to Meselson preceeded by - “I think that’s the last of it Matthew” - right?
Ayman has a new video.
As-Sahab Media:: Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri - On the Anniversary of the Gaza Blockade June 4, 2008
The FBI Counterterrorism Division sent out a warning to law enforcement in August 2001 that Al Qaeda or related groups might attack on an anniversary date.
NLETS MESSAGE (ALL REGIONS)
A MESSAGE FROM FBI COUNTERTERRORISM DIVISION, WASHINGTON, D.C.
AT THIS TIME, THE FBI DOES NOT POSSESS ANY SPECIFIC INFORMATION INDICATING THAT INDIVIDUALS SYMPATHETIC TO THE EAST AFRICA BOMBERS OR USAMA BIN LADEN ARE PLANNING AN ATTACK TO COINCIDE WITH THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBINGS. HOWEVER, IN RECENT WEEKS, THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAS BEEN TRACKING AN INCREASED VOLUME OF THREAT REPORTING EMANATING FROM GROUPS ALIGNED WITH OR SYMPATHETIC TO USAMA BIN LADEN. THE MAJORITY OF THIS REPORTING INDICATES A POTENTIAL FOR ATTACKS AGAINST U.S. TARGETS ABROAD; HOWEVER, THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ATTACK IN THE UNITED STATES CANNOT BE DISCOUNTED.
CONCLUSION: RECIPIENTS ARE BEING NOTIFIED AT THIS TIME BECAUSE THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY CONSIDERS ANNIVERSARY DATES AS A KEY THREAT INDICATOR. ALTHOUGH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY PERSONNEL ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO EXCLUSIVELY RELY ON SUCH DATES TO ‘PREDICT’ ACTS OF TERRORISM, ANNIVERSARY DATES CERTAINLY WARRANT INCREASED ATTENTION IN ROUTINE SECURITY PLANNING.
RECIPIENTS WHO RECEIVE OR DEVELOP ANY INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS MATTER SHOULD CONTACT THEIR LOCAL FBI OFFICE OR FBI HEADQUARTERS IMMEDIATELY.
Anthrax was sent on the date of the Camp David Accord and the related Sadat assassination (Armed Forces Day).Expert Michael Scheuer, formerly with the CIA, has said that Al Qaeda does not plan attacks around important dates, so far as the CIA can glean. But take Ayman at his word when he says he at least plans some of his messages around anniversaries, as he and Islambouli did by sending Zawahiri issued messages in 2004 on the third anniversary of 9/11 and then in 2005 on the third anniversary of the transfer of prisoners to Guantanamo. He said: “These days we are marking three years since the transportation of the first group of Muslim prisoners was sent to the Guantanamo prison. “ The Vanguards of Conquest did the same thing in the late 1990s. Just as Zawahiri’s thinking on weaponizing anthrax was gaining traction in emails to Atef in the Spring of 1999, the Vanguards invoked an anniversary relating to the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty and issued a statement marking its 20th anniversary. The group said at the time it was reiterating its enmity toward the US and Israel to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the treaty in March 1979. Signed on March 26, 1979, the Egypt-Israel peace treaty was a direct result of the Camp David Peace Accords, signed in September 1978.
The first round of letters was sent to ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Post, and the publisher of the National Enquirer and Sun. Letters were sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy in a second batch, using a much more highly refined product. The mailing dates were of special importance to the man in its December 4, 1998 PDB that the CIA told President Clinton was planning the attack the US using aircraft and other means — Mohammed Islambouli, the brother of Sadat’s assassin. The letters to the news organizations were mailed — coincidentally or not — on September 17 or September 18, either the day the Camp David Accord was signed in 1978 or the next day when it was approved by the Israeli knesset. Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik, in the early 1980s, said: “We reject Camp David and we regret the normalization of relations with Israel. We also reject all the commitments that were made by the traitor Sadat, who deviated from Islam.” He continued: “As long as the Camp David Agreement stands, this conflict between us and the government will continue.”
At the time of the anthrax mailings, Sadat’s assassination and the Camp David Accord still dominated Zawahiri’s thinking. In Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet, Al-Zawahiri argued in the Fall of 2001 that the Camp David Accord sought to turn Sinai into a disarmed area to serve as a buffer zone between Egypt and Israel. He cites the peace treaty between the two countries, particularly issues related to the armament of the Egyptian Army inside Sinai. He claims that Egypt has restored Sinai formally but it remains in the hands of Israel militarily. Al-Zawahiri cites many examples about the US flagrant support for Israel, including the US pressure on Egypt to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at a time when Israel publicly declares that it will not sign the treaty because of its special circumstances.
Despite this, Zawahiri says, the United States sympathizes with Israel and overlooks its actions. This means that the United States has deliberately left the nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel to threaten its Arab neighbors. Al-Zawahiri argues in his book that the western states have considered Israel’s presence in the region a basic guarantee for serving the Western interests.
The Wall Street Journal explained in August 2002: “Oct. 8 last year was Columbus Day, a public holiday on which mail wasn’t collected from letter boxes. That may mean the letters could have been posted as early as the Saturday before.” Taking into account the fact that there was no mail postmarked with a Trenton postmark on Columbus Day, October 8, the letter to Senator Tom Daschle postmarked October 9 may actually have been mailed October 6. (The FBI, of course, may know the date it was mailed based on information that has not been disclosed.) (Some press reports, however, suggest that they are considering that the mailing may have been at anytime during the October 6-October 9 period). October 6 was the day Anwar Sadat was assassinated for his role in the Camp David Accord. President Sadat was assassinated on the national holiday called “Armed Forces Day.” He was killed during an annual holiday parade which marks the day, October 6, 1973, that Egypt made a critical successful surprise attack on Israel during the 1973 war.
”Death to Pharaoh!” the young Army officer shouted. He and his confederates jumped off the truck shot into the reviewing stand where Sadat had been watching the annual parade. “I killed the Pharaoh, and I do not fear death.” Sadat’s detention of Muhammad Shawqi al-Islambouli had spurred his brother, Khalid, to seize an opportunity presented on short notice to assassinate Anwar Sadat. Kamal Habib, founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and writer for the IANA quarterly magazine, who spent 10 years in prison in connection with the assassination, told academic Fawaz Gerges: “It was not a well-coordinated operation, and it succeeded by a miracle.” A street was named after Khalid Islambouli in Iran, with Iran having been upset at Egypt for granting the Shah safe haven. After leaving Egypt in the mid-1980s, Muhammad Islambouli operated in Pakistan recruiting Egyptian fighters for the war in Afghanistan, and headed a branch of Bin Laden’s Maktab al-Khidmat (Bureau of Services’) in Peshawar. Muhammad Islambouli was the subject of the December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief — numerous motorcycles and related vehicles, complete with helicopter hovering overhead — titled “Bin Ladin Preparing to Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks” explaining that Bin Laden planned an attack on the US involving airplanes and that the motivation was to free the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman and a dissident Saudi sheik.
US Postal employee Ahmed Sattar, in a 1999 interview, said of Sadat’s assassination: “ I felt good. It was a shock to me at first because I never expected the pharaoh to be assassinated in front of his army. Sure, the pharaoh, yes. And but really, after absorbing the shock, I said, “Well, that was well done.”
The aide to blind sheik Abdel-Rahman explained: “What the Western mentality does not understand that your measurement is different — your measurement of good and bad. Yes, President Sadat was a media star as what you said. Civilized, smoking a pipe, always referred to Barbara Walters as “my friend Barbara,” and “my friend Carter” — they were all his friends. But what did he do to the normal man in the slums of Cairo or in upper Egypt? He deceived them. When he signed the peace treaty with Israel, he promised, “This will be the end of suffering. Things will change dramatically for the Egyptian people.” He promised democracy, freedom, and people believed him.”
In his Fall 2001 Knights Under the Banner of the Prophet, Zawahiri explained that the US support for Israel (at Egypt’s expense) was well-illustrated by the historic 33-day airlift to Israel after this October 6 attack. He argues that the US support for Israel made the difference between success or failure for Egypt. Al-Zawahiri describes how the United States shipped weapons, ammunition, and tanks to Israel for 33 days, with the goal being to compensate Israel for its war losses and to swiftly upgrade the combat capabilities.
He explained in his Fall 2001 book: “The animosity to Israel and America in the hearts of islamists is indivisible. It is an animosity that has provided the ‘al-Qa’dia’ and the epic of jihad in Afghanistan with a continuous flow of ‘Arab Afghans.’” Regarding the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, Zawahiri adds: “Whoever examines the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will realize that it was intended to be a permanent treaty from which Egypt could not break loose. It was concluded in an attempt to establish on the ground, by force and coercion, a situation whereby it would be difficult to change by any government hostile to Israel that comes after Al-Sadat.” The militants were especially angry that Sadat had not fully implemented shariah law.
Complicating consideration of the issue somewhere, on October 5, 2001, the shura member of EIJ and former head of Bin Laden’s farm in the Sudan, Mahjoub, had his bail denied on October 5. Mahmoud Mahjoub was second in command of the Vanguards of Conquest. A letter containing nonpathogenic bacteria had been sent in late January 2001 threatening use of mailed anthrax to the immigration minister signing his security certificate. Mahjoub was bin Laden’s farm manager in Sudan — al-Hawsawi, KSM’s assistant with the anthrax spraydrying documents on his laptop, kept the books.
The CIA and FBI analysts should have pored over translations of the journal Al-Manar Jadeed published by the Ann Arbor-based Islamic Assembly of North America from 1998 - 2002 by writers based in Cairo. It mainly concerned Egyptian politics and planned the strategy based on all that had ever gone on before. There was a change in tone between the first piece by Gamal Sultan and the second installment. The first (before his letter to Abdel-Rahman) urged a pluralistic tolerant approach to differing views while the second issue (after his letter to Abdel-Rahman) contained his piece that seems to have resorted to the familiar intransigent neo-Salafist view. Analysts should pay special heed to the terms dar al-harb (abode of war), dar al-salam (bode of peace) and dar al-ahd (abode of the treaty). The religious doctrines were applied to the relationships between Islamic and non-Islamic countries. What the liberal and leftist antiwar activists who have rallied to support IANA defendants do not realize is that the central belief of these Salafists is that Israel must be destroyed and there can be no peace with Israel. The Camp David Accords are central to the beef they have with the US. The neo-Salafists are not at all peace-loving. It’s just that the public relations debacle of the reckless invasion of Iraq played right into Bin Ladens hands.
The 2005 bombing in Egypt at a Sinai resort was on July 23, which is Revolution Day, a national holiday in Egypt celebrating the Egyptian revolution. It commemorates the 1952 overthrow of King Farouk’s monarchy, led by Gamal Abdel Nassar. Perhaps a holiday weekend was chosen in order to maximize the number of casualties. The bombing last year at Taba resort in Egypt was on October 7.
In a September 2006 video, upon the 5 year anniversary of 9/11, Zawahiri explained:
“Among the most prominent of these conspirators are the rulers of Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan and the traitors in Iraq who shade themselves with the cross of America, the Great Satan. [For these regimes, the “slogan ‘ death to America, death to Israel’ has gone to be replaced by ‘rule from America and peace with Israel.’ “
Al Al-Timimi arranged to have a letter from Bin Laden’s sheik hand-delivered to every member of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax letters to the Senators. The message he really was sending was a reminder: “We have this anthrax.”
Below is an interview of his lawyers in the Albany imam case. The defense lawyer explains that you have to look at the broader ranger of prosecutions to see the pattern.
Al-Timimi’s friend, the Syracuse doctor, gave money each year to the group renamed Ansar. This Albany imam was connected to Ansar. Mullah Krekar, according to the diary excerpts in the sentencing memo (if I am recallling correctly) wanted the Syracuse doctor to set up a center here. The diary indicates the Albany imam in 1999 wanted to bring the fight here.
So when you hear that Al-Timimi is the celebrated speaker of IANA and that the Syracuse mosque president was asked to set up a center for Mullah Krekar in the US, you can see the possible reason for the government’s aggressive stance. Ansar al-Islam was set up by four senior EIJ leaders in the Fall of 2001 out of an amalgamation of Salafi groups. One of the four was Taha, the blind sheik’s successor. Ayman Zawahiri had sent Taha and the others.
In the Yassin Aref case in Albany, prosecutors relied on classified evidence. As in Al-Timimi’s case until recently, even though the defense counsel had the relevant security clearance, he was not allowed to see it. That case involved a sting operation involving money laundering relating to the purchase of a stinger missile.
Questioning from the bench on appeal suggests there is a possibility that it will be reversed as to one defendant pizza parlor owner on the grounds of entrapment, possibly requiring a new trial. In the event of a new trial, it is worth considering whether the federal district court in the Northern District of New York would now be persuaded by Judge Brinkema’s ruling in the Al-Timimi case.
I thought the Aref case was sympathetic in that imam Aref did not understand english well and was just serving in the role of a notary under islamic law. Even the other defendant, a pizza store owner, was focused on making $5,000 to renovate his business. But in the government’s sentencing memo, as I recall it, there were some pretty stark things from the Albany imam’s diary about his support for bringing the jihad to America. Separately a letter was seized that sought the Syracuse doctor’s help in establishing a center here for Mullah Krekar in association with Al-Timimi’s friend Dhafir in Syracuse.
The Albany imam has a book. The book is about his life as a Kurd and his struggle for justice. Here is an article giving the view of supporters.
While it is easy to fault the Administration, they did not have an easy job of sorting things out. Ansar al Islam allegedly was penetrated at the senior level by Iraqi intelligene by a fellow named Wael. Michael Scheuer has claimed in a television interview that it is a certainty that Ansar was experimenting with both ricin and anthrax. Al-Timimi’s father worked for the Iraqi embassy. It will be interesting to see what more we learn from the prosecutions and appeals moving forward this year.
I admire the work that the supporters of the defendants in these prosecutions do. But I would be more likely to be swayed if someone addressed the entries in the diary. I am not up to speed on the details of the case and don’t have the URL handy for the sentencing memo which was uploaded. But from the linked article and interview, I don’t see that the supporters have addressed this issue. That issue, which might not go to the legal errors raised, bears on the equities.
The Gitmo (September?) trial line-up:
KSM head of the cell planning follow-up anthrax and dirty bomb attacks
Ramzi bin al-Shibh said by Tenet in passing to have had a CBRN role but unclear what role would have been. He used the Jenny code with Atta.
Walid bin Attash at the January 2000 meeting in Kuala Lumpur at anthrax lab tech’s Yazid Sufaat’s condo. Would be trusted to have a key operational role.
Ali Abd al- Aziz Ali (al-Balucchi), Mohammed’s nephew and alleged deputy - married Aafia who AUSA who said would participate in anthrax attack if asked; successor to KSM upon KSM’s arrest, al-Balucchi was arrested after meeting with chemistry professor
Mustafa Ahmed al- Hawsawi - KSM’s assistant; anthrax spraying documents were on his laptop; docs on laptop included info re Yemeni cell members
The proceedings will be on a 20-second delay in order to prevent any classified information from being disclosed. The arraignment seems to have been quite relaxed, with the defendants chatting between themselves and KSM acting very poised, telling the presiding officer saying he’s been looking forward to getting the death penalty. KSM will act as his own counsel.
A key fact is that of the exosporium, which is a loose-fitting protein envelope surrounding about 7-10 spore coats that overlay the cortex, had traces of silica. Calling on two of the same key cast members in his New York Times best-seller Hot Zone, the scientists who first identified the virus Ebola Reston, Richard Preston in 2002 provided a riveting account of Ft. Detrick’s initial microscopic examination of the mailed anthrax in Demon in the Freezer. The account was excerpted in The Sunday Times.
The exosporium is the spore’s outermost layer. The silica was not dispersed inside of the B. anthracis spore coats and cortex under the exosporium. Ari Fleischer discusses the silica in the anthrax in his book Taking Heat. He reports that he had argued at length with ABC News over its story that the additive was bentonite (which arguably was characteristic of the Iraq program). He explained that from the start he had told ABC that it was silica, not bentonite, that had been detected. The suggestion that AFIP experts did not know the difference between silica and silcon is not well founded, and the scientist who performed the EDX specifically told the journalist that oxygen was also detected in ratios consistent with silicon dioxide. In a broadcast to be aired in October 2008 produced by a producer from New York City, Professor Meselson after making his claim about silicon, is shown the EDX provided by the AFIP for silica. Professor Meselson’s response is his standard perfectly reasonable suggestion that the AFIP should produce all their findings. Their unpublished reports include those relating to the detection of silica in the media sample (as well as the Senate sample).
A PhD student supervised by Matthias Frank, a big star at Livermore in developing the biosensor, addressed these issues in 2004. Lawrence Livermore lab was tasked with combating the Bin Laden anthrax threat in 1998 and is steeped in biodetection, the subject of the PhD thesis. LLNL researchers have developed advanced technologies to rapidly detect the airborne release of biological threat agents. The student cites Gary Matsumoto’s Science article and says:
“In the case of anthrax, it is known that Van der Waals forces cause unprocessed spores to clump together. Large particles are not deposited efficiently in human lungs and also settle rapidly from the air. Both are undesirable properties if maximal lethality is desired. Silica powers and nanoparticles have long been used to prevent agent particles from coming close enough together for Van der Waals forces to become significant.” *** Military scientists have stated that the ‘weaponized’ anthrax letters sent to Senator Daschle’s office contained silica. In the Senate anthrax letter, there is also evidence that the bond between the silica nanoparticles and spores was further enhanced by the use of sol-gel or polymerized glass. Richard Spertzel last year said this information about the polyglass binder came from the FBI. Some believe that the spores may have even been electrostatically charged to aid their dispersal. Dr. Spertzel says that some inside the investigation say that a light charge was added. At any rate, the end result of the processing was a powder far more potent than a simple combination of anthrax spores, cells and residual growth medium.
Former Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and Harvard biologist Matthew Meselson, have opined that there was no special silica coating observable in the Scanning Electron Microscope (”SEM”) images they saw. The presence of any silica, Drs. Meselson and Alibek say, may have come from the environment because of the special tendency of anthrax spore coats to attract silicon. (The lead FBI scientist Dwight Adams relied on the study provided the FBI by Meselson in briefing the Congress in November 2002.) Indeed, the silica may have been in the culture medium and then removed as described by a mid-March 2001 and related patent filed by researchers at Dr. Alibek’s Center for Biodefense at GMU. Dr. Alibek reports that, like Dr. William Patrick, he was also given a polygraph.
A scientist from the FBI Laboratory, Dr. Doug Beecher, in a July 2006 issue of “Applied and Environmental Microbiology” provided me a copy of his article that reports that:
“a widely circulated misconception is that the spores were produced using additives and sophisticated engineering supposedly akin to military weapon production. The issue is usually the basis for implying that the powders were inordinately dangerous compared to spores alone. The persistent credence given to this impression fosters erroneous preconceptions, which may misguide research and preparedness efforts and generally detract from the magnitude of hazards posed by simple spore preparations.”
The generally worded passage mere confirms Dr. Alibek’s point that a sophisticated product can result from a relatively simple method.
Harvard University Matthew Meselson reviewed the language in the FBI scientist’s article before publication. “The statement should have had a reference,” editor-in-chief of the microbiology journal told a trade periodical. “An unsupported sentence being cited as fact is uncomfortable to me. Any statement in a scientific article should be supported by a reference or by documentation.” The two passages, footnoted or not, essentially said what Dr. Alibek had been saying: “’[J]ust because you have a sophisticated product doesn’t mean the technique has to be sophisticated.’ “ Silica in the culture medium would not be a sophisticated “additive” but would permit the agent to be concentrated.
In a Letter to the Editor in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Aug. 2007, p. 5074, titled Unsupported Conclusions on the Bacillus anthracis Spores, Kay A. Mereish, at the United Nations, reports:
In a meeting I attended in September 2006, a presentation was made by a scientist who had worked on samples of anthrax collected from letters involved in the [anthrax letters] incident in October 2001; that scientist described the anthrax spore as uncoated but said it contained an additive that affected the spores electrical charges. (D. Small, CBRN Counter-Proliferation and Response, Paris, France, 18-20 September 2006; organized by SMi [www.smi-online.co.uk)
Dr. Mereish tells me that her letter to the editor was not intended to agree or disagree with the FBI scientist. She merely notes that his two sentences that related to this issue of additive were not supported by the scientific experiment and data that he published. She relies on Dr. Small who made her statement based on her scientific research finding in connection with her work on the anthrax samples. Dr. Mereish’s letter, however, is another example where the use of “electrical charges” scientists as Dr. Patrick and Dr. Alibek are failing to distinguish between electrostatic charges and Van der Waals forces, thus resulting in some of the confusion in the press reports.
Kathryn Crockett, Ken Alibeks assistant — was just a couple doors down from Ali Al-Timimi — addressed these issues in her 2006 thesis, “A historical analysis of Bacillus anthracis as a biological weapon and its application to the development of nonproliferation and defense strategies.” She expressed her special thanks to Dr. Ken Alibek and Dr. Bill Patrick. Dr. Patrick consulted with the FBI and so the FBI credits his expertise. “I don’t want to appear arrogant. I don’t think anyone knows more about anthrax powder in this country,” William Patrick told an interviewer. Dr. Alibeks access to know-how, regarding anthrax weaponization, similarly, seems beyond reasonable dispute. Dr. Crockett successfully defended the thesis before a panel that included USAMRIID head and Ames strain researcher Charles Bailey, Ali Al-Timimi’s other Department colleague. She says that scientists who analyzed the powder through viewing micrographs or actual contact are divided over the quality of the powder. She cites Gary Matsumotos Science article in summarizing the debate. She says the FBI has vacillated on silica. Regarding the specific issue of weaponization,” Dr. Alibek’s assistant concluded in her PhD thesis, “according to several scientists at USAMRIID who examined the material, the powder created a significant cloud when agitated meaning that the adhesion of the particles had been reduced. Reducing the adhesion of the particles meant that the powder would fly better. She explains that The most common way to reduce electrostatic charge is to add a substance to the mixture, usually a silica based substance.
On the issue of encapsulation, she reports that many experts who examined the powder stated the spores were encapsulated. Encapsulation involves coating bacteria with a polymer which is usually done to protect fragile bacteria from harsh conditions such as extreme heat and pressure that occurs at the time of detonation (if in a bomb), as well as from moisture and ultraviolet light. The process was not originally developed for biological weapons purposes but rather to improve the delivery of various drugs to target organs or systems before they were destroyed by enzymes in the circulatory system” (citing Alibek and Crockett, 2005). “The US and Soviet Union, however, “ she explains, “used this technique in their biological weapons programs for pathogens that were not stable in aerosol form... Since spores have hardy shells that provide the same protection as encapsulation would, there is no need to cover them with a polymer. She explains that one possible explanation is that the spore was in fact encapsulated but not for protective purpose. Encapsulation also reduces the need for milling when producing a dry formulation.” By reducing the need for milling, she means permits greater concentration of the biological agent. If the perpetrator was knowledgeable of the use of encapsulation for this purpose, then he or she may have employed it because sophisticated equipment was not at his disposal.”
One military scientist who has made anthrax simulants described the GMU patents to me as relating to an encapsulation technique which serves to increase the viability of a wide range of pathogens. More broadly, a DIA analyst once commented to me that the internal debate seemed relatively inconsequential given the circumstantial evidence — overlooked by so many people — that US-based supporters of Al Qaeda are responsible for the mailings.
Biological institute head suspected of advising foreign companies
By Yossi Melman, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 04:58 07/01/2007
working link (from cache)
“Pathogenesis by aerosol” at page 65-79.
“Bacillus anthracis and the pathogenesis of anthrax” at page 79-99.
“Genomic efforts with biodefense pathogens” at page 417-435.
“Genetic fingerprinting of biodefense pathogens for epidemiology and forensic investigation” at page 453-481.
In the Al-Timimi case, did they delete references to anthrax?
White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, Al-Timimi’s old boss at the DOT, met on July 5, 2001 to meet with Dick Clarke and Condi Rice to discuss the threat reported in the July 2, 2001 NLETS. Andy didn’t mention to Condi and Richard “Golly, a microbiologist I know now is working in the building with the famous Russian defector Alibek and former deputy commander of USAMRIID. Given the intel reporting about the anthrax threat, maybe we should drop a wiretap on him.”
Or did he?
We may never know because of redactions. How often is CYA addressed within the beltway under the name “national security”? How long are we going to let the Administration get away with it even 7 years after the fact? If I were the Administration, I would want to address various sensitive issues before the November election so that they can be put in context.
UNCLASSIFIED REVISED ORDER GRANTING THE GOVERNMENTS
MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER PURSUANT TO CIPA
This matter having come before the Court upon an ex parte, in camera motion by the United States for a protective order pursuant to the Classified Information Procedures Act 18 U.S.C. App. 3, § 4, which was filed under seal, and based upon the pleadings filed in connection therewith, and for good cause shown,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion by the United States for a Protective Order is GRANTED. In lieu of disclosure to defense counsel of the status report that was filed by the government ex parte and in camera on May 14, 2008, the United States may substitute the attachment to the Governments Motion for a Protective Order, captioned GOVERNMENTS REVISED CLASSIFIED STATUS REPORT REGARDING COMPLETION OF SEARCH FOR DISCOVERABLE MATERIALS, for the Court Security Officer to provide to cleared defense counsel.
The status report that was filed by the government on May 14, 2008 contained no information not contained in the GOVERNMENTS REVISED CLASSIFIED STATUS REPORT REGARDING COMPLETION OF SEARCH FOR DISCOVERABLE MATERIALS that was either relevant and helpful to the defendant, or essential to a fair determination of this case, or that need be disclosed to defense counsel by the United States.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, in accordance with 18 U.S.C. App. 3, § 4, that the entire text of the motion of the United States for this Order shall remain sealed, shall not be disclosed to the defendant or his counsel, and shall be preserved in the records of the Court under seal to be made available to higher courts in the event of an appeal.
SO ENTERED, this 28th day of May, 2008.
“Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-use
Dilemma in the Biological Sciences”
1 December 2007
What is the Dual-use Dilemma?
The so-called “dual-use dilemma” arises in the context of research in the biological and other sciences as a consequence of the fact that one and the same piece of scientific research sometimes has the potential to be used for harm as well as for good.
[T]he dilemma arises for the researcher because of the potential
actions of others. Malevolent non-researchers might steal dangerous biological agents produced by the researcher; alternatively, other researchers or at least their governments or leadership might use the results of the original researcher’s work for malevolent purposes. The malevolent purposes in question include bioterrorism, biowarfare and blackmail for financial gain.
Further, there have been a number of acts, or attempted acts, of bioterrorism,
notably by the Aum Shinrikyo in Japan (they attempted to acquire and use anthrax and botulinum toxin), Al-Qaeda (they attempted to acquire and use anthrax) and the so-called Amerithrax attacks (involving the actual use of anthrax).
In the aftermath of the 11th September 2001 attacks in the US, bioterrorism is widely considered to be a real threat, especially to populations in western countries. Moreover, it is seen as a greater threat from non-state terrorist groups than, say, nuclear WMDs, given the availability of the materials and technical knowledge necessary to produce the relevant biological agents and the feasibility of weaponisation. This is not to say that there are not obstacles for would-be bioterrorists, including the dangers to themselves in handling pathogens. But it is to say that there is a non-negligible bioterrorist threat, and it is likely to increase rather than decrease.
Experiments of Concern
Enable the Evasion of Diagnosis and/or Detection by Established Methods
Microencapsulation of pathogen particles would be one way of avoiding
antibody-based detection, although this technique has no analogue in nature. As such, microencapsulation would only be carried out for an offensive BW purpose (such as delivery of a pathogen to the lower intestine) or to investigate the requirements for protection against such a threat.
Project Jefferson. In September 2001 the New York Times revealed the existence of a classified US biodefence project (Project Jefferson) which, in early 2001, involved the production of a vaccine-resistant strain of anthrax bacteria . The purpose was to reproduce results of Russian research published by Vaccine in 1997.
The researchers inserted genes from B cereus into B anthracis and showed that the engineered bacteria were highly lethal against hamsters, even when they had been inoculated with Russia’s standard anthrax vaccine [44, 142]. The US officials involved in Project Jefferson were reportedly mindful of the BWC and the need for protective intent. Accordingly, the project was to produce only small quantities — one gram or less — of the modified anthrax [85, p. 309]. Though the Soviets allegedly had the capacity to produce 4,500 metric tons of anthrax yearly [85, p.
254], strictly speaking even one gram of anthrax is a large quantity, capable of infecting thousands of people if a suitable dried spore preparation is made.
When Project Jefferson produced a vaccine-resistant, genetically modified
biological agent, it was only verifying something that had already turned up in the scientific literature. It is a different matter to produce modified pathogens that no one, potential adversary or otherwise, has ever created.
Enable the Weaponization of a Biological Agent or Toxin
Experiments of this kind test the bounds of permissibility most severely.
Weaponized agents do not exist in nature, and so (absent the threat of biological weapons attack) there is no ongoing public health imperative for protective mechanisms as there is against a naturally occurring infectious disease threat.
The Dual-use Dilemma Understanding weaponization processes may facilitate the development of protections against a potential BW perpetrator (including a nationstate contemplating a terrorist attack on civilians). Our focus here will be on the weaponisation of biological agents by nation-states, as opposed to the processes for delivery of biological agents that might be used by non-state actors contemplating a terrorist attack. (We do not thereby mean to imply that the threat assessment in relation to the latter is not important; clearly it is of enormous importance.)
Weaponization for “threat assessment” purposes is likely to be interpreted by
outsiders as simply the production of BW, thus endangering the norm against their production, driving a biological arms race, and making biological attacks more likely.
Examples Project Clear Vision. In September 2001, the New York Times revealed the existence of a classified US biodefence project (Project Clear Vision) which, from 1997 to 2000, involved building and testing a Soviet-model bomblet for dispersing bacteria . This involved tests of bacteria bomblets, built according to a Soviet design, and conducted by Battelle, a military contractor in Columbus, Ohio. The bomblets were reportedly filled with simulant pathogens and tested for their dissemination characteristics and performance under different atmospheric conditions. Experiments in a wind tunnel revealed how the bomblets, after being released from a warhead, would fall on targets [85, p. 295]. Before the testing took place, some US government legal experts had argued the experiments were not a
breach of the BWC provided they were not intended for offensive purposes. Other officials argued that a weapon was, by definition, meant to inflict harm and therefore crossed the boundary into offensive work: “A bomb was a bomb was a bomb”.2
Aerosolization. Small-scale aerosolization technology may be useful for administering individual doses of inhaled vaccine or antiviral therapy (such as ribavirin) to humans, and larger-scale aerosolization could be used for mass-vaccination of animals —for example, in the poultry industry. It is hard to imagine large-scale aerosolization being therapeutically useful for humans, although such technology would certainly have enormous value for the purpose of delivering BW agents. Such technology might also be developed and tested for protective purposes. One of the principal aims of the NIAID Biodefense Research Agenda, for example, is to ensure adequate numbers of BSL-3 [Biosafety Level Three] facilities with aerosol challenge capacity. [161, p. 8].
NBACC. The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center
(NBACC), due to be completed in 2008, is intended to provide the United States with high-containment laboratory space for biological threat characterization and bioforensic research. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, NBACC will form part of the National Interagency Biodefense Campus at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Its programs will investigate the infectious properties of biological agents, the effectiveness of countermeasures, decontamination procedures, and forensic analysis. Part of NBACC is the Biological Threat Characterization Center, which will conduct laboratory experiments aimed at investigating current and future biological threats. The Center will also assess vulnerabilities, conduct risk assessments, and determine potential impacts in order to guide the development of countermeasures such as detectors, vaccines, drugs, and decontamination technologies .
Many of the activities to be undertaken by NBACC could readily be interpreted
by outsiders as the development of BW under the guise of threat assessment. In particular, weaponization projects and the construction of novel (not previously existing) pathogens arguably constitute impermissible research. In a February 2004 presentation, George Korch, Deputy Director of NBACC, revealed that one of its research units intended to pursue a range of topics including “aerosol dynamics”, “novel packaging”, “novel delivery of threat”, “genetic engineering”, and “red teaming.” At one point in his presentation, Korch summarized the threat assessment task areas as: Acquire, Grow, Modify, Store, Stabilize, Package, Disperse [38, 115, 117]. Such language is identical to that which would describe the functions of an offensive BW program.
Ashraf Ali, sender of October 2001 white powder hoax letters to jewish organizations and a media organization in the UK saying All Jews Die, World Trade Centre and Pentagon pleads guilty.
Ashraf Ali was caught six years later when forensic experts matched his DNA to samples found on the letters.
He had included pictures and annotated them.
Each year, for the past decade, there have been many hundreds of hoax letters. In November 2001 (as I recall) there was a letter to Senator Daschle. Proponents of a Hatfill Theory thought a letter from England while Hatfill was at a conference there in November dovetailed nicely with a Hatfill theory. But why, after sending the real thing, would he then send a hoax letter from a country where he had just quite publicly traveled? While the relevance of that November hoax letter would depend on the details (which have not been disclosed), in broad outline it did not fit a Hatfill Theory. He would have had no reason to draw attention to himself in that way.
From The Sunday Times
January 2, 2005
Al-Qaeda seeks toxins for biowarfare attack
Other US officials suspect Bin Laden may be planting his acolytes in university science departments in the same way that he sent the September 11 hijackers to US flying schools.
“This is a guy who thinks long-term,” said one senior Washington source. “We have to learn to think like him.”
Suspicion that Bin Laden is increasingly focusing on WMD was heightened by reports last October that he had sought permission from a well-known Saudi Arabian theologian for an attack that would cause mass American casualties.
Bin Ladens approach is said to have resulted in the publication of a religious decree entitled Rules for the use of WMD against the infidels. It was issued by Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Fahd, who is currently under arrest in Riyadh.
Not all scientists believe a group such as Al-Qaeda will ever master biowarfare technologies. The main fear is that a rogue scientist may be prepared to sell his expertise.
The people that I worry about are the lone operators, the scientist who is disgruntled, deranged or just bought off, said Raymond Zilinskas, a Pentagon biowarfare consultant at the California-based Centre for Non-proliferation Studies.
The probability of you or I dying from a terrorist bioweapon is smaller than our being eaten by a shark, but that is not to say we shouldnt worry about it.