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
click here to read article
I’m not sure I know how to respond to that - it’s too convulted for me to get my brain around.
I will say that the known arrests and prosecutions we’ve seen so far concerning ricin in London appear to be totally overzealous prosecutions - basically middle-easterners get charged for having a jar of castor beans. Yes, they detected tiny amounts of ricin - but you can detect that from a jar of castor beans in any store.
So you then have to ask - if the authorites make headline anouncements for jars of castor beans - why not proudly announce they arrested someone for anthrax with equally dubious evidence - I mean the bar is obviously pretty low for making these announcements.
Let me explain the New Brunswick, NJ and the CT ISP connection to the Al Qaeda website.
Azzam.com posted an exclusive interview with Ayman al-Zawahiri and stressed the importance of cash donations and gas masks and chemical-resistant suits. Ibn Khattab, the Arab Chechnyan fighter who was Bin Laden’s good friend, had told his public that azzam.com was highly recommended and that only the two charities identified by the website should be used to route donations — announcing in 2000 that Benevolence International Foundation was one of the charities that should be used. In February 2000, the Quoqaz.net website similarly posted donation links for the two charities, one being BIF. Ibu al-Khattab, the late Arab-Afghan commander of foreign mjuahideen in Chechnya (who in March 2002 was killed by a poison letter), expressly endorsed Azzam Publications.
Azzam.org had “no bricks and mortar address, but operates a post office box in London, and bill[ed] itself as “an independent media organisation providing authentic news and information about jihad and the Foreign Mujahideen everywhere”. One posting datelined from the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and was a message to Muslim youth from top terror suspect Bin Laden. A farewell message from Azzam Publications .. exhorts “Muslims all over the World (to) render as much financial, physical, medical, media and moral support to the Taliban as they can.” Azzam also urged those with computer expertise to mirror the website so as to keep it up after authorities took it down. One can access old websites as they existed on past dates through www.archives.org and its wonderful Wayback Machine — except to the extent blocked. Just as the DOJ sought info from an ISP somewhere in the Second Circuit (which includes Conn.), they sought information about a user of the Wayback Machine.
The azzam.com website gave instructions on how to route money to the Taliban. It recommended carrying an official letter of the organization stating that the donation was for “for the suffering people of Afghanistan.” The posted form letter from people in South Arlington, read:
“We would like to introduce our official delegation from the Islamic Centre of South Arlington who are carrying monetary assistance for the suffering people of Afghanistan. The members of this delegation are listed below:
1. Abdullah Muhammad Saeed, American passport Holder
2. Ishaq Mansoor Al-Katib, American passport holder
3. Muhammad Abdur-Rasheed, Canadian Passport Holder
They are carrying a quantity of cash donations which have been collected by the Muslim community of South Arlington and are to help the suffering people of Afghanistan. We request all those to whom it may concern to allow the bearers of this letter to pass freely without let or hindrance and to provide them such assistance or protections as may be necessary.
* * *
Chairman of the Islamic Centre of South Arlington, USA”
A man formerly known as Paul Hall was arrested in Phoenix on a federal criminal complaint in March 2007 and agreed to be removed to District of Connecticut for further prosecution where there has been investigation of Azzam Publications website located on a server there. He is alleged to have provided classified information to the London-based Azzam Publications about a U.S. Navy battle group as it traveled from California to the Persian Gulf region in 2001. He allegedly “described a recent force protection briefing given aboard his ship, voiced enmity toward America, praised Osama bin Laden and the mujahedeen [and] praised the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole.”
On August 6, 2001, the numeric Internet addresses for the domain Qoqaz.net were changed by its administrators to correspond directly with those of another existing domain: Minna.com. Thus, all web visitors to qoqaz.net and minna.com were shown the same identical Qoqaz.net homepage. Minna.com at the time was registered to:
Mokhtar, Mazen (MMZ265) mazen@ABETTERMARKET.COM
Minna International Corporation
216 Bishop Blvd.
North Brunswick , NJ 08902
Although moderate in his posts and lectures, he for a time used the email signature: Hamas has no victims, it only has legitimate targets. In one atypical posting, he wrote that suicide bombing should be encouraged
[b]ecause it’s an effective method of attacking the ennemy [sic] and continuing jihad, which is at the very least a [religious requirement] on the Muslims. Those who commit suicide seek death, but martyrs are not counted as dead, as Allah said above. They seek a greater life for themselves with Allah, and a greater future for Muslims. May Allah support them, bless them and forgive us for not being with them. (April 1996)
In November 2000, an e-mail was sent from an individual to Azzam Publications, stating in part:
On your site there is an article about JOINT U.S./RUSSIAN CHEMICAL ATTACK ON AFGHANISTAN IMMINENT Appeal for donations to the Taliban Government Appeal for gas masks I would like to donate where do I start. Or where do I send a shipment of gas masks to?
Instead of disclaiming ability to direct or assist the donor, a response from an Azzam Publications administrative e-mail account stated, Instructions later this weekend.”
In Fall 2004, the federal authorities indicted the fellow behind Azzam Publications selling “Green Birds,” Babar Ahmad in London, pointing, in part, to the “distribution of videotapes and compact discs depicting fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya and elsewhere, and the eulogizing of dead fighters, for the purpose of recruiting individuals and soliciting donations to support the mujahideen in Afghanistan and Chechnya.” Of Pakistani descent, Ahmad is a British computer specialist. He is associated with KSM, whose assistant had anthrax production documents on his laptop. Ahmad is also the cousin of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested mid-2004 in Pakistan. Khans computers carried detailed surveillance of five financial buildings in New York, Newark and Washington and prompted the Department of Homeland Security to elevate the threat alert level to orange. The surveillance was conducted by al-Hindi and al-Marri, the unlawful combatant.
In an affidavit, an FBI special agent and computer investigative specialist, alleged that a New Brunswick, NJ man, Mazen Mokhtar, assisted Babar in maintaining the continued operation of the Azzam sites, through the use of mirror sites, when the administrators of Azzam sites shut down the Azzam.com site down after 9/11.” The mirror sites, www.qoqaz.net and www.waaqiah.com, allegedly routed people trying to access www.azzam.com. The affidavit alleges that Mr. Mokhtar is listed as the administrative contact for the mirror sites. He also operated minna.com. A friend reports: “He said he used to run a hosting service four or five years ago that used to resell Web hosting services to people. He said he didn’t know those guys (mentioned in court papers) and he is not involved in anything like that.” An Egyptian-born imam and political activist, he is a supporter of Palestinian cause and frequent speaker before groups in Brooklyn and the Bronx. He is said to be nice and seems a man of peace. He gave a couple of thoughtful presentations in the Fall of 2006 that are online on YouTube, to include to the Muslim Students Associationa at Rutgers University.
In an affidavit in support of the indictment of Babar Ahmad, “[t]his same fund raising solicitation and instructions were also posted by a specific individual [the North Brunsick, NJ-based Mazen Mokhtar] who resided in the United States and who served as a U.S.-based administrator for www.qoqaz.net, the mirror site of www.azzam.com, as well as for Azzam Publications sites generally in late 2001.”
The affidavit continued:
“During 2001 that person posted the same solicitation and instruction on another U.S.-based website, www.minna.com, which this individual also operated. Further, a search of this persons residence in New Jersey resulted in the recovery of contact numbers for Azzam Publications in hardcopy and electronic form. Therefore, it is evident that AHMADworked in concert with this individual to maintain the continued operation of the Azzam sites, through the use of mirror sites, when the administrators of Azzam sites shut the Www.azzam.com site down after 9/11. This U.S. individuals participation in the effort to continue the existence of the Azzam website content in another form through the use of mirror sites demonstrates that a concerted effort existed between the administrators of Azzam, including Ahmed, and individuals in the United States and others to further the goals of Azzam, that is, to solicit funds for organizations for which support is prohibited under U.S. law, namely the Taliban and Chechen Mujahideen, in an effort to support their goals.
In addition to the specific fund-raising instructions set forth above, throughout 2000 and 2001, the Azzam Publications websites also instructed that individuals use the hawala system — a record-less financial transaction system — to transfer funds to Pakistan and the Taliban to avoid interception of the funds.”
In late April 2007, Mr. Mokhtar was indicted for failing to file tax returns and filing false tax returns. The Indictment alleges that for the tax years 2003 and 2004, Mokhtar failed to file business tax returns. The Indictment additionally alleges that for the tax years 2000, 2002 and 2003, Mokhtar filed fraudulent personal tax returns in that he failed to state the entire amount of income he received from his business, Mindcraft. He likely will raise selective prosecution as a defense though it is a difficult defense to establish.
In an exhibit introduced at Dr. Al-Timimi’s trial, one jihadist wrote an angry email to a mailing list — upon the December announcement by the Taliban it was surrendering — about the overly rosy picture that the website azzam.com had painted.
“What about Azzam.com? It seems the news from there was not authentic and (much as I hate to say this) we were duped.”
“I have been enraged about the tactics of these brothers for some time now. I’ve expressed my outrage to a number of brothers over the years but it has only contributed to their rumors that I have “sold out.” I had been approached to host their sites when they were in trouble and flatly refused. When I asked on brother why they LIE (yes, LIE) while swearing they swear by Allah it is true, the response I got was “al-Harbu khud’ah” (Hadeeth, “war is deception”). War is deception to the KUFFAAR not to your brothers!!!. I know brothers who are leaving within the next few days who are now scratching their heads in confusion. What do they do with their one way, non-refundable plane tickets now that cost every cent they had placing themselves and their families in great hardship?”
I would also re-look at the below extract from the Science article. Note that it reports Dugway made spores for the FBI - but without silica. The details of the preparation sound identical to the details in the Dugway/CDC new publication. With the exception that they used silica in the new publication.
In December 2002, the FBI decided to test whether a high-grade anthrax powder resembling the one mailed to the Senate could be made on a small budget, and without silica. To do this job, the bureau called upon Army scientists at Dugway Proving Ground, a desolate Army test range in southwestern Utah. By February 2003, the scientists at Dugway had finished their work. According to military sources with firsthand knowledge of this effort, the resulting powder flew like penguins. The experiment had failed. (Penguins cant fly.)
Military sources say that Dugway washed and centrifuged the material four times to create a pure spore preparation, then dried it by solvent extraction and azeotropic distillation a process developed by the U.S. Chemical Corps at Fort Detrick in the late 1950s. It is not a simple method, but someone familiar with it might be able to jury-rig a lab to get the job done. As recently as 1996, Bill Patrick says he taught scientists at Dugway how to do this.
The FBI-Dugway effort produced a coarse powder. The sporessome dried under an infrared lamp and the others airdried stuck together in little cakes, according to military sources, and then were sieved through a fine steel mesh. The resulting powder was placed into test tubes. When FBI officials arrived at Dugway to examine the results, a Dugway scientist shook one of the tubes. Unlike the electrostatically charged Senate anthrax spores that floated freely, the Dugway spores fell to the bottom of the test tube and stayed there. That tells you the particles were too big, says Spertzel. It confirms what Ive been saying all along: To make a good powder, you need an additive.
Meet John Doe.
Let me simplify things.
Al Qaeda had a website.
On the website, they urgently sought donations of gas masks.
The guy endorsing the website was behind Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning.
It’s webmaster lived 6 miles from the mailbox.
The FBI has aggressively prosecuted those associated with Al Qaeda’s website and a prosecution involving a Trumbull, Conn. ISP that mirrored the website is still pending.
Isn’t the President and founder of the ISP George D. in fact single? (such as “John Doe” is according to his essay in the Washington Post).
It would help our discussions if you didn't always distort what I say. If you can't answer without distorting something I've said, that is a clear indicator that you have no real answers.
I never speculated that "clumps of spores are immune to coating with silica." I just paraphrased what was in the Aerosol Science article because I was about to leave to do some chores, and I didn't have time to go back to get the actual words. Here are the actual words:
Figure 7a shows a particle potentially containing a single BG spore; since no uncoated single spores were observed, this suggests that virtually all single spores remained coated with silica. The coating apparently solidified from exposure to water in the air over the years of sample storage and use. However, multiple spores or clumps were found frequently and these were often largely uncoated as indicated in Figure 7b. The reason for the difference in coating adherence to different sized particles is unclear.
Its likely the other way around. If any clumps are found they became clumps BECAUSE the spores were not coated in the first place - uncoated spores, or spores with poor coverage came in contact with each other during later handling - and they clumped up due to van der Waals attraction.
Your beliefs seem totally in conflict with the facts. The facts say the spores were ALL CLUMPED to begin with and had to be milled to break the clumps down to individual spores and clumps smaller than 5-microns or so. Whether the original pellet was hard or soft doesn't change the fact that it was, in effect, a LARGE CLUMP.
In fact - the entire process they used is identical to the Patrick process that has been talked about and is protected by secret patents.
Didn't Patrick's process involve freeze drying and a grinding mill instead of a ball mill?
An ABC article by Gary Matsumoto includes this:
Bill Patrick, a scientist who used to make anthrax weapons for the United States, patented a secret process that involved freeze-drying the spores, milling the resulting anthrax "cake" to yield particles of the proper diameter, then coating them with a special mixture to dampen electrostatic charges that cause clumping. Patrick calls this making the particles "slippery."
The "coating" in the final sentence seems to be the 20% by weight of fumed silica added AFTER milling.
So you're going to go back to posting meaningless crap over and over again? That was ONE TEST. And you endlessly refer to it as if it were the only possible test of the only possible spore powder anyone could ever make without using silica.
Everyone should have known before doing it what the results would be. But it proves absolutely NOTHING about what was in the attack anthrax.
Let me simplify further.
BogeyMen in cave has religious friends who know computers.
One of those religious friends makes friends with infidels and steals germ from them.
Gives to other religious friend who puts germ in mailbox.
Lightening strikes BogeyMen in cave dead.
Mountains of paperwork saves friends of Bogeymen from lightening strike.
What about other types of small particles where van der Waals forces play absolutely NO role at all?
“Your beliefs seem totally in conflict with the facts. The facts say the spores were ALL CLUMPED to begin with and had to be milled to break the clumps down to individual spores and clumps smaller than 5-microns or so.”
No, my argument makes perfect sense. BG spores clump when they are not coated. If they came through the sieve as single uncoated spores (becoming single spores for a short time due to collisions with the ball mill bearings) then these uncoated spores would be the very spores to find each other and clump up. It’s exactly as it should be - all the uncoated spores are in clumps at the end of the day.
If silica were not used at all - then ALL the spores would be in clumps. See pictures from the Texas A&M thesis (page 27). As you can see - uncoated BG spores clump. Coated BG spores, on the other hand, don’t clump. That’s why weaponization involves coating spores, as everyone in the field of BW aerosols knows.
Court of appeals to hear Locy arguments tomorrow
Really? What about particles of gold or aluminum 1 micron in diameter? Do van der Waals forces work on those particles exactly the same way and with the same force as on spores and lactose particles 1 micron in diameter?
I'll be back tomorrow to read your answer.
That depends on the relative Hamaker’s constants. Also it depends on the shape of the particles.
Every material has a Hamaker’s constant - that’s just physics and is absolute.
The target of the Hartford-area library NSL is thought to have used one of these libraries (apparently).
The librarian testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“[T]he letter requested information we had about the use of a specific IP address that was registered to Library Connection, Inc. He also pointed out the letter’s gag order prohibited Library Connection from disclosing to anyone that the FBI was attempting to obtain information from our library business records.”
“The requested information was for use of an IP address five months earlier, on February 15 .”
Thus, one can infer that surveillance indicates that a particular person used a library computer in the Hartford area on February 15, 2005.
The letter just asked about the specific IP address and not a patron by name. But now anyone who knows the FBI is surveilling him (or her) and read the testimony indicating that their interest relates to his or her visit to use the library computer on February 15, 2005, knows of the FBI’s awareness of that computer use.
The DOJ reports that it was surveillance of a New York City library computer that was critical at thwarting an attack (as I recall).
These NSL cases actually can be related to your fear that the silica issue is being obfuscated to cover up the government’s incompetence or worse.
In the two court ACLU challenges, the District Court judges ruled that the NSL’s automatic gag orders violate the First Amendment. One judge explained:
“The self-preservation that ordinarily impels our government to censorship and secrecy may potentially be turned on ourselves as a weapon of self-destruction. A categorical and uncritical extension of non-disclosure may become the cover for spurious ends that government may then deem too inconvenient, inexpedient, merely embarrassing, or even illicit to ever expose to the light of day. At that point, secrecy’s protective shield may serve not as much to secure a safe country as simply to save face.
Similarly, when these cases got up to the court of appeals, one Reagan-appointed judge (who I had the great pleasure of clerking for once), Richard Cardamone, said of the gag orders: “A ban on speech and a shroud of secrecy in perpetuity are antithetical to democratic concepts and do not fit comfortably with the fundamental rights guaranteed American citizens. Unending secrecy of actions taken by government officials may also serve as a cover for possible official misconduct and/or incompetence.” Doe v. Gonzales, 449 F.3d 415, 422 (2d Cir. 2006) (Cardamone, J., concurring).
Amerithrax might be said to illustrate the principle. It took a DC law firm’s willingness to devote services probably valued close to $1 million to obtain discovery that showed that the FBI conducted a totally lame media leak investigation in 2002. If a good faith and effective investigation had been conducted, the same prosecutor (Seikaly) would not then have continued the outrageous hyping of the baseless pond and bloodhound stories associated with Hatfill, derailing a balanced understanding of Amerithrax. The DC FBI Field Office head Van Harp’s unwillingness to provide a waiver of confidentiality destroyed the DOJ’s claim that it was committed to a full and successful investigation. Van Harp should have followed Lambert’s example in 2003 of voluntarily submitting to a polygraph and waiver of confidentiality to any reporter. The FBI has allowed Amerithrax to be an anchor around its neck in terms of the world’s perception of the US — it has allowed conspiracy theories to needlessly proliferate that have damaged the country’s standing in world opinion.
Friday, May 9, 2008 11:00 AM Courtroom 20
Judges Ginsburg, Rogers and Kavanaugh
Steven Hatfill v. Baltimore Sun Company
15 min per side
I’m confused about the caption on the Court’s calendar cut and pasted above.
But in any event, here is the brief on appeal of the federal defendants filed last month.
“Summary of argument.
The only issue addressed by the federal defendants on this
appeal is whether a plaintiff can demonstrate intentional or
willful disclosure of agency records under the Privacy Act
without identifying the government official who allegedly
released such information.
To make out his Privacy Act claim, Hatfill must show that
any alleged disclosures were made willfully or intentionally—a
question that turns on the acts of the specific agency officials
involved. He must likewise show that the information in question
was derived from protected agency records, rather than from
private knowledge, surmise, or other sources independent of such
records. Those inquiries are not possible without knowing the
identity of the agency official who is alleged to have made the
unlawful disclosures. To the extent Locy suggests otherwise,
that contention is mistaken and should be rejected.”
By letter filed April 29, the DOJ advised the court that the federal appellees’ do not plan to present oral argument
It would be great if you obtain or find — and then link on your webpage — the following briefs of those arguing (counsel Hatfill and Locy). Otherwise, I’ll add them to http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com which has avoided the wrangling over the press subpoena issues given that you do such a thorough job of making materials from the dockets available.
Tapes and transcripts won’t be available unless the reporters group pays for the transcript and uploads it. (How archaic! Even the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.. D.C. rather than federal... allows you to watch in real-time. The 7th Circuit, for example, has had arguments online for a few years now.
These are the key briefs:
APPELLANT REPLY BRIEF  filed by Toni Locy [Service Date: 04/18/2008 ]
APPELLEE BRIEF  filed by Steven J. Hatfill [Service Date:04/11/2008 ]
APPELLEE BRIEF  filed by Michael B. Mukasey, et al., [Service Date:04/11/2008 ]
Now, put silica aside, and do what you do so well. Be our docket rocketeer.
FBI is called slow to join the terrorism fight
A Senate committee wonders whether the bureau can transform itself. Gaps in training and vacancies in key positions are among the issues cited.
By Richard B. Schmitt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 9, 2008
Among the Senate committee’s other findings:
* The FBI is still without an effective training program for intelligence analysts despite “revamping” training almost every year since 2002.
* Most intelligence analysts are supervised by special agents who have little or no experience conducting intelligence analyses.
* The bureau has hired just two “senior intelligence officers” two years after getting authority from Congress to fill 24 of the “critical” positions.
* Only a third of special agents and intelligence analysts have access to the Internet at their desktops. FBI personnel lack the ability to store and share images and audio files associated with intelligence investigations.
* A new weapons-of-mass-destruction directorate within the bureau is “poorly positioned to work across FBI programs that are likely to encounter WMD threats and investigations.”
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