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
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“Al Qaeda Plan Biowarfare Attack on Britain,” Global-intel.com, January 19, 2005
“Britain’s intelligence chiefs have launched urgent checks on all foreign students studying chemistry and biology at our universities after a top Pentagon expert warned Osama bin Laden is recruiting scientists to prepare weapons for biowarfare attack.
‘But our prime focus is that bin Laden is focussing on young scientists in university departments in the same way he sent his September 11 hijackers to US flying schools. We have no doubt that he has planted some of those scientists in British campuses,’ said one of [CIA Director’s] Porter Goss’s senior aides.”
“France Calls For Global Watchdog on Bio-Warfare Risk,” Reuters, March 2, 2005
After the head of Interpol weighed in on this issue of a biological attack, France called for a global watchdog on the bio-warfare risk. This article mentions the possibility of an attack targeting livestock. Such an attack would violate the express prohibition under the hadiths of a nonconventional weapon targeting livestock or crops. Salafi-jihadis would not be in the game if they were not able to argue that they were playing by the book. It is Ed who has a bogeyman view of the Salafi-Jihadis not to appreciate the restrictions posed by the absence of a fatwa in 2001 permitting mass casualties using a poison.
Most of what I’ve read about the threat of biological attack by Al Qaeda seems to have increased the threat, rather than diminish it, by giving Al Qaeda ideas it would not otherwise have had. From today’s news:
“The WMD Notebook: Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B: A lesser known inhalation or ingestion agent,” June 8, 2008
Ayman became determined to weaponize anthrax, he told Atef, because the US folks kept telling him how easy it was. A picture of Cohen holding up the 5 lb. bag of sugar was found in Afghanistan in Fall 2001 at a seminar on how anthrax might be used.
At the same time, short-sighted pork-fueled profit-making priorities have caused governments, industry and academia to proliferate the opportunities to infiltrate or gain access to know-how. Ayman’s supporters clipped an article in which Dr. Alibek sounded the alarm.
Consider “an episode of Get Smart, the late-1960s sitcom about bumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart. The plotline concerned a plague sweeping the nation’s potato crop— potatoes look fine on the outside but .... are empty inside their jackets. Smart discovers that Siegfried, head of the evil enemy agency Kaos, is using a bioengineered bacterium to attack our potatoes [see “Biological Warfare against Crops,” by Paul Rogers, Simon Whitby and Malcolm Dando; Scientific American, June 1999]. Siegfried explains that the bacterium enters the potato, eats the insides, burps and dies, leaving no trace. Now for the really frightening part— Siegfried is spreading the potato-destroying bacteria using crop dusters.”
The Scientific American article might have usefully quoted the religious proscription against attacking crops. There are at least a dozen books on jihad and the islamic jurisprudence on the principles of warfare at many good university libraries — but none of the books discuss the express prohibition on attacking livestock or crops. Future such books or articles should.
Intellectuals should help the young hotheads find the wisdom of the companions of the prophet hidden from them by their anger and hurt. Ayman and his friends from Cairo should follow the lead of Dr. Fadl.
“The Spy Who Loves Us: Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line,” The American Conservative, June 11, 2008
Milton, deposed in the Hatfill matter, called me up years ago (out of the blue) and asked if I was Mossad. I told him it was just a hobby. (I need to work on my cover story.) Has anyone checked those paintings sold around government office buildings by Israeli art students for bugs embedded in the frame?
On FreeRepublic, this article was written by a former Israeli intelligence officer.
“Saddam’s regime was the most sophisticated manufacturer of anthrax in the world”
Journal of intelligence and counter-intelligence, March 2007 04 13 2008
If Dany and Stuart have not now changed their view based on the information that has come out about the Salafi-jihadi infiltration of the US biodefense program, they should have their intelligence medals ripped from their chest.
“Militants kill woman ‘U.S. spy’ in Pakistan,” Jun 11, 2008
Although the Salafi-Jihadis kill spies, they respect honesty. Tell them you were the architect of the global rendition policy and that you urged Bush to drop a bomb on Bin Laden’s hunting party when the US had the chance and they respect you. Tell them there is no reason to believe in an old book that they were socialized into believing before they reached the age of reason and they’ll give you a painting for Christmas.
“Top Secret: CIA explains its Wikipedia-like national security project: Intellipedia lets spies post and edit content wiki-style, and includes YouTube and Flickr versions,” Computerworld, June 10, 2008
Yes, but will these CIA and FBI analysts ever be able to both find the infiltrators hidden in plain sight and publicly expose them so as to restore the US reputation on this issue of the anthrax mailings?
There is a 69 minute videotape of Dr. Alibek addressing biological weapons and the threat posed by terrorist organizations that was taped October 16, 2001. Ali had been questioned post-911 by the FBI almost 30 days before (on September 20, as I recall). Ali was questioned about 7 or 8 times before his indictment. Did Ken know at the time of this talk that the FBI suspected Ali of being somehow involved?
Threat of biological weapons
Edward J Markey; Ken Alibek; Christopher H Shays
2001 English Visual Material : Videorecording :
VHS tape 1 videocassette (69 minutes) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. West
Lafayette, IN : C-SPAN Archives,
Mr. Alibek spoke to reporters about biological
weapons and the threat posed by terrorist organizations. Among the
topics he addressed were former Soviet biological weapons programs,
technologies involved in biological weapons programs, and potential
uses of various biological agents. Following his remarks he answered
questions from the reporters.
Tom Daschle on the lack of transparency in the investigation of the anthrax attacks - 3/26/2008 (LA, CA)
I haven’t included the part about how the first Bush administration (via Ollie’s use of arms supplier Soghanalian) supplied Saddam with TOW-equipped combat configured helicopters for aerial spraying missions because I’m being forward-looking.
the Amerithrax secrets
History Channel on Anthrax Attacks
Special Agent Michelle at Quantico needs some adventure in her life by hunting Ayman’s cell members from the 1970s — not pursuing Ed’s imagined leads at playgrounds.
Anthrax Attacks on the US in 2001
Dead In The Woods: Uncovering a Nightmare World
Words are superfluous with flavor this luminous.
The unexpected attack that should have been expected.
There’s a new book with a chapter on the deadly serious, synthetic game played for keeps.
The “Anthrax Attacks” Of 2001
Here is an interview of Richard Spertzel and David Franz on the sophistication of the anthrax.
Dr. Franz is both authoritative and approachable.
Dr. Rebel, if you overcame your cognitive rigidity, you would realize that you are right. You need to be a new you.
Specter and Leahy grill Gonzales on anthrax:
Director Mueller in January 2007, according to Attorney General G., expected “some sort of resolution” in the relatively near future. The Attorney General noted it was a very complicated investigation. (The investigation has been made all the more complicated by the need to coordinate with the prosecution of legal matters and work with powers-that-be abroad.)
Problem is: some of the best things said never really happened.
The radio commentator Alex Jones questions why the cabinet was on Cipro before the attack. But given it has been public info since March 1999 that Zawahiri was planning to make an attack using anthrax — and the warning by February 2001 (see February 2001 PDB could not have been plainer), it is just uninformed to think it so surprising. Like the kid in the first video said, it would be stupid for them not to expect an anthrax attack such as had been announced Zawahiri would make — and to take rudimentary precautions.
This person makes the same mistake — not appreciating why the Administration went on Cipro before the attacks.
(I bought my Cipro on 9/21. Didn’t everyone? Didn’t you get the memo or at least read the earliest NYT and WP news items about the cropduster inquiries?)
Are the people making such an argument really not aware of the vast amount of published information leading up to the taking of the Cipro? Moreover, the cropdusting documents on Moussaoui’s computer were immediately accessed.
“Islamic Jihad ‘Confessions’ Described,” London Al-Sharq al-Awsat, (FBIS translation) March 3, 1999
“Bin-Laden Men Reportedly Possess Biological Weapons,” Al-Sharaq al-Awsat, March 6, 1999 (FBIS/FTS 19990306000273)
“US Said Interrogating Jihadist Over CBW,” Al-Hayat, April 21, 1999
“Muslim Calls for Bio-Weapon Holy War.” Sunday Times , September 5, 1999
Paul Daley, “Report Says UBL-Linked Groups Possess ‘Deadly’ Anthrax and Plague Viruses,” Melbourne Age (Internet version), June 4, 2000
“Risk Assessment of anthrax threat letters,” Defence R&D Canada, September 2001
“Chemical and Biological Weapons Pose Threat,” Associated Press, September 17, 2001
“David Siegrist: The threat from biological terrorism,” CNN, September 20, 2001
“Bioterrorism: Next Threat?”, Time Magazine, September 24, 2001
“Crop-Dusters Thought to Interest Suspects,” Washington Post, September 24, 2001, A1
Ed, the single most authoritative thing said on Amerithrax was this press conference by FBI Director Mueller. Could you link it? Thanks.
Ed, the single most authoritative thing said on Amerithrax was this press conference by FBI Director Mueller. Could you link it? Thanks.
I added it as the second-to-last in the list of links I put on my site yesterday.
That 2007 “Synthetic Terror” book chapter credits the silica coating point. (See Amazon)
But I find Al Qaeda’s attack plans more probative.
Plans for attack
Jonathan Spyer, “The Al-Qaida Network and Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Middle East Review of International Affairs (September 2004)
Coded video found on Zawahiri’s computer said to show plans to weaponize anthrax
Leonard A. Cole, “Bioweapons, Proliferation, and the US Anthrax Attack:
Strategic Insights, Center for Contemporary Conflict”
newly added YouTube video -
The Anthrax Letters
revised URL for above video
The Anthrax Letters
I’m no sooner spoken than broken. What am I?
A promise not to disclose the existence of a secret? For example, if Jay Rockefeller says he can’t talk about what he knows about NSA wiretapping because it is classified, but he thinks it is illegal, has he violated his promise of secrecy?
Professor Turley has brilliantly positioned things re NSA wiretapping by arguing “The USG knew my client was such a bad dude that they must have been wiretapping him when he was making plans with Bin Laden’s sheik at 11 a.m. on September 16 and then again on September 19, 2001.”
Al-Timimi’s lawyer has said the FBI has suspected Ali in connection with anthrax. Now the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction and sentence of a former GMU student who was not forthcoming about what he knew about Ali upon questioning before the grand jury. The same AUSA who is handling the Ali case, with all its classified filings, argued this case before the Fourth Circuit. Here is an excerpt:
“An organization in Falls Church, Virginia, known as the Dar al-Arqam Islamic Center, has figured in no fewer than fourteen terrorism prosecutions so far. Some of those prosecutions centered on a group of young men who assembled at Dar al-Arqam and, in early 2000, started training together for violent jihad. The group escalated stepwise from an ideological attraction to religious violence to actually taking up arms against nations they saw as enemies of Islam: Russia in Chechnya, India in Kashmir, and the United States. They began by talking with some of the more militant leaders at Dar al-Arqam. They they started conducting quasi-military exercises with paintball guns in the Virginia woods and practicing marksmanship with AK-47 style rifles on Virginia shooting ranges. A few members traveled to Pakistan or Afghanistan to train at jihadist camps run by Lashkar-e-Taibe (a designated terrorist organization since December 2001).
Then came the attacks of September 11th and a schism at Dar al-Arqam between those who condemned and those who condoned the attacks. Within a few days, the leader of the violent wing, a Dar al-Arqam founder named Ali Al-Timimi (later convicted of solicitation to levy war against the United States), held a secret meeting at which the core of the paintball group formally dedicated itself to violence. More members went abroad to the jihadist camps. Some who went, upon returning to the United States, purchased sophisticated aerial surveillance technology to send to Lashkar-e-Taiba overseas. Then, in 2003, the group was arrested and eleven men indicted together.
Benkhala was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2003, where he had been studying Islamic law and traveling with Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a friend from Dar al-Arqam and a member of al Qaeda (eventually convicted of conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States, among other crimes).
Specifically, Benkahla stood accused of a set of false denials: that he had participated in a jihadist training camp somewhere in August 1999; that he had handled weapons while there and observed others doing the same; and that he knew about the various people he had communicated with about training for jihad (such as “Abdullah,” Ali Al-Timimi, and others of interest to the FBI in terrorism-related investigations.)”
One reason the USG is keeping quiet about anthrax is (1) fairness to defendants in pending matters, (2) the successful resolution of which might lead to leverage they would find useful in a prosecution relating to Amerithrax.
A secret. The existence of a secret.
What's your point?
There are few real secrets in the Amerithrax investigation.
Most of the information about the case is available. People just have different ways of interpreting that information. So, it's all endlessly debated. What's NOT available are definitive answers to specific questions, and that's because the questions generally relate to evidence in an ongoing murder investigation.
Should the government name the 12 to 20 "persons of interest" they've said they are investigating? Why? So they can be tried in the media? So we can argue over who did it?
What's happening in the Hatfill v FBI lawsuit may be out of the public eye right now, but that doesn't mean anything sinister is going on. NO pre-trial discussions are ever done in public.
So, what's your point?
The one I had in mind was "silence". Because we're sure been getting a lot of that lately regarding Hatfill and anthrax, haven't we?
Yes. I don't want to speculate, but I find it VERY interesting that the mediation sessions were scheduled to end on May 12, and there's been no word about how they went. Nor have there been any rebuttals to the Motions for Summary Judgments. Those were due over a month ago.
That’s not true there are no real secrets in Amerithrax. The name of the mailer has never been publicly mentioned in any context — such as a report of a search, a subpoena, etc.
Someone from the Army Chemical Corps was quoted in the press today about going into the Florida newspaper office:
It was pretty scary at first, to be honest; there was a lot of apprehension going in there, Corey said. We didnt know what we were getting into, nobody had ever done this before. It was a brand new experience and we didnt really have anybody to fall back upon to get good advice from.
The learning they did have — or the CDC would have had had they read the report in their inbox — involved testing done of mailed anthrax after the threat relating to the detention of Vanguards of Conquest #2 Mahmoud Mahjoub in late January 2001. It found that the anthrax immediately dispersed upon opening of the envelope and leaked before opening. US personnel separately were briefed on it months earlier before findings were formalized.
With Hatfill settling at $5.8 million, the decks are clear for an Amerithrax indictment.
Leahy reports that some of the briefings he has received have been highly classified.
Leaks, focus on single suspect undercut anthrax probe, Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2008
Al Qaeda’s spymaster has written about anthrax and it is interesting to consider his relationship, if any, with Al-Zayat, the attorney KSM’s assistant al-Hawsawi seeks. (The laptop with anthrax spraydrying documents on it was actually al-Hawsawi’s computer, according to KSM).
Spymaster-historian Al-Hukaymah was the author of the description of the Amerithrax investigation in 2002. He joined the Egyptian Islamic Group in 1979. He was arrested in 1981 after Sadat’s assassination. He once was arrested alongside the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman. Hukaymah is reportedly connected to the blind sheikh’s successor Taha, the Islamic Group head who was in close touch with the NY-based US postal employee Sattar, the blind sheik’s “surrogate,” in 1999 and 2000. Al-Hukaymah dedicated the treatise “[t]o the pious and the hidden who are not known when they come and who are not missed when they disappear — To those whom their God will answer when they pray to Him. To all the eyes that are vigilant late at night to bring victory to this religion.”
The introduction of the 152-page book starts:
“The Manhattan raid led to a radical change in the perception of American Security. After the northern half of the continent had been isolated from the rest of the world and its threats by two oceans, it now came from inside. The surprise hit the symbols of American power in its economic and security dimensions.”
Published at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website (www.almaqreze.com) by the one-time EIJ shura member al-Sibai, the section on the anthrax investigation appears to have been written in 2002.
“The Anthrax Scandal:
Over many months, there was an excited search for the person responsible for the worst biological terror attack on American soil. Six letters sent by mail to Leahy, Daschle, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, The New York Post and the offices of the National Enquirer in Florida, led to the sickening of 18 people and five deaths. The crime was especially scary because anthrax, which is a complex powder that scatters in the atmosphere, had spilled from the envelopes and spread through parts of the mail system and contaminated a Senate building. One year later, the main post office in Washington had not yet opened.
The FBI is under great pressure to close this case, and the anthrax criminal is supposed to be alive and free. Two members of the Senate have asked to receive regular reports about this investigation from the FBI, and they have become increasingly impatient.”
After a lengthy discussion of the focus on Hatfill, the author explains,
“Until the investigators find material evidence that connects a person to the crime, they are forced to speculate about the motives and methods of the criminal. They are still casting a wide net. Law enforcement sources say they have issued hundreds of subpoenas and they are analyzing thousands of documents in search of new evidence.
The evidence may be small and unseen - sweat or an odor on an envelope - but that is all that they need in order to attract the dogs.”
Al-Hukaymah pointed to the Aldrich Ames incident and the FBI’s inability to find the perpetrator of the anthrax mailings as evidence that U.S intelligence can be defeated. Aldrich Ames, head of counterintelligence relating to the Russians, had a different rolex for different days of the week. He drove a new jaguar to work. Aldrich told the CIA that his money came from his wife’s foreign inheritance, and the CIA never required meaningful corroboration. So we should not be that surprised when someone known, to borrow Dr. Alibek’s description to me, as an “Islamic hardliner,” is given access to Center for Biodefense and ATCC facilities, to include a program funded by DARPA’s $13 million during the relevant period. Perhaps the focus should not be on more money, for biodefense but on doing a better job at maintaining security. Perhaps focus should be on avoiding proliferation of know-how. Perhaps vigilance should be maintained in avoiding penetration by moles and infiltrators.
Al-Hukaymah reportedly was Ayman’s connection to Mamdouh Ismail, an Egyptian defense attorney and a former member of “the Jihad group” who since the 1980’s has represented various Egyptians accused of terrorism offenses in Egypt. Mamdouh Ismail represented al-Nashar, the biochemist who was an expert on polymerization and had a key to the 7/7 bomber’s flat. Ismail was one of several hundred rounded up following the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981. He served three years. Ismail was arrested on March 29, 2007. In 1999, Ismail was refused permission to establish an Islamist political party (called Hizb ash-Shari’a) with the help of fellow lawyer attorney al-Zayyat.
After the blind sheik said in March 1999 that an attempt through a political party should not be attempted, Al-Zayat and Mamdouh Ismail deferred and Attorney Ismail has publicly objected to a reconciliation between Cairo and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The two had worked with EIJ shura member al-Sibai before he took refuge in the UK. Mamdouh Ismail was accused of complicity in an “Egyptian project” of al-Qaeda, taking his orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri via al-Qaeda propaganda chief al-Hukaymah and the UK-based EIJ publicist Hani al-Sibai. Both al-Hukaymah and Al-Sibai deny the charge. Al Sibai considers himself historian of the movement and published his diaries in Al Hayat in 2004. He is at al-Maqreze Center for Historical Studies website that published the treatise that included the discussion of Amerithrax. Al-Hawsawi has also asked for the assistance of a counsel from London.
Now isn’t this what I’ve been saying all along? Judge Mukasey handled the prosecution of Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman. His “um” says more than most.
“Senate Judiciary Cmte. on DOJ Oversight, July 9, 2008”
From CSPAN (4 minutes from the end)
Leahy: I almost hate to get into the case of Steven Hatfill. I’ve refrained from discussing this, I’ve refused to discuss it with the press. I’ve told them some aspects of it I was aware of were classified so of course I could not discuss it but also, considering the fact that my life was threatened by an anthrax letter, two people died who touched a letter addressed to me I was supposed to open, I’m somewhat concerned.
Mukasey: That case ...
Leahy: We’re paying Hatfill millions of dollars, the indication being the guy who committed the crime went free.
Mukasey: Well, um, I don’t understand, quote, the guy who committed the crime, unquote, to have gone free. What I do understand is...
Leahy: Nobody’s been convicted.
Mukasey: Not yet.
Leahy: And five people are dead.
Mukasey: Yes, um...
Leahy: And hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent.
Mukasey: That case is under active investigation and I need to be very careful about what I say.
Leahy: We won’t go any further. As I say, I feel somewhat reluctant because I was one of the targets. But I gotta say, what families of the people who died went through, what families of the people who were crippled went through, even what my family went through. A lot of people are concerned and I won’t say more because we are in open session but I think you and I probably should have a private talk about this sometime.
Mukasey: That’s fine.
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