Skip to comments.Doctor Says FBI, CDC Ignored ‘Possible Lead’ in Anthrax Investigation
Posted on 11/13/2001 9:18:01 AM PST by spycatcher
A New Jersey doctor who wonders if he might have been the first person infected in the anthrax attack is still waiting for the FBI to talk to him about what he might know.
What makes his story potentially significant is that his symptoms appeared long before those who were infected by the letters mailed Sept. 30 actually a week before the terror attacks of Sept. 11.
At the time he had a sore with a black scab, followed by what was diagnosed in a hospital as meningitis. In an interview with ABCNEWS' Good Morning America, Dr. Jerry Weisfogel said he may have had a brush with the anthrax attacker, but the government has ignored his story.
Four people have died, one person is in serious condition and 16 others are recovering from anthrax infection, while at least 37 others have been exposed to the spores.
The FBI says it is pursuing more than 1,000 leads, including at least 100 that have taken investigators overseas.
Weisfogel works in the town of Kendall Park, N.J., which is near Franklin Park, the town found on the return address of the anthrax-contaminated letter that was mailed to Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
There's no Greendale school, which was given as the return address, but there is a Greenbrook school in Weisfogel's town, and it only goes to the fourth grade. The return address of the letter sent to Daschle said, "4th Grade, Greendale School."
"It obviously made me think that there may have been some local connection between where my office is, between what I had and wherever the perpetrators of the anthrax mailings are," Weisfogel said.
Could There Be a Cluster 0?
But Weisfogel said that, to his amazement, he had a hard time getting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get interested in his case. They told him his case appeared too early to be connected, even when he suggested that his could have been the first case.
"That's exactly what I said," Weisfogel said. "I said, 'You have Case 1 and Case 2 or Cluster 1 and Cluster 2. How do you know there was not a Cluster 0?'"
Weisfogel said he originally diagnosed his black scab as a spider bite, but now he wonders if his mistake might not have been the same misdiagnosis so commonly seen in anthrax cases.
What's more, he said, he wonders if the bioterrorist responsible for the letters might have been in his office. "Have I come across patients from countries who might be doing this? Yes," Weisfogel said.
Weisfogel admits that there is no proof that anyone he treated had any connection to the rash of anthrax-contaminated letters received by lawmakers and media companies, but said it is "a possible lead" in a case in which investigators seem to have almost no leads, other than a trail of anthrax infections and spores all going back to New Jersey.
On Thursday, after the CDC became aware that Weisfogel was telling his story to Good Morning America, the agency tested his blood for anthrax antibodies. He was told it could be weeks before the results of the tests are in.
You are so correct.
How in the world could they not have figured out who's mailed the anthrax already?
Or do they know and can't say (Iraq).
No wonder the FBI is ignoring this guy, they have already determined it was the act of a domestic rightwing nut!
I thought he was diagnosed with pneumonia? Anyway does a person get the black scab with only with cutaneous anthrax or do the scabs show up also with inhalation anthrax.
By Janis Reid firstname.lastname@example.org
A man was recently was picked up and released by Cornelia police officers two weeks ago when he was discovered taking pictures of the railroad tracks at the Cornelia depot. Police Chief Bruce Wright said he did not believe the suspect was connected with terrorists. Travis Long/Staff
CORNELIA -- In a community where even an out-of-town vehicle doesn't go unnoticed by locals, reports connecting this Northeast Georgia town with international terrorism have come as a surprise to residents.
''It's all freaky to have it in your hometown,''said Dale Herbert, a Cornelia city employee, while he wired Christmas lights in the 100-year-old downtown area Monday. ''It makes you stop and think a little. I still can't believe they would come to Cornelia.''
Federal investigators can't believe it either, according to Susan Den Bark, media coordinator for the Atlanta FBI office.
Den Bark said Monday federal officials are not investigating any terrorist activity in Northeast Georgia, adding she has spent the last two days trying to track down the source of the information about the supposed terrorist visit to Cornelia.
A Friday report in an area newspaper cited Cornelia Police Chief Bruce Wright as claiming two men who tried to breach security at a Cornelia plant several weeks ago have recently been linked to terrorist groups by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Wright said Monday he had received information from the FBI that the two suspects, whose names were not released by police, had been picked up by agents in the Atlanta area as a result of the information he passed to the agency.
According to Wright, someone from the FBI said the two were in the country on false identifications and had been previously deported in 1998 for unspecified crimes against the United States.
The plant security incident was not the only confusing report to surface Friday.
In a separate incident, Cornelia police reported, a man was picked up and released by Cornelia officers two weeks ago when he was discovered taking pictures of the railroad tracks at the Cornelia depot.
According to Wright, Cornelia police searched the man's vehicle and discovered train schedules with information on hazardous chemicals and ballistic missile parts traveling through the area. Freight lines commonly carry hazardous materials, according to Norfolk Southern Corp. spokeswoman Susan Terpay.
Wright said the information on the suspect was also turned over to FBI agents, adding that he did not believe the man was connected to terrorists. Whether either incident was related to terrorists or not, Wright said he did not know why anyone would target Cornelia.
The confusion among authorities has only fueled talk of a terrorist connection on the streets of Cornelia.
''It's just curiosity more than anything,'' said Robyn Dafforn in front of Fenders Diner Monday afternoon. ''We just haven't heard enough about what's going on.''
Edna McGehee, whose family owns a clock-repair shop not 15 feet from the train tracks in Cornelia, said she found the news of the suspicious behavior both strange and surprising because she had not noticed anything unusual.
''There's just a lot of questions,'' McGehee said. ''I had friends who called to ask what was going on and I had to tell them that I just didn't know.''
It'd make a heck of a Freeper thread...
I would imagine what was best has left an we now see them on TV, working for private companies or writing books.
WTF!!!!! This just goes to show you how inept much of the government is.
Below is the consensus of Freeper research on these threads so far to supplement the FBI profile (recent additions are in italics:)
The perp is here on a student VISA. He is Islamic and Middle Eastern. He may be a member of Al Queda. English is not his primary language, he may be a proficient computer user or coder especially if Al Queda.
He was given anthrax and perhaps more biochems of various grades. They may have been made in Iraq they may have been made here. He did not develop them himself. He knows lab procedures.
He is fairly diligent in handling the anthrax, but he is not perfect. He knows Dr. Malik, chairman of the Islamic Society of NJ. He may work with him. Hes been to the doctors office at 1542 Kuser Road in Trenton NJ. While there he accidentally infected the accountant next door at Civale Silvestri & Alfieri CPA, 1540 Kuser Road.
The perp may be from Pakistan and may have sought out Dr. Maliks help (because he is also from Pakistan) to get employment/access to a nearby university hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton. Dr Malik is on the staff there. The perp may have used lab facilities in the hospital (either at Hamilton or the main campus or one of its affiliates) to safely handle or prep the different batches of anthrax.
There probably are other people in his cell who may already be in custody - one with Florida license plates and others from Canada. These are the ones who might have sought treatment for skin anthrax by Dr. Weisfogel per Peachs post! From gumbo: Several arrests of Pakistani nationals were made in Trenton/Hamilton two weeks ago --some in the Greenwood Village apartments, and some at 1001 N. Olden Street. The N. Olden Street arrests took place after a witness observed a man gingerly placing letters enclosed in a ziploc bag into his car. The car had Florida license plates. Just after the events of September 11, the FBI arrested Mohammed Pervez, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent. Pervez was a Jersey City roommate of Ali Ayub Kahn and Mohammed Jazweeth Azmath, suspected of being hijackers whose plans were thwarted when their plane was grounded in St. Louis. Pervez, who worked in both Trenton and Newark train stations, was also a roommate of the potential anthrax suspects detained from the Greenwood village apartments in Hamilton.
Several arrests of Pakistani nationals were made in Trenton/Hamilton two weeks ago --some in the Greenwood Village apartments, and some at 1001 N. Olden Street. The N. Olden Street arrests took place after a witness observed a man gingerly placing letters enclosed in a ziploc bag into his car. The car had Florida license plates.
Just after the events of September 11, the FBI arrested Mohammed Pervez, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Pakistani descent. Pervez was a Jersey City roommate of Ali Ayub Kahn and Mohammed Jazweeth Azmath, suspected of being hijackers whose plans were thwarted when their plane was grounded in St. Louis. Pervez, who worked in both Trenton and Newark train stations, was also a roommate of the potential anthrax suspects detained from the Greenwood village apartments in Hamilton.
There may be a chain of infection following the medical route like there is following the mail route. Tests are now being performed for Dr. Gerald Weisfogel who believes he may have had skin anthrax earlier than the mailings.
There are three Gerald M. Weisfogel's listed in NJ - Franklin Park, Kendall Park and Metuchen. Dr. Gerald Weisfogel is chief of cardiology at the JFK Medical Center in New Jersey, which is in Edison, New Jersey. Edison is just across the river from New Brunswick
Kendall Park, Franklin Park, Edison, and Metuchen are all close to each other, going north on Rte. 1. So all the addresses are probably for the same guy: hospital in Edison, offices in Metuchen and either or Franklin Park or Kendall Park, and home in the fourth place
There are significant labs in Piscataway, across the river from New Brunswick, the main campus of RWJ. Robert Wood Johnson has two high-profile microbiology labs in Piscataway -- the CABM(Center forAdvanced Biotechnology and Medicine) and the Waksman Institute. The Waksman Institute is a "microbe farm," producing germ "products" for industry and research.
Metuchen is right up the road to the northeast. (And down the road about 12 miles along Route 1 is the Islamic Society and Franklin Park.)
The perp accidentally infected the lady in New York. He did not go there by subway he drove in. He may have gone to New York to pick up or deliver the anthrax. The car he used is most likely still contaminated. He may have rolled down a window or opened a door at just the wrong time for Kathy. The perp, may be working for RWJ University Hospital and had a business contact with Kathys hospital.
He is a member or attendee of The Islamic Society of Central Jersey. He has written many letters to them; he knows the zip code by heart. Although he gave a different town name on the return address (Franklin Park) he automatically used the zip code he knew for that area. But the zip code does not go with Franklin Park.
There are probably canceled checks or correspondence at the Islamic Society of NJ that can be matched to his handwriting.
He is a member of Islamic student associations. He may have attended or be in association with a student at ETSU which is near an elementary school named "Greendale" in Abingdon, VA (a tri-state area.) He didnt grab that name out of the air neither brook nor dale would be common words to him. In the alternative, he might have intentionally changed the name of a nearby school "Greenbrook" to "Greendale." The Greenbrook school only goes to the 4th grade.
The block lettering may indicate that he is a tutor for elementary level students.
The emphasis on the letters might have been intentional pointing to ATTA.
If he is Al Queda, he may present himself secular going to bars, joining clubs, protesting the terrorists, etc.
He may be dead or missing.
I predict that after Ramadan there will be "proof" that Iraq is directly involved with the Anthrax cases.
The smallest clue could break this case and these might be huge clues. Why play coy? And why are they pretending like the earliest Florida anthrax case means nothing? Because they don't have a letter to make things easier for the investigators.
If this doctor turns out to have antibodies or if Atta is belatedly connected to anthrax it's front page news, and someone in the FBI ought to resign.
Would you mind repeating your post #89 from the previous thread over here to supplement the post #22 consensus?!
Here is what I posted a few days ago about the Greendale school:
"What about the return address?
4th Grade, Greendale School, Franklin Park, New Jersey, 08852
What I find interesting is the combination: Greendale School/Franklin Park:
Greendale and Franklin, WI are right next to each other. The NJ school is Greenbrook School, not Greendale. Could it be some Freudian slip? "
The combination Franklin/Greendale is significant IMO. The guy might have made an unconscious association Greendale/Franklin instead of Greenbrook/Franklin because he grew up in the Greendale/Franklin, WI area. So I wouldn't be surprised to find out the perp was raised in the Milwaukee area and went to Greendale school. He could also have children who go or went there.
Was there a time when the Franklin kids had to go to Greendale? Did anything significant happened to a Greendale, WI 4th grader? (A positive answer to the 1st question would mean the guy is a much older person.)
Also noteworthy: there are 15,000 muslims in the area. And it looks like ATTA is a very common first name there.
The perp is probably an American muslim because the WAY "penacilin" is misspelled suggests a native intuition of the English language. Another interesting clue: as far as I know, CNN wasn't targeted. This could also indicate an American Muslim.
Thanks again for keeping track of everything. You're the best!
Hey, just like Freepers.
What's a Chief of Cardiology doing treating people for spider bites? Seems a little off base. Same doctor or not?
This appears to be poorly researched. The known letters were mailed Sept. 18 and Oct. 9, not Sept. 30.
To the liberal mind, conservative Americans are the only credible threat to their continued life of comfort and hedonistic abandon. It is questionable that the FBI will ever recover from the pro-global socialist bias that dominated its priority setting during the last administration.