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FBI to drain pond in anthrax probe
Orlando Sentinel ^ | May 11, 2003 | Marilyn Thompson

Posted on 05/11/2003 6:31:19 AM PDT by pttttt

WASHINGTON -- The FBI has developed a new theory on a central mystery of the 2001 anthrax attacks after finding evidence in a Frederick, Md., pond that may suggest how an ingenious criminal could have packed deadly anthrax spores into envelopes without killing or sickening himself, sources close to the investigation said.

(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...


TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Breaking News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthrax; bioterror; fbi; homelandsecurity; inspectorclouseau; keystonecops; pond; terror; wildgoosechase
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Passed along FYI. I have some questions about this item, which is coming out from several sources at once this morning. This seems to be more along the lines of the unsubstantiated "Hatfill did it" or the "homegrown domestic terrorists did it - no foreign actor could possibly be involved" theory that the FBI has insisted on sticking to.

It's also odd for it to be coming out now. There were ABC News items about the FBI looking in ponds for anthrax evidence in December 2002. The theory is not brand-new.

Hopefully it'll yield some leads, in a troubling case where there's been no progress.

1 posted on 05/11/2003 6:31:19 AM PDT by pttttt
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To: pttttt
Interesting. Something had to point to Hatfill at one time as a possible suspect. They claim they have found a clear box and vials wrapped in plastic in the pond. I guess we'll have to wait to see where the case leads after they drain the pond.
2 posted on 05/11/2003 6:42:27 AM PDT by Normal4me
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To: pttttt
FBI to drain pond in anthrax probe

Whoa...just a minute, there.

Do they have the proper permits from the Army Corps of Engineers?

I mean, we can't have them destroying any "wetlands," can we?!? :-)

3 posted on 05/11/2003 6:44:33 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: pttttt
The EPA his going to have a hissy fit.
4 posted on 05/11/2003 6:58:24 AM PDT by Thane_Banquo
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To: pttttt
Of course the simpler explanation is that terrorists who were confident they would be dead soon for other reasons don't need to worry about anthrax exposure. In fact, it would strengthen their resolve in the hijackings to know they are "already dead."
5 posted on 05/11/2003 7:12:50 AM PDT by eno_
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To: Thane_Banquo
Will they find the center fuel tank?
6 posted on 05/11/2003 7:13:12 AM PDT by umgud
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To: umgud
no, but they're gonna put plastic boxes on the "terrorist parphenalia" list, and only allow use of "preban" boxes....
7 posted on 05/11/2003 7:21:11 AM PDT by philomath (from the state of franklin)
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To: pttttt
You know...I havent followed this subject at all because it seems to me that the 9/11 highjackers were the sources of the original anthrax letters [mailed before 9/11] and that any subsequent letters were copycat mailings that killed "0".

Am I off?

8 posted on 05/11/2003 7:22:45 AM PDT by VaBthang4 (Could someone show me one [1] Loserdopian elected to the federal government?)
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To: Badabing Badaboom; The Great Satan; pokerbuddy0; twigs; Shermy; Sacajaweau
FYI
9 posted on 05/11/2003 7:30:36 AM PDT by freeperfromnj
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To: VaBthang4
Am I off?

Yes. None of the Anthrax letters were mailed before 9/18. None of the 9/11 hijackers could have physically mailed them.

The anthrax attacks were actually much later after 9/11 than people remember; I think people probably hazily remember Bob Stevens getting sick a week after 9/11 when it actually was three weeks.

And the FBI spent the entire first two months of the investigation trying to tie the anthrax attacks to the 9/11 hijackers, contrary to the idiotic assertions of most on FR, they didn't instantly decide it was a domestic terrorist and immediately write off foreign involvement.

10 posted on 05/11/2003 7:32:41 AM PDT by John H K
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To: philomath
"Plastic box" is very odd. Was it a glovebox, or not? Improvised, or off-the-shelf? And would a glovebox work under water, or would the gloves "blow out?" They are not designed for more than a very slight pressure differential. Just the weight of water in water-filled gloves would be much more than what they would have to handle in air. There ARE armoured boxes for working with explosives and rocket fuel, but these weigh a lot. Even a high school lab glovebox would weigh more than I'd like to carry by myself.
11 posted on 05/11/2003 7:43:06 AM PDT by eno_
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To: John H K
Unfortunately we have terrorist born here that do not like our republican form of government either and simply use opportunities as they arise to attack.

I believe the FBI had hard evidence that pointed to our "esteemed" scientist --- similarly to the idiot research professor in Texas who used this opportunity to instill terror in the community with his anthrax.
12 posted on 05/11/2003 7:45:40 AM PDT by steplock ( http://www.spadata.com)
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To: eno_
I don't think the person worked UNDER water, but rather just at the surface of the water, like under an overturned canoe. The point was to create an air-tight environment (so the spores wouldn't blow around) which I believe you can do without being "under" water.
13 posted on 05/11/2003 7:51:38 AM PDT by craig_eddy
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To: Normal4me
Something had to point to Hatfill at one time as a possible suspect.

Maybe so, but I think the main things we actually know pointing to Hatfill were
1. that college professor/activist from New York state who pushed the idea that
the anthrax attack had to be a domestic issue
AND
2. Profiling

Like I say "Profiling -- It's A White Guy Thing. Only."
14 posted on 05/11/2003 8:00:44 AM PDT by VOA
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: pttttt
Yeah, but when they drain the pond, they shouldn't be surprised when some Frogs jump out!
16 posted on 05/11/2003 8:07:32 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: VOA
Like I say "Profiling -- It's A White Guy Thing. Only."

Profiling has nothing to do with this. This case is much too complex and high profile for that. Ashcroft is overseeing this one and he certainly has no qualms about detaining or holding suspect middle eastern men.

18 posted on 05/11/2003 8:10:38 AM PDT by freeperfromnj
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To: craig_eddy
I understad the "glove box" thing but how did he get the anthrax into the box & the letters out & mailed without making contact with the spores? He didn't do either one of those things underwater.
19 posted on 05/11/2003 8:14:51 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter
Yes, this needs further explaination. If you pulled the spores into a syringe under water, then shot them into an envelope underwater, wouldn't they get wet? So, maybe "he" held the envelope in the air, while drawing the spores into the syringe underwater? Hard not to get everything wet, in any case. It seems pretty stupid. Occam's Razor is needed here. The simplist thing to do in filling the envelopes is to use a biolab. Why complicate the matter where you risk wetting and ruining the spores and/or enveloples, and also risk being caught out in the open?
20 posted on 05/11/2003 8:45:08 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: freeperfromnj
Profiling has nothing to do with this. This case is much too complex and high profile for that.

I hope you are right.
And I'm not knocking Ashcroft...even as popular as it seems to get in this forum on occassion.

What I'm worried about are FBI/DOJ hold-overs from The Dark (Clinton) Years.
I'm afraid those sorts may (even subconsciously) have latched onto the profiling
done for them by Professor Rosenberg...as detailed from the excerpt from a publication
by the UCLA School of Epidemiology.
The last sentence of the excerpt makes it sound like somebody in the guvmint
has latched onto a profiling approach...

http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/anthraxinquiryuslabs.html

Separately, a private expert in biological weapons, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg,
has recently published a paper contending that a government insider,
or someone in contact with an insider, is behind the attacks.
Though not an expert on criminal profiling, Dr. Rosenberg, a molecular
biologist at the State University of New York, has testified on biological
weapons before Congress, advised Bill Clinton when he was president and made
addresses to international arms control meetings, including one a few days ago in Geneva.
Law enforcement officials said Dr. Rosenberg's assertion might turn out to be
well founded, though they emphasized that the investigation was still
broadly based. One official close to the federal investigation called the
Rosenberg theory "the most likely hypothesis."

21 posted on 05/11/2003 8:48:27 AM PDT by VOA
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To: keri
More stuff
22 posted on 05/11/2003 9:54:00 AM PDT by Allan
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To: Ditter
The only benefit I can think of for putting a glovebox into a pond would be to unload, for example, a baggie with the letters in it from the glovebox. The baggie would be contaminated on the outside, and the killer would be counting on the water to wash away anthrax on the outside of the baggies.

All this assumes the anthrax killer started with a safely sealed container uncontaminated on the outside.

If I was betting my life on this improvised procedure, I'd want to test it first, and that seems unlikely.

And, as others have pointed out, it still does not solve how to mail the letters, which are now known to have contaminated a lot of stuff while still in their envelopes, without exposure.

Contrast that with a bunch of "martyrs" that don't really care anymore and who don't need no stinkin' glovebox. They would have licked the envelopes!
23 posted on 05/11/2003 10:00:12 AM PDT by eno_
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To: Fred Mertz; aristeides; Badabing Badaboom; Pan_Yans Wife; oceanview; riri; Mitchell; bonfire; ...
Hatfill's attorney, Thomas Connolly, called the water theory "far-fetched" and said Hatfill had nothing to do with the anthrax crimes.

A heads up on Hatfill's attornee, Thomas Connolly:

Before joining the firm, Mr. Connolly was a federal prosecutor spending ten years in public service as an Assistant United States Attorney in both the Eastern District of Virginia and the District of Columbia. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Mr. Connolly was lead trial counsel in more than 50 jury trials in matters involving espionage, RICO, public corruption, bank fraud, government procurement fraud, export control matters, and immigration fraud. In 1998, Mr. Connolly was awarded both the John Marshall Award, the Department of Justice’s highest honor, and the Intelligence Medallion, the CIA’s highest civilian honor, for his work in the prosecution of James Nicholson, the highest-ranking CIA official ever convicted for espionage. Mr. Connolly also successfully prosecuted David Sheldon Boone, an NSA crypto analyst, for spying on behalf of the Russian Federation.
Source: Harris, Wiltshire and Grannis, LLP
24 posted on 05/11/2003 11:18:17 AM PDT by The Great Satan (Revenge, Terror and Extortion: A Guide for the Perplexed)
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To: eno_
IF they would have licked the envelopes, why would they then warn the recipient who touched the envelopes to take antibiotics?
25 posted on 05/11/2003 11:26:02 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: Fred Mertz; bonfire; Badabing Badaboom; Mitchell; aristeides
Two sources familiar with the items recovered from the pond described a clear box, with holes that could accommodate gloves to protect the user as he worked. Also recovered were vials wrapped in plastic.

Oooh, the FBI went looking for anthrax evidence in a pond back of Hatfill's house, motivated by a description in Hatfill's bioterrorism book, and they dredged this up back in January. Sounds pretty incriminating, if you ask me. So, I guess they will be empaneling a grand jury of randomly-selected members of the general public to put Hatfill and his cronies in the hot seat really soon now. I'm sure this isn't just another bogus story to get us past the awkward "Why did Saddam Hussein get off the hook?" moment some of us might be experiencing. It's for real this time. In fact, it's a toss up which will happen first: empanelling of the grand jury to interrogate Hatfill, or recovery of Saddam Hussein's body from the bunker he was "earprinted" entering on March 20.

26 posted on 05/11/2003 11:30:48 AM PDT by The Great Satan (Revenge, Terror and Extortion: A Guide for the Perplexed)
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To: pttttt
It's also odd for it to be coming out now.

Not really, when you think about it.

27 posted on 05/11/2003 11:38:51 AM PDT by The Great Satan (Revenge, Terror and Extortion: A Guide for the Perplexed)
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To: bonfire; Mitchell; Badabing Badaboom; oceanview; riri; Fred Mertz; aristeides
Remember...

WMD mean never having to say you're sorry.

28 posted on 05/11/2003 12:06:32 PM PDT by The Great Satan (Revenge, Terror and Extortion: A Guide for the Perplexed)
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To: John H K; VaBthang4
Actually, John, the first letter, which went to American Media in Florida, was never recovered. Physical, eyewitness and other evidence builds a strong circumstantial case that the 9/11 hijackers were tied to at least that first letter. Examples:

In other words, the 9/11 hijackers had motive, opportunity, proximity to, and personal knowledge of the scene of the first anthrax attack. In the same general vicinity as where the first letter was mailed, two sought some medical treatment for severe skin problems, and the leader sought knowledge of an aerial means of chemical delivery. Circumstantial, yes. Impossible to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, perhaps. But there are just too many "coincidences" placing the first anthrax letter and the hijackers mighty close to each other for my tastes.

29 posted on 05/11/2003 12:07:45 PM PDT by Wolfstar (If we don't re-elect this truly great President, we're NUTS!)
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: Wolfstar
Anthrax = Islamic Terrorism

Any scenario other than Islamic terrorism means ALL of the following are just coincidences.

SERIOUS CONNECTIONS

- The most serious bioterror attack in America began only days after 9-11

- The letters all mention standard Islamic catch-phrases.

- Florida Dr. Tsonas treated Ahmed al-Haznawi for a severe leg lesion in late June.
  Dr. Tsonas is now convinced it was cutaneous anthrax.

- Two Johns Hopkins biodefense experts (Dr. Thomas Inglesby, Dr. Tara O'Toole) agree with Tsonas.

- FL hijackers inquire about crop-dusters and dispersal characteristics of chemical loads.

- Atta attempted to obtain a loan to buy a plane and convert it into a chemical transport.

- Moussaoui, the "20th hijacker", had tech info on airliners, crop-dusters, and wind patterns.

- Mohamed Atta went to a drugstore with red, chemical-burned hands mid-2001.
  Druggist thought Atta was suffering from exposure to a chemical with basic pH, possibly bleach (used to kill anthrax).

- Allah Rakah, detained by FBI, for placing suspicious bag of letters in his car with FL license plates

- Atta met twice with Colonel Muhammed Khalil Ibrahim al-Ani, a "very senior" Iraqi 'Special Ops' agent.
  (one report says the Czechs confirmed they had video...spycraft SOP)
  (another report claims that a vacumm bottle was passed to Atta during the meeting)

- Ziad Jarrah also met with an Iraqi agent in 2001 in the UAE.

- Marwan al-Shehhi also met with an Iraqi agent in 2001 in the UAE.

- Iraq is the ONLY hostile country known to have succeeded in weaponizing anthrax

- Iraq conducted military exercises simulating the dispersal of anthrax spores from crop-dusters

- The anthrax coating is silica, a material used by Iraq on biological agents.
- Chemical and biological weapons are effectively dispersed from crop-dusters

- The terrorists had two operational hubs: Hamilton, New Jersey and Delray, Florida. Anthrax was found in both areas.

JUST COINCIDENCES??

- The wife of the Sun tabloid's editor rented two apartments to two hijackers In Florida.

- The intials of the ringleader, A-T-T-A, are highlighted in letter 3a (Brokaw).

- Marwan al-Shehhi went to Huber Drugs (with Atta) with severe chest congestion.
  The pharmacist sold him a bottle of Robitussin initially, and later antibiotics.
32 posted on 05/11/2003 12:59:08 PM PDT by polemikos
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To: polemikos
Yeah, but they sent letters to Daschle and Leahy. Therefore, it had to be right-wing, anti-abortion maniacs. John HK told me so.
33 posted on 05/11/2003 1:53:52 PM PDT by WarSlut (They sent anthrax to the White House, too. But never mind that...)
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To: pokerbuddy0
"Again, one previous report -- right or wrong -- said that the idea to search the pond came from that novel, making the recent discovery even more dramatic."

. . .they were aware of the novel and some of it's implications a long time ago. . .so why did they wait so long. . .until now; to decide to check the pond.

Nothing seems right about this case; and while I trust John Ashcroft; not so sure about some at the FBI. . .

34 posted on 05/11/2003 2:02:52 PM PDT by cricket
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To: pttttt
Did they find ANY anthrax residue on this equipment they are touting? I haven't heard. If they didn't find any anthrax on it, how do they know it is even remotely connected to it?
35 posted on 05/11/2003 2:15:19 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: umgud
Unfortunately the center fuel tank is akin to the real murderer of Nicole and Ron Goldman - lost forever on a golf course.
36 posted on 05/11/2003 2:29:37 PM PDT by sandydipper
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To: polemikos
I think there were non-Muslim Americans working with al-Qaeda all along for their own reasons. I think Oklahoma points to a link between such American traitors and al-Qaeda and other Muslim groups either for money or for other reasons. Is Hatfill being defended more than is required to secure his rights because he fought for Rhodesia?
37 posted on 05/11/2003 2:31:51 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: umgud
No, but they hope to find the way overloaded wires leading to the center fuel tank...
38 posted on 05/11/2003 2:54:27 PM PDT by Donna Lee Nardo
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To: pttttt
I just heard on FoxNews, that someone suggested that this may have been equipment used in drug labs, and that there was NO anthrax found on any of it, there is no evience whatsoever to connect this to the anthrax case. FBI just came up with this theory that it is connected.
What IS the matter with the FBI?!
39 posted on 05/11/2003 3:16:11 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: VaBthang4
The anthrax mailings came a little after 9/11, but I still think Arab terrorists were behind them, whether Hatfill really had anything to do with them or not. Which doesn't mean the new 'Pond Theory' won't reveal anything. Hopefully it will.
40 posted on 05/11/2003 3:24:12 PM PDT by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions=Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: pttttt
I haven't seen any updates on the Pakistani leads though.

>>>
http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/conditions/11/02/anthrax/

FBI agents, many wearing oversized, white hazardous-materials suits, on Friday raided an apartment in Trenton, New Jersey, where four Pakistani men lived. Agents removed several bags of materials from the apartment. None of the apartment's residents were home at the time of the raid, the building manager said, but witnesses said one man who lived there came home during the search and was taken away in a police car.

AND

Pakistan's science minister said Friday that tests have confirmed that two people at separate locations have been exposed to anthrax, and at least one of four suspect letters received at three locations in the country contained anthrax. Neither of the two people exposed has exhibited symptoms of the disease, said Science and Technology Minister Atta-ur-Rahman.
>>>
What happened with these leads?
41 posted on 05/11/2003 3:30:16 PM PDT by Calpernia (www.HelpFeedaChild.com)
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To: polemikos
btt
42 posted on 05/11/2003 3:51:08 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: pttttt
After the government's finest drain the pond, maybe they can figure out how Dr. Evil attaches lasers to the heads of sharks.
43 posted on 05/11/2003 4:29:50 PM PDT by Young Rhino (France delenda est)
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To: pokerbuddy0
Very early after the news about anthrax at American Media first surfaced, I immediately began collecting every news story about it. Why? It was shortly after 9/11 and, like most Americans at the time, I was alert to any news item that even remotely sounded like it could be terrorist related.

As it became clear that the American Media case was not an isolated one, I decided to continue collecting news stories with the intention of posting an anthrax attacks timeline here on FR. The stories came fast and furiously during October and November — too fast to make posting a timeline, well, timely, since it would need to be updated almost constantly. So I was waiting until it seemed that events slowed down. I had everything I collected on my computer hard drive at work, along with the timeline I had constructed. That PC was several years old and due for replacement in 2002. Much to my chagrin, the hard drive crashed and I lost all that timeline info.

However, because of my intense interest back then, and the amount of time I spent reading every story to piece together that timeline, and due to my continuing interest ever since, I have not forgotten the essential facts of the first attack.

The essential — key — facts I listed are widely known from many news reports. Regarding your specific questions: If you look at my previous post on this thread, I did not mention JLo. You did. "Rant" is my one-word description for what I remember was reported about that first letter. My memory of the description of the powder was that it was termed "brownish" white. Statements from American Media employees as to what they remembered of the postmark, and information about contaminated post offices in South Florida, led to reporting that authorities believed the letter was mailed in South Florida. I don't know who Phil Brennan is so cannot comment about him.

The essential facts are: (1) An anthrax-laced letter was received at American Media. It was the first in the string of such letters sent in late 2001. (2) It was never recovered. (3) Contemporaneous news reports — meaning reports published before anyone knew that letter was the first in a series — said that AMA employees remembered the letter arrived around the 8th of September. (The 8th was a Saturday that year.) (4) Mohammed Atta and several of his gang were staying in the same locality as the AMA building. Atta rented an apartment from the wife of one of the top AMA executives. (5) Separately, a doctor and a pharmacist told authorities that two hijackers had severe skin problems. The doctor is convinced the one he treated had a cutaneous anthrax lesion. (6) Also in the same locality, Atta sought information about the uses of crop dusters, which leads to the logical conclusion that he was considering some kind of chem or bioweapons attack from the air.

These essential facts have been widely reported. Perhaps they constitute a series of coincidences. The likelihood is that we will never know for sure unless someone confesses to all the anthrax attacks and is able to support his confession with incontrovertible proof of his guilt.

44 posted on 05/11/2003 5:39:26 PM PDT by Wolfstar (If we don't re-elect this truly great President, we're NUTS!)
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To: polemikos
Good list of "coincidences." There were a minimum of two anthrax letters that were never recovered: the first one and the one sent to Dan Rather's office. The critical one is the first, for several reasons. Had it been recovered, we would have incontrovertible proof of when and where it was mailed. It's content was different from the known letters, which means it may have contained clues to the sender's identity. In fact, as described in news reports, the first letter is so different from the four recovered letters, that it not outside the realm of possibility that all but the first were copycats of the firt.
45 posted on 05/11/2003 5:53:37 PM PDT by Wolfstar (If we don't re-elect this truly great President, we're NUTS!)
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To: cake_crumb
Re when the mailings occured: How do we know ATTA himself didn't drop them in a postal box on his way up to Maine? Right after 9/11 commerce and traffic in the greater NYC area was considerably disrupted.
46 posted on 05/11/2003 5:57:17 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Wolfstar
That Florida anthrax attack is the piece in the puzzle the media often likes to ignore these days.

It occurred first and may have predated 9.11.2001.

47 posted on 05/11/2003 5:59:56 PM PDT by weegee (NO BLOOD FOR RATINGS: CNN let human beings be tortured and killed to keep their Baghdad bureau open)
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To: Wolfstar
There were also letters sent to media-types that had excrement in them with block lettering, there was some panic over those letters. I think that was coincidence, but it may have thrown much of the initial investigation off-kilter.
48 posted on 05/11/2003 6:01:03 PM PDT by bvw
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To: cake_crumb
Since I'm in a wandering state of mind today, let me suggest the following: ATTA stopped by the WTC on his way up the east coast to Maine. In Maine he flew to Logan, Boston. There in New York, or nearby he posted the envelopes. When traffic in lower Manhattan was shut down for some days, that mail got delayed.

This may explain the nurse in NY and Otilie Ludgren in Connecticut, and the boxes in central Jersey.

49 posted on 05/11/2003 6:06:51 PM PDT by bvw
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To: craig_eddy
Yep. that's exactly the way I'd do it. Just get me an ol canoe and create an airtight,..............hey pal, what exactly are you smoking?

Yeah, no one would ever notice that for sure! Great plan!

50 posted on 05/11/2003 6:10:41 PM PDT by Doc Savage
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