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Selling the threat of bioterrorism (LA Times investigates Alibek)
LA Times ^ | 7/1/07 | David Willman

Posted on 07/01/2007 8:58:07 AM PDT by TrebleRebel

WASHINGTON — In the fall of 1992, Kanatjan Alibekov defected from Russia to the United States, bringing detailed, and chilling, descriptions of his role in making biological weapons for the former Soviet Union.

----------- Officials still value his seminal depictions of the Soviet program. But recent events have propelled questions about Alibek's reliability:

No biological weapon of mass destruction has been found in Iraq. His most sensational research findings, with U.S. colleagues, have not withstood peer review by scientific specialists. His promotion of nonprescription pills — sold in his name over the Internet and claiming to bolster the immune system — was ridiculed by some scientists. He resigned as executive director of a Virginia university's biodefense center 10 months ago while facing internal strife over his stewardship.

And, as Alibek raised fear of bioterrorism in the United States, he also has sought to profit from that fear.

By his count, Alibek has won about $28 million in federal grants or contracts for himself or entities that hired him.

The Los Angeles Times explored Alibek's public pronouncements, research and business activities as part of a series that will examine companies and government officials central to the U.S. war on terrorism -----------------------

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Russia
KEYWORDS: academia; alibek; altimimi; amerithrax; anthrax; biologicalweapons; coldwar; islamothrax; kenalibek; russia; ussr; weaponizedanthrax
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Wow, LA Times investigates Alibek and probably about times someone did. We've been pointing out his bizarre statements on the anthrax attacks for years here on FR.
1 posted on 07/01/2007 8:58:08 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: Shermy; jpl; Mitchell; allen; Qwertrew


2 posted on 07/01/2007 8:58:45 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel
Alibek has won about $28 million in federal grants or contracts for himself or entities that hired him.


3 posted on 07/01/2007 9:01:16 AM PDT by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: mtbopfuyn

Hmmm... is right.

4 posted on 07/01/2007 9:03:13 AM PDT by AliVeritas (America, love it or leave it. To Harry Reid: See me, feel me, touch me, bite me.)
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To: mtbopfuyn

The Strange Case of the Missing Silica

It continues to bemuse us here at anthrax2001 blogspot why so many people see so many different things when they claim to have been shown the electron micrographs of the Daschle anthrax spores. At anthrax2001 we tend to believe that the actual scientists with first hand access to the samples and who are controlling the Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) and X-Ray analysis tools know what they are talking about. That’s why when the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology report that they found silica on the surface of the Daschle anthrax we have no reason to believe they are making this up.

Also, we have no reason to believe that Drs. Tom Geisbert and Peter Jahrling of Fort Detrick are being anything other than totally professional and honest when they relay their story of finding this silica to author Richard Preston in his book “Demon in the Freezer”

The passage below is an exerpt from “Demon in the Freezer”:

10/25/01 Geisbert tests a sterilized sample of the Daschle anthrax. X-rays, and other tests show two materials present: silica and

“The silicon was powdered so finely that under Geisbert’s electron microscope it had looked like fried-egg gunk dripping off the spores.” Geisbert calls his boss, Peter Jahrling on a secure STU phone and says: “Pete ! There’s glass in the anthrax.”

...superfine powdered glass,known as silica nanopowder,which has industrial uses.The grains of this type of glass are very small.If an anthrax spore was an orange,then these particles of glass would be grains of sand clinging to the orange.The glass was slippery and smooth,and it might have been treated so that it would repel water.It caused the spores to crumble apart,to pass more easily through the holes in the envelopes and fly everywhere, filling the Hart Senate office building and the Brentwood and Hamilton mail-sorting facilities like a gas.”

On the other hand, certain other inividuals, whose motives remain fuzzy and unclear, seem to like to make mischief by pretending that there was no silica present on the Daschle anthrax.

It seems Professor Meselson and Dr Alibek are desperate to tell any newsman or camera that points in their direction just the complete opposite. Let’s have some fun by looking at some direct quotes from these two bioweapons “experts”.

Dateline June 1 2002:
Meselson concurs that the anthrax evinces no sign of special coating or processing. “There is no evidence that I know of,” he told me, “that it was treated in any special way.”

Dateline March 31 2003:
Ken Alibek: To talk about silica, when I’ve looked at micrographs, I haven’t seen any silica in the samples. We shouldn’t forget that silica could be contained in an outer shell of an anthrax spore. Based on this information its hard to see if it is foreign or domestic. What you can see is that there was a lot of incorrect info published in the media. This anthrax wasn’t sophisticated, didn’t have coatings, had electric charge and many other things.

Dateline November 5 2002:

Both of us have examined electron micrographs of the material in the anthrax letter sent to Sen. Tom Daschle, but we saw no evidence of such balls or strands. In July 1980, the Journal of Bacteriology reported an “unexpectedly high concentration of silicon” to be naturally present in the outer spore coat of bacillus cereus, a close relative of bacillus anthracis. Is it possible that the unnamed sources misinterpreted silicon naturally concentrated in spore coats as something that was artificially added?

Can anyone understand why Professor Meselson and Dr Alibek would go to such extraordinary lengths to deny the official position of the US government? Of course we all know that the anthrax investigation is packed with misinformation, innuendo and politics. Professor Meselson already has a meaningful reputation when it comes to denying hard facts about anthrax bioweapons and if you read Tom Mangold and Jeff Goldberg’s Plague Wars you’ll see what we mean.
But what about Dr Ken Alibek, the Soviet defector? What motivation could he have to deny that the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks was bioweapons grade material?

5 posted on 07/01/2007 9:12:18 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel

Uh oh, Ed Lake is going to get really steamed at the L.A. Times now for attacking one of his most cherished sources of information about the anthrax.

6 posted on 07/01/2007 9:55:47 AM PDT by jpl
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To: TrebleRebel; jpl

One thing I’ve learned reading msm spin, if they add “said quietly” for dramatic effect, dig deeper.

The article reads like the writer wants to put his head back into the 9/10 sand. He wants the message to be “All scares about mass casualty foreign biothreats are false and Alibek is the source of them.”

Yet reading between the lines, All I get is Alibek probably lied merely about the smallpox. He had bureaucratic problems? Big deal. He wants to make a buck off the bioterr mandates? Why not?

The writer really, really wanted an expert to say “Don’t worry, It was all Alibek, you can go back to worrying about Evangelicals”, but can’t find one to say that. The “he only lied about smallpox” isn’t worth a big article like this, which is intended to serve as a foundation to an anti-terr war narrative.

It almost pained the writer to have to mention the actual anthrax attacks. And the biggest crime of this article will not be apparent to 99.9% of people. So the writer gets to talk to Alibek, crucial to the actual attacks, and doesn’t ask him anything about that??? Or even mention his involvement at all?

7 posted on 07/01/2007 3:17:35 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy; TrebleRebel
I agree that for the most part, the article is a whole lot of nothing.

The smallpox isn't the only thing Alibekov has been lying about though.

8 posted on 07/01/2007 3:32:13 PM PDT by jpl
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To: Shermy
He wants the message to be “All scares about mass casualty foreign biothreats are false and Alibek is the source of them.”

I tend to think pretty much the same way you do. It's important to remember that the anthrax attacks actually happened immediately following the 9/11 attack even though most media seem to want all that to go down the memory hole. It's also pretty certain that they were not the work of disgruntled domestic right-wingers who haven't done any such thing before or since. It's totally certain that Ken Alibek really was the director of an enormous Soviet biowar facility, and that the Soviets pumped an enormous amount of conventional weapons into Iraq, and that Iraq really did have a biowar lab headed by "Dr. Germ", and that Saddam really did use chemical weapons on the Iranians and the Kurds. Those are all alarming things that the L.A. Times doesn't want anybody to be alarmed about.

9 posted on 07/01/2007 5:58:36 PM PDT by TheMole
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To: TrebleRebel

At the end of April 2007, George Mason University made another decision that was felt by the biodefense students to severely impact the quality of their educational program. In response, a former university student who previously had access to and had retained copies of important documents decided to release some of those documents to the students. Since they are interesting, I am sending them to you so that the world can see more of this fascinating story.

Ann Workman

Letter from Ken Alibek resigning as Program Director

George Mason University
National Center for Biodefense
10900 University Blvd. MSN 4E3
Manassas, VA 20110
Tel. (703) 993-8545
Fax (703) 993-4288
June 17, 2005
Dr. Daniele Struppa
Dean - College of Arts and Sciences
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Dear Dr. Struppa,
Just over a month ago, you, Dr. Chandhoke, Dr. Bailey and I met to discuss the future of the Graduate Programs in Biodefense. The result of that meeting was that significant changes were to be made to the program beginning in the Fall 2005 semester. At the time a follow-up meeting was scheduled for a week later (then canceled) so that as a group we could finalize the changes that needed to be made. For weeks I have anxiously awaited the follow up to that meeting but I have heard nothing (I have not even received the courtesy of a response to my emails outlining my suggestions). I can only interpret this lack of attention as a lack of interest in the improvement of the program. The fall semester is two months away and there has been no word on exactly what the changes are and how they are to be implemented.

When the Graduate Programs in Biodefense were created they were based on what I believed to be a shared vision of what biodefense meant. For reasons still unclear to me, the College has decided to turn the program into something fundamentally different than what was originally intended and planned.

Over the past month I have tried to reconcile myself to these changes. As time passes, however, I am increasingly uncomfortable with the direction the program is taking and I am not comfortable directing the program. I can not jeopardize my credibility in order to appease those who have no understanding of what biothreat and biodefense are.
I have several specific concerns, the first of which is that the majority of our students already work in the fields of national and homeland security and/or chem/biodefense. These are experienced professionals who will neither be well served by, nor satisfied with a program that offers only a superficial survey of the field. In fact, these professionals already know much in the area of biodefense and came to this program to make their knowledge more sophisticated.

The issue of having a large number of appropriately trained experts in biodefense is more pressing than ever. The asymmetrical threat of bioterrorism is increasingly recognized by the U.S. government. The fact that 5-7 grams of anthrax powder sent through the mail in 2001 resulted in over $1 billion in decontamination costs alone clearly demonstrates how important this issue is.

My second concern is that dissolving the four concentrations completely does a great disservice to our current and future students. A microbiologist interested in medical biodefense has little interest in nonproliferation issues and vice versa. We’ve already witnessed such frustration when students take the core courses. The students with a life sciences background want more sophisticated scientific knowledge in the field of medical and engineering defense; while students with a policy background are more interested in biological warfare, bioterrorism threat, biodefense, and nonproliferation. At the very least, two concentrations – a science/technical and a science/non-technical – should be offered. Having the same course of study for these two diverse groups is not a good idea. I am deeply concerned about the viability of a program without at least these concentrations.

The third area of concern is regarding the decision to stop all admissions until the fall of 2006 -even though initially the decision was made to allow the continued admission of MS students. This inability to make decisions reflects poorly on the program, the College, and the University. Staff in the biodefense graduate program is bombarded daily by frustrated and even angry potential students – some in upper level positions within various government agencies and departments, asking for an explanation of such a hasty and unprofessional decision, but we have nothing to tell them because we have been told nothing.

There has been a complete shutdown in communication between the College, the NCBD administration, and the administration of the graduate programs in biodefense that I find both perplexing and frustrating. I am trying to resist the urge to assume that this lack of communication is indicative of the College’s level of commitment to the program and its 250+ students, but it is difficult find an alternative explanation.

Decisions are being made behind closed doors, leaving the program’s administration and staff increasingly worried. There is great concern over the fact that these decisions are being made without input from either the staff or from the students. Students were attracted to this program for specific reasons, to substantively change the program without their input is irresponsible and will be detrimental to the program. Our students came here to receive an education on how to best protect the country against a bioterrorist attack, which could cost many thousands of lives.

Unfortunately under such circumstances, I can no longer remain as the program’s director. I have chosen to step down as the director of the program effective July 1, 2005. I am deeply committed (and will continue to be) to the students and will continue to teach classes, advise students, and serve on committees but I can not continue as the program’s director and allow students to believe that I have either initiated or support these changes. In addition, I will gladly help the newly appointed director in whatever capacity my expertise is relevant.

I fully understand that as the program grows, changes will need to be made to keep it a thriving, productive, and profitable entity at George Mason University . However, the extreme nature of the changes that have been suggested severely damages the program to the point where I consider it irreparable. It is impossible for me to understand why someone would want to destroy this program when it distinguished George Mason University in this field from any other university in the world. This program is very close to my heart and I have dedicated several years working 12-16 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure the success of the program. I am still committed to its success, but I cannot stand idly by and watch it degrade into mediocrity.

Sincerely, Ken Alibek MD, PhD, ScD
Distinguished Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Dr. Peter Sterns
Dr. Vikas Chandhoke
Dr. Charles Bailey

Letter from Ken Alibek resigning his tenured faculty position

Dear Students,
In addition to my official letter of resignation, a copy of this letter I wrote for the students will be sent to President Merten, Provost Stearns, Dean Struppa, Dr. Chandhoke, and Dr. Bailey.

As you recall, last summer there were changes to the Biodefense program that I believe impacted the quality of your education and the security of the nation. As I could not support these changes (removal of courses necessary for in-depth education, loss of legitimate medical and engineering concentrations for students with catalogue rights, loss of concentrations for all students admitted Fall 2005 and later, termination of your educational support staff, and reduction of new admissions), I stepped down as Director but retained my faculty position at your request. Despite my strenuous objections over the last year, I have been unable to convince the administration of the importance of these classes that are so vital to an effective and proper Biodefense education. I know many students also complained to the administration about the changes however their efforts yielded the same null results as mine.

The seriousness of certain events (events of which you are unaware) that occurred after I protested the changes to your academic program last summer prompted me to seek resolution through the department administration, college administration, university administration, grievance committee, and the Board of Visitors but without any visible response. More recently I informed you that there were further changes within the administration that I couldn’t support and that I would begin negotiating the end of my employment with George Mason University . Though I kept the needs of the students foremost in my mind during these negotiations, the administration and I never agreed on terms. For example, I could not agree to the university’s request that I no longer permit students to seek my help as an advisor on Biodefense related matters.

Three long months ago, I filed a grievance concerning the changes to the academic program and the serious events that occurred after I protested those changes and the effects I believed they would have on the students and on national security. A couple of weeks ago, I received a belated reply that the grievance committee was scheduling a meeting for March 22nd however yesterday I received a new email from the grievance committee. The message essentially was that they were postponing the date of the meeting indefinitely and that the students planning to observe the proceedings were not welcome. I find the postponement of the meeting and the interference with students wishing to attend proceedings about their own educational program and futures unacceptable but not surprising.

It is with sadness that I must now inform you that I have decided to relinquish my position as tenured professor at George Mason University . I will continue teaching this semester however will be on vacation throughout the summer and will not be returning for classes in the Fall. My official date of resignation is August 27, 2006. Though I understand my absence will have some affect on the students, the Provost recently assured everyone of the University’s commitment and ability to provide education and dissertation support for all students. When I responded to the Provost about the letter he sent to the students, he said that I “was free to set up a meeting of (my) own, outside of class time, and discuss whatever (I) want to discuss (with the students)”. As your education and your futures are at stake, I would encourage all of you to attend the meeting with the Provost on March 20th to ensure that he is able to provide you with satisfactory answers to at least the following questions:
From what perspective is the program that existed from Fall of 2005 to current the same academic program that previously admitted students agreed to purchase?
In consideration of the numerous courses that have been cancelled, if there were sufficient courses remaining to satisfy student requirements, why are there so many students taking directed studies or directed research type classes?
How can the administration say that students admitted prior to Fall 2005 still have the option of legitimately obtaining a medical or engineering concentration when there is an insufficient number of units available to do so without having to substitute unrelated courses?
How come no new qualified faculty have been hired to teach essential Biodefense courses in the areas of:
Advanced Bacterial and Viral Threat Analysis
Advanced Response Training
Advanced Toxin, Chemical and Radiological Weapons DefenseTraining
Principles of Toxicology and Toxinology
Advanced Crisis and Consequence Management
Anti-crop and Anti-livestock Weapons Defense
Dispersal Patterns of BW Threat Agents in a Field Environment
Working within a Hot Zone
Regulations for Working Within the BSL3/BSL4 Environments
Advanced Epidemiology of a Bioterror Attack
Biodefense Technologies
Prophylaxis and Therapeutic Methods and Approaches to Development
Detection and Diagnostic Methods and Approaches to Development
Disinfection, Disinsection, and Deratization Methods and Approaches to Development
Table Top Exercises and Organization of Drills
Investigational Microbial Forensics
Principles and Methods of Nonproliferation of Chemical and Biological Weapons
Export Controls
Open Source and All Source Analysis of Biological Weapons and Related Technologies
Principles of Biological and Chemical Weapon Attack Surveillance
Medical Response to Large Scale Chemical and biological Weapons Attacks
And many others
How will the current faculty who are trained in laboratory based sciences be able to assist students with their non lab-based dissertations in a field outside their expertise
If I am a member of your committee and you will not be graduating this semester, I encourage you to actively seek those individuals who will now assist you through what remains of your education and dissertations. I am sorry that all of my efforts on your behalf over the last year have been unsuccessful and regret to inform you that I have exhausted all options open to me through the university. Though there is nothing left I can do for you, do take notice that you were able to attract the attention of the Provost when you united to defend your education. It has been a pleasure working with you and I wish you every success in the future.
Ken Alibek

Excerpts from student letter prepared for Grievance Committee hearing

Dear Grievance Committee;
This composition will serve two functions: an elaboration of detail that I will present verbally and a written complaint from a Biodefense student. I have excluded names of students to protect their identities however will furnish them to the members of the committee in exchange for a written, actionable, personal guarantee of confidentiality from all members of the committee. Before providing the names of the students, my attorney will draft the appropriate agreement to be signed by all members of the committee.

In order for you to truly appreciate the depth of my conviction as I appear before you today, you must understand the personal cost I will incur as a result… I knowingly yield this award to serve the principles of justice and to give voice to my fellow students long silenced by fear of retaliation from members of the faculty and the administration.

For me, today represents the culmination of a long fight to preserve what was a very unique and necessary educational program. I started fighting for my contractual rights last summer when I spent thirteen hours carefully drafting my “letter of concern” before providing a signed copy to Dr. Alibek and another to a member of the administration I will just call “administrator”…

It is important for you to know what events took place after I submitted the letter… The administrator who received a copy of my letter of concern had a closed door meeting with a member of the faculty (I’ll just call this person “faculty”) in a very thin-walled office adjacent to mine. I could hear their conversation through the wall... I could also hear them discussing how best to approach me.

Faculty came into my office about one hour later (Having overheard the conversation, I had been waiting). Faculty wanted to discuss my work in the laboratory and said that it wasn’t acceptable. Faculty then said that if I wanted to stay in the lab that I would need to stop taking courses and stop working with Dr. Alibek...This manipulative attempt was completely expected after overhearing the conversation.

Students have seen some bewildering occurrences:
Students became suspicious when the education staff that was so vital to the students was eliminated for an unannounced reason.
One of Dr. Alibek’s student’s dissertation was jeopardized when the student didn’t request a human subject research waiver even though he wasn’t doing research on human subjects. Since the situation was so preposterous, suspicion of targeting Dr. Alibek’s students was further aroused
I have been approached on two different occasions with warnings from a student:
First warning was not to get too close to Dr. Alibek as he has really made some people angry and “retribution” was coming
Second warning was that I had really angered some people. I said that I wasn’t worried about a few angry students because they didn’t have the power to hurt me. The individual then indicated to me that it wasn’t the students, that these people had the power to hurt me. I responded that individual was then talking about administrators or faculty but even they lacked sufficient power. The individuals parting comment was for me to be careful.

Excerpts of letter submitted by Ken Alibek to Board of Visitors (regulatory body above the University President) requesting internal investigation of university practices

Dear members of the Board of Visitors;
My name is Dr. Ken Alibek. I am currently a distinguished and tenured professor at George Mason University where I have worked to establish a number of biodefense activities for the benefit of the university and the nation. Specific benefits include a new biodefense graduate program with more than 250 students, millions of dollars in new contracts with the federal government, and development of the Regional Biocontainment Lab concept. Unfortunately I must inform you that I am now considering the terms of my resignation from the university because I have witnessed a highly disturbing lack of scientific, educational, and moral values, values that are integral to the credibility of any university.

I have been diligently working since July 2005 to bring my very serious concerns to the highest levels within the university but they have yet to be officially addressed by the President, Provost, or Dean of the College of Arts and Science. The irregularities I have extensively described previously pose a serious threat to the reputation and credibility of the university and need to be addressed by the Board of Visitors as soon as possible. The most serious threats to the university include…

Esteemed members of the Board, the items listed above are only a few examples of the “irregularities” I have brought to the attention of university officials… I strongly encourage the Board of Visitors to open an internal investigation as soon as possible to prevent George Mason University from enduring the public embarrassment experienced by some other universities recently.

Mason has discord with another leading scientist regarding questionable practices at the University

Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 13:39:31 -0400
Subject: NCBID issue
Dear Dr. Alan Merten,

In an email from December 14th, 2006, sent to Dr. Bailey with a copy to you, I have described my concerns about the questionable practices and conduct of experiments at the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID), some of which where ordered by the US government.

I have experienced these problems firsthand and I feel that it is my duty to see that this problem is resolved. It is not my concern that speaking up against this conduct prevented me from receiving a position at NCBID, but the fact that concealment of this information from the clients is fraudulent and unethical. I have not received a response from either you or Dr. Bailey as of yet. Please, let me know what actions were taken or you are planning to take to address these problems, and if the customers were informed of this situation.

Vladimir Vinnitsky

The original letter written by Vladimir Vinnitsky 14th December, 2006:

Dear Dr. Bailey:

It has been to my great disappointment, to be asked to leave NCBID. Yet it is not the fact itself, but the fashion in which it has been done and the surrounding circumstances, that are the greatest source of my discontent. In this letter I will share my perspective on the true nature of factors which ultimately led to my dismissal. There were three reasons which moved me to do so. First of all, I was referred to you by Dr. Lance Liotta, M.D., Ph.D. and Dr. Emanuel Petricoin, Ph.D., whom I have been honored to have successfully worked with at the NIH and whose opinions I value greatly. Secondly, as a renowned published scientist, with vast experience I simply cannot silently accept false accusation of professional incompetence. Finally, as a professional I feel obligated to bring to your attentions the questionable practices which I have faced while working at NCBID, and which in my honest opinion may ultimately compromise the success of your organization.

September 2006, you have offered me to join NCBID, first as an expert in the field of in vivo studies, then within a year move on to oversee a temporary animal facility Biosafety Level-2 Laboratory, and going forward Regional Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory. I gladly accepted your offer and submitted the necessary paperwork, which I was told would take about three weeks to process. In the mean while, Dr. Popov asked me to assist him with the execution of an already designed experiment, as per lack of in vivo experts on his team. Even though I had previous commitments, I agreed to provide my expertise as a part-time contractor. I carried out my part of project strictly adhering to the protocol.

After 8 days of working at NCBID I was given three days to design a new experiment titled Role of Syndecan1 in B. anthracis (Sterne) infection of DBA/2 mice even though I made it very clear that I had no previous experience in this field. I worked 14-hour days including Saturday and Sunday studying publications on anthrax and pathogenic role of syndecan1 in B. anthracis infection to produce the design of new experiment on time and in accordance with the title of the project. Dr. Popov never discussed or even mentioned my design and instead proposed and approved his own design on investigation focused mainly on toxic effect of heparin. Even though I had limited expertise in this specific area of study, relying on my vast experience with in vivo experiments I pointed out the following flaws of the approved design: 1) since heparin is not a shed syndecan1 the design would not adhere to the title of the project or tell us anything about the role of shed syndecan1 in pathogens is of anthrax infectious; 2) the experiment would produce no new information on heparin’s toxic effect in toxic doses, since it was already thoroughly researched by other scientists in the past; 3) as part of the experiment design mice would be injected with B. anthracis preincubated with heparin and protamine sulfate, however the bacteria would not be tested for viability in vitro, thus the experiment could not produce valid data. 4) a limited number of mice (95) and a large number of groups (15) could not produce statistically significant data. Considering all these flaw of the experiment design I suggested that the experiment would produce no new or useful information and would be a waste of time and funds. Dr. Popov disregarded my comments and approved his own design. As I predicted the experiment failed. I was dismissed 5 days before I was scheduled to present on the findings of this experiment.

Even though I was initially invited to only assist on a single in vivo project and at that time had not even been officially hired as a full time employee, I was assigned 3 other major projects:
1. Design of a commercial project on the investigation of Effectiveness of Olive Leaf Extract /Oleuropein for treatment of B. anthracis infectious.
2. Design of in vivo experiments in accordance with the project Use toll-like receptors as potential targets for specific and broad-spectrum protection against several biological weapons.
3. Development of animal model for gastro-intestinal anthrax infectious.

I was given three days to research and prepare a design for the project on using the Oleuropein for treatment of the B. anthracis infectious. I was working to present the project on time, but did not get a chance to do so as I was dismissed the day before the presentation was due.

Concurrently, I was working on the design of the experiments for the project titled Use toll-like receptors as potential targets for specific and broad-spectrum protection against several biological weapons. I was instructed by Dr. Popov to design the experiment to be biased to produce a conclusion that toll-like receptors are ineffective against anthrax, as the project had already been paid for by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and he needed to close it as quickly as possible with minimal expenses. I made it clear to him that I could not accept such instructions and that I would proceed to design the experiment properly. Again I was fired before I had a chance to present my work.

To summarize, I successfully completed my part of the project that I was initially invited to participate in. I agreed to design 4 additional projects, before I had even been officially hired, which were never acknowledged, discussed or reviewed. I was dismissed before I had a chance to present any of the projects that I had been assigned and worked extremely hard on, on very tight deadlines. So, you dismissed me on the grounds of insufficient performance, yet did not even bother to verify Dr. Popov’s accusations to discover that none of my work had ever been reviewed allowing to make any sort of conclusion about my performance. At the same time I’m led to realize that Dr. Popov had alternate motivations in getting rid of me.

I would also like to bring to your attention blatant disregard for animal facility safety SOP which I observed during my work under Dr. Popov’s supervision. One of PI’s direct responsibilities is to provide training to his personnel involved in their projects using animals. Dr. Popov failed to do so completely. Considering the fact that the laboratory deals with experiments on infected animals, lack of SOP safety training puts the staff in real danger. Infected animal necropsy had often been performed outside of a laminar flow hood risking contamination. An incident took place when one of the untrained staff a member was bitten by a B. anthracis (Sterne) infected mouse. Fortunately in this case the mouse was infected with a benign strain. In contrast, when working at NIH, even my 30-year experience of working in animal testing facilities did not exempt me from taking a test on animal safety Emanuel, before I was cleared to work with animals.

In conclusion, I believe that it is obvious that my professional incompetence had nothing to do with my dismissal from NCBID. I hope that this incident will not reflect poorly on my reputation in Dr. Lance Liotta’s and Dr. Petricoin’s eyes. I also hope that my comments will be useful in uncovering and dealing with the problems present at your Laboratory.

Finally, I would like to express my deepest regrets that I did not get the opportunity to apply my knowledge, experience and effort to establish a temporary animal facility Biosafety Level-2 Laboratory and in perspective Regional Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory, which is what I had primarily been hired for. On the completion of my hiring process, I was ready to present to you a plan of implementation for establishing temporary animal facility, including paper work in compliance with Animal care and Use Regulations and Policies, Animal Care and Use Guidelines, Animal Care and Use training, SOPs, and other regulations to establish topnotch facilities.

Vladimir Vinnitsky, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc.

10 posted on 07/05/2007 9:05:15 PM PDT by Ann Workman
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To: Ann Workman
Wow. Another Russian bull***** his way into America with tall tales.

And a bunch of pointy headed over educated losers in Academia fell for it and showered him with taxpayer money in the form of 'research grants'.

Color me shocked.



11 posted on 07/05/2007 9:11:29 PM PDT by Lurker (Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing small pox to ebola.)
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To: Shermy

I’ve spoken and corresponded with Alibek about Amerithrax and spoken to a lot of GMU faculty and past employees.

Ken says the FBI suspected GMU graduate student Ali Al-Timimi of accessing the know-how used in the anthrax mailings. But he says Ali was more of a “numbers guy.” Timimi had a security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy. His work was bioinformatics which Les Baillie explained to Rauf Ahmad in a lecture in the UK was important in understanding anthrax.

Timimi was known to be an islamic hardliner but most of the faculty I’ve spoken to about him rarely saw him around. Sergei Popov tells me he did not know him to ever have been involved in a biodefense project. Anna Popova says she rarely saw him. Dr. Alibek says he would see him occasionally in the hall. Victor Morozov who inherited Timimi’s phone number after Timimi left (and VM arrived), was just a few doors from Dr. Alibek and Dr. Bailey. Dr. Bailey referred me to counsel when I asked him to confirm Dr. Timimi’s room number. GMU Assistant General Counsel declined to confirm the room number. Virginia state FOIA requires the request be submitted by a state resident so I haven’t pursued it. But no one would dispute that Dr. Timimi had access to Center for Biodefense facilities and also the inventory of American Type Culture Collection. That had always been the hallmark of the program Timimi was in. Beginning in 2002, he was on the GMU payroll at $70k and had access to the computer system.

I contacted ATTC and they do not deny they had Ames in their patent repository, as distinguished from their online catalog. (Their information officer wrote by email) Dr. Bailey is a prolific researcher with the Ames strain. And of course Dr. Alibek is very knowledge about anthrax. Dr. A & B filed a March 2001 patent involving the concentration of biological agents using siliica. Then the fellow who inherited Timimi’s phone number co-invented the process with Dr. Bailey of removing the silica from the surface. This is what the forensics showed. The presence of sliica — on the EDX. But that detected silica was said by Alibek and Meselson, who saw some of the SEMS, not to be observable on the SEMS. The FBI has known this for a half decade. Timimi was raided on February 26, 2003 after intercepts showed in 2002 he was communicating with Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali.

Timimi drafted a letter for OBL’s sheik al-Hawali and had it hand-delivered to all members of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax letters to Daschle and Leahy. The strains put on the GMU program are illustrated by the limitations on technical education and training that were imposed without the reasons being communicated.

While I think the proliferation of know-how poses a great danger, and policy-making should not be guided by pork-fueled, revolving door practices typifying our government, it seems that all Ken is guilty of is becoming too adept at working within the American system.

12 posted on 07/07/2007 4:52:10 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: ZacandPook; Ann Workman

I think your post was meant for new member Ann

13 posted on 07/07/2007 1:33:59 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy; piasa; jpl

Here are Dr. Alibek’s published views from October 2002 compared with his views from June 2005. In 2005, he was doing research funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency relating to treating anthrax infection. After these 2005 renarks, he told me that the FBI suspected Ali al-Timimi at GMU of accessing the know-how, so the reference to one of his students is especially telling.

1. Alibek Doubts FBI Claims on Hatfill
Phil Brennan,
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2002

Dr. Ken Alibek, one the world’s leading authorities on biowarfare, has cast significant doubt on the claims of the FBI that Dr. Steven Hatfill or another American may have been behind last years mail anthrax attacks.

Alibek, former head of the Soviet Union’s bioweapons program and now executive director for George Mason University’s Center for Bio-Defense and a distinguished professor at GMU, offered his candid comments about the Hatfill case on NewsMax’s exclusive “Off The Record” Club audioprogram. Click Here for more info.

Alibek, who has been consulted by the FBI on the anthrax attacks, said that an analysis of available evidence suggests that there is reason to believe that the source of the anthrax attack was foreign, not domestic, as claimed by the FBI.

Though not precluding the possibility the anthrax was from a domestic source, Alibek says on “Off the Record” that he has serious questions about this theeory.

Alibek cites, among other issues:

The hijackers were looking for crop dusters. He says it’s hard to believe that they wanted to use crop dusters for attacking the World Trade Center.

The first cases of anthrax were in Florida, near where some of these hijackers lived. Also, there were reports about a strange anthrax-type ulcer on the leg of one of the hijackers before 9/11.

The timing of the attack in conjunction with 9/11 was “sort of a simultaneous attempt” to cause a greater fear and anxiety. “Sometimes, it seems to me, that somebody actually used this atmosphere of panic, anxiety for sending anthrax in which it could be a domestic case. There are many issues and questions that we still have unanswered, but you notice I don’t answer this question to say, ‘OK, it was a domestic war’ or ‘... a foreign case.’”

In one of the letters the word “penicillin” was misspelled. Hatfill, a medical doctor, would hardly have not known how to spell the word. “It’s hard for me to believe that somebody with medical background would make such a big mistake, if it’s not done intentionally, of course.”

The FBI failed to conduct an immediate search of the places where the hijackers lived in Florida. Alibek said that “when you do any investigation you shouldn’t get rid of any possible opportunity, any possible lead. If you took a week just to reach your conclusion, saying OK, domestic case or foreign case, you can lose some very important evidence. And specifically, if, for example, you narrow down your investigation, at the earliest stage of investigation and then you follow this path, for example, and just, in about six, eight or nine months or a year, you find out it was the wrong case, of course, it’s too late to go back to seek for some other cause ... because in many cases, people have short memories.”

Alibek said he didn’t buy the claims of FBI profilers who think the anthrax attacks were orchestrated by a patriotic American who wanted to warn Americans about the danger of bioweapons. He said those who concocted the anthrax mail attacks were simply cold-blooded killers.

Noting that the FBI early on devoted most of its energies and resources to tracking a domestic perpetrator, Alibek said: “For example, if you investigate something immediately after it happened, people still have something in mind, what they saw, what they knew, and so on and so forth.

“In my opinion, in each case when you do an investigation, of course, you need to keep in mind all possible situations until you have ... very strong opinion or very strong proof that some of the leads are appropriate, I would say. In this case, you shouldn’t have done domestic investigation at early stage of this investigation.”

2. In a June 2005 interview in a Swiss (German language) weekly news magazine, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Ken Alibek addresses the anthrax mailings:

A. “...What if I told you Swiss scientists are paid by Al Qaeda? You could believe it or not. It has become somewhat fashionable to disparage Russian scientists. Americans, Iraqis, or whoever could just as well be involved with Al Qaeda. Why doesn’t anyone speculate about that?”

Q. “But could one of your students build a biological weapon in the garage?”

A. “Let me reply philosophically: Two hundred years ago, it was unthinkable to believe that people would be using mobile telephones, wasn’t it? Everything changes. Our knowledge grows, and technology develops incredibly quickly. These days even high-school kids can breed recombinant microbial strains. I am not saying that a student is in a position to build a biological weapon all by himself. But the knowledge needed to do it is certainly there.”

14 posted on 07/08/2007 3:39:55 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: ZacandPook

Thank you for your additions to this conversation. Timimi was no longer at Mason when I arrived on scene but I know everyone else you mentioned as I used to work with them and was a student of and assistant to Dr. Alibek. There are two points I wish to address:

1. Re: The limitations on technical education and training that were imposed without being communicated. There were no such limitations imposed. Students could do research alongside the Molecular and Microbiology Faculty at the Center if they had the appropriate biology backgrounds (many didn’t but I did) and they could take advantage of internships and other employment opportunities offsite. Additionally, Dr. Alibek worked hard to provide his students with a variety of important opportunities both inside the laboratory and outside the laboratory. Though he did these types of things for many students, I’ll give you just a few personal examples to illustrate then get back on point: He offered me and other students challenging jobs within his company; He used his contacts to help others find jobs in other companies; He took half a day to meet with an associate of his to try and help me get a position in his associate’s organization; He arranged for me to help him teach biodefense courses (he declined most of the compensation and arranged for it to be given to me instead); He has asked me to stand in for him at some professional events; He introduced me as an expert at a national conference and gave me his speaking time so that I could present my work and establish my career; He arranged for me to provide the background material and to be interviewed for a Discovery Channel special on biological weapons; He arranged for me and some other students to jointly write a series of books for publication (he declined all compensation); When I ran out of money, he offered me a summertime position in his company (I declined because the wages were too high for the amount of work...he knew I was in financial trouble); And the new animal research facility to be built was intended to be staffed by students and graduates of the biodefense program.

From personal experience and knowledge from working both at the Center in the labs and from working for Dr. Alibek, there were no limitations on technical knowledge and training imposed upon the biodefense students who had backgrounds appropriate to the type of work you describe. It is absolutely vital to remember that laboratory based science is but a small (yet critical) part of the eclectic science of biodefense but many opportunities were definitely available to the students. It is also important to mention that the Center did not have highly pathogenic agents nor did we have access to them through ATCC, a secure facility.

2. Re: Capability of his students to build a biological weapon in the garage. Dr. Alibek is an extremely educated and experienced individual with an extraordinarily high degree of expertise in medicine, biotechnology, microbiology, and immunology as well as other areas less pertinent to this discussion (his knowledge of history is amazing). While he is sufficiently skilled to produce anti-cancer and cardiovascular disease drugs without any effort, his students lack such capability.

He did provide his students with the very sophisticated knowledge required to understand biological weapons (much more complex than biological agents) however he withheld a sufficient amount of information to make it extremely difficult for us to “build biological weapons in our garages”. When he says the information is available, he means that the information is available to all members of the public willing to sift through a large number of publications to assemble a variety of details important to the process. Once all of the details are collected, the interested parties would still have to devote all of the time required to assemble what can be a very complicated puzzle depending upon the type of weapon and attack they had in mind. It could take many, many years of trial and error for a group to develop an effective biological weapon useful for a sophisticated, mass casualty attack or it could take a few weeks to months to develop a biological dispersion device capable of achieving fewer casualties but still terrorizing the public.

Dr. Alibek trained us to understand and defend against biological weapons, not to build them. As probably one of the most educated of his students, having helped him with his courses on numerous occasions and having helped him teach some of his courses elsewhere, even I lack sufficient capability, not to mention I completely lack the motivation, to build a sophisticated biological weapon. But I do understand them and the threat exceptionally well thanks to amazing mentors (Ken Alibek and Peter Leitner) who worked tirelessly to raise awareness and to prepare a generation of defense experts trained to understand the differences between biological agents and biological weapons, the threats posed by biological weapons, and how to mount a comprehensive and multi-layered defense against them.

Now graduated and working in national security, seeing first hand what little knowledge about biological weapons (again, more complex than biological agents) remains in the community and how this dilemma is driving misplanning, I can promise you that loss of the unique education program Ken Alibek and Peter Leitner developed at Mason isn’t helpful (to put it mildly). In order to fix the problem, I need the assistance of other people who have been trained by these experts in a program that was dovetailed to provide comprehensive knowledge yet there are only a handful of graduates. It is a tremendous amount of work for so few people, even with the crucial cooperation of the many fine experts in microbiology, medicine, public health, etc. The situation is in serious and immediate need of resolution.

15 posted on 07/08/2007 6:49:50 AM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: Biodefense student

Thanks so much for the authoritative information. I like Ken and have always found his authoritative expertise equalled only by his approachability and willingness to educate the public on the policy issues. Same with others like Sergei P.

Can you help me with additional factual details?

Ken told me the FBI suspected Ali Timimi of accessing know how. But he said he thought of Timimi as more of a “numbers guy”, without hands-on drying expertise and in any event, did not know the non-technical aspects of the investigation such as al-Timimi’s work with OBL’s spiritual godfather al-Hawali. Al-Hawali’s detention was repeatedly invoked by OBL as the reason for his attacks. The Washington Post reported that the FBI suspected al-Timimi of involvement in the anthrax mailings in an October 2006 article titled “Hardball Tactics in an Era of Threats.” His lawyer too at the time of the search of his townyhouse noted their suspicion and alluded to the warrant.

The GMU webpage said that the bioinformatics people had access to the ATCC facilities. What facilities would have been involved? The bioinformatics program was jointly sponsored by ATCC.

Dr. Alibek used the phrase “catalog rights” — which some students had and some did not. What did that involve?

One former employee called me — after she was terminated shortly upon her hire — after she says she complained of lax security. She said that the media was failing to distinguish between the ATCC catalog and the patent repository, which she said would have had virulent Ames.

Dr. Alibek had a security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy relating to bioinformatics. Would a security clearance allow access not available to students generally?

Who owned and operated the BL-3 lab at the location? When was that built? What pathogenic organisms required a BL-3?

Are you familiar with the March 2001 patent filed by Ken and Charles relating to concentrating biological agents using silica? And the related patent co-invented by Charles and Victor relating to removal of the silica from the surface by repeated centrifugation or an air chamber? It was a “bio-friendly” patent that was publicly disclosed sometime after 9/11, after 6 or more months of confidentiality. It was not classified, and left many details to be known only by those skilled in the art.

Serge says he never knew Ali to have any role in a biodefense project. Do you know what al-Timimi’s room number was? Do you know what Victor’s room number was when he first arrived? He inherited Ali’s telephone number when Ali left and Victor arrived and so I was wondering if he moved into that office in Discovery Hall (before taking an office in Bull Run when it was completed). That room was a few doors from both Ken and Charles which is why I ask. Neither Charles nor GMU will confirm Ali Al-Timimi’s room number — the lack of transparency is not good under the circumstances.

Thanks so much for your informed perspective. I think Ken is great and want to avoid misunderstanding of the facts. Ken was polygraphed as were 200, as I recall, who worked in the field. Were a number of people at GMU polygraphed?

Did you have a security clearance?

From the directory online, it is my understanding that Ali shared a department fax with Ken and Charles and the others in the department. Is that accurate?

16 posted on 07/08/2007 8:05:04 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: Biodefense student

BD, you describe ATCC as a secure facility.

Was Discovery Hall’s Center for Biodefense a secure facility?

17 posted on 07/08/2007 8:09:02 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: Biodefense student

Pardon the typo.

I had written:

“Dr. Alibek had a security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy relating to bioinformatics. Would a security clearance allow access not available to students generally?”

I meant Ali Al-Timimi had a security clearance for mathematical support work for the Navy relating to bioinformatics.” Source: Milton Viorst’s fascinating “The Education of Ali Al-Timimi.”

MV knew Ali as a child. He tells me that he doesn’t think Ali should have to spend 15 minutes for exhorting some young men to go abroad if they felt so compelled by their faith. I tend to agree (so long as they surrender their citizenship upon leaving). It is merely serendipity that the state makes the rules which prevented the young men from exalting their religion over their nation state. Ali’s work for the Navy was for the SRA International which does biodefense work. I don’t know the nature of the work Ali did.

18 posted on 07/08/2007 10:38:04 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: ZacandPook

You ask a lot of questions, most of which I can’t answer. I didn’t arrive at Mason until 2004 so have no direct knowledge regarding Timimi nor do I believe everything I read or hear. I only like to deal in facts which is why I despise the bag of lies and omissions written by David Willman.

So here are some facts for you. ATCC is across the street from George Mason University however they do have some additional space in Discovery Hall. I imagine they lease that space from either the University or the State but couldn’t tell you for sure.

Discovery Hall is a secure building but then again so is my apartment complex and my apartment. During business hours, the entry doors are unlocked and there is a security person at the front desk to check badges or student ID’s. After hours, people that have been granted authorized access by the Mason Police Dept (upon receipt of the appropriate documents) can use their card at the card reader to unlock the door and gain access to the building. It is not easy to establish one’s need to enter the building after hours however was granted such access due to the experiments I was conducting and my school schedule.

Once inside the building, there are additional security measures in place however it would be irresponsible for me to describe them in detail. What I will say is this...just because you have access to the building does not mean you have access to the Mason labs and certainly we had no access to the ATCC section. If we needed something from ATCC, we would order it just like any other company and it would actually be sent through UPS/FedEx just like for any other customer. I always thought that was very funny as it would have taken less time to walk across the street but we had no special access.

Now, why the security? The university has absolutely nothing of interest in the building except the standard lab supplies and equipment that could be found in any university laboratory. The bottom floor doesn’t even have any labs...just offices. I believe the security was mostly for theft control and such measures can be found even in a department store. You give the Center for Biodefense far too much was just ordinary faculty offices and some BSL-2 labs...that’s it. The building was designed to have a BSL-3 lab suite however it was not used for that wasn’t even completely set up for use at that level. I did general microbiology work on a vaccine strain (non pathogenic) of Francisella tularensis in that very suit and when I left, it was being used for extra storage space. I wouldn’t know if ATCC had a BSL-3 lab as we had no access to that area.

When talking about catalog rights in regards to students, we would be talking about a contract between the university and the students when the students are admitted to the program. Students agree to pay for the training specified in the catalog however were extremely displeased when the university changed things to the point where students could obtain the education for which they were paying. For my personal example, I was to earn a concentration in medical biodefense however they removed the courses I needed to take in order to do that other than “in name only”. There are many examples but they are not for this format. Suffice to say, students stopped receiving the education for which they were paying.

As far as security clearances go, it was just a standard university lab facility undeserving of such mystery and intrigue. Possession of security clearances were irrelevant. And as for access to the computer system, I had access too. It was nothing except access to the internet (just like at home) and whatever files you cared to save on your computer at work. Again, no mystery involved. Not even an intranet system.

I don’t wish to discuss my knowledge of any patents or publications having to do with Dr. Alibek, Dr. Bailey, or Dr. Morozov not because there is any intrigue about them but because I don’t have the full story regarding ownership or authorship. Without Dr. Bailey’s side of the story, I will keep my knowledge to myself as it is the responsible thing to do. You would have to ask Dr. Bailey for his level of involvement (contributions) regarding the patents and publications just as Mr. Willman should have asked Dr. Alibek for his side of the story.

I don’t understand what the big fuss is about regarding fax machines but at the time that I was there, I know of two different fax machines. One was in Occoquan Hall and one was in Discovery Hall. There may have been more but I know there were at least two of them.

In closing, don’t think about the Center like a small version of USAMRIID with classified work being executed and mysterious characters lurking about. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was just the regular university lab space complete with lack of supplies, broken equipment, and hardworking faculty and students. Nothing special.

Hope this helps.

19 posted on 07/08/2007 10:57:43 AM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: ZacandPook

In fact, after a few minutes consideration, I know there are a number of other fax machines distributed between at least the two buildings if not all three of the buildings.

I have absolutely no knowledge about Timimi or to what he had access.

20 posted on 07/08/2007 10:57:44 AM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: Biodefense student

1. As for Timimi’s classified work, the excellent Atlantic Monthly article explains only:

“Some of the jobs required that Ali obtain a high-level
security clearance; one assignment was in response to a call
from the White House, which provided him with a letter of
commendation after his work was done. He later enrolled as
a doctoral candidate at George Mason University, in north-
ern Virginia, near where he then lived. The specialty he
chose was computational biology, a new field that contained
the promise of breaking fresh ground in medicine through
the advanced use of computers. “

“The school even hired Ali—though it let him
go after he came under suspicion by the FBI—”

2. As for any classified work done by the Center for Biodefense, I have no idea what the work done for DARPA entailed — the webpages of the faculty members use big words and thus are of not much help to me. During the 2000-2002 period, DARPA funded the Center in the amount of $13 million, I believe. (But correct me if I’m wrong). There is a 2005 powerpoint presentation describing Dr. Alibek’s work relating to anthrax infection, listing his assistant and contact person. I don’t know whether such research is classified or not, but it doesn’t relate to a method of weaponization. I’m told by a government expert, however, whose lab knows enough to have been raided by the FBI, that the March 2001 patent does relate to a method useful in concentrating biological agents — and useful in weaponizing them. It involves silica in the growth medium. A simple method resulting in a sophisticated product concentrated beyond what otherwise would be the case. While GMU Center for Biodefense students such as yourself did not have accesss to ATCC facilities, the bioinformatics students did as explained on the university webpage. As to the details of Ali’s security clearance, and whether it was still in effect, I have no idea. But thanks very much for the clarification on the BL-3 as of 2004 — that’s the only way to progress to a correct understanding of the details.

3. Like I said, I credit Alibek as an expert and do not mean to suggest he or the Center did anything wrong.

4. The Viorst article says Ali published a half dozen articles while at GMU.
I can’t find more than a couple in case you are better at researching the literature. His published research I’ve seen involved cancer.

5. On the subject of computers, former CIA Director Deutsch used to email notes from classified Pentagon briefings to his home computer via his AOL account. It never pays to underestimate the ability of someone who hopes for the destruction of the United States to read one’s communications.

21 posted on 07/08/2007 11:35:14 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: ZacandPook

errata -

Nawaf’s friend from Saudi Arabia, Hani Hanjour, was not at the KL meeting.

He joined Nawaf in San Diego before they then moved to Falls Church — getting a speeding ticket en route in Oklahoma.

Then they moved to New Jersey.

23 posted on 07/08/2007 12:59:19 PM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: ZacandPook

Very interesting reading but unfortunately I have no more facts to offer as most everything described was from before my arrival at Mason. Cheers.

24 posted on 07/08/2007 7:25:56 PM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: All

Dear Reader,
Because I am so disappointed that more people don’t take the time to write pleasant and inspiring articles about people rather than write articles showing the darkness and despair within humanity, I am going to tell you in this very public format about Dr. Ken Alibek, a man who I am very honored and privileged to call mentor and friend. If you want to know the truth about this man, keep reading.

Since I mentioned my lack of appreciation for articles that just show the darkness and despair within humanity, I would first like to briefly address David Willman’s July 1, 2007 article about Dr. Alibek. Since I am quite familiar with most everything Mr. Willman described, it made me absolutely furious to see such a biased article full of “inaccuracies” (to use a more polite term). Though I would dearly love to discredit the author and the newspaper, I won’t. I won’t engage the author and the newspaper simply because Dr. Alibek asked me to join him in forgiving them for printing such a biased story full of “inaccuracies” and I agreed to try. It will be exceedingly difficult for me to forgive them as I lack the incredible strength of character required to forgive such a heinous crime. Dr. Alibek does not suffer from the same insufficiency of character…he has already forgiven them.

My husband and I have had the pleasure of knowing this man for three years and we both know him to be an extraordinary individual possessing many fine qualities not apparent to people distracted by his previous work for the former Soviet Army. In fact, I’m confident I know him rather well and that his humility is going to keep him from enjoying this exposition should he ever learn of its existence. Yet I will take the chance of incurring his displeasure in order to tell you about him, someone who is very special in this world. I will preface the rest of my comments by offering forgiveness at this time to those who respond negatively to this posting and just extend my apologies to them as they haven’t had the opportunity my husband and I have had to know such a fine individual.

Yes, Dr. Alibek was highly skilled at making biological weapons for the former Soviet Union but what does that really mean?
1. People gasp when they hear the words chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons but why do they respond that way? It is because they are conditioned to respond that way to weapons of mass casualty or weapons of mass destruction. My perspective is a little different as I view them less passionately along with all of the other weapons man has created to take the life of an adversary…they are all unfortunate innovations. Though I don’t like them, I understand that they are just natural progressions in the development of more effective weapons for war and it makes no sense to vilify their developers any more than the developers of any other weapon. I don’t see the criticisms of those people who invented tanks, grenades, or machine guns. An easy example would be the M249 Light Machine Gun used by troops in our military as it can fire up to 1000 rounds per minute. I have no idea who invented it probably because a weapon with the potential to kill 1000 adversaries/minute doesn’t make the headlines yet its destructive power is obvious.
2. People don’t understand that the process to manufacture biological weapons is very similar to the process to manufacture biopharmaceuticals (but with some important differences). To manufacture biological weapons requires great expertise in biotechnology that can be applied to a variety of products. Dr. Alibek made major improvements to mass production capabilities in the biotechnology field but instead of focusing on what innovative knowledge he has to offer our biotech industry, people focus just on the one product that was of the greatest interest to the former Soviet government, a government at war, and forget that he also produced sera, antibiotics, vaccines, and interferon. He performed a vast amount of work to improve the health of people during those times and he does an unbelievable amount of work to improve the health and welfare of people now. “Dr. Ken Alibek producing biopharmaceuticals that could save the lives of millions of sick children” isn’t nearly as attractive a headline to the masses as “Selling the Threat of Bioterrorism” so you will never see it published anywhere…yet it is the truth. Regardless, he works twice as hard as men half his age in order to ease the suffering of the world’s people. He is a physician not only by training but also by nature.

Instead of discussing events at George Mason University that have been called into question, I will direct you to the information posted online by Ann Workman and ask you to decide for yourself if there is more to the story than what Mr. Willman published. Though I don’t like the use of the term “fascinating”, the documents provided are genuine though I know the information that had the most potential to damage the reputation of the University was removed before posting. Regardless, I believe the documents demonstrate the extreme integrity and motivations of Dr. Ken Alibek and give the reader some insights into the man himself.

You have very patiently waited for me to tell you about Ken Alibek, the man. “What is he like?” is a very common question asked of me and my husband and I will tell you what I tell everyone. First, Dr. Alibek really isn’t going to like that I do this for you because he is a very humble man but I know that he will forgive me.

In addition to his great capacity for forgiveness, the man truly is brilliant and innovative. One misconception I want to clear up right now is about whether or not ironing letters can kill anthrax (B. anthracis) spores. This thoughtful suggestion to people who were really panicked about the possibility of receiving a contaminated letter was discredited, but later Marc Roberge (a high school senior and son of a prominent CDC scientist) conducted an experiment that supported Dr. Alibek’s statement. Mr. Roberge’s experiment and results were to be published in a peer reviewed journal but I haven’t looked for the publication.

I already mentioned throughout this letter that Dr. Alibek is brilliant, innovative, humble, forgiving, strong, and hardworking. He is also very kind, generous, and thoughtful but as the saying goes - do not mistake his kindness for weakness. He is a consummate professional and a highly skilled businessman with noble intentions. He is absolutely dedicated to helping other people…a genuine philanthropist. Additionally, people who truly know him will tell you that he is a man of high integrity as well as a loyal and trustworthy friend. My husband and I are truly fortunate and proud to have him in our lives.

Dr. Debra Anderson

25 posted on 07/08/2007 7:26:14 PM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: Biodefense student


My own sense of Ken, from following the heated debate since 2002 about the method of weaponization and the detection of silica, is that he has been generous, direct and what he has said squares with reality. The vitriol that arose, IMO, was due to the conflict between the detection of silica by Armed Force Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”), which found it a major component, and the report by Dr.Alibek and Dr.Meselson that they could not see it on the SEMS images they were shown. The two empirical observations, however, are in fact reconcilable as noted in the post above. Moreover, while some argued that the product was super-sophisticated, it was easier to achieve a trillion spore concentration in a small scale production than in industrial production (through repeated centrifugation). Bottom-line: Dr. Alibek was correct in his expert assessment of the technical characteristics of the anthrax and he never sounded a false note. See, for example, his online chat sponsored by the Washington Post. His argument merely has been that it is possible to achieve a sophisticated product using a relatively simple method. Zawahiri had a scientist, Rauf Ahmad, learning some tricks of weaponization from a scientist in connection with his attending conferences sponsored by the UK biodefense establishment in 1999 and 2000. See correspondence between Rauf Ahmad and Zawahiri. The name of the scientist consulted has been blacked out but the name was not anyone associated at GMU. The FBI has known the name since late 2001.

Dr. Alibek’s views were shared by Dr. William Patrick, who came to consult for the FBI, showing you that they seem to credit the view.

The article by FBI scientist Beecher, although the two sentences have been overinterpreted, also tends to support Ken’s characterization.

Ken’s main recommendation as to anthrax defense is to more widely distribute the already existing antibiotic stockpiles so as to permit more speedy distribution. See interview of Ken by Aton Edwards on YouTube. That seems very reasonable.

26 posted on 07/09/2007 2:26:24 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: Biodefense student


My own sense of Ken, from following the heated debate since 2002 about the method of weaponization and the detection of silica, is that he has been generous, direct and what he has said squares with reality. The vitriol that arose, IMO, was due to the conflict between the detection of silica by Armed Force Institute of Pathology (”AFIP”), which found it a major component, and the report by Dr.Alibek and Dr.Meselson that they could not see it on the SEMS images they were shown. The two empirical observations, however, are in fact reconcilable as noted in the post above. Moreover, while some argued that the product was super-sophisticated, it was easier to achieve a trillion spore concentration in a small scale production than in industrial production (through repeated centrifugation). Bottom-line: Dr. Alibek was correct in his expert assessment of the technical characteristics of the anthrax and he never sounded a false note. See, for example, his online chat sponsored by the Washington Post. His argument merely has been that it is possible to achieve a sophisticated product using a relatively simple method. Zawahiri had a scientist, Rauf Ahmad, learning some tricks of weaponization from a scientist in connection with his attending conferences sponsored by the UK biodefense establishment in 1999 and 2000. See correspondence between Rauf Ahmad and Zawahiri. The name of the scientist consulted has been blacked out but the name was not anyone associated at GMU. The FBI has known the name since late 2001.

Dr. Alibek’s views were shared by Dr. William Patrick, who came to consult for the FBI, showing you that they seem to credit the view.

The article by FBI scientist Beecher, although the two sentences have been overinterpreted, also tends to support Ken’s characterization.

Ken’s main recommendation as to anthrax defense is to more widely distribute the already existing antibiotic stockpiles so as to permit more speedy distribution. See interview of Ken by Aton Edwards on YouTube. That seems very reasonable.

27 posted on 07/09/2007 2:26:24 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: Biodefense student

Richard Ebright’s views are interesting.

In an article supportive of Dr. Alibek’s technical claims about recombinant technology, Mark Williams interviewed scientists Popov, Meselson, Ebright and others. The article was “The Knowledge: Biotechnology’s advance could give malefactors the ability to manipulate life processes — and even affect human behavior” in The MIT Technology Review (March/April 2006). The article is based on interviews with Sergei Popov (an expert at GMU who had worked as a Russian bioweaponeer), University of Maryland researcher Milton Leitenberg, Harvard’s Matthew Meselson, Rutger’s Richard Ebright and others.

An excerpt:

“After last year’s bioterrorism conference in DC, I called on Richard Ebright, whose Rutgers laboratory researches transcription initiation (the first step in gene expression), to hear why he so opposes the biodefense boom (in its current form) and why he doesn’t worry about terrorists’ synthesizing biological weapons.”

‘There are now more than 300 U.S. institutions with access to live bioweapons agents and 16,500 individuals approved to handle them,” Ebright told me. While all of those people have undergone some form of background check — to verify, for instance, that they aren’t named on a terrorist watch list and aren’t illegal aliens — it’s also true, Ebright noted, that ‘Mohammed Atta would have passed those tests without difficulty.’ “


‘That’s the most significant concern,’ Ebright agreed. ‘If al-Qaeda wished to carry out a bioweapons attack in the U.S., their simplest means of acquiring access to the materials and the knowledge would be to send individuals to train within programs involved in biodefense research.’ Ebright paused. ‘And today, every university and corporate press office is trumpeting its success in securing research funding as part of this biodefense expansion, describing exactly what’s available and where.’”

In approaching the Amerithrax true crime problem, the analytical problem is that researchers tend only to focus on their narrow field. So an analyst focused on Al Qaeda may not know anything about US biodefense programs — an analyst knowledgeable about antibiotic or vaccine research may not know anything about Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The scientist may not care to know even though working in the area of biodefense. To knowledgeably address the issue of infiltration and the use of universities and charities as cover — which the documentary evidence shows Zawahiri planned to do and did in his anthrax weaponization program — requires a willingness to become knowledgeable and investigate the different substantive areas.

28 posted on 07/09/2007 3:43:14 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: Biodefense student; Shermy; jpl

Are you the Debra Anderson who contributed to Saxton’s campaign along with Ken Alibek?


Contributions for House of Reps
Campaigns: All Office: House of Reps
State: NJ
District: 3
Next Campaign: 2008

Alibek, Kenneth
Anderson, Debra

29 posted on 07/10/2007 9:03:53 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel; Shermy; jpl

To put the Saxton contribution in better perspective here’s another exerpt from the LA Times article:

Alibek’s most reliable benefactor in Washington has been Rep. H. James Saxton (R-N.J.), a gravelly voiced former elementary school teacher and state legislator. Saxton says that for two decades, he has focused on the threat posed by Islamic terrorism.

For most of the last decade, Saxton chaired the House Armed Services Committee’s terrorism subcommittee and also headed the Joint Economic Committee, where Forrest landed as a senior aide.

On May 21, 2002, Saxton called a news conference to announce “a potential new defense against bioterrorism,” based on Alibek’s tests with mice. After being treated with an experimental product, the mice had survived doses of smallpox and anthrax.

Saxton at the time said that the results held hope for “lifting some of the burden of fear that haunts Americans.”

And, while fighting for an earmark of federal grant money for Alibek at a March 2004 hearing, Saxton upbraided Anthony Tether, the Bush administration’s director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

“You need to be more on his side,” Saxton said of Alibek, adding: “I find it hard to believe that I have to fight as hard as I can to get a few measly bucks to keep him going.”

30 posted on 07/10/2007 9:16:20 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: Biodefense student; Ann Workman; TrebleRebel
Welcome to Free Republic, and thanks for all of your hard work and studies in biodefense on behalf of America.

While I have the utmost respect for our country's higher educational establishment (still second to none in my humble opinion), it does have one glaring weakness which our country desperately needs to address: a shocking naivete when it comes to placing trust in foreigners, especially those from rather dubious locations when it comes to America's national security.

While I certainly don't know Ken Alibek personally, what I do know is that he comes from a background of the deep inner circles of the old Soviet government. And my personal life experiences have taught me that as a general rule, the Russians simply shouldn't be trusted. They are undisputed world masters at the Great Game.

One another name that I am certain you are familiar with is that of Dr. Ali Al-Tamimi, the doctor from George Mason University who was later found to be directly involved with our accursed and sizeable northern Virginia jihad community.

If there is anything that 9/11 and the recent London bombing attacks really should have taught us by now, it is that well-educated people from countries that are overtly hostile to America are being specifically trained to infiltrate the countries of the west under cover of science and academia, when their true purpose is really to gather intelligence on our capabilities, and in some cases to do even far greater damage.

I pray that our governments and academic institutions will someday pull their heads out of the sand and wake up to this reality before it is too late. If they do not, I fear for what eventually awaits us.

31 posted on 07/10/2007 10:01:01 AM PDT by jpl (Dear Al Gore: it's 3:00 A.M., do you know where your drug addicted son is?)
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To: TrebleRebel; Biodefense student


Did you expect Osama perchance to be contributing instead?

It’s called the American campaign of election finance.

There was absolutely nothing inappropriate about Ken being a donor in fact it would be highly perplexing if he weren’t.

So the post was moderately rude.

You are hereby duly cautioned. I didn’t bring Debra to the party but I aim to make sure that no internet posting hooligans pass gas while she’s here at the dance. It’s a rare opportunity to learn something from someone with actual knowledge of the facts under discussion. Now if only you had the good manners of Shermy or Mitchell.

Why don’t you put the education your momma paid for to good use and explain to me why the patents I’ve referenced do not explain the AFIP’s detection of silica.

32 posted on 07/10/2007 10:12:17 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: ZacandPook

I realize you swoon over every word Ken says.

But make no mistake, Kenatjan Alibekov is one the masters of the great game. He led one of the most audacious misinformation campaigns of the cold war. It’s all outlined in Mangold and Goldberg’s “Plague Wars”:

CHAPTER NINE Incident at Sverdlovsk

Page 76:

The Soviets now went to extraordinary lengths to buttress their lies and make them supportable and credible worldwide. What had begun as a local cover-up in Sverdlovsk, now became an international fairy tale, a fiction of breathtaking audacity.

Amazingly, he wasn’t happy enough with the weaponized anthrax he created in the Sverdlovsk leak killing hundreds. Whilst lying to the West he secretly went on to continue to improve the powdered anthrax he had created:

In the years since the Sverdlovsk accident, Alibek and a research team had taken the Soviet military’s anthrax and made it even more deadly. He developed a process to take ground up anthrax spores and coat each particle in plastic and resin. It kept the anthrax aloft four times longer, increasing its ability to infect people.

“The main idea was just to make it more efficient. Just, for example, using a pretty small amount of this weapon to cover as much as possible territory, populated territory, [ to kill as many people as possible.]” Alibek says.

33 posted on 07/10/2007 10:25:47 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: Battle Axe


34 posted on 07/10/2007 10:42:37 AM PDT by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: TrebleRebel

Look, James Dean Cubed,

Did a ballerina from a Russian ballet company fall off the stage and crush you as a child? Deal with the pertinent facts. Intercepts in 2002 show Salafist, Taliban-supporting, end of Western civilization-hoping Ali Timimi was working with Bin Laden’s sheik. Take out Gert’z BREAKDOWN on intelligence failures and look up al-Hawali in the index. He gives the example of the bombing in the mid-1990s where intercepts calling London and explaining to his colleague that it was all to get al-Hawali out of jail, only to take Ayman’s incoming call on the other line passing on his congratulations. Ali had a threatening letter to Congress hand-delivered to all members of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailngs. At 6:00 A.M. February 26, 2003, as part of the codenamed OPERATION IMMINENT HORIZON, the FBI not only raided al-Timimi’s townhouse looking for materials relating to WMD (see warrant) but conducted searches of two drying experts. So start focusing on some relevant questions and get over the ballerina incident. First, what mathematical support work did Al-Timimi do for the Navy in bioinformatics that required a high level security clearance. Second, is it true he had a room just two doors down from both Ken and the former USAMRIID head — both accomplished in anthrax weaponization? Third, don’t the patents I’ve described point to precisely the silica detected by the AFIP and the reason it very possibly did not appear on the surface of the spore? (having been removed by repeated centrifugation). Now, if you find out the SRA International work involved secret methods for cleaning out bilge water, or if you find he didn’t have the office I suggest he did, or if you conclude the patents (as used by someone “skilled in the art” to invoke the phrase from the patents) would not result in the product, then do tell me. I’m here to learn something. The same day they searched al-Timimi’s townhouse — at 6:00 A.M. EST , 100 federal agents came to my hometown and simultaneously interviewed 150 people before 9 A.M. The public may have been fooled, but I wasn’t. And neither was Ayman. And Ayman is one dangerous SOB. Think Godfather on a bad day. I’m not interested in spending another 4 years while Ed insists that the FACTS show the anthrax letters were written by a First Grader or others argue that just because a Japanese cult couldn’t get it right, it means Ayman couldn’t successfully infiltrate the US biodefense establishment.

Of course, if Ken told Ali over a vodka drinking game how to weaponize the anthrax, then we can hang him. But Ali doesn’t drink vodka so that theory is shot.

And of course the guy killed by polonium claimed Ayman was working for the FSB — that instead of being jailed for 6 months in 1996/97 without the jailers knowing his identity, his identity was actually known and he agreed to cooperate against the Chechen rebels in exchange for his freedom. But look where such talk got that Russian guy who ate the polonium.

If Ken has DARPA’s confidence, that’s good enough for me.

But Ali doesn’t have DARPA’s confidence, so let’s start with him.

35 posted on 07/10/2007 1:30:04 PM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: TrebleRebel; jpl; ZacandPook
TR - Lots of different Debra Andersons out there and this one was somebody else. My charitable donations go to supporting 4 children a month through CCF (Charity, Zachary, Supat, and Juan Carlos). That’s the extent of my generous spirit (financially)

Regarding the accident at Sverdlovsk - Dr. Alibek wasn't involved in that. Sverdlovsk was and still is a military facility. Dr. Alibek worked at civilian facilities only. It says in that same article you quote that he was just beginning his career at Biopreparat. Dr. Alibek worked at the Siberian branch of the Institute of Applied Biochemistry near Berdsk from 1976 to 1979 then transferred to the Eastern European scientific branch of the Institute of Applied Biochemistry near Omutninsk. After Omutninsk, he went to Stepnogorsk and then on to Moscow. He knows about the accident because of interactions with people from Sverdlovsk, not because he worked there. As far as the "improvements" to the Sverdlovsk anthrax formulation, the information you have listed is not correct. He did reduce the amount of formulation required as compared to the Sverdlovsk formulation but the way it was done has nothing to do with what you describe as far as plastic and resin. Enhancing "flyability" was something else he did but it isn't related to decreasing the amount of formulation required. As far as coating the spores in resin, that is incorrect too. Though for obvious common sense reasons I won't elaborate further, I'll just point out that coating spores in resin would increase their particle size and mass, decreasing their ability to "float". Sorry, don't know where you received your information but sadly much of what I have seen printed is incorrect. It is really frustrating to be somewhere, hear what he actually says, and then see how incorrect what actually gets printed is from what he said. jpl - thanks so much for that. I couldn’t agree with you more about the naivety within the university system as regards to foreign governments using our educational institutions to train their people. Iraq was especially guilty of this. One of our students actually wrote her dissertation about such vulnerability but during the defense, 2 of her committee members resigned from her committee allegedly due to fear of repercussions from the university administration. Regarding Dr. Alibek, it is natural that you don’t trust him because, as you volunteered, you don’t know him. Zacandpook - thanks for jumping in. All - I am having problems with my email address and will post a new one once they are resolved. Debra

36 posted on 07/10/2007 1:38:11 PM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: ZacandPook
Interesting comment about Charlie Bailey’s knowledge of weaponization. Let me phrase this diplomatically because I see that there is a misconception about his area of expertise.

First - check and see how long Dr. Bailey was head of USAMRIID and under what circumstances he came to that position and left that position. When learning that, take into consideration how the military works (I used to be an MP so I can say that).

second - USAMRIID is a lab like any other lab except that they have some hot agents. Just because a person works there doesn’t mean they know ANYTHING about biological weapons. It only means that they know about biological agents. Be careful on that assumption.

third - for those of you who don’t work in academia, people who are not involved in research projects do sometimes get listed on publications just because of their administrative responsibilities rather than their scientific expertise and contribution. Always ask the authors to tell you their contributions. If they can’t explain, then you know they are only on there either out of courtesy (it does happen) or because they inserted themselves before publication (that happens too).

Dr. Bailey is an entomologist and studied Rift Valley Fever (I believe) and probably some other microbes too but you’d have to ask him what they were. It does not make him a BW expert anymore than being the senior Mason biodefense education program administrator makes him a BW expert. In some areas, he has far more knowledge than I do and he has my respect in those areas but I seriously doubt that he knows how to make anthrax biological weapon much less any biological weapon. Why would he?

37 posted on 07/10/2007 1:52:15 PM PDT by Biodefense student
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To: Biodefense student

I gave the link where I got my information.

Alibek also described in detail to a number of journalists in 1998 how he created the Alibekov anthrax. Richard Preston was one of them, as well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Alibek has a Doctor of Sciences degree in anthrax. It is a kind of superdegree, which he received in 1988, at the age of thirty-seven, for directing the research team that developed the Soviet Union’s most powerful weapons-grade anthrax. He did this research as head of the Stepnagorsk bioweapons facility, in what is now Kazakhstan, which was once the largest biowarfare production facility in the world. The Alibekov anthrax became fully operational in 1989. It is an amber-gray powder, finer than bath talc, with smooth, creamy particles that tend to fly apart and vanish in the air, becoming invisible and drifting for miles. The Alibekov anthrax is four times more efficient than the standard product.

One day, Ken Alibek and I were sitting in a conference room near his office talking about the anthrax he and his research team had developed. “It’s very difficult to say if I felt a sense of excitement over this. It’s very difficult to say what I felt like,” he said. “It wouldn’t be true to say that I thought I was doing something wrong. I thought I had done something very important. The anthrax was one of my scientific results — my personal result.”

I asked him if he’d tell me the formula for his anthrax.

“I can’t say this,” he answered.

“I won’t publish it. I’m just curious,” I said.

“Look, you must understand, this is unbelievably serious. You can’t publish this formula,” he said. When I assured him I wouldn’t, he told me the formula for the Alibekov anthrax. He uttered just one sentence. The Alibekov anthrax is simple, and the formula is somewhat surprising, not quite what you’d expect. Two unrelated materials are mixed with pure powdered anthrax spores. It took a lot of research and testing to get the trick right, and Alibek must have driven his research group hard and skillfully to arrive at it. “There are many countries that would like to know how to do this.” he said.

I have it on good authority that the two unrelated materials used to coat the spores are a siloxane resin and silica nanoparticles. Contrary to your statement, although this coating would slightly increase the mass of each spore, the coating provides the spore with non-sticking properties. Caoted spores will not stick to other spores or surfaces. Thus the spores are aerosolizable.

38 posted on 07/10/2007 2:04:09 PM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: Biodefense student
He did reduce the amount of formulation required as compared to the Sverdlovsk formulation but the way it was done has nothing to do with what you describe as far as plastic and resin.

To re-iterate. It's not the way I described it. It's the way Dr Alibek described it to CBC. see this link:
39 posted on 07/10/2007 2:07:41 PM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: Biodefense student

This makes perfect sense — with Ft. Detrick in the business of vaccine research, for example, not research on aerosols.

Following his retirement from active duty, however, Dr. Bailey continued to have a very distinguished career — working for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) where he was responsible for following the offensive biological warfare program of the former Soviet Union. He was the DIA representative to the intelligence community on issues related to bioterrorism. Beginning in 1997, he worked for Battelle with Ken. So I imagine he has considerable access to know how. So my concern would be that this graduate student coming over from computer sciences at George Washington (Ali) to GMU’s bioinformatics program co-sponsored by ATCC would be able to gain surreptitious access to his communications and documents, particularly given that he had a high security clearance at some point for work for the Navy in bionformatics. Les Baillie once lectured to a group of scientists in the UK that included Ayman Zawahiri’s man Rauf Ahmad on the importance of bioinformatics in understanding the medical response to anthrax. (I’m handicapped by not knowing anything about science beyond what is taught by Bill Nye the Science Guy. Truth be told, I don’t know even that).

In 2001, the Navy was doing simulations involving aerosolized anthrax attacks on ships, though I have idea whether that is what Ali’s work for SRA involved. Ali worked long hours. He presumably was in the building at night — by my estimation, a spitwad’s distance from both Ken and Charles though I’m still working on confirmation. I’ve listed the room numbers and link a floor map. So I don’t see why Trebel Rebel is being so thickheaded on the solution to Amerithrax. US-based supporters of Al Qaeda are responsible and the FBI and CIA have kicked butt in the matter for 5 years but just haven’t been able to take credit.

Ali moved from GWU to GMU in 2000. It was in 1999 that Ayman wrote AQ military planner Atef saying that he planned to use the cover of universities and charities for the specialists they needed to weaponize anthrax. Even upon his indictment, the two folks he mentions (one being Qutb) are the two deep thinkers that most influenced Ayman. See the history of the Movement published this month by Al Qaeda’s spymaster and head of the IG member who joined AQ. The author also wrote a treatise that included a discussion about Amerithrax. The actual key player in arranging things, I believe, was the brother of Sadat’s assassin, Islambouli. He had been in a cell with KSM for years.

If there is an aerosolized attack on DC or NYC, there will be the usual handwringing about the failure of intelligence. But the failure of intelligence, this time, is one of the public that isn’t connecting the dots right in front of it. ... just because there isn’t a press release by the FBI confirming it wasn’t a First Grader who wrote the letters. In a national security matter, a successful prosecution is secondary to disruption of the enemy and keeping the secret.

The rub here, is: are all the secrets being kept legitimate law enforcement priorities? Or is there a strong motivation on the part of DIA, DARPA, USAMRIID etc. to avoid embarrassment. I credit Postal Inspector Richter that there is no “cover up.” But, hey, youse guys, isn’t it time to raise the curtain?

40 posted on 07/10/2007 3:36:46 PM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: TrebleRebel; Biodefense student


To my ear, Omutninsk sounds like a gag by the late comedian Danny Kaye where he says it while he sneezes. But Debra wrote the book. Literally. I’m going to have to send you her 2006 thesis “Lessons learned from the former Soviet biological warfare program” or have her send a copy if we are going to be on the same page — or the same 240 pages with 3 pages of bibliographic references. She’s learned a lot from the esteemed faculty member Peter L, who worked at the DOD while he taught at GMU, so perhaps you can glean whether the DOD credits your theory. (We know Ken doesn’t — he thinks that the concept of a “coating” makes no sense.) See transcript of his explanation provided by Mr. Lake.

On Sverdlosk, unclassified DIA documents show that the intelligence community met with Dr. Meselson at his request and there was a consensus of the representatives from the various agencies that was reached after he left the room that they felt he wasn’t asking the Russians the hard questions. So while we have someone so steeped in learning, let’s ask her the hard questions. Communication is a prerequisite to understanding.

BTW, if ever it should turn out that Ken has obfuscated how to weaponize anthrax, that’s a good thing, right? That’s what he’s supposed to do, right? The gaps left to the knowledge in the GMU patents (where one is referred to the knowledge of those practiced in the art) are broad. It’s important to keep them so.

41 posted on 07/11/2007 2:59:04 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: TrebleRebel

I’ll send you the thesis later this morning.

But in the meantime, hopefully someone will go for the documents that will show Al-Timimi’s access. GMU moved around a bunch and there wasn’t official directory beyond the less detailed and fallible directory published in October 2001 of each year that only provided the location and phone number of faculty and administration. The official records that are highly pertinent, however, relate to the forms relating to his approved access — the actual form that have to be filled out in order to issue people keys. The forms contain not only the room numbers but also the hours the person is allowed to enter the building. The records were kept in a manilla folder in key control, right around the corner from the police dept office in Occoquan. They may still have Timimi’s paperwork which would be able to tell you everywhere on campus he had access. He likely had more than one form. Here is a website address.

42 posted on 07/11/2007 4:11:57 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: Biodefense student
As far as coating the spores in resin, that is incorrect too. Though for obvious common sense reasons I won't elaborate further, I'll just point out that coating spores in resin would increase their particle size and mass, decreasing their ability to "float". Sorry, don't know where you received your information but sadly much of what I have seen printed is incorrect.

Arguing with TrebleRebel on this subject is a waste of time. I've been telling him the same thing for years and years. He considers Gary Matsumoto's article in Science Magazine to be the holy writ on how the spores were made. Doug Beecher at the FBI labs said that Matsumoto's article was wrong and misleading, but TrebleRebel will tell you Beecher's article is just part of the FBI's sinister plot to keep people from learning the truth about the "supersophistication of the attack spores". My analysis of the Science article is HERE.

In late 2004, I talked with Dr. Alibek on the subject of his formulation for improving the "flyability" of spores. Some details are on my site and in my book. I have excerpts from my discussion on my site. CLICK HERE. I have more details of the formulation in my book. It's really very simple. Unlike the article in Science, it also makes very good scientific sense.

Ed at

43 posted on 07/11/2007 7:28:26 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: ZacandPook

Characterizing Mesleson’s behavior regarding Sverdlovsk as “not asking the hard questions” is akin to calling Charles Manson a misunderstood musician.

Meselson is a biologist with zero expertise in pathology. On the first trip to Sverdlovsk Meselson was accomapnied by one of the worlds top pathologists, Alexis Shelokov. Soviet pathologists at Sverdlovsk risked their lives to show Mesleson and Shelokov autopsy slides from the victims that they had hidden from the KGB. Shelokov immediately diagnosed inhlational anthrax from the position of lesions seen in the samples. Meselson, who was the leader of the team, unilateraly overruled this and went along with the official KGB-inspired contaminated sausages fairy tale.

Shelokov personally related this story to me several years ago.

44 posted on 07/11/2007 7:33:24 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: EdLake; Biodefense student

Arguing with Ed lake, whose claim to fame is uncovering fake nude celebrity pictures ( ), is like trying to persuade the Pope that god is a protestant.

Lake claims that weaponized anthrax spores (and weaponized simulants) are NOT coated with silica. His claims are based on what he was told by Ken Alibek. Apparently the rest of the world disagrees with this. There are numerous pictures and descriptions of weaponized simulants in the Volume “Microbial Forensics”. They are are all coated with silica nanoparticles, as they should be.

Of course that doesn’t deter Lake from his conspiracy theories. He simply says all the scientists who wrote this volume deliberately pretented these were weaponzed spores in order to fool people.

In February 2005, Stephan P. Velsko of Lawrence Livermore National Labs published a paper titled “Physical and Chemical Analytical Analysis: A key component of Bioforensics”.[14] In this paper, Velsko illustrated that different silica coating processes gave rise to weaponized anthrax simulants that look completely different from one another. He suggested that the difference in the look of products could provide evidence of what method the lab that manufactured the 2001 anthrax used, and thus provide clues to the ultimate origin of the material.

In May 2005, Academic Press published the volume “Microbial Forensics” edited by Roger Breeze, Bruce Budowle and Steven Schutzer.[15] Bruce Budowle is with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Forensic Science Laboratory. Although the volume does not directly discuss the silica coatings found in the senate anthrax of 2001, the contributors to the chapters discuss in detail the forensics of silica coated weaponized bacterial spores. Pictures are shown of silica weaponized bacillus spores that are both mixed with silica and fully coated with silica. Pictures of weaponized Clostridium spores coated with colloidal (spherical) silica are also shown. Again, the aim of these studies is to define the forensic fingerprints of silica weaponization processes.

45 posted on 07/11/2007 7:43:31 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: EdLake; Biodefense student

Hundreds of references can quickly be found on the internet from dozens of qualified sources confirming that silica coatings are ubiquitous in weaponizing anthrax spores. Here are a few below:

American Medical Association:\
Spores can also be COATED with an electrostatic powder so that they do not clump easily and fall to the ground quickly; these spores would then be more easily aerosolized (dispersed into the air).

Christopher Grace, MD (Univ of Vermont):
Anthrax spores that have been weaponized are finley milled to <5um diameter and COATED to prevent clumping.

Alan Zelicoff:
``The amount of energy needed to disperse the spores [by merely opening an envelope] was trivial, which is virtually diagnostic of achieving the appropriate coating.’’

EDVOTEK (The Biology of Baterial Sporation):
The spores may also be COATED or mixed with silica.................

DuPont presonal prtotection (technical bulletin):

Inhalation exposure is enhanced when anthrax spores are artificially COATED to reduce clumping.

Coulmbia University:

Weaponizing anthrax: Basic approach is to COAT the spores with a fine silica.

Further “weaponization” can be accomplished by processing of the spores such that the tendency for individual spores to clump together is reduced and penetration deep into the distal airways is facilitated. This process results in a detectable COATING of the spore that was seen in oragnisms recovered during the 2001 attack.

46 posted on 07/11/2007 9:05:13 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel
Lake claims that weaponized anthrax spores (and weaponized simulants) are NOT coated with silica.

I don't claim it. I state it as a FACT. No one who examined or viewed the anthrax spores mailed to the two senators in 2001 saw any coating on the spores.

The idea of coating spores to make them more "flyable" is absolute and total nonsense. It's beyond that. It's ridiculous and absurd. It's just plain STUPID. As "Biodefense student" said, coating spores makes them HEAVIER, and therefore LESS FLYABLE.

Silica is not used to COAT spores. It's MIXED WITH SPORES as a drying agent to keep the spores from absorbing moisture. If spores absorb moisture, they'll clump, just the way your instant coffee crystals will clump if you leave the jar open and they absorb moisture from the air.

His claims are based on what he was told by Ken Alibek.

My statements are based upon SCIENCE. I interviewed Dr. Alibek, Bill Patrick, Matthew Meselson and many others to understand the SCIENCE of spores and bioweapons. It was clear that some irresponsible reporters were ignoring the scientists who would know the facts - microbiologists specifically - and instead were going to "scientists" who would be totally ignorant on the subject of spores, like chemists and pharmacists, to find the "experts" who would tell them what they wanted to hear.

Of course that doesn’t deter Lake from his conspiracy theories.

TrebleRebel believes that if microbiologists agree about microbiology and agree that the chemists and pharmacists are wrong about the microbiology of coating spores, then it must be a conspiracy.

He doesn't like being called a "conspiracy theorist" and claims he doesn't see any conspiracy when he rants endlessly that the FBI is covering up the facts about a "supersophisticated" coating, when he claims that Meselson and Alibek are in on the plot to mislead the American people, when he claims that Doug Beecher is lying, etc.

TrebleRebel spins everything to support his beliefs. He cites a book which shows pictures of coated spores which PROVE that coating spores is ridiculous, but he sees those pictures as some kind of proof that spores are coated when turned into bioweapons. Obviously, the pictures were intended to INSTRUCT first responders and others what coated spores would look like, so they won't make the same mistakes that were made with the anthrax in the Daschle letter and FALSELY ASSUME there was a coating even though no coating was visible to ANYONE. The pictures in the book show that such a "coating" would be clearly visible to EVERYONE.

Just look at these pictures: Could anyone possibly look at those spores and miss the fact that they are coated? Could anyone believe that spores coated in such a way would be more "flyable" than pure spores which have been flying around and killing people for thousands of years?

Ed at

47 posted on 07/11/2007 9:19:19 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake; TrebleRebel

I’m not arguing with TrebleRebel and I never find it a waste time to learn from him (or anyone) and look forward to the day it is over beers. Now let me give a quick summary of Debra’s thesis. Alibek and Patrick both wrote forewords. Debra, who does Bill Patrick is responsible for the anthrax mailings? Al Qaeda? Or US-based supporters of Al Qaeda? What about Glen Cross who likely has thought a lot about Amerithrax and was also advised by Dr. Alibek.

The stated purpose of Debra’s doctoral project “Lessons learned from the former Soviet biological warfare program” was to develop the most credible educational tool openly available to enhance the understanding and the application of biological weapons threat analysis. The theory governing the effectiveness of biological weapons was integrated from publications, lectures, and seminars primarily provided by Kenneth Alibek and William C. Patrick III, the world’s foremost authorities on the topic. Both experts validated the accuracy of the theory compiled from their work and provided forewords. An exercise requiring analysis of four national intelligence estimates of the former Soviet biological warfare program was included in the form of educational case studies to enhance retention, experience, and confidence by providing a platform against which the reader can apply the newly learned theory. After studying the chapters on BW theory, the reader can compare his/her analysis of the national intelligence estimates against the analysis provided in the case studies by this researcher. This training aid will be a valuable tool for all who are concerned with the threat posed by biological weapons and are therefore seeking the most reliable source of information in order to better understand the true nature of the threat.

Third sentence: “Highly regarded scientists have publications that unintentionally contain misleading or imprecise information that could misdirect preparation for a biological attack.”

“The only way we can adequately prepare to meet the threat is if we are able to identify it in all its forms. Because we have so few people trained to anticipate the tactics that may be used by our opponents and the realistic threats such tactics pose, many of these individuals we have to rely upon to guide use in our defenses aren’t the optimal individuals to use. They may be experts in very important supporting fields such as microbiology or chemistry however they often lack the specific knowledge and training that would allow them to contribute more broadly to defenses against biological weapons....”

“Aerosol dissemination”” starts at page 56.

“Concentration reaching target” starts at page 6

Separately, Glen A. Cross has a 2007 thesis titled “ Dirty war: The Rhodesian chemical and biological warfare effort, 1975 to 1979” also supervised by Dr. Alibek.

Refresh my recollection, Ed. Was Mr. Cross the fellow who Dr. Hatfill mentioned the idea that a pond would be a way of disposing of equipment? Is he the fellow Marilyn T. then says was hired the FBI as an analyst? If so, another candidate for your summer beach reading is his thesis, which
examines Rhodesia’s effort to identify, develop, and use select chemical and biological agents against a burgeoning African nationalist insurgency during the mid-to-late 1970s. You may recall that Zimbabwe was part of the vapor trail that Don Foster thought followed Dr. Hatfill.

Having granted independence to majority governments in its other African colonies, the British government in the mid-1960s believed it could not grant independence to Rhodesia’s white minority government which ruled a largely disenfranchised African population. After negotiations between London and Salisbury failed to reach a compromise, the Rhodesian government unilaterally declared its independence on 11 November 1965.

Rhodesia’s declaration of independence led the African nationalist groups toward a violent overthrow of the Rhodesian government. From 1965 to 1972, the insurgents launched a disastrous series of raids resulting in the destruction of the insurgent infiltrators. After Portugal withdrew from neighboring Mozambique in 1974, a Marxist government took power that favored the Rhodesian insurgents, and allowed Rhodesian insurgents to establish training bases in Mozambique and launch attacks against Rhodesia, effectively opening a second front in the conflict.

From 1976 to 1979-—with the escalating conflict in Rhodesia-—Rhodesians developed a CBW effort focused on the dissemination of poisoned clothing, food, beverages, and medical supplies destined for guerrilla groups. Biological pathogens and toxins also were employed. Vibrio cholerae also was used to contaminate water supplies. Bacillus anthracis was field tested and considered for deployment at the end of the conflict. Although the Rhodesians considered and may have disseminated some small amount of anthrax in mid-1979, no evidence exists to suggest that the Rhodesian anthrax epidemic (1978-1982) was caused by a Rhodesian release of anthrax into the environment. Some first-hand statements indicate that South African Special Forces were responsible for the Rhodesian anthrax epidemic as part of an effort to punish Matabele villagers for their suspected support of ANC cadres transiting Rhodesia. Although not decisive, the Rhodesian CBW effort resulted in the recorded deaths of over 800 insurgents and possibly hundreds more.

The Rhodesian CBW effort was the progenitor, if not the genesis, of the South African CBW program-—aka “Project Coast.” The Rhodesians provided detailed data on their CBW efforts to their South African counterparts and tested CBW agents for the South Africans. The Rhodesian CBW legacy transmitted to South Africa has resulted in the possible proliferation of that legacy to other unstable regions of the world, meaning that the spectre of the Rhodesian CBW program of the 1970s may remain with us still.

48 posted on 07/11/2007 9:25:07 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: TrebleRebel

In a telephone call, I first told Ken about the AFIP finding that silica had been detected. He had not known that. All he had ever said prior to that call was that he could not see it on the SEMS images he saw.

With the advancement of silica nanoparticles about the time of the mailings, it is not surprising he did not see it on the SEMS images he was shown.

After using silica in the cuilture medium to permit greater concentration of the biological agent, (see Alibek/Bailey patent dated March 14, 2001), the silica can then be removed through repeated centrifugation or an air chamber. See Bailey/Morozov patent. (Morozov inherited al-Timimi’s phone number).

I would like you to put yourself on record as to why those patents are not indicated by the forensics. The government bioweapons expert I consulted has told me that the patents would serve this purpose — and are indicated by the forensics. While you are not a microbiologist, and neither is Ed, perhaps Debra, too, could put herself on the record as to why use of the method is not indicated by the method described in the patents. it would be especially helpful if Ken did also.

Meanwhile, ATCC should put itself on the record and say it did not have the Ames strain (if that is the case). Presently, they refuse to deny that they had it.

49 posted on 07/11/2007 9:56:33 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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To: EdLake

Ed, have you read Ken Alibek’s patented method of concentrating a biological agent through use of silica? A method that then leads to “pure spores”?

50 posted on 07/11/2007 10:00:18 AM PDT by ZacandPook
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