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Tabloid editor's wife rented apartment to 2 hijackers
miami herald ^ | October 15, 2001 | ALFONSO CHARDY, WANDA J. DeMARZO AND RONNIE GREENE

Posted on 10/14/2001 9:51:42 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde

Confirming a clear link between the terrorists targeting America and the South Florida company hit by anthrax cases, the FBI said Sunday that the wife of The Sun tabloid editor rented two Delray Beach apartments to two hijack suspects killed in the Sept. 11 suicide missions

The Sun is part of the American Media Inc. tabloid chain, and it employed photo editor Bob Stevens, who died this month from inhalation anthrax. Two other AMI employees were exposed, and five more are being retested to confirm positive blood test results

Sun editor Michael Irish's wife, Gloria, a real estate agent, rented unit 1504 at the Delray Racquet Club, 755 Dotterel Rd., to Hamza Alghamdi and unit 260 at the Hamlet Country Club, 401 Greensward Lane, to Marwan al-Shehhi this summer, said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela

Al-Shehhi and Alghamdi were on United Airlines Flight 175, the second jet to strike the World Trade Center.

``There is now a link between the editor's wife and the terrorists,'' Orihuela said

But just as quickly, she said the FBI wasn't drawing immediate conclusions

Right now, it looks like a coincidence,'' Orihuela said from outside the tabloid's Boca Raton headquarters. ``We are not searching the apartments at this time. We are focusing on this building.''

In other developments Sunday, three more anthrax exposures were reported from a letter received at NBC in New York, and four Microsoft workers who came in contact with a contaminated letter in Nevada tested negative for anthrax. The exposures in New York were to a police officer who handled the letter, and to two lab technicians.

In South Florida, the apartment connection marks the most direct link to date between the hijack suspects and the AMI anthrax cases. It was first reported in The Mail newspaper in Great Britain

The Delray Racquet Club apartment in question is central to a massive federal investigation into the terrorist attacks. Investigators trying to piece the puzzle together created a diagram that includes photos of the 19 hijack suspects

At the center of the diagram, which was obtained by The Herald: an image of a house with the address 755 Dotterel Rd. Arrows link nine of the suspects to the icon.

Hamza Alghamdi rented the apartment in Delray Beach just north of Boca Raton, the FBI said. The other seven, including suspected ringleader Mohamed Atta, are connected because they visited the apartment or otherwise had a direct tie to the inhabitants, said a federal official familiar with the investigation.

Previously, only Saeed Alghamdi and another terrorism suspect, Ahmed Alnami, both aboard United Flight 93, which crashed 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, were the only terror suspects connected to the Delray Racquet Club apartment.

MEETING GROUND

It is clear that the apartment was a meeting ground for terrorists, authorities say. Now they must determine whether unit 1504 was also a hatching ground for the anthrax attacks.

Gloria Irish, the wife of tabloid editor Michael Irish, was approached by reporters Sunday afternoon outside her Delray Beach home.

I can't believe you people,'' said Irish, who works for the Pelican Properties real estate company. ``We are not making any comments.''

Irish told the FBI she had several conversations with al-Shehhi and Hamza Alghamdi when they came to her asking to rent two apartments, Orihuela said.

At the AMI building Sunday, a Palm Beach County special operations fire truck dropped off two hazardous materials containers as the investigation continued.

In addition to Stevens and the two other workers who were exposed to the bacteria, AMI general counsel Michael Kahane said, five people tested positive for anthrax antibodies, which indicates that at some point in their lives they were exposed. But officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the findings are preliminary and that more tests are necessary. Authorities said that none displayed symptoms, and all were being treated with antibiotics.

One AMI employee who asked not to be identified said three of the five work for the National Enquirer, another of the company's publications housed in the same building.

Other employees continue to be tested for the presence of anthrax bacteria and to be interviewed by the FBI.

They asked where I sat in the building, how close I was to where Stevens worked, how often I dealt with the mailroom, if I knew of any employee who might have been a target, or of any animosities among employees,'' said National Enquirer reporter Kevin Lynch

Among other areas of inquiry: if he knew of any disgruntled employees or whether he had any scientists among his relatives or friends. Other AMI workers say they are being asked similar questions, which indicates that the FBI is casting a wide net to trace the source of the anthrax.

As a search for clues continued in South Florida, and the number of anthrax exposures grew across the country, investigators are grappling with whether the cases are the work of the Sept. 11 terrorists.

When the anthrax reports first surfaced, federal officials were quick to say they saw no connection. But the authorities' tone has changed slightly: They now say they can't rule out a link.

One of the nation's leading biological warfare researchers said Sunday that the appearance of multiple anthrax infections suggests the possibility of a bioterrorist attack.

The level of suspicion is high for me, though it's still open for me whether it's a bioterrorist attack,'' said C.J. Peters, former chief of special pathogens at the CDC.

Peters, now a professor of microbiology and coauthor of the 1997 book Virus Hunter, said his suspicion may turn to certainty if strains of the bacteria found in Florida, New York and Nevada are the same. ``If so, then there is one bad guy or one bad organization out there doing this,'' he said.

A federal official familiar with the investigation said that prior to the New York exposures, investigators were treating the Boca Raton incident as an ``isolated criminal case.''

But with the New York and Nevada cases, the same official shifted gears: ``Maybe there is a concerted conspiracy connected to the Sept. 11 attacks

Frederick Southwick, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Florida, said investigators seeking to link the Florida and New York anthrax events must find the same bacteria strain to make the link

The key is whether the DNA fingerprint of the strain in New York matches the DNA fingerprint of the one in Florida,'' he said. ``If it matches, then one person or one organization is perpetrating this thing. If it doesn't match, then New York could be a copycat incident.''

In South Florida, another potential link between the terrorists and anthrax cases involves hijacking suspect Ahmed Alghamdi, killed on the same Boston-to-L.A. flight as al-Shehhi. Using the Internet and an address in Saudi Arabia, he subscribed to Mira!, the Spanish-language tabloid published by AMI, according to law enforcement sources.

It is one of two tabloid subscriptions now under scrutiny by federal investigators, who said they intend to scour the tabloid giant's databases to see whether classified ads were used by the hijackers to communicate.

Also Sunday, the anthrax scare continued to trigger a steady flow of calls to police regarding ``strange powders'' in South Florida and elsewhere.

Hazardous materials team members descended on a Sun-Sentinel newspaper warehouse after two employees reported discovering a suspicious package in the morning. Preliminary tests proved negative, but further tests were planned

Miami police said they continued to receive calls

A month ago or two months ago I doubt we would have had any of this,'' said Miami Lt. Bill Schwartz.

Now people, understandably, are very concerned.''


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/14/2001 9:51:42 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
The dots are starting to connect........it's still impossible to tell what the final picture will look like.
2 posted on 10/14/2001 9:55:48 PM PDT by hole_n_one
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To: hole_n_one
they think they used the classifed ads to send messages....dang and i just threw all of mine away....
3 posted on 10/14/2001 9:59:18 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Clearly "unrelated" and "isolated." Nothing to see here, move along.
4 posted on 10/14/2001 9:59:49 PM PDT by cactmh
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Nice find!

Reading now.

5 posted on 10/14/2001 10:15:28 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: cactmh
hmmmmmmmmm
6 posted on 10/14/2001 10:18:05 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: Sabertooth
Thanks.....
7 posted on 10/14/2001 10:23:30 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Interesting how FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela calls the perps "terrorists," but the best the Miami Herald can do is "hijacking suspects."

"Suspects?!"

What are they waiting for, the trial?

8 posted on 10/14/2001 10:23:32 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: cactmh
As many FReepers pointed out, the chance of these Anthrax attacks being from some hate group in the U.S. is equal to the chance that Bin Laden is responsible for this.
9 posted on 10/14/2001 10:27:28 PM PDT by cactmh
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To: Sabertooth
They sound like cnn
10 posted on 10/14/2001 10:27:48 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
I'm surprised they're looking for DNA on the envelopes! You'd think the senders would have worn gloves (considering the contents) and would have sealed the envelopes with a wet sponge!
11 posted on 10/14/2001 10:32:03 PM PDT by onyx
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To: hole_n_one
Right now, it looks like a coincidence,'' Orihuela said from outside the tabloid's Boca Raton headquarters.

Okay, now I've heard it all. Coincidence. STILL an isolated incident. Nothing here, folks. Move along.

Good grief.

I feel safe.

Not.

Methinks we're kinda sorta on our own.

MM

12 posted on 10/14/2001 10:32:22 PM PDT by MississippiMan
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To: onyx
Maybe the glued it shut....
13 posted on 10/14/2001 10:34:22 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
"They sound like cnn"

Be nice. Just because they voted for the same candidates...

14 posted on 10/14/2001 10:37:34 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
they
15 posted on 10/14/2001 10:39:19 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: one_particular_harbour; CheneyChick; vikingchick; is_is; Mark17; Travis McGee; Maceman; BOBWADE
ping
16 posted on 10/14/2001 10:39:55 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: Sabertooth
Hello how can there be a trial....their dead.
17 posted on 10/14/2001 10:40:31 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Hello how can there be a trial....their dead.

Sabertooth was just making a funny. :-)

18 posted on 10/14/2001 10:50:03 PM PDT by bluecollarman
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
"Hello how can there be a trial....their dead."

You and I know that, but I guess we're not smart enough to work for the Miami Herald.

19 posted on 10/14/2001 10:50:03 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: classygreeneyedblonde; onyx
I'm pretty sure they are talking about testing the anthrax strain's DNA, not the human sender's.
20 posted on 10/14/2001 10:54:47 PM PDT by Lizzy W
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Did she like her husband?
21 posted on 10/14/2001 10:54:49 PM PDT by rebdov
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Is Mrs. Irish attractive? Perhaps the terrorists tried to hit on her and when she shunned their advances, they sent the anthrax to the tabloid. Most Middle Eastern men truly believe that all American women are sluts and they are surprised when their advances are rejected.
22 posted on 10/14/2001 11:09:04 PM PDT by Kay
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To: Kay
"Most Middle Eastern men truly believe that all American women are sluts and they are surprised when their advances are rejected."

Especially surprising when you consider their tasteful application of cologne.

23 posted on 10/14/2001 11:16:35 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
"Right now, it looks like a coincidence,'' Orihuela said from outside the tabloid's Boca Raton headquarters. ``We are not searching the apartments at this time. We are focusing on this building.''

Not searching the apartments. Sure.

24 posted on 10/14/2001 11:24:44 PM PDT by funnyasacrutch
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
"Right now, it looks like a coincidence,'' Orihuela said from outside the tabloid's Boca Raton headquarters. ``We are not searching the apartments at this time. We are focusing on this building.''

Not searching the apartments. Sure.

25 posted on 10/14/2001 11:25:45 PM PDT by funnyasacrutch
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To: funnyasacrutch
When we heard about the New York report, my spouse and I both looked at each other and said , "No connection" (sarcasm). I then immediately said, "media targets". But, I am not a brain surgeon, so I could be wrong! (sarcasm)
26 posted on 10/14/2001 11:35:43 PM PDT by ~EagleNebula~
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
A "coincidence" huh? Give me a break! Yes, I see we have the missing link; the dots do connect.
27 posted on 10/14/2001 11:42:56 PM PDT by lady reaper
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Does anyone know how long it is likely to take to get the bacteria's DNA fingerprints? Since the bacteria's so small (compared to a human), it seems like that shouldn't take more than a week or so.
28 posted on 10/14/2001 11:43:09 PM PDT by Lion's Cub
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
I still want to know why the photo editor had the letter...why wasn't it opened by the one who it was sent to...somthing is not right here... why was it given to him...was it sent to him? did it have a picture in it..and it's funny they stayed at the rental place of the editor....she had lengthy conversations with them.hmmmmmmm something is not right .....
29 posted on 10/14/2001 11:45:54 PM PDT by classygreeneyedblonde
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
Authorities think this might be a "coincidence" huh? Give me a break! This is the missing link; the dots are connecting more and more.
30 posted on 10/14/2001 11:50:04 PM PDT by lady reaper
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To: onyx
I'm surprised they're looking for DNA on the envelopes!

Are you kidding? Let's not give the terrorists the benefit of the doubt. What if they slipped up? I hope the FBI is doing EVERYTHING they can on this case.

31 posted on 10/14/2001 11:50:24 PM PDT by xm177e2
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
The name de Mohrenschildt comes to mind.
32 posted on 10/15/2001 12:28:05 AM PDT by Plummz
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To: classygreeneyedblonde
I still want to know why the photo editor had the letter...why wasn't it opened by the one who it was sent to...somthing is not right here... why was it given to him...was it sent to him? did it have a picture in it..and it's funny they stayed at the rental place of the editor....she had lengthy conversations with them.hmmmmmmm something is not right .....

I wouldn't waste any more time worrying about why they targeted this guy for the first letter. It probably means nothing at all. They knew from his wife that he worked at a paper, maybe. Whatever. The nature of the larger campaign is now becoming clear and it's not particularly hard to understand: they are sending out threats to the media, and making us take them seriously by including anthrax in some of the packages. This is not rocket science, just Terrorism 101, with a biowar twist.

If you're curious, my guess is that the J-Lo letter contained some dirty pictures (maybe the letter implied that they were "real" celebrity porn), and that's why the Sun's photo editor took such a good look at them. It is reported that the anthrax in the Microsoft letter was applied to pornographic pictures.

33 posted on 10/15/2001 12:42:05 AM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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To: ignatz_q
bttt
34 posted on 10/18/2001 3:28:21 PM PDT by Harrison Bergeron
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To: classygreeneyedblonde

most interesting.


35 posted on 03/08/2006 11:51:40 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Ciexyz

I saw this thread in the "latest Posts" forum, that's why I read it and responded. Only now after posting do I see that the post prior to mine was dated "2001", so I wonder why this thread was resurrected in the forum???


36 posted on 03/08/2006 11:55:47 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: Ciexyz

Probably because of this thread:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1592330/posts?page=21#21


37 posted on 03/09/2006 12:04:39 AM PST by little jeremiah (Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. CS.Lewis)
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