Skip to comments.The Anthrax Fiasco
Posted on 06/30/2008 10:49:42 AM PDT by ZACKandPOOK
Steven Hatfill finally has his life back. Thanks to FBI incompetence, he also has $5.8 million. ...
It's worse because it is a virtual confession that the anthrax case is cold. Throughout one of the largest investigations in law-enforcement history, agents were fixated on a "lone wolf" theory that Director Robert Mueller's FBI, for all intents and purposes, now admits was wrong. Helped along by a sympathetic press corps, the obsession with a domestic perpetrator has ended up in a dead end.
So the FBI needed to cast a wider net all along which still remains urgent. In 2007, 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told a military tribunal he was "directly in charge" of "managing and following up on the Cell for the Production of Biological Weapons, such as anthrax and others." The 9/11 Commission reported that al Qaeda has had an "ambitious" bioweapons program. Though there's no evidence that al Qaeda operatives succeeded in manufacturing weapons-grade agents, the anthrax case proves that such high-level production isn't necessary for an attack. And there's no telling what's floating around out there.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
There were several indirect connections to the 9/11 hijackers and other Muslim terrorists, in New Jersey and Florida. It’s one more instance of the FBI not wanting to find Muslim terrorists at the bottom of any such incident.
In fact, it’s a pattern. Whenever anything happens like the Norman, Oklahoma stadium bomber or someone shoots people in a Mall, such as the one in Salt Lake City, the first thing that the FBI says is that it was NOT terrorism.
Mueller is probably the single worst appointment Bush made. Why he is still in office is a mystery to me.
these were isolated incidents of terrorism, but the FBI wanted to make sure that people did not freak out because they thought they were connected in a larger way to a terrorist conspiracy
“EXCLUSIVE: How the FBI Botched the Anthrax Case: Former Agent Explains What Went Wrong in the Investigation,” ABC News, June 30, 2008
Personally, I have a lot of confidence in Mueller but I think he would agree that results matter. He is giving a speech today in Hartford to campus law enforcement personnel. Given that the microbiologist who accessed the anthrax know-how (his lawyer says the FBI suspects) was 15 feet away from the leading anthrax scientist and former deputy USAMRIID commander at the DARPA-funded Center for Biodefense at George Mason University, Director Mueller perhaps will warn on the risk of infiltration. He previously has warned against the danger of access to biochemical information by PhD students who mean the country harm. In the Summer of 2001, Ali Al-Timimi was speaking on the end of times alongside the 911 imam and having threats from Bin Laden’s sheik hand-delivered to every member of Congress on the first anniversary of the anthrax to the Senators.
Looking back now it seems the anthrax attacks were another prong of the 9-11 attack.
The possibility remains that they had a fairly good idea of who did it and where it came from, but didn’t want to go there because it was someone who was friendly to us, like China or Pakistan, and it was better to spend the next five years making sure that they would never be able to find out the actual truth.
Solving cases interferes with obtaining additional funding.
Alberto Gonzales is a contender.
The lawyer for Ali Al-Timimi says they suspect him. Ali was at the building housing the DOD (DARPA) funded Center for Biodefense led by the leading anthrax scientist and former deputy commander of USAMRIID. The microbiologist Al-Timimi had a high security clearance doing mathematical support work for the Navy. He worked for 2 months as Andrew Card’s assistant when he was Secretary of the Department of Transportation in 1996. So yes, it would have been awkward for the truth to come out. Confounding and complicated also. Although Ali, his lawyer says, was in telephone contact on September 16, 2001 and September 19, 2001 with Bin Laden’s sheik and was coordinating with the “911 imam”, he was an Iraqi whose father worked at the embassy.
Ali was a US citizen.
Agreed. And—almost, but thank God not quite—Harriet Miers.
The only good thing about the Gonzalez AG appointment is that I think it was meant to groom him for SCOTUS, but instead it succeeded in permanently disqualifying him, since he is now equally disliked by left and right.
Well, but part of the problem is do-it-yourself terrorists, isn’t it? There is a concentration of Muslims in Oklahoma, because of the oil business there, and courses in that field at the university. The attempted bomber attended the mosque and moved among a circle of Islamists.
I’d rather think that the FBI was keeping an eye on it, but they brushed over the Iraqi connections to the OKC bombing, too, and lied at the trial.
Americans don’t need to be “protected” from knowing the true nature of the threat. They need to be educated.
That is one logic explanation. The other is that we have traitors sympathetic to these muslim terorrist working within the FBI.
The leaks were by someone born in Haifa in 1948 who moved to the CIA on September 29, 2001 to the US Attorney’s office. His wife says she is a Palestinian activisit in her private life but maintains her neutrality as head of a Georgetown center for contemporary Arab affairs. The leaker’s sister-in-law and brother spoke on attributing terrorism to Bin Laden in 2002 (and his sister-in-law wrote on it). His daughter represents Ali Al-Timimi, the microbiologist suspected by the FBI of accessing the know-how for the anthrax. The judge recently restricted the classified information to the one main counsel and excluded the two pro bono counsel. Ali’s attorney recently explained the FBI’s suspicion but the MSM and all the Freepers have overlooked it.
“His wife says” should be “His sister-in-law says”
In a filing unsealed this Spring, Dr. Ali Al-Timimi’s lawyer explained that his client, a microbiologist who had worked in the building housing the “Center for Biodefense” funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (”DARPA”): Al-Timimi “was considered an anthrax weapons suspect.” Dr. Al-Timimi’s counsel summarizes:
“we know Dr. Al-Timimi:
* was interviewed in 1994 by the FBI and Secret Service regarding his ties to the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing;
* was referenced in the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing (”Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”) as one of seventy individuals regarding whom the FBI is conducting full field investigations on a national basis;
* was described to his brother by the FBI within days of the 9-11 attacks as an immediate suspect in the Al Qaeda conspiracy;
* was contacted by the FBI only nine days after 9-11 and asked about the attacks and its perpetrators;
* was considered an anthrax weapons suspect;
* was described during his trial by FBI agent John Wyman as having “extensive ties” with the “broader al-Qaeda network”;
* was described in the indictment and superseding indictment as being associated with terrorists seeking harm to the United States;
* was a participant in dozens of international overseas calls to individuals known to have been under suspicion of Al-Qaeda ties like Al-Hawali; and
* was associated with the long investigation of the Virginia Jihad Group.
The conversation with Al-Hawali on September 19, 2001 was central to the indictment and raised at trial. Al-Timimi called Dr. Hawali after the dinner with Kwon on September 16, 2001 and just two hours before he met with Kwon and Hassan for the last time on September 19, 2001.
[911 imam] Anwar Al-Aulaqi goes directly to Dr. Al-Timimi’s state of mind and his role in the alleged conspiracy. The 9-11 Report indicates that Special Agent Ammerman interviewed Al-Aulaqi just before or shortly after his October 2002 visit to Dr. Al-Timimi’s home to discuss the attacks and his efforts to reach out to the U.S. government.
[IANA head] Bassem Khafagi was questioned about Dr. Al-Timimi before 9-11 in Jordan, purportedly at the behest of American intelligence. [redacted ] He was specifically asked about Dr. Al-Timimi’s connection to Bin Laden prior to Dr. Al-Timimi’s arrest. He was later interviewed by the FBI about Dr. Al-Timimi. Clearly, such early investigations go directly to the allegations of Dr. Al-Timimi’s connections to terrorists and Bin Laden — [redacted]”
The letter by Al-Timimi’s counsel attached as an exhibit is equally meaty. An example of an additional detail is that in March 2002, Dr. Al-Timimi spoke with Dr. Al-Hawali (Bin Laden’s sheik who was the subject of OBL’s “Declaration of War”) about assisting Moussaoui in his defense.
The filing and the letter exhibit each copy defense co-counsel, the daughter of the lead prosecutor in Amerithrax. That prosecutor has pled the Fifth Amendment concerning all the leaks hyping a “POI” of the other Amerithrax squad, Dr. Steve Hatfill.
In an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.
“Then he said he had to look at a lot of samples that the FBI had prepared ... to duplicate the letter material.” “Then the bombshell. He said that the best duplication of the material was the stuff made by [name redacted]. He said that it was almost exactly the same — his knees got shaky and he sputtered, ‘But I told the General we didn’t make spore powder!’”
FOX News reports:
“The FBI has narrowed its focus to ‘about four’ suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Armys bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned.
Among the pool of suspects are three scientists a former deputy commander, a leading anthrax scientist and a microbiologist linked to the research facility, known as USAMRIID.”
It was more than a happy coincidence for Ayman Zawahiri and Mohammed Islambouli that an active supporter of the Taliban and supporter of jihad was a US biodefense insider. Microbiologist Al-Timimi worked in the same building as famed Russian bioweapons scientist Ken Alibek and former USAMRIID Deputy Commander and Acting Commander Charles Bailey, who would publish a lot of research with the Ames strain of anthrax. Al-Timimi was a current associate and former student of Bin Ladens spiritual advisor, dissident Saudi Sheik al-Hawali. Ali would speak along with the blind sheiks son at charity conferences the blind sheiks son served on Al Qaedas WMD committee. Al-Timimis mentor Bilal Philips was known for recruiting members of the military to jihad. The first week after 9/11, FBI agents questioned Al-Timimi. He was a microbiology graduate student in a program jointly run by George Mason University and the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). Ali, according to his lawyer, had been questioned by an FBI agent and Secret Service agent in 1994 after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He had a high security clearance for work for the Navy in he late 1990s and in 1996 for two months had worked for the White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card when he was Secretary of Transportation. As time off from his university studies permitted, Ali was an active speaker with the charity Islamic Assembly of North America.
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