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The Anthrax Attacks Were NOT the Work of a “Lone Nut”

Com­ment: the FBI has dis­proved its own the­o­ry about the 2001 anthrax attacks.

“The Anthrax Attacks Remain Unsolved” by Edward Jay Epstein; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 1/25/2010; p. A19.

The inves­ti­ga­tion of the 2001 anthrax attacks end­ed as far as the pub­lic knew on July 29, 2008, with the death of Bruce Ivins, a senior biode­fense researcher at the U.S. Army Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases (USAMRIID) in Fort Det­rick, Md. The cause of death was an over­dose of the painkiller Tylenol. No autop­sy was per­formed, and there was no sui­cide note.

Less than a week after his appar­ent sui­cide, the FBI declared Ivins to have been the sole per­pe­tra­tor of the 2001 Anthrax attacks, and the per­son who mailed dead­ly anthrax spores to NBC, the New York Post, and Sens. Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. These attacks killed five peo­ple, closed down a Sen­ate office build­ing, caused a nation­al pan­ic, and near­ly par­a­lyzed the postal sys­tem.

The FBI’s six-year inves­ti­ga­tion was the largest inquest in its his­to­ry, involv­ing 9,000 inter­views, 6,000 sub­poe­nas, and the exam­i­na­tion of tens of thou­sands of pho­to­copiers, type­writ­ers, com­put­ers and mail­box­es. Yet it failed to find a shred of evi­dence that iden­ti­fied the anthrax killer—or even a wit­ness to the mail­ings. With the help of a task force of sci­en­tists, it found a flask of anthrax that close­ly matched—through its genet­ic markers—the anthrax used in the attack.

This flask had been in the cus­tody of Ivins, who had pub­lished no few­er than 44 sci­en­tif­ic papers over three decades as a micro­bi­ol­o­gist and who was work­ing on devel­op­ing vac­cines against anthrax. As cus­to­di­an, he pro­vid­ed sam­ples of it to oth­er sci­en­tists at Fort Det­rick, the Bat­telle Memo­r­i­al Insti­tute in Colum­bus, Ohio, and oth­er facil­i­ties involved in anthrax research.

Accord­ing to the FBI’s reck­on­ing, over 100 sci­en­tists had been giv­en access to it. Any of these sci­en­tists (or their co-work­ers) could have stolen a minute quan­ti­ty of this anthrax and, by mix­ing it into a media of water and nutri­ents, used it to grow enough spores to launch the anthrax attacks.
Con­se­quent­ly, Ivins, who was assist­ing the FBI with its inves­ti­ga­tion, as well as all the sci­en­tists who had access to the anthrax, became sus­pects in the inves­ti­ga­tion. They were intense­ly ques­tioned, giv­en poly­graph exam­i­na­tions, and played off against one anoth­er in vari­a­tions of the pris­on­er’s dilem­ma game. Their labs, com­put­ers, phones, homes and per­son­al effects were scru­ti­nized for pos­si­ble clues.

As the so-called Amerithrax inves­ti­ga­tion pro­ceed­ed, the FBI ran into frus­trat­ing dead ends, such as its relent­less five-year pur­suit of Steven Hat­fill, which end­ed with an apol­o­gy in 2007 and Mr. Hat­fill receiv­ing a $5.8 mil­lion set­tle­ment from the U.S. gov­ern­ment as com­pen­sa­tion. Anoth­er sci­en­tist, Per­ry Mike­sell, became so stressed by the FBI’s games that he began to drink heav­i­ly and died of a heart attack in Octo­ber 2002.

Even­tu­al­ly, the FBI zeroed in on Ivins. Not only did he have access to the anthrax, but FBI agents sus­pect­ed he had sub­tly mis­led them into their Hat­fill fias­co. A search of his email turned up pornog­ra­phy and bizarre emails which, though unre­lat­ed to anthrax, sug­gest­ed that he was a deeply dis­turbed indi­vid­ual.

The FBI turned the pres­sure up on him, iso­lat­ing him at work and forc­ing him to spend what lit­tle mon­ey he had on lawyers to defend him­self. He became increas­ing­ly stressed. His ther­a­pist report­ed that Ivins seemed obsessed with the notion of revenge and even homi­cide. Then came his sui­cide (which, as Eric Nadler and Bob Coen show in their doc­u­men­tary “The Anthrax War,” was one of four sui­cides among Amer­i­can and British biowar­fare researchers in past years). Since Ivin­s’s odd behav­ior close­ly fit the FBI’s pro­file of the mad sci­en­tist it had been hunt­ing, his sui­cide pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to close the case. So it held a con­gres­sion­al brief­ing in which it all but pro­nounced Ivins the anthrax killer.

But there was still a vex­ing problem—silicon.

Sil­i­con was used in the 1960s to weaponize anthrax. Through an elab­o­rate process, anthrax spores were coat­ed with the sub­stance to pre­vent them from cling­ing togeth­er so as to cre­ate a lethal aerosol. But since weaponiza­tion was banned by inter­na­tion­al treaties, research anthrax no longer con­tains sil­i­con, and the flask at Fort Det­rick con­tained none.
Yet the anthrax grown from it had sil­i­con, accord­ing to the U.S. Armed Forces Insti­tute of Pathol­o­gy. This sil­i­con explained why, when the let­ters to Sens. Leahy and Daschle were opened, the anthrax vapor­ized into an aerosol. If so, then some­how sil­i­con was added to the anthrax. But Ivins, no mat­ter how weird he may have been, had nei­ther the set of skills nor the means to attach sil­i­con to anthrax spores.

At a min­i­mum, such a process would require high­ly spe­cial­ized equip­ment that did not exist in Ivin­s’s lab—or, for that mat­ter, any­where at the Fort Det­rick facil­i­ty. As Richard Spertzel, a for­mer biode­fense sci­en­tist who worked with Ivins, explained in a pri­vate brief­ing on Jan. 7, 2009, the lab did­n’t even deal with anthrax in pow­dered form, adding, “I don’t think there’s any­one there who would have the fog­gi­est idea how to do it.” So while Ivin­s’s death pro­vid­ed a con­ve­nient fall guy, the sil­i­con con­tent still need­ed to be explained.

The FBI’s answer was that the anthrax con­tained only traces of sil­i­con, and those, it the­o­rized, could have been acci­dent­ly absorbed by the spores from the water and nutri­ent in which they were grown. No such nutri­ents were ever found in Ivin­s’s lab, nor, for that mat­ter, did any­one ever see Ivins attempt to pro­duce any unau­tho­rized anthrax (a process which would have involved him using scores of flasks.) But since no one knew what nutri­ents had been used to grow the attack anthrax, it was at least pos­si­ble that they had traces of sil­i­con in them that acci­dent­ly con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed the anthrax.

Nat­ur­al con­t­a­m­i­na­tion was an ele­gant the­o­ry that ran into prob­lems after Con­gress­man Jer­ry Nadler pressed FBI Direc­tor Robert Mueller in Sep­tem­ber 2008 to pro­vide the House Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee with a miss­ing piece of data: the pre­cise per­cent­age of sil­i­con con­tained in the anthrax used in the attacks.

The answer came sev­en months lat­er on April 17, 2009. Accord­ing to the FBI lab, 1.4% of the pow­der in the Leahy let­ter was sil­i­con. “This is a shock­ing­ly high pro­por­tion,” explained Stu­art Jacob­son, an expert in small par­ti­cle chem­istry. “It is a num­ber one would expect from the delib­er­ate weaponiza­tion of anthrax, but not from any con­ceiv­able acci­den­tal con­t­a­m­i­na­tion.”

Nev­er­the­less, in an attempt to back up its the­o­ry, the FBI con­tract­ed sci­en­tists at the Lawrence Liv­er­more Nation­al Labs in Cal­i­for­nia to con­duct exper­i­ments in which anthrax is acci­dent­ly absorbed from a media heav­i­ly laced with sil­i­con. When the results were revealed to the Nation­al Acad­e­my Of Sci­ence in Sep­tem­ber 2009, they effec­tive­ly blew the FBI’s the­o­ry out of the water.

The Liv­er­more sci­en­tists had tried 56 times to repli­cate the high sil­i­con con­tent with­out any suc­cess. Even though they added increas­ing­ly high amounts of sil­i­con to the media, they nev­er even came close to the 1.4% in the attack anthrax. Most results were an order of mag­ni­tude low­er, with some as low as .001%.

What these tests inad­ver­tent­ly demon­strat­ed is that the anthrax spores could not have been acci­dent­ly con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed by the nutri­ents in the media. “If there is that much sil­i­con, it had to have been added,” Jef­frey Adamovicz, who super­vised Ivin­s’s work at Fort Det­rick, wrote to me last month. He added that the sil­i­con in the attack anthrax could have been added via a large fermentor—which Bat­telle and oth­er labs use” but “we did not use a fer­men­tor to grow anthrax at USAMRIID . . . [and] We did not have the capa­bil­i­ty to add sil­i­con com­pounds to anthrax spores.”


If Ivins had nei­ther the equip­ment or skills to weaponize anthrax with sil­i­con, then some oth­er par­ty with access to the anthrax must have done it. Even before these star­tling results, Sen. Leahy had told Direc­tor Mueller, “I do not believe in any way, shape, or man­ner that [Ivins] is the only per­son involved in this attack on Con­gress.”

When I asked a FBI spokesman this month about the Liv­er­more find­ings, he said the FBI was not com­ment­ing on any specifics of the case, oth­er than those dis­cussed in the 2008 brief­ing (which was about a year before Liv­er­more dis­closed its results). He stat­ed: “The Jus­tice Depart­ment and the FBI con­tin­ue work­ing to con­clude the inves­ti­ga­tion into the 2001 anthrax attacks. We antic­i­pate clos­ing the case in the near future.”

So, even though the pub­lic may be under the impres­sion that the anthrax case had been closed in 2008, the FBI inves­ti­ga­tion is still open—and, unless it can refute the Liv­er­more find­ings on the sil­i­con, it is back to square one.


5 comments for “The Anthrax Attacks Were NOT the Work of a “Lone Nut””

  1. Among the let­ters sent in the 2001 Anthrax Attacks was a let­ter sent to CHILE and mailed from FLORIDA but post­marked ZURICH, SWITZERLAND.

    This let­ter con­tain­ing anthrax was mailed to Dr. Anto­nio Ban­fi, a pedi­a­tri­cian in San­ti­a­go, Chile. Although the return address was Orlan­do, Flori­da, the post­mark was Zurich, Switzer­land. The let­ter was sent via DHL, which used a Swiss bulk mail ship­per in New York and a Swiss post­mark. Unlike the anthrax let­ters with U.S. addressees, the let­ter to Chile was mailed in a busi­ness enve­lope and had a type-writ­ten return address, a busi­ness in Flori­da. Dr. Ban­fi received the let­ter, but found it sus­pi­cious and gave it to the Chilean author­i­ties. No one is known to have been infect­ed with anthrax from it. The let­ter baf­fled Amer­i­can and Chilean offi­cials because, they say, “as they dig deep­er, noth­ing quite adds up.”

    New York Times, Novem­ber 29, 2001, “A NATION CHALLENGED: OVERSEAS PUZZLE; U.S. Con­firms Anthrax in Chilean Let­ter”

    Posted by WRKG | February 20, 2010, 7:28 pm
  2. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/19/us-anthrax-vaccine-children-idUSBRE92I03220130319

    Test of anthrax vac­cine in chil­dren gets ten­ta­tive OK

    By Sharon Beg­ley

    NEW YORK | Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:01am EDT

    (Reuters) — A pres­i­den­tial ethics pan­el has opened the door to test­ing an anthrax vac­cine on chil­dren as young as infants, bring­ing an angry response from crit­ics who say the chil­dren would be guinea pigs in a study that would nev­er help them and might harm them.

    The report, how­ev­er, released on Tues­day by the Pres­i­den­tial Com­mis­sion for the Study of Bioeth­i­cal Issues, said researchers would have to over­come numer­ous hur­dles before launch­ing an anthrax-vac­cine tri­al in chil­dren. It now goes to Sec­re­tary of Health and Human Ser­vices Kath­leen Sebe­lius, who will decide whether to take the steps the com­mis­sion rec­om­mend­ed.

    The one anthrax vac­cine approved in the Unit­ed States, called Bio­Thrax, is made by Emer­gent BioSo­lu­tions Inc of Rockville, Mary­land. The com­pa­ny report­ed $215.9 mil­lion in sales of Bio­Thrax, its only licensed prod­uct, in 2012.

    The ethics com­mis­sion took up the issue after a biode­fense pan­el rec­om­mend­ed in 2011 that the anthrax vac­cine be test­ed in chil­dren. That endorse­ment, by the Nation­al Biode­fense Sci­ence Board, came with the caveat that such a study also get the go-ahead from a bioethics pan­el.

    It did, albeit con­di­tion­al­ly.

    “We have to get this pre­cise­ly right,” pan­el Chair Amy Gut­mann, pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia, said at a news con­fer­ence. “Many sig­nif­i­cant steps would have to be tak­en” before a pedi­atric anthrax vac­cine tri­al could be con­sid­ered, she said. But she added that it is impor­tant “to devel­op the knowl­edge need­ed to save chil­dren’s lives” in the event of an anthrax attack.

    Bal­anc­ing the need to pro­tect chil­dren against the need to know, for instance, the safe dose of the vac­cine, made this “one of the most dif­fi­cult eth­i­cal reviews a bioethics board has ever con­duct­ed,” Gut­mann said.

    Activists said the board was wrong not to oppose unequiv­o­cal­ly test­ing the anthrax vac­cine in chil­dren.

    Vera Shar­av, founder of the Alliance for Human Research Pro­tec­tion, pre­dict­ed that such a study would cause “moral harm for us as a nation and suf­fer­ing for the chil­dren. They should have said, ‘thou shalt not.’ ”


    The idea of test­ing an anthrax vac­cine in chil­dren arose when a 2011 war game, called Dark Zephyr, pre­sent­ed to pol­i­cy mak­ers a sce­nario in which ter­ror­ists released anthrax on a city mod­eled on San Fran­cis­co. Doc­tors did not know what dose of the vac­cine to give chil­dren. That pre­sent­ed a dilem­ma: should chil­dren be vac­ci­nat­ed any­way, or should the gov­ern­ment test the vac­cine on them first to estab­lish a safe dose?

    Infor­ma­tion about safe­ty has come from giv­ing the vac­cine to some 2.9 mil­lion adults, most­ly mem­bers of the armed forces who were thought to be at risk of expo­sure to bio­log­i­cal weapons in Iraq. Infor­ma­tion about effi­ca­cy has come from ani­mal stud­ies, as it is uneth­i­cal to expose some­one to anthrax inten­tion­al­ly to see if the vac­cine works, and from mea­sure­ments of the anthrax-fight­ing anti­bod­ies a vac­ci­nat­ed per­son pro­duces.

    Fed­er­al reg­u­la­tions set a high bar for research on kids. If the chance of their ben­e­fit­ing is minus­cule or nil, and the poten­tial risk even min­i­mal, chil­dren are usu­al­ly off-lim­its.

    The pres­i­den­tial bioethics pan­el con­ced­ed that “there is no prospect of direct ben­e­fit to chil­dren” who par­tic­i­pate in an anthrax-vac­cine study, Gut­mann said. Accord­ing to the biode­fense board, chil­dren in such a study would face more than min­i­mal risk (defined as a risk no greater than that in dai­ly life or at a check-up), most­ly because the side effects of the vac­cine in chil­dren are unknown.

    Because the vac­cine pos­es more than min­i­mal risk to chil­dren, any pro­pos­al for test­ing it in them would have to clear sev­er­al hur­dles, the com­mis­sion said. One pre-req­ui­site for such a study is rig­or­ous­ly test­ing the vac­cine in the youngest adults, start­ing at age 18.

    “You’d work your way down from 18-year-olds,” said Dr. John Park­er, a retired army major gen­er­al and chair­man of the biode­fense board. “If it were safe you’d go to 17-year-olds, then 16-year olds.” After each round show­ing min­i­mal harm, “you’d ask per­mis­sion to move on to younger chil­dren.”

    The youngest age for test­ing is not clear, said Park­er, “but the immune sys­tem of very young chil­dren is dif­fer­ent from old­er peo­ple’s.” Results in 16-year-olds or even 5‑year-olds might not reveal whether the vac­cine is safe in babies, who would there­fore have to be stud­ied, too.


    To crit­ics, the com­bi­na­tion of no ben­e­fit and some risk to chil­dren means a pedi­atric anthrax-vac­cine study should be pro­hib­it­ed.

    “We have to won­der if, after all the data col­lect­ed by the U.S. Army on the side-effects expe­ri­enced by sol­diers, we would want to sub­ject chil­dren to skin ulcers symp­toms of the dis­ease,” said Jeanne Guillemin, a senior fel­low in the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy’s Secu­ri­ty Stud­ies Pro­gram and author of a 2011 book about anthrax attacks, titled “Amer­i­can Anthrax.”

    In the largest study of the anthrax vac­cine, the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion report­ed in 2008 that in 1,563 adults who received the vac­cine, there were 229 “seri­ous adverse events” such as car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, intracra­nial aneurysm and seizure, though only nine were blamed on the vac­cine. Much more com­mon were milder reac­tions such as sore­ness near the injec­tion site, itch­ing, fever and malaise.

    Oppo­nents of test­ing the anthrax vac­cine in chil­dren argue that antibi­otics would be suf­fi­cient to pro­tect kids in an anthrax attack.

    Antibi­otics worked fol­low­ing attacks in 2001 that were traced to an Army sci­en­tist who com­mit­ted sui­cide in 2008 as inves­ti­ga­tors closed in. The five peo­ple who died after inhal­ing anthrax spores sent through the mail did not receive antibi­otics before devel­op­ing symp­toms. Every­one who was exposed and received antibi­otics in time sur­vived, not­ed MIT’s Guillemin.

    Pro­po­nents of test­ing the anthrax vac­cine in chil­dren argue that antibi­otics are not enough.

    “The point of vac­ci­nat­ing is that anthrax spores can hatch at dif­fer­ent times and stay dor­mant for days to months,” said Dr. Daniel Fag­buyi of Chil­dren’s Nation­al Med­ical Cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and a mem­ber of the biode­fense board.

    Vac­ci­na­tion, he said, would pre­vent dis­ease long after vic­tims’ 60-day course of antibi­otics is fin­ished.

    Under a 2005 law, chil­dren in an anthrax-vac­cine study would be pro­hib­it­ed from seek­ing dam­ages through the legal sys­tem. The pres­i­den­tial com­mis­sion, said Gut­mann, “strong­ly rec­om­mend­ed that a plan be in place to com­pen­sate any chil­dren” who are harmed.

    (Report­ing by Sharon Beg­ley; Edit­ing by Jil­ian Min­cer and Dan Gre­bler)

    Posted by Vanfield | March 19, 2013, 3:27 pm
  3. Hope this fits this cat­e­go­ry and that it did­n’t go too long; orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on my blog

    Does Bio­log­i­cal Lab Threat­en Sochi Olympics? Jan­u­ary 5, 2014

    As Rus­sia read­ies for the roll-out of the Win­ter Olympics in ear­ly Feb­ru­ary 2014 the focus shifts to acts of ter­ror­ism that stand to threat­en the event. Two recent sui­cide bomb­ings have killed 30 peo­ple, both bear­ing the trade­mark of Jihadists from the out­ly­ing regions that were for­mer Sovi­et client-states. An edi­to­r­i­al in “Rus­sia Today” out­lines the desta­bi­liza­tion effort that has its ori­gins in the mid­dle east and prompt­ing by west­ern intel­li­gence agen­cies

    “Although ter­ror­ists from the Cau­ca­sus are hav­ing a major impact on the ground in Syr­ia, per­haps the greater threat is their abil­i­ty to freely trav­el back to their places of ori­gin. Keep­ing in mind that Syr­ia is only about 800 miles from the Russ­ian Cau­ca­sus, the dan­ger is self-evi­dent: bat­tle-hard­ened fight­ers return­ing from the war in Syr­ia bring with them their new­ly acquired exper­tise as killers, only to turn their atten­tion back to their per­ceived great ene­my: Rus­sia.
    Of course, the ques­tion of prox­im­i­ty to Syr­ia is impor­tant for anoth­er, per­haps more fright­en­ing rea­son – the clos­est major Russ­ian city is Sochi, site of the Olympics next month. Nat­u­ral­ly, many have spec­u­lat­ed that the Olympics were a moti­vat­ing fac­tor for car­ry­ing out the attacks in Vol­gograd, that they were intend­ed to send a mes­sage to both Moscow and the world on the eve of the games.

    While the extent to which Sochi was a moti­vat­ing fac­tor is up for debate, what is unde­ni­able is that Rus­sia occu­pies a pre­car­i­ous space in glob­al pol­i­tics, one that often leads to con­flicts, both overt and covert, with oth­er nations and glob­al pow­ers. Coun­tries such as Sau­di Ara­bia, Qatar, and Israel, all part of the greater US-NATO sphere of influ­ence, have a vest­ed inter­est in ensur­ing that Rus­sia does not cement its dom­i­nance of ener­gy sup­plies to Europe in the com­ing decades.

    Any con­flict between Rus­sia and these coun­tries, as we see cur­rent­ly play­ing out in Syr­ia, should be under­stood as mere­ly one aspect of a larg­er geopo­lit­i­cal and strate­gic con­flict between Rus­sia and the West (US-NATO-GCC-Israel pri­mar­i­ly). As the Russ­ian Cau­ca­sus has become a crit­i­cal part of Russ­ian ener­gy deliv­ery infra­struc­ture, it has tak­en on an added impor­tance. The South Stream Pipeline, along with a num­ber of oth­er projects, has posi­tioned Rus­sia as a prin­ci­pal ener­gy source for Europe, there­by weak­en­ing the posi­tion of West­ern ener­gy inter­ests who would love to monop­o­lize the flow of oil to Europe. As long as Sau­di Ara­bia and oth­er US clients con­tin­ue to be a pri­ma­ry source of ener­gy, their inter­est will always be the desta­bi­liza­tion of Rus­sia.”
    “Ter­ror­ists such as Umarov are best under­stood by their con­nec­tion to the var­i­ous organs of West­ern intel­li­gence.
    -”One such enti­ty that bears scruti­ny is the Amer­i­can Com­mit­tee for Peace in the Cau­ca­sus (ACPC), pre­vi­ous­ly known as the Amer­i­can Com­mit­tee for Peace in Chech­nya. As report­ed by Right Web at the Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies: “The ACPC was found­ed in 1999 by Free­dom House, a neo­con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion that has worked close­ly with the U.S. gov­ern­ment, receiv­ing funds from the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy and oth­er US democ­ra­ti­za­tion ini­tia­tives.” This inti­mate rela­tion­ship between the ACPC and the US State Depart­ment indi­cates not mere­ly a con­flu­ence of inter­ests, but rather a direct rela­tion­ship where­in the for­mer is an organ of the lat­ter.

    The pater­nal­is­tic role of the US intel­li­gence estab­lish­ment in the ACPC is made all the more evi­dent when one exam­ines some of the more well-known mem­bers of the ACPC, includ­ing for­mer Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Advi­sor Zbig­niew Brzezin­s­ki, for­mer Pen­ta­gon advi­sor Richard Per­le and oth­er top neo­cons such as William Kris­tol, Elliott Abrams, Ken­neth Adel­man and Robert Kagan. What becomes appar­ent in even a cur­so­ry analy­sis of these fig­ures is that, despite the pre­pon­der­ance of neo­con­ser­v­a­tives, the top mem­bers of the ACPC are pulled from both the lib­er­al and con­ser­v­a­tive estab­lish­ments. There­fore, one can see how the ACPC rep­re­sents a bipar­ti­san con­sen­sus with­in the US rul­ing class – a con­sen­sus of aggres­sion against Rus­sia.

    The ACPC has tak­en the lead in cham­pi­oning the cause of sep­a­ratism and ter­ror­ism direct­ed toward Rus­sia, both tac­it­ly and overt­ly. After hav­ing cham­pi­oned the cause of for­mer Chechen For­eign Min­is­ter Ilyas Akhmadov in his quest for asy­lum in the Unit­ed States – sub­se­quent­ly grant­ed along with a gen­er­ous tax­pay­er-fund­ed stipend – ACPC mem­ber Zbig­niew Brzezin­s­ki went so far as to write the fore­ward to Akhmadov’s book “The Chechen Strug­gle.” The alliance between polit­i­cal fig­ures such as Akhmadov and ter­ror­ist lead­ers in the region demon­strates con­clu­sive­ly the part­ner­ship between the var­i­ous ter­ror net­works and the rul­ing class in the West.”
    There are sev­er­al issues relat­ed to these state­ments that bear close study; The first is the fact that Tamer­lan Tsar­naev, the deceased broth­er of the pair accused of the Boston Marathon bomb­ings also attend­ed a sem­i­nar in (for­mer Sovi­et) Geor­gia spon­sored by “The Jamestown Foun­da­tion”, wide­ly per­cieved as a front for U.S. intel­li­gence. From “Izves­tia“:

    Tamer­lane Tsar­naeva recruit­ed via the Geor­gian Foun­da­tion

    One of the orga­niz­ers of the ter­ror­ist attack in Boston, stud­ied at the work­shop held in con­junc­tion with the Geor­gian spe­cial ser­vices Amer­i­cans

    Читайте далее: http://izvestia.ru/news/549252#ixzz2S9OVZeQ2

    At the dis­posal of “Izves­tia” has doc­u­ments Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence Depart­ment Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs of Geor­gia, con­firm­ing that the Geor­gian orga­ni­za­tion “Fund of Cau­ca­sus”, which coop­er­ates with the U.S. non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion “Jamestown” (the board of direc­tors of NGOs pre­vi­ously entered one of the ide­ol­o­gists of U.S. for­eign pol­icy, Zbig­niew Brzezin­ski), was engaged in recruit­ing res­i­dents North Cau­ca­sus to work in the inter­ests of the Unit­ed States and Geor­gia.
    Accord­ing to the reports of Colonel Chief Direc­torate Coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence Depart­ment Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs of Geor­gia Gre­gory Chan­turia to the Min­is­ter of Inter­nal Affairs Irak­li Garib­ashvili, “Cau­casian fund” in coop­er­a­tion with the Foun­da­tion “Jamestown” in the sum­mer of 2012 con­ducted work­shops and sem­i­nars for young peo­ple of the Cau­ca­sus, includ­ing its Russ­ian part. Some of them attend­ed Tsar­naev Tamer­lane, who was in Rus­sia from Jan­u­ary to July 2012.
    “Cau­casian fund” writes Tchan­turia was estab­lished Novem­ber 7, 2008, just after the Geor­gian-Osset­ian con­flict, “to con­trol the process­es tak­ing place in the North Cau­ca­sus region.” Accord­ingly, the Depart­ment of the Inte­rior Min­istry coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence case was brought intel­li­gence oper­a­tions called “DTV”. Main pur­pose is to recruit young peo­ple and intel­lec­tu­als of the North Cau­ca­sus to enhance insta­bil­ity and extrem­ism in the south­ern regions of Rus­sia.

    Here is a run­down on The Jamestown Foun­da­tion”:


    “The Jamestown Foun­da­tion is a long-stand­ing front oper­a­tion for the CIA, it being found­ed, in part, by CIA direc­tor William Casey in 1984. The orga­ni­za­tion was used as an employ­er for high-rank­ing Sovi­et bloc defec­tors, includ­ing the Sovi­et Under­sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the UN Arkady Shevchenko and Roman­ian intel­li­gence offi­cial Ion Pacepa. The Russ­ian domes­tic Fed­eral Secu­rity Bureau and the SVR for­eign intel­li­gence agency have long sus­pected Jamestown of help­ing to foment rebel­lions in Chech­nya, Ingushetia, and oth­er north Cau­ca­sus republics. The March 21 Tbil­isi con­fer­ence on the north Cau­ca­sus a few days before the Moscow train bomb­ings has obvi­ously added to the sus­pi­cions of the FSB and SVR.

    Jamestown’s board includes such Cold War era indi­vid­u­als as Mar­cia Car­lucci; wife of Frank Car­lucci, the for­mer CIA offi­cer, Sec­re­tary of Defense, and Chair­man of The Car­lyle Group [Frank Car­lucci was also one of those who request­ed the U.S. gov­ern­ment to allow for­mer Chechen Repub­lic ‘For­eign Min­is­ter’ Ilyas Akhmadov, accused by the Rus­sians of ter­ror­ist ties, to be grant­ed polit­i­cal asy­lum in the U.S. after a veto from the Home­land Secu­rity and Jus­tice Depart­ments], anti-Com­mu­nist book and mag­a­zine pub­lisher Alfred Reg­n­ery; and Cas­par Weinberger’s Deputy Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense for Pub­lic Affairs Kath­leen Troia «KT» McFar­land. Also on the board is for­mer Okla­homa GOP Gov­er­nor Frank Keat­ing, the gov­er­nor at the time of the 1995 Mur­rah Fed­eral Build­ing bomb­ing.”
    Clear­ly, Russia’s ter­ror­ist prob­lem is also a prob­lem for the U.S. as “blow­back” from west­ern med­dling returned state­side with the Boston bomb­ings.

    Now we have also seen reports that the U.S. proxy in the mid­dle east – Sau­di Ara­bia had issued “not-so-veiled threats against Rus­sia and the Sochi Olympics, From “The Tele­graph” in Lon­don:

    “Leaked tran­scripts of a closed-door meet­ing between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Sau­di Prince Ban­dar bin Sul­tan shed an extra­or­di­nary light on the hard-nosed Realpoli­tik of the two sides.
    Prince Ban­dar, head of Sau­di intel­li­gence, alleged­ly con­front­ed the Krem­lin with a mix of induce­ments and threats in a bid to break the dead­lock over Syr­ia. “Let us exam­ine how to put togeth­er a uni­fied Russ­ian-Sau­di strat­e­gy on the sub­ject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and pro­duc­tion quan­ti­ties that keep the price sta­ble in glob­al oil mar­kets,” he said at the four-hour meet­ing with Mr Putin. They met at Mr Putin’s dacha out­side Moscow three weeks ago.”
    “The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russ­ian press. A more detailed ver­sion has since appeared in the Lebanese news­pa­per As-Safir, which has Hezbol­lah links and is hos­tile to the Saud­is.
    As-Safir said Prince Ban­dar pledged to safe­guard Russia’s naval base in Syr­ia if the Assad regime is top­pled, but he also hint­ed at Chechen ter­ror­ist attacks on Russia’s Win­ter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guar­an­tee to pro­tect the Win­ter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threat­en the secu­ri­ty of the games are con­trolled by us,” he alleged­ly said.
    Prince Ban­dar went on to say that Chechens oper­at­ing in Syr­ia were a pres­sure tool that could be switched on an off. “These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syr­i­an regime but they will have no role in Syria’s polit­i­cal future.”
    One of those “pres­sure tools to be switched on and off was obvi­ous­ly Tamer­lan Tsar­naev.

    While the ter­ror­ist bomb­ings pose a seri­ous threat to the Sochi olympics, the estab­lish­ment of a bio­log­i­cal lab in Geor­gia under the thumb of the U.S. mil­i­tary has raised many more con­cerns. From “eura­sia review”:

    Geor­gia Con­ducts Dan­ger­ous Exper­i­ments With Virus­es

    May 6, 2013

    By Boris Murashkin

    The peo­ple of Geor­gia are in dan­ger. This sen­sa­tion­al state­ment was made by the Geor­gian President’s for­mer Amer­i­can advi­sor, jour­nal­ist Jef­frey Sil­ver­man. Accord­ing to him, a lab­o­ra­to­ry on the out­skirts of Tbil­isi is devel­op­ing health haz­ardous virus­es that are being test­ed on local res­i­dents.
    The lab­o­ra­to­ry is named after Amer­i­can sen­a­tor Richard Lugar. This is not a mere coin­ci­dence. The lab­o­ra­to­ry was opened with the assis­tance of the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to offi­cial infor­ma­tion, spe­cial­ists at the lab­o­ra­to­ry study the genet­ics of bac­te­ria and virus­es. How­ev­er, for­mer advi­sor to the Pres­i­dent Jef­frey Sil­ver­man believes that the lab­o­ra­to­ry is engaged in devel­op­ing virus­es rather than study­ing them.
    Report­ed­ly, in 2001–2003, Sil­ver­man helped Mikhail Saakashvili to car­ry out his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. But lat­er their paths diverged. The lat­est state­ment by Sil­ver­man that res­i­dents of Geor­gia have become a tar­get of dan­ger­ous exper­i­ments is one of the most dis­cussed top­ics in Geor­gia now. Accord­ing to Sil­ver­man, exper­i­ments with virus­es have led to the spread of such dan­ger­ous ill­ness­es as pig flu and measles.
    NTI.org adds this:

    Rus­sia Threat­ens Geor­gian Trade Over U.S. Bio­lab
    22, 2013

    “Russia’s top pub­lic health offi­cial on Sat­ur­day said his coun­try could lim­it trade rela­tions with neigh­bor­ing Geor­gia for host­ing a U.S. bio­log­i­cal research site wield­ing “pow­er­ful offen­sive poten­tial,” Inter­fax report­ed.

    “Rus­sia deems it to be a direct vio­la­tion of BWC (Bio­log­i­cal Weapons Con­ven­tion),” Gen­nady Onishchenko told the news agency. He was refer­ring to the Richard G. Lugar Cen­ter for Pub­lic Health Research, accord­ing to Civ­il Geor­gia.
    “With the enlarge­ment of con­tacts and sup­plies of wine prod­ucts, veg­eta­bles, and oth­er agri­cul­tur­al prod­ucts to Rus­sia, our alarm at the pres­ence of a pow­er­ful U.S. Navy bio­log­i­cal lab­o­ra­to­ry in Geor­gia not con­trolled by Geor­gian author­i­ties will be increas­ing,” Inter­fax quot­ed him as say­ing. “Food prod­ucts are the most effi­cient way for haz­ardous sub­stances to enter a human organ­ism, which could be used delib­er­ate­ly with the pur­pos­es of caus­ing dam­age to health.”
    Onishchenko pre­vi­ous­ly accused Geor­gia of unleash­ing a bout of African swine fever on Rus­sia in an agri­cul­tur­al assault.
    A top Geor­gian med­ical offi­cial on Sat­ur­day called the con­cerns about the lab­o­ra­to­ry “a com­plete absur­di­ty,” Inter­fax report­ed sep­a­rate­ly.”

    Geor­gia is shap­ing up to be a key play­er in the proxy war between Rus­sia and the west, dat­ing back to the 2008 inva­sion of South Osse­tia, a “break­away” Russ­ian repub­lic – and the sub­se­quent defeat of Geor­gia by Rus­sia in that west­ern-backed provo­ca­tion. This arti­cle in “The Geor­gian Times” out­lines fur­ther intrigue:


    Amer­i­can Jour­nal­ist Jef­frey Silverman’s Inter­view Prompts US Embassy Response
    2013.04.22 02:52
    A “dump” of con­tro­ver­sial infor­ma­tion last week by an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist has touched upon a num­ber of high­ly sen­si­tive top­ics in Geor­gia. It cre­at­ed a flur­ry of media activ­i­ty that sub­se­quent­ly went viral on social net­work­ing sites, prompt­ing a response from the US Embassy in Tbil­isi.

    The infor­ma­tion, which includes alle­ga­tions of US mil­i­tary con­trac­tors involve­ment in the Geor­gian-Russ­ian war, the death of the country’s for­mer Prime Min­is­ter and a recent­ly estab­lished 150 USD mil­lion bio­log­i­cal ref­er­ence lab­o­ra­to­ry near the Geor­gian cap­i­tal of Tbil­isi, was both sup­port­ed and dis­count­ed by local offi­cials and influ­en­tial ele­ments in the coun­try.

    On April 16, Jef­frey Sil­ver­man, a long term res­i­dent of Geor­gia, 20 years plus, and for­mer US Army Scout, who had pro­vid­ed advi­so­ry ser­vices to incum­bent Geor­gian Pres­i­dent Mikheil Saakashvili pri­or to com­ing to pow­er with the 2003 Rose Rev­o­lu­tion, was inter­viewed by the local news­pa­per Kvela Siakhle (All the News) and fol­lowed up with inter­views with all main TV sta­tions (with the not­ed excep­tion of Rustavi2).

    In his inter­views, Sil­ver­man claims that short­ly after the sus­pi­cious death of Geor­gian Prime Min­is­ter Zurab Zhva­nia in 2005, a inti­mate con­tact of an agent of the Unit­ed States Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) who had been assigned to Geor­gia and pro­vid­ed him the name of the per­son who had destroyed evi­dence that would have showed that Zhva­nia did not die from a faulty Iran­ian gas heater, but was mur­dered.

    Sil­ver­man claimed that FBI agent Bri­an Par­rmann, direct­ed by the then lead­er­ship of the Unit­ed States, had destroyed the foren­sic evi­dence because the real cause of the mur­der would have dam­aged the image of Saakashvili and neg­a­tive­ly impact­ed US for­eign pol­i­cy in Geor­gia and the wider region.

    The Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist also claimed that there is a bio­log­i­cal weapons lab­o­ra­to­ry in Tbil­isi which hous­es dead­ly bio agents that can be weaponized (anthrax, measles, and black plague and H1N1 bac­te­ria). Sim­i­lar infor­ma­tion has also been alleged by a Nor­we­gian jour­nal­ist who was attacked dur­ing a site vis­it, as report­ed in the Geor­gian Times sev­er­al years ago.

    As Sil­ver­man describes in his recent inter­views, the “bio weapons lab­o­ra­to­ry” was con­struct­ed in 2007 by US con­struc­tion engi­neer­ing com­pa­ny Bech­tel Nation­al. Anna Zhva­nia, the for­mer head of the Geor­gian For­eign Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, was the appoint­ed lab­o­ra­to­ry direc­tor. He claims that the lab­o­ra­to­ry is sched­uled to pro­duce bio­log­i­cal weapon com­po­nents, which are pro­hib­it­ed in the Unit­ed States.

    “If there is an emer­gency at the lab­o­ra­to­ry, Geor­gia will be wiped off the face of the earth,” Sil­ver­man said, adding that there are plans to pro­duce Anthrax, measles, black plague and H1N1. “It is pos­si­ble that these virus­es are being arti­fi­cial­ly spread, and in fact measles is a seri­ous prob­lem in this coun­try today.”

    Sil­ver­man assert­ed that a coun­ter­part lab­o­ra­to­ry has also been oper­at­ing in Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city of Kob­uleti under the aus­pices of the UK’s Min­istry of Defence that deals with plant dis­eases, and that there is also a small­er satel­lite bio­log­i­cal lab­o­ra­to­ry in Kutaisi.

    Per­haps most time­ly, fol­low­ing the Geor­gian government’s recent announce­ment to con­duct a thor­ough local inves­ti­ga­tion into the caus­es of the Geor­gian-Russ­ian war in 2008, Sil­ver­man told that dur­ing August 2008 he was behind the Russ­ian lines in South Osse­tia, the break­away region that the five-day war was fought over. There he observed events as part of a fact-find­ing report that he sent to Matthew Bryza, U.S. deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of state at the time, who Sil­ver­man asserts was well aware of the tim­ing of the war before actu­al hos­til­i­ties broke out.

    Sil­ver­man states he him­self knew that the war would break out two months before­hand, hav­ing learned this from rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Cubic and Archangel, two pri­vate Amer­i­can com­pa­nies estab­lished by for­mer ser­vice­men and retired mil­i­tary offi­cers and that David Kez­erashvili, Georgia’s Min­is­ter of Defence at the time of the war, had hired these com­pa­nies to assist in mil­i­tary plan­ning and train­ing. This “intel­li­gence leak” was also report­ed by the cur­rent edi­tor-in-chief of the Geor­gian Times in a US news­pa­per short­ly before the actu­al war broke out and the date of war was shared with the Geor­gian Human Rights Cen­tre.

    “A group of snipers trained by Archangel was oper­at­ing in Tskhin­vali, even shoot­ing civil­ians pri­or to the actu­al start of the war. Hon­est­ly, this was not a war but a Great Game; the mil­i­tary com­mand and con­trol struc­ture had been inten­tion­al­ly dis­abled, for exam­ple, the elec­tron­ic war­fare unit of the MoD. Geor­gia could have won this war, but chose not to, and this was inten­tion­al – as part of game the­o­ry to test Russ­ian resolve and tech­nol­o­gy,” Sil­ver­man explained to GT in elab­o­rat­ing his com­ments dur­ing the inter­views with local media.”

    “Ten­gri News” reports of a sim­i­lar lab in Kaza­khstan:

    US Defense Depart­ment might be con­struct­ing dual-capa­ble lab­o­ra­to­ry in Kaza­khstan
    Thurs­day, 26.12.2013, 14:03

    US Defense Depart­ment is con­struct­ing a dual-capa­ble bio­log­i­cal lab­o­ra­to­ry to com­ple­ment a net­work of sim­i­lar facil­i­ties con­struct­ed along the Russia’s bor­der, which might pose a threat to safe­ty o Rus­sia and Cen­tral Asia states, fondsk.ru reports, cit­ing Dmit­ry Popov, head of the Ural Think-tank of the Russia’s Insti­tute for Strate­gic Research.

    The lab­o­ra­to­ry is being con­struct­ed on the basis of the Almaty-based antibubon­ic facil­i­ty built back in Sovi­et times. The stat­ed pur­pose of the new facil­i­ty is to “ensure secu­ri­ty of select agents left behind in Kaza­khstan as part of the Sovi­et mil­i­tary bio­log­i­cal pro­gram and find ways to coun­ter­act them”.

    Accord­ing to the ana­lyst, the facil­i­ty might be used by the Pen­ta­gon for bio­log­i­cal devel­op­ments for mil­i­tary pur­pos­es. Mr. Popov said that the cost of con­struc­tion ($108 mil­lion) “sig­nif­i­cant­ly exceeds costs of con­struct­ing any sim­i­lar facil­i­ties [should they serve stat­ed pur­pos­es] and is a sign to the facil­i­ty host­ing dual-capa­ble equip­ment”. The pro­gram is being super­vised by US Sen­a­tor Richard Lugar close­ly linked with the US mil­i­tary world, which is also sus­pi­cious, accord­ing to Mr. Popov.

    Russ­ian experts believe that con­struct­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries close to Russia’s bor­ders enables the USA to car­ry out mil­i­tary bio­log­i­cal tests out­side their own ter­ri­to­ry not to be afraid of the pub­lic sen­ti­ments inside the USA; such steps enable the USA to cir­cum­vent inter­na­tion­al treaties ban­ning bio­log­i­cal weapons and to cre­ate path­o­gen­ic microor­gan­ism aimed at spe­cif­ic geno­types with­in cer­tain areas, car­ry out pro­hib­it­ed tests of bio­log­i­cal agents, mon­i­tor­ing their vir­u­lence, lethal­i­ty and oth­er prop­er­ties.

    Accord­ing to Mr. Popov, in the last decades the USA has built a whole net­work of dual-capa­ble lab­o­ra­to­ries in Europe, Africa, South East Asia. In the post Sovi­et states sim­i­lar facil­i­ties are already accom­mo­dat­ed in Ukraine, Geor­gia, Azer­bai­jan and Uzbek­istan.

    The expert believes the facil­i­ty in Kaza­khstan is to join the so-called bio­PRO sys­tem. “Should the con­cerns over the Almaty facil­i­ty be sub­stan­ti­at­ed, the threat will be aggra­vat­ed through free exchange of goods between Kaza­khstan and Rus­sia with­in the Cus­toms Union and through labor migra­tion from Cen­tral Asia”, he said
    Accord­ing to the author, an easy way to dis­solve the fears is to ensure trans­paren­cy of the process at all the stages, includ­ing con­struc­tion and fur­ther research.


    Sum­ming up; con­ven­tion­al ter­ror­ism (bomb­ings) may occur in an effort to desta­bi­lize Rus­sia dur­ing their show­case Win­ter Olympics. The Jihadi’s that are being fin­gered in these acts have been encour­aged and pos­si­bly trained by west­ern intel­li­gence ser­vices. When the Saudi’s met with the Rus­sians and pro­duced their car­rot-and-stick mes­sage about keep­ing their ter­ror­ists on a leash, Putin alleged­ly respond­ed with threats of Russ­ian mil­i­tary action. The Sau­di inter­est in defeat­ing Syr­ia, and there­fore weak­en­ing Iran, has fiz­zled with the U.S./Russian agree­ment on dis­pos­al of Syr­i­an gas weapons.

    Now it seems the leash may be off the Saudi/western con­trolled Jihadists and the big ques­tion is if the next phase of ter­ror­ism will be the result of “germ war­fare”.
    While the Geor­gian Bio-lab warn­ings are attrib­uted to a “Jef­frey Sil­ver­man”, The Russ­ian report on a sim­i­lar lab in Kaza­khstan indi­cates a greater sense of the threat posed by this tech­nol­o­gy.
    Accord­ing to this report in “Activist Post”, Jef­frey Sil­ver­man and his asso­ciates have been beat­en and in some cas­es tor­tured and threat­ened with mock exe­cu­tion for what he has report­ed on:

    “Sil­ver­man had flown back to Geor­gia and was on a work­ing trip to Azer­bai­jan to sub­mit an arti­cle in Baku when he was picked up on orders of the US Embassy, beat­en bad­ly and his pass­port again seized. The US Embassy then issued a doc­u­ment to Sil­ver­man stat­ing that he is an alien. He was offered a trip back to the US under alien sta­tus but instead of accept­ing a taint­ed offer, Sil­ver­man jumped the bor­der from Azer­bai­jan into Geor­gia”.

    Posted by Swamp | January 5, 2014, 7:57 pm
  4. Sor­ry, here are some of the embed­ded links that did not show on the above copy:

    Wag­ing war on Rus­sia: Look­ing into Vol­gograd ter­ror blasts

    Tsar­naev Attend­ed Jamestown Foun­da­tion Sem­i­nar

    Saudi’s Offer Rus­sia Deal

    Geor­gia Exper­i­ments With Virus­es

    Rus­sia Threat­ens Trade Over Bio­lab

    Geor­gian Times on Jef­frey Sil­ver­man

    Bio­lab in Kaza­khstan

    Activist Post on Jef­frey Sil­ver­man

    Posted by Swamp | January 6, 2014, 9:04 am
  5. The GAO just released its assess­ment of the Bruce Ivins inves­ti­ga­tion:

    The New York Times
    Inquiry in Anthrax Mail­ings Had Gaps, Report Says

    By WILLIAM J. BROADDEC. 19, 2014

    A con­gres­sion­al inquiry into the F.B.I.’s sci­en­tif­ic work on the anthrax mail­ings of 2001 has iden­ti­fied major gaps in genet­ic evi­dence that pur­port­ed­ly links the germs to Bruce E. Ivins, the Army micro­bi­ol­o­gist blamed for attacks that killed five peo­ple, sick­ened 17 oth­ers and shook the nation.

    The Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office study, request­ed in 2010 and made pub­lic on Fri­day, echoes ear­li­er crit­i­cism from the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences. In 2011, its expert pan­el found that the bureau’s analy­sis of the genet­ic evi­dence “did not defin­i­tive­ly demon­strate” a firm link between the mailed anthrax spores and a sam­ple tak­en from Dr. Ivins’s lab­o­ra­to­ry at Fort Det­rick in Mary­land, and more gen­er­al­ly was “not as con­clu­sive” as the bureau had assert­ed.

    The G.A.O. had bet­ter access to F.B.I. records and deep­ened the genet­ic cri­tique, find­ing that the bureau’s inves­ti­ga­tion “lacked sev­er­al impor­tant char­ac­ter­is­tics” that could have strength­ened its case. “A key sci­en­tif­ic gap,” the 77-page report said, was the bureau’s fail­ure to inves­ti­gate whether sam­ples of anthrax spores could nat­u­ral­ly mutate enough to obscure their puta­tive links to Dr. Ivins.

    In 2008, short­ly after he killed him­self, the bureau laid out a sweep­ing but cir­cum­stan­tial case against Dr. Ivins, an Army micro­bi­ol­o­gist, say­ing he had act­ed alone in con­duct­ing the nation’s first major bioter­ror­ist attack. It called the case Amerithrax and said that unique muta­tions in the anthrax spores had helped put Dr. Ivins under the spot­light.

    In an inter­view, Tim­o­thy M. Per­sons, the G.A.O.’s chief sci­en­tist, cred­it­ed the bureau with work­ing hard to cor­rect some of its sci­ence defi­cien­cies but said its evi­dence fell short in the anthrax case, which was offi­cial­ly closed in 2010. “They need­ed bet­ter sci­ence and mea­sure­ment in order to be more con­clu­sive,” he said. “It sounds nit­picky, but that’s impor­tant in build­ing up the sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence for an impor­tant case.”

    The bureau said it agreed with the G.A.O.’s advice on improv­ing its foren­sic sci­ence.


    The dead­ly wisps of anthrax, com­ing just after the Sep­tem­ber attacks, set off new waves of pan­ic. Over the years, a grow­ing num­ber of out­side experts have asked whether fed­er­al inves­ti­ga­tors got the right man and whether the F.B.I.’s long inquiry brushed aside impor­tant clues.

    To the regret of inde­pen­dent sci­en­tists, the report made no men­tion of an issue beyond genet­ics: whether the spores dis­played signs of advanced man­u­fac­tur­ing. They have point­ed to dis­tinc­tive chem­i­cals found in the dried anthrax spores that they say con­tra­dict F.B.I. claims that the germs were unso­phis­ti­cat­ed.

    Evi­dence of spe­cial coat­ings, they say, sug­gests that Dr. Ivins had help in obtain­ing his germ weapons or was inno­cent.

    Mar­tin E. Hugh-Jones, an author­i­ty on anthrax at Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty, said the report was dis­ap­point­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 20, 2014, 4:48 pm

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