From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Maurice)
Subject: Re: anthrax-Southern Poverty LC/ not by domestic hate group
Date: 1 Sep 2002 10:48:51 -0700
NNTP-Posting-Date: 1 Sep 2002 17:48:52 GMT
Ed, on his page, quotes the June 23, 2002 New York Times article --
which contrary to his suggestion, is based on sources contacted by
those accomplished journalists in June.
"Suspicions of foreign ties remain a matter of serious debate in
Washington, not only in intelligence circles but in the White House
"In an interview, Mr. Pence said he learned from an F.B.I. briefing
last week that investigators were having trouble scrutinizing possible
foreign links because some countries were not cooperating. "They're
leaving no stone unturned on the domestic front," he said. "But there
are some stones they can't flip overseas."
One senior official said of the overseas inquiry: "It's more
problematic and difficult. Some countries aren't going to tell you
June 22, 2002, New York York Times article (quoting New York Times
National Journal, June 1, 2002
In contrast to the learned New York Times journalists such as Broad,
Johnston and Milller, your essay on Al Qaeda is seriously botched by
the basic factual mistakes you make, lack of common sense in your
conclusions, and the evidence you intentionally choose to omit .
The Top 12 most uninformed, misleading or logically fallacious aspects
of Ed's superficial essay on Al Qaeda relate to the following topics:
(1) choice of Senators Daschle and Leahy as targets, (2) Islamic
Jihad's modus operandi, (3) the weaponization method used, (4)
distribution of Ames, (5) the content of the letters, (6) the Al Qaeda
members who are not dead, (7) Ahmed's cutaneous anthrax, (8)the
Prague/Atta meeting, (9) the cropduster inquiries, (10) the letter
transmitting the anthrax to AMI (the Jlo letter); (11) the Pakistan
anthrax, and (12) the White House personnel taking Cipro on 9/11
because they knew of Zawahiri's acquisition of anthrax and his
expressed intention to use it against US targets.
1. CHOICE OF SENATORS DASCHLE AND LEAHY AS TARGETS
Ed professes not to understand why Al Qaeda would target Daschle and
Leahy and yet fails has NEVER even addressed or disclosed the relevant
facts in the section.
Leahy is head of the Senate appropriations panel in charge of aid to
Egypt and Israel, which is the main beef of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad
(and now al Qaeda). (That aid constitutes 20% of all foreign aid, and
so it's no small motivation). Daschle is head of the legislative body
that approves those appropriations.
To understand why Leahy -- a human rights advocate and liberal
democrat -- was targeted as a symbol, you need to know the background
of the "Leahy Law" and the secret "rendering" of Egyptian Islamic
Jihad (Al Qaeda) operatives to countries like Egypt, Jordan
and Algeria where they are allegedly tortured.
Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, head of Al Qaeda biological program -- and whose
former islamist confidantes say succeeded in a decades long quest to
obtain and weaponize anthrax for use against US targets -- has
ferociously condemned the torture of Egyptian Islamic Jihad members
that he claims has continued to occur notwithstanding the 1998 "Leahy
Law" (which permits continued appropriations to military and security
units who conduct torture in the event of "extraordinary
These appropriations to these same military and security units have
prevented Al Qaeda/Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Zawahiri from achieving
their aims. The main goal of Dr. Zawahiri, who is a religious
extremist and murderous fanatic, is to topple President Mubarak. He
views the US Aid as the chief obstacle. He's indifferent to our
labels of conservative and liberal. This US Aid to the security
forces is his chief complaint against the United States and has been
Al Qaeda's main focus since 1998.
9/11: "US Bypasses Law in Fight Against Terrorism, Washington Post,
dated March 12, 2002,
Fighting An Unholy War, dated August 18, 2002
Saga of Dr. Zawahri Sheds Light On the Roots of al Qaeda Terror
(reprinting of Wall Street Journal article)
2. ISLAMIC JIHAD'S MODUS OPERANDI
Ed doesn't note that Al Qaeda also wanted to disperse biologicals
through low-flying aircraft.
More importantly, he doesn't note that the egyptian islamists
previously sent letter bombs to newspapers in D.C. and NYC in
connection with the World Trade Center bombing. The newspapers were
sent the letter bombs in connection with the alleged mistreatment of
the World Trade Center bombers in prison (the prison officials at the
prison where the WTC bombers were located were sent some letter bombs
too at the same time)
"Five Years Ago today," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 3, 2002.
"Al Hayat target of islamic fundamentalists", Newsday (New York, NY).
"Man in Trade Center Plot Complains of Treatment," The New York Times
March 27, 1997.
"Eighth Letter Bomb Is Found in U.S., and F.B.I. Takes Inquiry to
Egypt." The New York Times, dated January 4, 1997.
Ed doesn't even address the fact that there is a chapter titled
"Poisonous Letter" in the Al Qaeda handbook!
3. THE METHOD OF WEAPONIZATION USED
Ed writes, without citing any authority:
"Experts were also saying that Iraq used a different method ... to
To the contrary, Spertzel testified before the Congressional
subcommittee in December explaining that Iraq used the spray-drying
method, such as was used here:
"Iraq certainly knows how to produce 100 percent pure spores. That is
a technique that they developed ... which is capable of giving them
the kind of concentrations that we are seeing in the Daschle letter."
"The anthrax in the letters was apparently processed using American
To the contrary, the US Army recipe was NOT used.
The technique to weaponize the anthrax was not the one used by the US
The Washington Post, April 09, 2002, Tuesday, Final Edition
Indeed, Ed nowhere address David Tell's discussion of the $100,000
processor delivered to 215 Main, 1 mile from where pilots Hani and
Nawaf lived at 96 Linwood Plaza. That's Nawaf, who met with the
biochemist-microbiologist-9/11 plotter Yazid Sufaat, associated with
the group that arranged the purchase of anthrax for Bin Laden and
Guilty Plea in Fraud Case But Feds fear Pakistani's purpose for buying
food mixer, Parascandola, NEWSDAY, dated July 15, 2002
The highest relevant expert at the DOD that the equipment used to make
powdered milk could be used to make the anthrax. Air Force Journal,
May 2002. Not even Ed disputes that the processor could be used - as
he has argued that the equipment could be purchased for $50,000!
So at best his argument that Al Qaeda overpaid.
4. DISTRIBUTION OF AMES
In his Al Qaeda section, Ed nowhere disputes that Ames was sent to a
score of labs or that 15 remained to be tested under the genetic
testing by Read and Keim published in March, in the "Science" article.
In fact, you won't even find the article linked on his page and
there's no indication he's read the article.
One expert explains:
"Knowing that this strain was originally isolated in the U.S. has
absolutely nothing to do with where the weapon may have been prepared
because, as I tried to make the point, these strains move around. A
post doc in somebody's laboratory could have taken this strain to
another lab and it could have been taken overseas and it could have
ended up absolutely anywhere. Tiny quantities of anthrax that you
couldn't see, that you couldn't detect in an inventory can be used to
propagate as much as you want. So that's just not, in fact, very
helpful." Dr. C.J. Peters, August 30, 2002 on PBS' "Searching for
Ft. Detrick sent its Ames strain to places like Porton Down in Great
Britain and Suffield in Canada. Presently, there is no information in
the public record
as to the strain that Bin Laden purchased in 1997. Informed analysis
would require that at least that much be determined.
The genetic analysis of Dr. Keim, from Northern Arizona, had promised
to remove all doubt potentially as to the source of the anthrax. Now
hopes may be fading according to recent press reports. Timothy D.
Read, whose work at the Institute for Genetic Research in
Rockville, Md. provided the FBI with its first genetic roadmap for
anthrax, said it's disappointing that the differences identified by
his team did not pinpoint the source. AP, dated June 19, 2002
The research is reported in "Science" which can be viewed by
nonsubscribers through a link at the TIGR website. The analysis is
directed to showing the similarity between various samples of Ames.
According to many reports, Ames was widely distributed to universities
throughout the world. But even under the most conservative estimate
(such as made by Dr. Hatch
Rosenberg), the strain was sent to 15-20 labs. The "Science" article
does not address the testing done with
respect to isolates from the vast majority of labs where Ames was
known to be. 15 labs remained to be tested.
(Note that the date of the lab isolate presumed by some to be Ft.
Detrick is not given and so no inferences can be drawn even from what
was reported. (It is known, however, that some Ames went missing from
Ft. Detrick prior to 1992).
If we are to assume that the anthrax purchased by Bin Laden in 1997
was not Ames -- which is a big assumption to be sure -- then the
question relevant to an Al Qaeda theory is what access to the US Army
strain might have been accomplished by someone with 1) a multi
millionaire (Bin Laden) backing his play, and 2) a lot of Muslims who
believe in his Islamist cause (toppling the
Egyptian and Saudi regimes).
The possible sources include Russia,Iraq, the US Army, or a facility
that obtained Ames from the US Army or other researcher who had it.
5. THE CONTENT OF THE LETTERS
Paul De Armond in "Insider Diversion: profiling the anthrax attacks"
(June 2002 rev.) at http://www.public good.us addressed this point:
"It has been stated that the tactics of enclosing warnings in the
letters shows the attacker did not intend to commit murder. This is
nonsense. The death of Robert Stevens was public knowledge before the
Senate letters were mailed. The attacker knew full well that he was
placing large numbers of people in deadly peril and acknowledged this
in the text of the Senate letters. As Brian Jenkins has famously
noted, "terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people
dead." The letter tactics were chosen to maximize the scope of
terrorism, not to limit or avoid casualties."
6. THE AL QAEDA MEMBERS WHO ARE NOT DEAD
Ed here just ignores the stories about other 9-11 plotters and
suspected plotters who have been arrested, even those that have been
specifically discussed in connection with the anthrax investigation,
such as the Trenton roommates that included Mohamed Pervez and the two
Amtrak boxcutter muslims, Syed Athar Abbas, Yazid Sufaat, Ramzi and
numerous others. It's as if he's not even aware of any of these
people, preferring to argue that someone who is dead could not have
mailed the letters.
For articles about Yazid Sufaat, see
For an article about the Trenton roommates, see the posted article
from the NYT in a newsgroup by search Amtrak boxcutters and Trenton.
7. AHMED'S CUTANEOUS ANTHRAX
"Could the terrorists have had some anthrax in their possession? It's
certainly possible. No one has any evidence to indicate otherwise,
and no one is saying they didn't."
Oh, okay, Ed. Glad you agree with John Hopkins experts.
In making this concession, however, Ed doesn't disclose that the
hijacker said he got the blackened gash-like lesion when he bumped his
leg on a suitcase two months earlier.
The Washington Post, dated March 29, 2002, Friday, Pg. A03
Two months earlier he had been in camp (according a videotape he later
made (his last Will and Testament). And it's known that at least 5
camps tested positive for anthrax.
In an interview, Dr. O'Toole said that after consulting with
additional medical experts on the Alhaznawi case, she was "more
persuaded than ever" that the diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax was
correct. The New York Times Company, dated March 23, 2002. Ed offers
no conflicting expect evidence and does not dispute that Ahmed had
As the result of this expert testiomny, "[n]ow, "nobody is dismissing"
the theory that the hijackers were involved, a senior intelligence
official told The New York Times following revelations that one of the
hijackers, Ahmed Alhaznawi, had consulted an emergency room doctor in
June about an ugly wound on his leg." Agence France Presse, dated
March 23, 2002.
While not saying the hijackers didn't have anthrax with them, however,
Ed nowhere deems it relevant to mention that it is known that Al Qaeda
bought anthrax and that the camps in Afghanistan, as well as Ayman
Zawahiri's home, tested positive for anthrax. Zawahiri was a 9/11
plotter and is NOT dead.
San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2001.
Osama bought a batch for 10G
BIN LADEN BOUGHT ANTHRAX, E-COLI AND SALMONELLA, AIDE TELLS COURT
(SF Chronicle article)
(describing Bodansky's account)
8. THE PRAGUE/ATTA MEETING
Ed writes that such meetings could have happened countless times over
the years, but they are not evidence of anything having to do with the
anthrax attacks of Sept. 18 and Oct. 9, 2001.
Ed doesn't dispute here the Atta/Prague meetings.\
White House says Sept. 11 skyjacker had met Iraqi agent By Bob Drogin,
Paul Richter and Doyle McManus
Los Angeles Times, dated August 2, 2002
Of course, contrary to Ed's conclusion, such a meeting with the fellow
(who was an Iraqi case handler) would be hugely significant in
assessing whether Iraq was involved in 9/11 and/or anthrax.
9. THE CROPDUSTER INQUIRIES
Ed here argues that Atta was not intending to use it to disperse
anthrax because he told the USDA official that he was intending to
spray chemicals. So, Ed, does that mean if he was going to disperse
anthrax he would have told the USDA official that?
"With biological weapons you are talking about a test tube full of
germs, not something one would put into "a chemical tank that would
fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the
aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting."
Ed of course is wrong. The experts, like Dr. Rosenberg, say that
modification would be required. And that's specifically what Atta
described. He'd putting the tank inside and supplying his own nozzle
set-up. Just like Cohen described in the documents found in Al
Now, of course, Atta may very well have been intending to create a
fuel bomb or spray the insecticide nerve agent, but this is an example
of what Ed tries to pass off as logical analysis.
"Besides, crop dusters would probably not work as a way of dispersing
anthrax. According to experts, they would spray liquids in droplets
that are too large for absorption into the lungs."
Ed, they've got the 1 micron product that could be delivered in a mist
upon the modification contemplated by Atta (to include the nozzle he
would be providing).
I notice you don't cite any sources. The difficulty of absorption in
the lung was overcome when they successfully weaponized it, achieving
a trillion spore concentration and the right micron size.
10. THE LETTER TRANSMITTING THE ANTHRAX TO AMI
One unresolved question that Ed fails to address in his Al Qaeda
section relates to how the anthrax was transmitted to AMI in Florida.
Phil Brennan, a conservative commentator who knew the two victims
there, is confident that the letter transmitting the anthrax was sent
before 9/11. It consisted he says of a goofy love letter to Jennifer
Lopez, and included an open
soap packet and a cheap Star of David charm. He says Stevens held it
up to his face and then put it down on the keyboard (where traces of
anthrax were found). Personally, I think he very well may be right,
which would clinch Al Qaeda's responsibility. Note that the
publisher's wife was the real estate broker who rented to two of the
hijackers. Small world, eh?
FBI IGNORED LETTER IN ANTHRAX PROBE
The key expert evidence on this issue -- which again Ed nowhere
discusses or discloses -- relates to the New England Journal of
Medicine where Stevens' doctor concludes that the letter, mailed
pre-9/11, but opened 9/19 and resulting in symptoms appear 9/30,
evidenced an incubation period consistent with inhalational
anthrax. (And he refers to the 1979 accidental release in Russia).
Dr. Henry Niman, who has posted on the internet, on the other hand,
he has looked at what
he views as "very clean data" and concludes that the incubation period
is inconsistent with the short time periods involved with the other
instances of inhalational anthrax. The jury will have to remain out
unless and until there is more information on the letter that
transmitted the anthrax to AMI. The FBI now has gone back to AMI.
11. THE PAKISTAN ANTHRAX
Ed nowhere discusses the reported "confirmed cases" in Karachi,
Pakistan also bear investigation. I don't know of any expert or press
report taking the position that the letters at the main branch of
Jang, Habib International and Dell Computer were confirmed to be false
dawn.com (reporting on November 12, 2001 news conference in which it
was explained that the samples had not yet been turned over from the
lab that had done the testing)
12. WHITE HOUSE TAKING OF CIPRO ON 9/11
Ed nowhere discusses in the Al Qaeda section that Vice President
Cheney and his staff knew to take a Cipro on 9/11, a full week before
the first anthrax letter was mailed. The White House knew Al Qaeda
had anthrax and that Zawahiri was on record intending to use against