A top secret Canadian Security Intelligence Service report leaked on August 27, 2004 may provide the missing piece of evidence needed to identify the long elusive Anthrax Mailer of 2001.

While confirmation is still lacking, we now have enough shreds of evidence to piece together a theory of the case that resolves key anomalies. In turn, that theory can point us toward where we might find confirmatory evidence.

According to the article in Canada’s National Post1, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, a 22-year old Canadian, told interrogators that he had heard from an assistant of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, that the November 12, 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight #587 in New York was the result of an al Qaeda shoe bomb. The bomber was “Farouk the Tunisian”. Newspaper photographs showed him to be Abderraouf Jdey, a 36-year old Montreal-based Canadian of Tunisian origin.

Jdey is one of the seven al Qaeda terrorists listed in the FBI’s plea for information from the public in May, 2004. He had emigrated to Canada in 1991, gained citizenship in 1995, and then travelled to Afghanistan where he trained as one of the ten substitutes for the 9/11 attackers. According to KSM, Jdey was slated for pilot training and was to be in the second wave of attacks. Jdey recorded a martyrdom statement in a video later found by American forces in Afghanistan. He returned to Montreal in summer 2001 and was detained by INS and FBI on or around August 16, as was Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui had a computer disk with information on cropdusting (he had previously queried the University of Minnesota about taking a course on cropdusting); Jdey was carrying biology textbooks, according to a 2010 Harvard report. FBI omitted the computer disk from its inventory of Moussaoui’s possessions in its court filing, and it did not mention Jdey. Jdey was evidently released.  In response to a Freedom of Information request, FBI refused to divulge any information about the detention of Jdey on the grounds that it would constitute an invasion of his privacy.

A Theory of the Case

Al Qaeda had a history of interest in biological weapons. There is evidence that the 9/11 attackers had anthrax in their possession during the months preceding September 11, 2001. They were evidently seeking a way to use a cropduster to spread anthrax over an American city. A medical doctor who treated a future hijacker for a skin lesion has stated that the lesion he treated was consistent with one caused by anthrax. A pharmacist reported to FBI that Mohamed Atta, leader of the 9/11 attacks, had sought a remedy for skin irritation on his hands, which were red from the wrists down. An accompanying fellow terrorist sought a remedy for a cough.

If the 9/11 attackers possessed anthrax, they would have had to hand it off to another al Qaeda operative before September 11. Otherwise the precious vials of anthrax, the first and only weapon of mass destruction that al Qaeda had ever possessed, would have been wasted.

But they wouldn’t necessarily trust just any al Qaeda operative to safeguard and perform with the anthrax, and perhaps they knew very few of al Qaeda’s sleepers in North America anyway. They would want to give the anthrax to an operative they knew and trusted, one who would use it to the best effect.

Abderraouf Jdey appears to have been exactly such a person. He differed markedly from the nine other 9/11 substitutes. He was older, from a different country of origin, with Canadian citizenship, with semi-sleeper status, and with a clear designation as part of the second wave. He had trained in Afghanistan simultaneously with Mohamed Atta. He was well enough educated to have been slated for pilot training. In effect, Jdey can be viewed as the counterpart of Atta, as the leader of the second wave of al Qaeda attacks following 9/11.

And he had studied biology at the University of Montreal in his late twenties.

So Jdey was the logical person for Atta to hand off the anthrax to. We can also identify the logical time and place for such a transfer to have occurred.

An especially hard-to-explain anomaly in the hijackers’ story has been why Atta and a fellow hijacker travelled from Boston to Portland, Maine on September 10. Taking a feeder flight from Portland to Boston on the morning of September 11 caused Atta nearly to miss his connection, and he and his companion had to pass through security questioning twice rather than once–at a significant added risk of detection.

So Atta must have had a reason to go to Portland that outweighed such risks. The most obvious explanation would be that he had an important meeting on a subject that required face-to-face contact, not just a veiled telephone conversation. A transaction with someone coming from the North, arranged for outside of Boston to lessen the risk of surveillance.

Clearly, Jdey would be a very likely “someone”, and handing over the vials of anthrax would furnish a compelling reason for their otherwise risky meeting.

More Anomalies Resolved

If Jdey indeed was the recipient of vials of anthrax in Portland, then subsequent events could have followed this course:

While the 9/11 hijackers had sought access to a cropduster to spread the anthrax over an American city, Jdey presumably saw that receiving training at an American flight school was not in the cards after 9/11. So he had to resort to another method of distributing the anthrax. (Another, perhaps more telling explanation is that it was Atta who had the idea of mailing letters and who provided Jdey with a mailing list of targets. Seeking revenge against specific individuals and organizations seems to have been a very characteristic personality trait of Atta.)

Jdey decided to mail the anthrax. The first mailings took place in September soon after the 9/11 attacks. The second mailings, to Senators Daschle and Leahy, occurred in October and included high-quality anthrax. Driving hundreds of miles from Montreal to Trenton to mail the letters made sense because it perfectly disguised Jdey’s Canadian base. The presumed trip to Portland indicates that such a long cross-border drive to reduce the likelihood of surveillance was a modus operandi of Jdey.

The anthrax letters do not show any obvious Gallicisms that would betray that they were from a fluent French-speaker, which Jdey presumably was. But they are consistent with a person who has acquired English as a second language, and there is nothing in them that is inconsistent with Jdey as author. In fact, Jdey is a highly believable author of the anthrax letters. Various objections that have been raised to al Qaeda authorship of the letters can be readily met. For instance, the concept of warning the target that he/she was being attacked was standard al Qaeda procedure in keeping with an injunction from the Prophet Mohammed.

One of the main characteristics or anomalies of the anthrax mailings case has been how remarkably elusive the Mailer was both during his period of activity in autumn, 2001 and thereafter. Despite a massive FBI investigation backed by hundreds of thousands of tips from the American public, the Mailer has succeeded in hiding his tracks. Being based in Canada, contrary to every expectation, would nicely explain his elusiveness during his period of activity.

The recently leaked Canadian intelligence report from 2002 provides a plausible explanation for the lack of information about Jdey’s whereabouts since then (as well as for the cessation of the anthrax mailings): Jdey committed suicide on Flight #587 on November 12, 2001.

Why might Jdey be a likely candidate to do this, quite aside from the Jabarah account?

If he was indeed the Anthrax Mailer, he was a hard-headed man of action. Instead of dreaming about impractical schemes of sowing the anthrax in the skies above a city (especially because that would presumably require finding a scientist who could multiply the small samples al Qaeda had, which Atta and others had evidently initially thought feasible), he realized that he had to use it before being captured. And in a way (mailing letters) that would minimize the possibility of arrest, which would keep him from fulfilling his pledge to commit suicide in an attack on the enemy. This tactic also enabled him to target the hated Senator Leahy, author of the legislation permitting “renditions” of suspected terrorists to their countries of origin, where they were subjected to torture. (These considerations explain another anomaly–that al Qaeda would use its first weapon of mass destruction in a manner unlikely to cause mass casualties.)

In early November, 2001, Jdey recognized that–as the Anthrax Mailer–he was likely to be arrested at any moment, so he would do well to act on his pledge of martyrdom by turning himself into a shoebomber. The Canadian intelligence report has him leaving Canada in November, though the date is not provided. On November 12 he showed up at Kennedy International Airport and boarded Flight #587. No Canadian passport holders are listed on the final passenger list of Flight #587.

Possessor of many aliases, Jdey presumably had several other passports. A number of the passengers were plausibly francophones; perhaps one of them was Jdey.

The cessation of the mailings after October, 2001 after their initial success is another anomaly neatly explained by this account. Yet another anomaly, of course, is that Flight #587 disintegrated and crashed for no apparent reason.

Seeking Confirmation

The scenario sketched out above has the virtue of conforming to the evidence available in a logical manner. Four main perceptions support it: 1) it would powerfully explain Atta’s mysterious Portland trip; 2) it would show why the Mailer has proven so elusive and why the mailings ceased (Jdey might also not have revealed to any other al Qaeda operatives that he had the anthrax, so no one would know that he had been the Mailer once he committed suicide); 3) it fits very well the characteristics that caused Jdey to stand out among the substitute hijackers, and indeed that differentiated him from the actual hijackers as well; and 4) FBI’s effort to conceal the detention of Jdey along with Zacarias Moussaoui strongly suggests a cover-up.

Of course, there are major gaps in the evidence. There is no direct evidence of a meeting in Portland. The cause of the crash of Flight #587 remains controversial. According to the official inquiry, there was no evidence of an explosion on board. Accounts of eyewitnesses from the ground, however, are highly consistent with a shoe bomb explosion. The explosion could have been small enough to be masked by wake turbulence from the preceding JAL aircraft. The co-pilot’s frantic manipulation of the rudder would thus have been a hopeless attempt to rescue a doomed aircraft.

Still, we don’t know when or how Jdey crossed the border.  We have no direct evidence that he ever was in Trenton.  In short, we don’t know a lot that we need to know.

So it is necessary to seek evidence that would confirm, refute, or modify this account. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Review the security videos from Kennedy International Airport.
  • See if the ticket agents recognize Jdey’s photo.
  • Check the backgrounds of the likely suspects from the final passenger list.
  • Check both Canadian and U.S. border crossing and airport records.
  • Test Jdey’s apartment for anthrax.
  • Test any vehicles he owned or rented for anthrax.
  • Interrogate al Qaeda detainees regarding Jdey, shoebombs, and anthrax. Richard Reid, whose unsuccessful shoebombing attempt occurred just one month after the Flight #587 crash, might know something relevant.
  • Hunt through Jdey’s background. He was educated in Tunisia as a architectural engineer, then studied geology at the University of Montreal. What kind of biology did he study in Montreal? Or did he learn about biowarfare in Afghanistan? Did he hold any subsequent job? Had he served in the Tunisian police or army? What kind of a person was he?
  • Publicize Jdey and his photo more widely than at present, in hopes of finding further evidence from the public.

The publicly available evidence suggests that Abderraouf Jdey brought down Flight #587 with a shoebomb.

Was he also the Anthrax Mailer? Evidence and logic make him the leading suspect.

A Critical Stage

The original version of this article was submitted to FBI in September, 2004. Within a few days of its submission, security for at least some international flights was intensified and included special doublechecking of shoes. On October 22, 2004 the judge in the Steven Hatfill, M.D. suit said that FBI had told him that its investigation had reached “a critical stage.” Around this time FBI stopped providing regular briefings on the investigation to the targets and relatives of victims of the anthrax mailings. Also, the information that Abderraouf Jdey had studied biology at the University of Montreal was added to his FBI public profile after September, 2004; the original version of the above article had only suggested that Jdey might have had a pertinent education such as in chemical engineering. In other words, in a sense, the Jdey theory proved predictive. (Subsequently, FBI removed detailed information about Jdey from its Websites, including the reference to his study of biology.)

On April 20, 2005, the U.S. Government announced a new reward of up to $5 million for information on Jdey.  In this period FBI’s management began to deprive the investigation, led by Richard Lambert from 2002 to 2006, of resources, according to his later suit over retaliation against his whistle blowing.2

An isolated report that Jdey entered Turkey in 2002 is evidence contrary to the above account, but it could readily be explained by the use of an altered passport by another al Qaeda operative. Also, as a suicide pledger, Jdey was committed to follow the example of his 9/11 comrades. Failing to do so would have earned him the contempt of his peers. Besides, he would have known that using his real passport in the post-9/11 era was too risky. So this Turkish report merits plenty of skepticism.

Although the above account couches its argument in terms of a search for conclusive proof, in the circumstances of a case where the leading suspect appears to have committed suicide, conclusive proof may never emerge. Therefore, it may be necessary to shift the standard of proof to “preponderance of the evidence”. It is very possible that FBI has sufficient evidence for a reasonable person to conclude that, more likely than not, Jdey was the Anthrax Mailer. Indeed, some might conclude that simply on the basis of the evidence and arguments in this article.

All other theories of the case (including FBI’s weak, 100% circumstantial one) face the severe handicap of having to provide plausible explanations for anomalies that this theory resolves, including above all the outstanding anomaly of Atta’s trip to Portland, Maine. FBI’s theory provides no plausible explanations for some of these anomalies and only feeble ones for others. In addition, FBI’s claim to have cleared all those with access to the anthrax other than Bruce Ivins does not account for the possibility of theft of the anthrax, as discussed below.

For the sake of argument, one could still assume that Jdey was not the Mailer. This would make the evidence and logical connections adduced in the discussion above a mere string of coincidences. Atta’s trip to Portland, Jdey’s study of biology, his apparent role as leader of the Second Wave, the ways in which he stood out from the hijackers and their substitutes, his high believability as the author of the anthrax letters, FBI’s concealment of his detention at the same time as Zacarias Moussaoui, the perfect match in regard to timing, the compelling reasons for his elusiveness, the account of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah—all these would become sheer happenstance.

Hard to believe.

So it is reasonable to think that the answer to “Was Abderraouf Jdey the Anthrax Mailer?” is: more likely than not. Or rather: much more likely than not.

The Origin of the Anthrax

How did al Qaeda gain access to the anthrax? According to attorney Ross Getman, an expert on al Qaeda’s biowarfare program, it had opportunities at several university laboratories, including one at George Mason University.

In this writer’s opinion, going beyond the conclusions of Getman, the most likely route was via a collaborative biodefense research project funded by DARPA and involving Advanced Biosystems, Inc. and what would become George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. At GMU’s Manassas, Virginia facility, Islamic ideologue Ali Al-Timimi, later imprisoned foral-timimi recruiting American Muslims to fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was a graduate student in computational biology with an office around the corner from that of Charles Bailey, Vice President of Advanced Biosystems and former deputy commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. (Here is a floor plan of Discovery Hall at GMU showing the close proximity of Al-Timimi’s office to Bailey’s.)

The project was using an avirulent Delta strain of anthrax from NIH. However, Bailey may have been the “former deputy commander” who was one of FBI’s ultimate four main suspects—presumably meaning that he had obtained a sample of virulent anthrax.

DoD would have wished to devise countermeasures to the alarming technological innovations of the Soviet biowarfare program learned from Ken Alibek (whose office was next to Bailey’s at GMU), former deputy director of the Soviet program, and other defectors (this explanation appears far more likely than that the U.S. Government itself was running an offensive bioweapons program; biowarfare is antithetical to U.S. interests, whereas it was a major component of Soviet weapons development and strategy). One of these innovations appears to have been a special formulation of anthrax. To devise countermeasures, DoD would have wanted to prepare enhanced anthrax to as a vaccine challenge. In a more general sense, ensuring the adequacy of biodefense measures necessitates developing offensive capability to test them.

FBI’s theory of the case treats the problem of preparing the anthrax as one of merely purifying and drying spores. But the anthrax in the senators’ letters in addition possessed special characteristics that caused individual particles to waft upward spontaneously. It had a high silicon content—reportedly 1.45% in the Leahy letter and possibly higher in the Daschle one, well above natural background levels. And the crude anthrax in the letter to the New York Post had a 10% silicon content, impossible to interpret as anything but an addition. Its tin content was 0.65%—far above background level; tin can catalyze the fusion of silicon into a silicone layer.

In its February 15, 2011 report, the National Academy of Sciences identified a bimodal pattern in the letters to the senators in which exceedingly tiny particles 1.5 microns in diameter on average were accompanied by clumps larger than 20 microns in diameter. The tiny particles were dramatically smaller than known U.S. and Soviet anthrax; and the particles—which appear to be individual spores—were of a very uniform size. NAS argues that silicon was not added to the senators’ letters because the tiny particles would spontaneously waft upward individually on their own. But it does not take into account that silicon could have been added to induce the larger clumps to break apart and disperse also (the 1.5 micron diameter particles constituted only 1/2000 of the Daschle anthrax) or that the dispersal of the tiny particles would have been enhanced by addition of the silicon.

While the silicon collected in the spore coat inside the exosporium, the tiny particles resisted clumping, suggesting the possibility that rigidity caused by the silicon in the coat, changes in electrical or chemical properties caused by the uptake of the silicon, or a hard-to-detect silicon monolayer on the exosporium (microencapsulation) had influenced the interaction of the spores. The NAS report assumes that only silicon on the exosporium would act as a dispersant, but this has not been tested or proven.

It is not clear whether the silicon collected equally in the tiny and the larger particles; whether the tiny particles possessed other characteristics distinguishing them from the larger particles; or whether all spores—individual or clumped—were of the same size.

Preparation and Theft of the Anthrax

The evidence assembled by FBI strongly suggests that U.S. Army scientist Bruce Ivins prepared (processed) the anthrax.Bruce Ivins  But, if this is correct, he does not appear to have done it at USAMRIID.  It seems that he would have prepared powdered virulent anthrax at a facility like Southern Research Institute (SRI) in Frederick that presumably had considerably more appropriate equipment than was available at USAMRIID as well as a Biological Safety Level 3 facility. Patricia F. Fellows, Ivins’s closest collaborator at USAMRIID, who later moved to SRI, appears to have been the only one of his close associates who thought that he was the Mailer—perhaps because she knew that he had had access at SRI to the anthrax that showed up in the letters. Fellows, who had expertise in aerosols, was the only current USAMRIID employee to whom FBI’s bloodhounds reacted, so she might have collaborated with Ivins in preparing the anthrax.

David Franz, commander of USAMRIID from 1995 to 1998, then retired and became head of the Chemical and Biological Defense Division of SRI until around 2003. Neither Franz (initially responsive to requests for information about aspects of the case but then increasingly evasive) nor any other past or current managers at SRI responds to inquiries about pre-9/11 work on virulent anthrax at SRI.  SRI was also subcontractor with Hadron/Advanced Biosystems, the partner with GMU on the DARPA anthrax contract of which Charles Bailey was co-principal investigator.  SRI’s role was to perform testing.  Franz and Bailey had been at USAMRIID together (possibly Bailey was deputy commander under Franz, but biographical data are lacking).

Therefore, SRI emerges as the most likely place for the anthrax in the letters to the senators to have been prepared; and propinquity, seniority, excellent lab skills, expertise with anthrax and vaccine testing, custodianship of the main anthrax flask RMR-10293, and working relationship with DoD entities would make Ivins the most likely preparer, probably assisted by Patricia Fellows.

Judging from evidence (inquiries at airfields regarding cropdusters) suggesting that Mohamed Atta’s gang in Florida had obtained the anthrax by February, 2001, Ivins appears to have prepared the anthrax at SRI in a 1998-2000 timeframe. Then, in response to the heightened threat reports in the run-up to the September 11, 2001 attacks, he seems to have taken out samples he had earlier brought to USAMRIID and started testing vaccines, which would explain the upsurge in his hours spent in the hot suite starting in August.  This would also explain why, subsequent to the anthrax mailings, he twice swabbed down, then cleaned his lab without authorization.

Franz appears to have provided vials of the powdered anthrax to Bailey without telling Ivins, and Ivins seems to have been allowed to believe that the anthrax at SRI was safely locked in a freezer, so that Ivins assumed that the Mailer was a USAMRIID scientist who had stolen samples of the anthrax from him.

Around the time of the anthrax attacks, Ivins also developed an infection on his hand that required visits to two doctors and two antibiotics, including doxycycline, the treatment of choice for cutaneous anthrax and the one that was successful. Ivins concealed the infection and treatment from USAMRIID against regulations. This information, which appeared in the March 14, 2011 psychiatry group report on Ivins, is hard to interpret as meaning anything but that he had developed cutaneous anthrax from experimenting with powdered virulent anthrax in the hot suite. In other words, at the very time Ivins was later accused by FBI of spending hours at night in the hot suite preparing the anthrax to mail in the letters, in fact he appears to have been testing vaccines to protect the American public from a terrorist anthrax attack.

At GMU, Bailey has remained silent and refers questioners to a university lawyer. The University has “recommended” to noted GMU microbiologist Sergei Popov that he refrain from public discussion of the anthrax case.

Bailey filed a patent application in March, 2001 along with co-principal investigator on the DARPA project Ken Alibek on a method for treating biological samples such as anthrax spores. This method can be characterized as a primarily Soviet technique for preparing cells, with wide commercial potential. It includes repeated references to silica and appears to involve microencapsulation with an ultrathin layer of silica.

Amid lax laboratory and computer security, Al-Timimi seems to have stolen from an unlocked refrigerator small amounts of anthrax of various kinds made from RMR-1029. Al-Timimi then provided the anthrax to Mohamed Atta.

An important implication of this is that al Qaeda in Afghanistan or elsewhere had nothing to do with the anthrax mailings. The attacks were a 100% North American al Qaeda operation. Nor did al Qaeda require any sophistication to prepare the anthrax; all Al-Timimi had to know was that these vials contained virulent anthrax. The transmission route was simple and rather short: Franz to Bailey to Al-Timimi to Atta to Jdey. Moreover, it seems quite likely that Jdey did not inform his colleagues in Canada that he had obtained or used the anthrax, so once he committed suicide no one would know that he was the Mailer.

Thus it appears that:

  • The special varieties of anthrax were prepared well before the 9/11 attacks and were intended for testing vaccines against realistic threats. The crude anthrax in the letter to the New York Post may have been intended as a control to determine how much more effective the refined anthrax was;
  • Much more likely than not, Bruce Ivins was the Preparer of the anthrax in the letters (possibly in collaboration with Patricia Fellows). The evidence collected by FBI seems persuasive on this point, though we will not have watertight proof until Fellows, Franz, and Bailey are asked and answer tough questions. At any rate, even if someone else had prepared the anthrax, Ivins was clearly working with it in August through October, 2001.  Soon thereafter, Ivins evidently began to hide his role as the (presumed) Preparer because he feared that, if he admitted to having had access to the powdered anthrax or if FBI found evidence that he had had it or was actually working with it in the hot suite at the time of the attacks, FBI would never have believed that he hadn’t mailed it, given his lurid psychiatric history and habits, including mailing of false-flag letters. (Despair over ever being able to prove his innocence for these reasons may also have been the motive for his eventual suicide.) In turn, the FBI investigators interpreted his behavior as betraying guilt;
  • All of the key, apparently valid pieces of evidence used by FBI and others to identify Ivins as the Mailer—the details of his skin infection, his deletion of his emails in 2001, his unauthorized cleanings of his lab space, and his incorrectly submitted samples of RMR-1029 anthrax (although this is disputed by critics)—can equally apply to an Innocent Preparer of the virulent powdered anthrax. They show that Ivins likely prepared the anthrax, contrary to what many have argued; but they do not show that he mailed it;
  • Ivins appears to have prepared the anthrax at SRI, which would have had the required equipment, supplies, and facilities. He was sufficiently skilled to prepare the powdered anthrax if he had written instructions and/or coaching, presumably available at SRI—or perhaps without either instructions or coaching but with the assistance of Patricia Fellows. Franz and Bailey—neither former bioweaponeers nor bench microbiologists—had presumably accumulated considerable lore from intelligence on foreign programs as well as the old U.S. program about methods for enhancing the delivery of anthrax spores. These could have included a formula for catalyzing silicon with organotin to provide a silicone layer on the spore coat. Thus it appears that the special characteristics of the anthrax reflected the pooled lore of Ivins, Fellows, Franz, and Bailey on how to enhance the effectiveness of powdered virulent anthrax to carry out realistic animal testing of vaccines. This would explain why there has been so much controversy about whether the anthrax was enhanced or “weaponized”: it was a halfway-in-between product of one or more savvy individuals who had never made a bioweapon before but had some notions of how to do it;
  • DoD, SRI, Hadron, and GMU appear to have concealed highly relevant information from FBI investigators, allowing them to pursue their erroneous theory of the case; and these organizations (and Ivins) may have destroyed any special anthrax remaining after the attacks; and
  • The anthrax mailings—carried out for al Qaeda by a Canadian citizen of Tunisian origin based in Montreal and using anthrax prepared for DoD by a key U.S. Army scientist, then stolen by an American al Qaeda sympathizer—were an inextricable mixture of foreign and domestic elements.

Suppression of Evidence

As for the FBI investigation, one can surmise that FBI found enough further evidence in 2004 successfully to identify Jdey as the Anthrax Mailer and shoebomber of Flight #587. But this finding (to which only a tiny number were privy) would have been exceptionally embarrassing to both FBI Director Robert Mueller and President George W. Bush. At a time of the highest alert, the Bureau and the rest of the U.S. Government had failed to stop an al Qaeda operative, whose whereabouts were known and who had even been detained, from perpetrating two major attacks.

It is also possible that Mueller and Bush had previously covered up the evidence that Flight #587 had been brought down by a terrorist shoebomb.  Lastly and most importantly, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney appear to have been pressuring Mueller to avoid finding an al Qaeda anthrax mailer in order to forestall calls to reinvestigate the events of 2001 and specifically what had gone on inside the U.S. Government in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks. At any rate, via Mueller’s briefings of the President on the anthrax case, they seem to have conspired to suppress all evidence regarding Jdey and to find some other suspect, which led eventually to the of necessity invalid case against Bruce Ivins.4


Kenneth J. Dillon is an historian and former State Department intelligence analyst.  See the biosketch at About Us .  See also his interview on Robert Mueller and the 2001 anthrax case.

1. The article, Bell, Stewart. National Post, Montreal man downed US plane, CSIS told, August 27, 2004, has been removed from the Internet.  However, a copy of an archived copy can be found at Abderraouf Jdey and the Shoebombing of Flight #587.

For further information and analysis regarding the 2001 anthrax mailings, see Intriguing Anomalies: An Introduction to Scientific Detective Work; Psychiatrists Misinterpret Bruce Ivins; Leading Theories of the Anthrax Mailings Case; Who Was the Real Anthrax Mailer?; The Anthrax Mailings Can’t Have Been al Qaeda; FBI v. Bruce Ivins: The Missing Pieces; Did Ivins Prepare the Anthrax for DARPA?; and Did an al Qaeda Shoebomber Bring Down Flight #587?.  The anthrax mailings case shares important characteristics with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, including the excessive weight observers have given to objections to the elephant-in-the-living-room (al Qaeda and the KGB, respectively) and the insufficient weight they have given to correctly gathered and construed circumstantial evidence.  See Did the KGB Arrange the Assassination of John F. Kennedy?

2. See Lambert’s plea in Lambert v. Holder et al., Tennessee Eastern District Court, April 2, 2015:  “53. On July 6, 2006, Plaintiff provided a whistleblower report of mismanagement to the FBI’s Deputy Director pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 2303. Reports of mismanagement conveyed in writing and orally included: (a) WFO’s persistent understaffing of the AMERITHRAX investigation; (b) the threat of WFO’s Agent in charge to retaliate if Plaintiff disclosed the understaffing to FBI Headquarters; (c) WFO’s insistence on staffing the AMERITHRAX investigation principally with new Agents recently graduated from the FBI Academy resulting in an average investigative tenure of 18 months with 12 of 20 Agents assigned to the case having no prior investigative experience at all; (d) WFO’s eviction of the AMERITHRAX Task Force from the WFO building in downtown Washington and its relegation to Tysons Corner, Virginia to free up space for Attorney General Ashcroft’s new pornography squads; (e) FBI Director’s Mueller’s mandate to Plaintiff to “compartmentalize” the AMERITHRAX investigation by stove piping the flow of case information and walling off task force members from those aspects of the case not specifically assigned to them – a move intended to stem the tide of anonymous media leaks by government officials regarding details of the investigation. This sequestration edict decimated morale and proved unnecessary in light of subsequent civil litigation which established that the media leaks were attributable to the United States Attorney for the District of the District of Columbia and to a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s National Press Office, not to investigators on the AMERITHRAX Task Force; (f) WFO’s diversion and transfer of two Ph.D. Microbiologist Special Agents from their key roles in the investigation to fill billets for an 18 month Arabic language training program in Israel; (g) the FBI Laboratory’s deliberate concealment from the Task Force of its discovery of human DNA on the anthrax-laden envelope addressed to Senator Leahy and the Lab’s initial refusal to perform comparison testing; (h) the FBI Laboratory’s refusal to provide timely and adequate scientific analyses and forensic examinations in support of the investigation; (i) Defendant Kelley’s erroneous and subsequently quashed legal opinion that regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) precluded the Task Force’s collection of evidence in overseas venues; (j) the FBI’s fingering of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax mailer; and, (k) the FBI’s subsequent efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence. Following the announcement of its circumstantial case against Ivins, Defendants DOJ and FBI crafted an elaborate perception management campaign to bolster their assertion of Ivins’ guilt. These efforts included press conferences and highly selective evidentiary presentations which were replete with material omissions….55….Plaintiff continued to advocate that while Bruce Ivins may have been the anthrax mailer, there is a wealth of exculpatory evidence to the contrary, which the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people….”
3. However, the anthrax in the letters differed slightly from that in RMR-1029, which came in 1997 from the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.  Franz and Bailey should know the origin of the anthrax in the letters and how it came to SRI.
4. Despite repeated searches in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, FBI is unable to find key alibi evidence (laboratory notebook #4282 and emails to and from assistants) for Bruce Ivins, leading to the perception that someone has destroyed it.
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