[In a 2004 leak of a top secret Canadian Security Intelligence Service report, an al Qaeda detainee said that Abderraouf Jdey, a Canadian citizen of Tunisian origin, used a shoe bomb to cause the November 12, 2001 crash of American Airlines #587 from Kennedy Airport. Circumstantial evidence suggests that Jdey was also the mailer of the anthrax letters. See the analysis at the article Was Abderraouf Jdey The Anthrax Mailer?. The arguments below regarding the use of a Stinger-like missile and a northern New Jersey location of the Mailer are incorrect, but they are not being changed so that readers may follow the logic that led to the identification of Jdey as the likely Mailer. Information from October 2006 that the water used to prepare the anthrax was from the northeastern United States rules out a UK origin, as incorrectly argued below.]
The most famous bioterrorist episode of recent times has been the series of anthrax-laced envelopes mailed from Trenton, New Jersey in September and October 2001 to various newspaper and government offices. In spite of enormous media coverage and painstaking investigation by the FBI, aided by hundreds of thousands of tips from the public and by dozens of teams of scientific researchers, thus far neither the Anthrax Mailer himself (or, against all supposition, herself) nor the source of the anthrax has been identified.
In its investigation of the anthrax mailing case, the FBI has relied heavily on specialists. While specialized knowledge can prove very helpful in many investigations, it always needs to be scrutinized with an eye to spotting embedded assumptions and biases. Experts can often be utterly incapable of handling problems that require originality. They tend to define problems in terms of their specialization rather than to seek to develop new perspectives on it.
Skills in conceptualization and intellectual synthesis are needed in order to integrate inputs from specialists into a general theory of the case. This is especially true when the problem is an out-of-the-box one such as that posed by the Anthrax Mailer.
In the Anthrax Mailer case, one cannot help but suspect that the long, frustrating hunt for the Unabomber, the most notorious criminal mailer in American history, has colored FBI’s approach to the anthrax case. The Bureau’s psychological profile of the Anthrax Mailer sounds very much like the Unabomber. The basis of the profile is acknowledged to be solely the letters sent by the Anthrax Mailer–a dubious analytical approach, relying as it does on a text isolated from its context. It runs the risk of being like the analysis of a Rorschach test that reveals more about the mind of the psychologist than it does about the person taking the test.
So, too, various small deviations from presumed authenticity of such a letter, noted by certain experts, could easily be accounted for by personal idiosyncrasy, time spent in the United States, or an intent to deceive.
Therefore, FBI’s main working hypothesis–that the Anthrax Mailer is a domestic terrorist, a disgruntled U.S. Government microbiologist or perhaps a contractor scientist who worked on his spores after hours or in a lab in his basement–seems to lack any solid grounding.
Analyzing the Evidence
So how does one go about analyzing the evidence and narrowing down the possibilities in an unusual case like this?
It helps to apply several principles of qualitative analysis and detective work:
· Entia non sunt multiplicanda. (Occam’s Razor), literally, “Entities are not to be multiplied,” which means we should favor the simplest of competing hypotheses, all other things being equal. In broader terms, the world may be a complicated place, but some things in it are simple. So it is wise to think simply at first and only if this fails to seek more complex explanations. If one starts with complex explanations, one is apt to miss the simple ones and end up wandering around in the wilderness;
· the goal of qualitative analysis as applied to detective work is not necessarily to find perfect, airtight solutions but rather to narrow down the possible explanations and to orient oneself toward the more fruitful directions. Judgmental, dismissive, narrow-definer personalities–people who want their information sliced and diced and served up to them on a silver platter–fare poorly in this game;
· “It is not always by plugging away at a difficulty and sticking to it that one overcomes it, but often rather by working on the one next to it. Certain people and certain things ought to be approached at an angle.” (Andre Gide) As on the battlefield, frontal attacks can often bog down in detective work and lead to high casualties; and
· context is king. Failure to consider the context of evidence is perhaps the most frequent source of analytical errors.
Applying these principles of analysis to the anthrax mailings, what does one come up with?
First, that the handwriting, linguistic, and putative psychological evidence in the anthrax letters shows them to be a fake seems quite a stretch. No observer has found a single piece of evidence that conclusively demonstrates that the anthrax letters are not what they seem to be. If they are a fake, they are a rather good one, done by someone who had carefully studied the subject and worked hard to develop a mastery of it. Such mastery is unlikely to have been the product of a few days of work between the September 11 terrorist attacks and the September 18 first anthrax letter mailings. This is not inconceivable, but it also isn’t easy to believe.
If, however, the letters were written by an al Qaeda operative, the opening sentence (without a period)–“This is next”–is a marvelously suggestive and menacing one, the clear suggestion being that al Qaeda has an entire series of dirty weapons at its disposal. Putting this menace in the first sentence is very good literary style, which can make up for the supposedly significant deviation from starting with the traditional invocation of Allah.
If the letters are the work of a Middle Eastern warrior, then the psychological meaning of them is radically different than that of the Unabomber’s mailings, and so is the personality. Admonishing the recipient to get “penacilin”, taken by adherents of a domestic terrorist interpretation to be inconceivable as coming from al Qaeda, admits to many possible motives:
- As an attempt to mislead readers into suspecting a domestic terrorist;
- As a kind of gloating characteristic of a person who derives such pleasure from the exercise of power over a victim that revealing valuable information is of little concern; or who is intensely pleased at having struck a blow against the great enemy America; or who simply needs to tell his story or boast to someone and so does so to the victim because he dares not tell anyone else; or
- As a way to ensure that the attack is correctly understood to be anthrax bioterrorism and does not simply lead to an unexplained death.
So it seems very believable that the letters are exactly what they purport to be–or at least there is no strong reason to doubt that they are.
A second point: despite meticulous efforts to discover some trace of DNA or other identifying mark on the various letters, not a shred of evidence has turned up. This strongly suggests that the Anthrax Mailer has excellent forensic skills. A domestic terrorist could acquire such skills; but this capacity is not characteristic of such an individual, which makes it somewhat hard to believe that indeed this was the kind of person who mailed the letters.
Third, while the first mailings on September 18 seem to have contained the ordinary Ames strain of anthrax of Fort Detrick, Maryland (U.S. Government) provenance, the second mailings on October 9–to Senators Daschle and Leahy–contained anthrax at a much higher level, reaching the stupendous level of one trillion spores per gram. The hypothesis that this refinement resulted from milling by postal machinery is far less persuasive than one that looks in the direction of the original production of the anthrax because the anthrax in the letters to the senators was clearly the product of an exceptional technical process, with each infinitesmal spore wrapped in its own coating of a special, undisclosed chemical and all of the spores exquisitely stacked. Evidently, in any case, the Mailer had access to more than one batch of anthrax.
Several aspects of all this deserve explanation. Why two leading Democratic senators, of all potential U.S. Government targets? A frequent explanation holds that this is a tipoff that the Mailer was a domestic terrorist with a rightwing agenda. Of course, it is hardly likely that the anthrax would have ever reached the senators themselves; still, the symbolism of such hate mail is clear. However, there is another, twofold explanation:
- Senator Leahy was of special interest to al Qaeda as the head of the appropriations panel in charge of aid to Egypt and Israel. In 1998 this panel formulated the “Leahy Law”, which permitted the U.S. Government to continue appropriations to military and security units that conduct torture if there are “extraordinary circumstances”. Under the Leahy Law, the U.S. has “rendered” Egyptian Islamic Jihad members to the Government of Egypt, a practice that drew the fierce condemnation of Dr. Ayman Zawahiri, leader of the EIJ and second only to Bin Laden in al Qaeda. So targeting Leahy with an anthrax letter must be considered highly characteristic of al Qaeda ); and
- al Qaeda contains some very sophisticated, devious minds; and it follows the American scene very closely. So addressing the letters to leading Democrats would be a clever way in which to make these mailings seem to be of domestic provenance.
In other words, rather than suggesting a domestic terrorist, the targeting of Leahy and Daschle provided al Qaeda the double value of striking at a specific enemy and misleading observers.
A second aspect is the underlying explanation of the sequence. If the Mailer has such high-grade anthrax, why didn’t he use it in the first mailings? A plausible explanation would be that he doesn’t have much of it, that it is precious, in very short supply, that it would not be easy or cheap to come up with more of it. In turn, that suggests that the Mailer acquired this high-quality anthrax from someone else and does not have the capacity to produce it himself.
A third and most vital aspect: one trillion spores per gram is a phenomenal engineering feat. It means that the spores were packed together with unbelievable precision and tightness (to avoid contamination), yet they were splendidly aerosolizable, floating up without being disturbed. They were also coated with an unusual chemical preparation–most likely, fumed silica–to enhance aerosolization. In effect, this problem is one of physical chemistry, a stacking problem, as of oranges; but it is also one of chemical and mechanical engineering, actually to produce the stuff in a reliably usable form. Both in addition to the knowledge of microbiology involved and expertise at containment measures.
There are two explanations for who might have done this. One, the common explanation, is that a highly intelligent, disgruntled domestic scientist did the job. That is very, very hard to believe. For a single person to possess to such a high level of three distinct skills–physical chemistry, chemical engineering, and microbiology–would certainly be something highly unusual that would have singled him out as a unique star performer. Also, the equipment required is very expensive, which rules out the basement laboratory notion.
The other interpretation is that this astounding feat was the product of a team effort. In fact, it has Team Effort written all over it. And not just any team. To reach the very demanding specifications of a perfected, ready-to-go high-technology product that these one trillion spores per gram represented required a “national program” with a team of at least a half-dozen highly skilled scientists and engineers working with advanced equipment and many millions of dollars over years of effort in an iterative fashion, with multiple frustrations and setbacks along the road. The scientific, engineering, and project management skills of such a team must have been at an exceptionally high level–suggesting that only a few advanced countries could have accomplished this feat.
This explanation is very, very easy to believe.
Generally speaking, it is better to believe things that are easy to believe than those that are hard to believe!
So, which country’s government was the perpetrator of this crime against humanity? For that is exactly what one trillion spores per gram of a deadly biowarfare agent are. Developed, of course, in the name of self-defense against a potential aggressor. And how did this superbly refined anthrax come into the hands of the Anthrax Mailer? To get to the answers to these questions, it is useful to adopt Andre Gide’s suggestion of working on a related problem.
Assuming that the Anthrax Mailer might be guilty of other terrorist crimes, it is useful to ask, what other terrorist-like acts occurred in the United States in the autumn of 2001?
There is a prime candidate. The crash of American Airlines Flight #587 from JFK Airport on November 12 was immediately ascribed by relatives of some of the victims to terrorists; but no evidence of an explosion has been found in the aircraft’s fuselage, wings, or engines.
The precipitating event appears to have occurred at 3,000 feet, just as the Airbus A300 began to be buffeted for a second time by the wake of a preceding JAL Boeing 747. The cause seems to have been a sudden turning of the rudder back and forth, generating mounting stress on the vertical tail stabilizer that finally snapped it off. Either co-pilot error or rudder malfunction are possible explanations.
Generally, buffeting in the wake of preceding aircraft is not severe enough to damage the vertical tail stabilizer or rudder, though it could exacerbate pre-existing strains.
There is, however, another explanation that makes sense, if one considers the context.
In the few days preceding the November 12 crash, a half-world away in Afghanistan, the U.S. Air Force and Northern Alliance troops had dealt Taliban/al Qaeda forces their first serious setback, a story extensively reported in the American media. So it would not be surprising if an al Qaeda operative in the United States would seek to strike back. Or if the weapon of choice (“This is next”) would be one highly characteristic of al Qaeda: the Stinger missile.
During the 1980s CIA distributed some 900 Stinger launchers to the Afghan mujahedin in their struggle against Soviet troops. Each Stinger launcher is able to fire three missiles, so presumably the total number of missiles provided was 2,700. Even if Pakistani middlemen and various others took their shares, and even if many hundreds of missiles were fired at Soviet aircraft, and even if more Stingers were fired by the various sides in Afghanistan’s civil struggles during the 1990s, that still might leave hundreds of Stingers in the arsenals of the Taliban and al Qaeda.
This would explain some or all of the half-dozen crashes of U.S. helicopters and aircraft in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the first six months of the war. It is also quite likely that the crashes of U.S. helicopters flying smoothly over coastal waters in the Philippines and Greece in recent months (and perhaps of the USAF jet that inexplicably went down near the New Jersey shore two months after the crash of Flight #587) were actually al Qaeda Stinger shootdowns. The July 28, 2002 crash of an IL-86 shortly after takeoff from Moscow’s Sheremetevo Airport fits into the same pattern, though in this case the perpetrator would in all likelihood be a Chechen fighter rather than an Al Qaeda operative. Errant missiles fired in Saudi Arabia and Kenya belong in the same category.
When such crashes occur, the typical reportage is that no cause has been identified. The crash tends to slip into the background, with no follow-up, at least not in the media. But in the context of a global struggle and given the high status of Stingers (and possible heat-seeking missiles of other countries) in al Qaeda’s arsenal, the presumption must shift. It now seems much more realistic to assume that a given, otherwise inexplicable crash, especially shortly after takeoff, has been caused by a Stinger until contrary evidence is forthcoming.
If all this is approximately accurate, then it is very believable that an al Qaeda operative stationed himself near JFK Airport on the morning of November 12 and shot down Flight #587, departing the scene immediately thereafter, leaving little or no trace. Yet, had this been the case, why was there no evidence of an explosion in one of the three locations on the aircraft where a heat-seeking missile would have hit: either one of the wing engines or the Auxiliary Power Unit exhaust system at the tail of the aircraft? The ordinary course of events is for a heat-seeking missile to enter the tailpipe and explode in the middle of the aircraft, yet there was no evidence whatsoever of such an explosion in the carefully examined fuselage, or in the two engines. However, context again can come to the rescue.
What was the context of Flight #587 at the time it fell apart in the sky? We know from the flight recorder that it was undergoing buffeting from the wake of the preceding, somewhat higher JAL Boeing 747. In other words, the Airbus A300 had likely been pushed downward, perhaps 2-3 meters, from where it would otherwise have been in its normal trajectory. A homing Stinger, with better aerodynamic properties, would not have had enough time to adjust its flight path to the suddenly lower Auxiliary Power Unit exhaust and so it might strike sufficiently near to the rudder to destabilize it, or perhaps near to one of the engines on the wings in such a way as to jerk the aircraft and destabilize the rudder. The co-pilot might desperately try to control the rudder, but its moves back and forth would put increasing pressure on the vertical tail stabilizer, which eventually would snap off.
It would not even have been necessary for the missile to explode. A glancing blow from a non-exploding projectile might have been sufficient for this outcome. The subsequent mysterious crashes of two U.S. unmanned Global Hawk surveillance aircraft in the Afghanistan/Pakistan theater, attributed to “engine failure”, may well have had a similar cause, though the exact circumstances of course changes, wind patterns, etc. would require investigation. It is also conceivable that al Qaeda is using Russian or Chinese missiles with inferior course-correction capabilities.
Be that as it may, we need to consider who would be the most likely suspect in the New York metropolitan area for perpetrating this cold-blooded terrorist act that sent hundreds of innocents to their deaths, if indeed this Stinger theory is correct. In keeping with “This is next” and Occam’s Razor, it is logical to conclude that the most likely suspect is none other than the Anthrax Mailer himself.
This hypothesis makes a precise and parsimonious fit with the Flight #587 crash and the anthrax mailings. Many things in life do not admit of 100 percent proof and yet are quite true and believable. The legal world has concepts for situations like these, such as the preponderance of the evidence. Of course, the co-pilot error also seems to make a precise and parsimonious fit. So further investigation would seem advisable before making a conclusive determination regarding the cause of the crash. In fact, it is not inconceivable that the aircraft might have survived a blow from a Stinger missile, but that the co-pilot’s aggressive use of the rudder pedals put the situation out of control. Then there is the question of why he would choose to turn the rudder so sharply back and forth….
At any rate, the two sides of this Just One Terrorist theory are mutually supportive. Any shred of credibility that one side gains helps to substantiate the other. Meticulous investigations have failed to identify other hard-to-challenge explanations of the anthrax letters and the Flight #587 crash other than co-pilot error.
Even without considering the logical and suggestive contextual details of the crash, the worldwide pattern of unexplained crashes may create a presumption that Flight #587 was shot down by an al Qaeda operative that would take precedence over the naive innocent-until-proven-guilty notion derived from Anglo-Saxon legal doctrine. Only strong evidence of another cause of the crash would be able to overcome this presumption and permit a conclusive determination. It is a very curious and enlightening instance of a presumption that is also an hypothesis, and they both feed on each other.
Some will say that this hypothesis/presumption can frighten the flying public. In fact, the public deserves to have the best information and analysis available to it in order to make appropriate decisions on the risks of air travel. In addition, the hypothesis of a hidden flaw in carbon-fiber composites is arguably at least as scary as the danger that an al Qaeda terrorist with several Stingers is at loose in the United States, and that his counterparts might similarly attack airliners elsewhere.
According to this Just One Terrorist hypothesis, the Anthrax Mailer is no domestic Unabomber type or disgruntled scientist but rather a battle-hardened, well-trained Middle Eastern intelligence/special forces/security police operative. He is quite possibly a member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a former special forces type who came to al Qaeda along with Zawahiri and Atef, Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenants (Atef was subsequently killed by an American bomb in Afghanistan). This operative might have lived for many years in the U.S., having originally escaped Egypt at the time of the crackdown in the early 1990s. He would be implicitly trusted by the leadership of al Qaeda, which would explain why they would entrust him with precious anthrax.
It is also possible that he is from another Arab country and arrived more recently. He did not necessarily have any direct connection with the September 11 hijackers, at least one of whom evidence now suggests had been handling anthrax. As for his location, Trenton and JFK Airport would quite likely to define his initial range; together they suggest that he was located in northeastern New Jersey. If so, heading to Trenton to drop off the letters would be a logical way to throw suspicion on Pennsylvania or at any rate away from his true location while not getting noticed for out-of-state license plates. A New Jersey license plate around JFK Airport, in contrast, is nothing unusual. Shooting down an airplane at JFK would be better than doing so at Newark Airport, which would have tended to disclose his northeastern New Jersey location.
In general, the pattern is one of a fox who throws the hunters off the scent, consistent with the identity of an intelligence operative. That such an al Qaeda type would display impeccable forensic skills is readily understandable. It is also characteristic of a Middle Eastern intelligence operative to be skilled in the handling of biowarfare agents. He didn’t need to do much more with them, at any rate, than empty them from vials into the letters while using protective equipment.
What kind of a personality would such an al Qaeda member have? Clearly, he can be completely cold-blooded. However, like many in the world of intelligence, he might possess a fair amount of charm and the capacity to display warmth, to be an excellent actor. Therefore, it is entirely possible that he can be quite convivial, and he even could be the life of the party in order to throw off suspicion. Certainly, he would become aware of the FBI’s profile of the bioterrorist as a Unabomber type and have strong incentive to behave in a very different way. He may be living in motels and be highly mobile, in part to avoid becoming known and observed by neighbors. Meanwhile, the standard profile is not only wrong; it also has helped to mislead both the FBI and the public regarding the likely profile of the Anthrax Mailer.
So how did al Qaeda come into possession of the anthrax, including the ultrahigh-quality version? If, as has been argued, this version was the fruit of a national program, then there are only a few likely suspects. If it had been the United States, one assumes that the extensive inquiries in the months following the attack would have uncovered the offending U.S. Government program. But it seems somewhat illogical that there would have been such a program in the first place, since the deployment of biological weapons is not something that plays to the advantages of the United States. Conceivably, for “defensive” testing purposes, something of this sort might have been developed. But it would have been a major violation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction). Any U.S. Government agency that had developed it would have been asking for trouble if the program were revealed. So an American origin seems not at all likely.
That leaves two prime suspects: Russia and the UK.
The Russians may have obtained the Ames strain via espionage, then worked on it to bring it up to one trillion spores per gram. However, that explanation requires two difficult steps.
And the UK?
In a clearcut violation of the Convention, which states explicitly that no country is to provide biowarfare agents or knowhow to any other country “whatsoever”, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland gave its British counterpart, the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down, the Ames strain in the late 1980s. The reason offered was to permit the British to develop their own defensive measures against the anthrax.
The British certainly have the scientific expertise to achieve such an engineering feat. Porton Down is not too far from Oxford University, a leading center of physical chemistry. The justification of developing ultrahigh-quality anthrax in order to test defensive measures could always be applied. A spirit of rivalry with the Americans may have been involved: “We can do better than the Yanks did.” And there may have been the motive of seeking a surprise weapon that would strengthen the UK’s military posture.
How might the various versions of this British anthrax find their way to al Qaeda?
Two routes suggest themselves:
First, it is well known that Soviet agents had penetrated British intellectual and government circles during the Cold War, so the possibility that their network extended to Porton Down is significant–much more likely than that Iraq or any other such nation managed to gain access. If a British scientist in Russian pay had provided small amounts of the original American and successively higher grades of British anthrax to his Russian liaison in the period following the collapse of the Soviet Union, moreover, the chances of diversion would have been very good. The KGB mafia would have offered a much more lucrative customer for Russian spies in Britain than the Government of Russia itself, where the best a spy could hope for would be a medal or a plaque on the wall some day. A plausible scenario: at a price of perhaps $10 million, a network like that of Victor Bout, ex-Russian officer who became an arms salesman to UN-embargoed countries, would have sold to al Qaeda several vials containing a few grams each of the American strain and the ultrahigh-quality strain of British anthrax.
The pattern of small amounts of several grades of anthrax in the letters is very consistent with a situation in which a scientist would have surreptitiously sequestered a few grams each of various batches of anthrax as it was being iteratively upgraded. It is also suggestive of a constraint that would have led the ultimate attacker to decide to disperse the anthrax via mail rather than into the air above a city: that the perpetrator only had a few grams of each type at his disposal.
Second, the 1993 partial privatization of the civilian Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) associated with the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down included the transfer of all British Government anthrax vaccine to Porton Products Ltd. Through a series of holding companies, Porton Products is owned in part by the Lebanese-origin Fuad El-Hibri, who had worked for Citibank in Saudi Arabia arranging investments for rich Saudis. El-Hibri subsequently acquired the Michigan Biological Products Institute, thereby forming BioPort, Inc., the sole supplier of anthrax vaccine in the U.S. and UK (see the commentary “FBI Overlooks Foreign Sources of Anthrax” by Edward Jay Epstein in the Wall Street Journal, December 24, 2001).
With part of El-Hibri’s rationale apparently being to protect Saudi Arabia against Iraqi anthrax, the company managed to acquire at least one virulent Ames strain for testing on animals. What else transpired in the obscure relationships between and among the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment, the civilian CAMR, and Porton Products Ltd is not clear; but surely the opportunities for surreptitious appropriation of a few grams of various grades of anthrax were considerable. The Saudi connection alone makes this route of transmission of the anthrax to al Qaeda very plausible.
The unusually proactive conduct of British foreign and military policy during the American-led war in Afghanistan might be a way of trying to compensate for or cover up UK culpability in this entire deeply embarrassing episode–compounded now by the cover-up itself. And the silence of the British Government regarding anthrax may speak louder than words.
How likely is this or some similar scenario? One view is that it is highly likely compared to all other explanations of the development of the ultrahigh-quality anthrax and the transmittal of it and the original Ames strain to al Qaeda. Perhaps the odds could be notionally assessed like this: UK-10; Russia-2; United States-1; some other country or source-1.
It was a crime against humanity, a flagrant violation of the Convention, and a source of a weapon of mass destruction that the terrorists then used with superlative disruptive and psychological effect against the United States, and are likely to use again.
Perfidious Albion? Certainly worth checking out.
A final note on all this analysis: it suggests that al Qaeda has been much more successful in striking blows against the United States than is generally understood. Whether other accidents and instances of disruption like the train derailments in Florida and Maryland in the time since September 11, 2001 are attributable to al Qaeda is not clear. According to the Just One Terrorist theory, the same highly skilled al Qaeda operative has–in a phased, decathlon-like manner with no overlap or backtracking–mailed the anthrax letters, shot down Flight #587 and the USAF jet on the Jersey shore, and perhaps derailed the two Amtrak trains.
This analysis suggests that al Qaeda possesses a highly effective weapon against vulnerable civilian and military aircraft worldwide (the shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile); it has possessed a biological weapon of mass destruction (high-quality anthrax); and it has had the skill and luck to strike against the United States in ways that hide its role while spreading confusion, terror, and disruption.
Kenneth J. Dillon is an historian who writes on science, medicine, and history. See the biosketch at About Us.