Milzbrand und kein Ende: Was wusste der FBI? / The Anthrax Case: What the FBI Knows
Prof. Barbara Rosenberg hat eine Idee / Assumptions by Barbara Rosenberg
Dr. Jan van Aken schickte uns folgenden neuen Bericht über die unendliche Geschichte des Milzbrandterrors in den USA. Mehr zum Thema gibt es auf der Homepage von Sunshine-Project: www.sunshine-project.de
Am 13. Juni hat Prof. Barbara Rosenberg ein weiteres Mal Informationen
über den möglichen Milzbrand-Attentäter veröffentlicht. Sie beruft sich
auf Insider-Kontakte und entwickelt ein sehr konkretes Szenario über den
Verlauf der Anthrax-Attentate und der Ermittlungen (auch ihr
englischsprachiger Originaltext findet sich auf unserer homepage).
Nach ihren Angaben ist vielen Insidern – auch mehreren Journalisten und
Wissenschaftlern aus der US-amerikanischen Biowaffen-Abwehrforschung –
bereits seit langem ein dringend Tatverdächtiger bekannt. Bislang wird
der Name weder von Barbara Rosenberg noch von anderen öffentlich
genannt, weil eine Verleumdungsklage befürchtet wird.
Ohne harte Beweise – die mit jedem Tag schwerer zu erhalten sein werden
– ist kaum damit zu rechnen, dass der Täter bzw. der Tatverdächtige
jemals öffentlich gemacht werden. Es wird zudem befürchtet, dass
interessierte Kreise die Ermittlungen behindern, B. Rosenberg spricht
sogar von einem möglichen „cover-up“.
In ihrem Papier wirft sie vor allem Fragen an das FBI auf und weist
Nachlässigkeiten in den Ermittlungen nach. Sie geht jetzt mit ihrem
Wissen an die Öffentlichkeit, um die Behörden zu einer intensiveren und
ernsthaften Verfolgung des Attentäters zu bewegen. Denn bislang hat die
Affäre vor allem eins gezeigt: Man kann in den USA Milzbrandbriefe
verschicken – und kommt ungeschoren davon.
Nach Angaben von Barbara Rosenberg handelt es sich bei dem Täter um eine
Wissenschaftler, der früher beim USAMRIID, dem Zentrum der
US-amerikanischen Biowaffen-Abwehrforschung in Ft. Detrick, Maryland,
gearbeitet hat. Danach hat er für einen anderen Arbeitgeber unter
anderem daran gearbeitet, Bioterrorismus-Szenarien zu entwerfen.
Möglicherweise hat er auch im Regierungsauftrag Simulantien produziert,
d.h. nicht-infektiöse Bakterien (Bacillus globigii), die in
Ausbringungsversuchen zu Testzwecken eingesetzt werden. Und
möglicherweise gehörte es zu seinem Job, Pseudo-Anthrax-Briefe (so
genannte hoax letters) zu Testzwecken zu versenden.
Frau Rosenberg weist darauf hin, dass Ende September letzten Jahres –
nachdem die ersten Milzbrandbriefe abgeschickt waren, jedoch noch bevor
dies in der Öffentlichkeit bekannt wurde – hoax-Briefe ähnlicher Form an
die gleichen Adressen geschickt wurden wie die Milzbrandbriefe.
Der Verdächtige hatte im Laufe des Jahres 2001 Zugang zu USAMRIID, hat
Erfahrungen im Umgang mit Milzbrand, die nötigen Impfungen sowie Zugang
zu einem abgeschiedenen Ort, an dem er das pulverförmige Anthrax
produziert bzw. abgefüllt haben könnte.
Im Spätsommer letzten Jahres soll die Karriere des Verdächtigen einen
signifikanten Knick bekommen haben. Schon zu einem frühen
Ermittlungszeitraum sei das FBI von mindestens fünf Insidern auf den
Tatverdächtigen hingewiesen worden. Aber erst zu einem sehr späten
Zeitpunkt wurde– mit Zustimmung des Verdächtigen – sein Haus vom FBI
durchsucht. In jüngster Zeit soll er von sensiblen Angelegenheiten
isoliert worden sein (Frau Rosenberg nennt das „containment of the
Die Zeitung „Hartford Courant“ – die offensichtlich zum Kreis der
Eingeweihten gehört – berichtet in der Ausgabe vom 13. Juni, dass sie
den Verdächtigen um ein Interview gebeten haben. Dieser habe jedoch
behauptet, dass das FBI seinen Anwälten gegenüber versichert habe, dass
er zu keinem Zeitpunkt tatverdächtig war.
Versuch einer Bewertung
Barbara Rosenberg ist als solide Wissenschaftlerin bekannt und verfügt
über exzellente Kontakte in die einschlägigen Kreise der
Biowaffen-Abwehrforschung in den USA. Insofern kann sie sich wohl auf
solide Informationen stützen. Andererseits bleiben alle ihre
Informationen sehr vage, müssen wohl notgedrungen vage bleiben, um sich
Klagen des Tatverdächtigen und des FBI (wegen Behinderung der Justiz)
vom Leibe zu halten.
Deshalb ist aus der Entfernung nur schwer zu sagen, wie real das
entworfene Szenario ist. Es ist zwar gut belegt, schlüssig und aus
meiner Sicht auch sehr wahrscheinlich, es bleibt jedoch nach wie vor nur
ein Szenario, eine Hypothese. Nur das FBI wird in der Lage sein, es mit
harten Fakten zu untermauern - es bleibt zu hoffen, dass Barbara
Rosenberg's jüngste Veröffentlichung die Ermittlungen entsprechend auf
Trab bringen wird.
Sunshine Project Germany
Dr. Jan van Aken
The Anthrax Case: What the FBI Knows
13 June 2002 - Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, PhD
On February 5 I raised the question "Is the FBI Dragging Its Feet?" Nearly four months
later, the question is more urgent than ever. In the interim I have largely avoided
commenting on the situation, not wishing to interfere with investigation of promising leads
the FBI had received. Now, however, nearly everyone who has followed the situation
closely-knowledgeable biodefense insiders, investigative reporters (who have turned up a
great many pertinent facts that have not yet been reported), and interested outsiders like
myself--knows who a likely perpetrator is. The FBI continues to claim that it has no suspects
and few clues, but it continues to focus on biodefense scientists with anthrax experience.
The Available Evidence
All the information below has been in the hands of the FBI for a long time. Some of it-but
perhaps not all-is widely known. It has been necessary, for obvious reasons, to describe
some pieces of evidence in attenuated form, and to omit some altogether.
1. The Anthrax Strain-All the genetic evidence presently available points to the US Army
Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) as the source of the Ames
strain anthrax in the letters. Additional analyses may implicate some additional laboratories
(that were originally supplied with the Ames strain by USAMRIID) as possible sources.
[Why did the FBI wait until March before collecting samples from all laboratories possessing the
Ames strain, and why have they still not been analysed? Was it inefficiency or did the FBI have
reason to believe from the start that USAMRIID was the source?]
2. Properties and Composition of the Anthrax Samples-A biodefense insider who has
hands-on experience in weaponizing anthrax says the Daschle sample corresponds to
state-of-the-art US anthrax preparations. A number of other inside experts concur. The
perpetrator may well be one of those who helped perfect the US technique. No other
country is known to have comparable capability.
3. US Official Statements-Ever since late October, soon after the anthrax letters were first
recognized (Oct. 12), US officials have stated their belief that the attack was domestic.
[Either that belief was based entirely on the nature of the anthrax, or something more, not yet
revealed, was known early on by officials. The longer the investigation drags on without results,
the more plausible becomes the question of a possible cover-up.]
4. The Pool of Possible Suspects-Biodefense scientists have estimated that there are
between 50-100 persons with the necessary expertise and access to do the job. Of these,
most could probably be readily eliminated on the basis of circumstances, current
immunization, personality, etc., leaving, in the estimation of knowledgeable experts, a likely
pool no larger than 10.
[Why has the FBI continued to cast a very broad net?]
5. The Likely Suspect--Early in the investigation, a number of inside experts (at least five
that I know about) gave the FBI the name of one specific person as the most likely suspect.
That person fits the FBI profile in most respects. He has the right skills, experience with
anthrax, up-to-date anthrax vaccination, forensic training, and access to USAMRIID and its
biological agents through 2001.
6. The Anthrax Letters-According to experts the handwriting is disguised, the text is
intentionally "foreign," the letters show evidence of forensic expertise.
[An FBI consultant who was asked to analyse the letters months ago has not yet been supplied
with writing examples by possible suspects, for purposes of comparison.]
7. Relevant False-Anthrax (Hoax) Letters-Following the anthrax letters, at least three of the
five anthrax letter targets (NBC, NY Post, Sen. Daschle) were sent letters similar in
handwriting and text to the anthrax letters but containing an innocuous powder. (It is
possible that the other two targets (National Observer, Sen. Leahy) were also sent hoax
letters that were lost because of mail complications.) Additional, similar hoax letters were
also sent to two other media: the NY Times and the St. Petersburg Times. All but one of
these five hoax letters were mailed BEFORE anything was known about the anthrax letters.
The likelihood that the hoax letters were coincidental is therefore small.
[But these hoax letters were assigned to a separate FBI task force, presumably investigating a
large number of other, mostly irrelevant hoax letters, rather than to the anthrax task force. The
anthrax document analyst has not yet been given all the relevant hoax letters. Even an FBI
agent on the anthrax case has been unable to access some possibly relevant hoax letters.]
8. The London Hoax Letter-The exceptional hoax letter, to Senator Daschle, was mailed
from London in mid-November. This could be an important piece of evidence, depending on
the whereabouts and activities of likely suspects at that time.
[Whether there has been any follow-up on this clue is not known. At the least, however, there
is ancillary evidence that has not been pursued. Furthermore, the FBI has not given this letter
to the anthrax letter analysts.]
9. The Accusatory Letter-On Sept. 21, three days after the first anthrax mailing and before
any letters or anthrax cases were in the news, an anonymous typed letter was mailed to
Quantico accusing an Egyptian-American scientist, formerly of USAMRIID, of plotting
biological terrorism. The accused scientist was quickly exonerated by the FBI. The letter's
writer displayed familiarity with work at USAMRIID and claimed to have formerly worked
with the accused scientist.
[This letter is not part of the anthrax investigation! Because it was received before the anthrax
attacks were known, it was assigned to the Sept. 11 investigation, and the anthrax
investigators have displayed no interest in it. But whether it was sent by the anthrax
perpetrator, a colleague of his, or someone else, the letter may constitute a significant piece of
evidence. The odds are high that it was written by a Federal scientist. Admittedly, an
anonymous letter of accusation is not a capital offense; is the FBI therefore squeamish about
investigating an official?]
10. The Suspect's Home and Computer-The FBI was warned early on that the Suspect
probably prepared the anthrax on his own and that he might have cultures or equipment at
his home. Moreover, his computer/copier/fax may have been used to make the photocopied
letters that were mailed with the anthrax.
[Although there was a "reasonable indication of criminal activity" when the FBI was advised to
search, they did not do so until months later, with the permission of the Suspect.]
11. Preparation of Anthrax Simulant-Did the Suspect prepare and provide certain
government officials with powdered spores of B. globigii, an anthrax simulant?
[If so, did the FBI investigate the properties of this material and the place where it was
12. Remote Location-The Suspect had access to a conveniently-located but remote location
where activities could have been conducted without risk of observation. According to insider
experts, there are methods by which the perpetrator alone could have made the anthrax
and filled the letters in such a location. Details of the methods have been communicated to
Recent information obtained by the NY Times (3 May 02) that the NBC and NY Post anthrax
samples contained vegetative cells suggests that the perpetrator made two anthrax
preparations: one of lower quality, made hurriedly after Sept. 11 and mailed on Sept. 18;
and another, more refined, mailed on Oct. 9. The finding that the tape used to seal all the
letters came from the same roll indicates that the containment set-up used for making the
anthrax and filling the letters must have remained accessible from before Sept. 18 until
close to Oct. 9 (otherwise the roll used in the first instance would have been destroyed in
decontaminating the first set-up). This suggests the perpetrator had confidence in his
There is also evidence,which can't be cited publicly at this time, that the Suspect knew in
October that the remote site was contaminated with anthrax.
[Did the FBI search this site as soon as they learned about it?]
13. The Suspect's Whereabouts-Where was he between Sept. 11 and Oct. 9?
[There is reason to doubt that the Suspect's employer/colleagues were asked about this before
the facts had faded from memory.]
14. Bioterror Scenarios-It has been part of the Suspect's job to devise bioterror scenarios.
Some of these are on record. He is known to have acted out at least one of them (in hoax
form), perhaps as part of an assignment to test responses. Some hoax events that have
never been solved, including several hoax-anthrax events, also correspond to his scenarios
and are consistent with his whereabouts.
[Are any of these past hoaxes being investigated in the context of the anthrax investigation?
The lack of access by anthrax investigators to hoax information suggests that the answer is
15. Secret Projects-The Suspect worked at USAMRIID at one time, probably in a secret
project, with access to top secret agents. He has also had other interesting connections.
[Has the FBI asked USAMRIID for his lab notebook from that period? Did he have one? Is there
fear that the Suspect might divulge secret information, or even threaten to release a biological
agent, if he were threatened with arrest? Are DOD and CIA withholding information from the FBI
about his relevant activities? According to ABC News (Apr. 4) and The American Prospect (May
20), FBI investigators are concerned that the US military is not telling them all they need to
know about secret biodefense programs. There is also a rumor that DOD has conducted an
internal investigation at USAMRIID to prevent leaks to the FBI.]
16. Clique of Colleagues-The Suspect is part of a clique that includes high-level former
USAMRIID scientists and high-level former FBI officials. Some of these people may wish to
conceal any suspicions they may have about the identity of the perpetrator, in order to
protect programs and sensitive information. This group very likely agreed with David Franz,
former Commander of USAMRIID, when he said "I think a lot of good has come from it. From
a biological or a medical standpoint, we've now five people who have died, but we've put
about $6 billion in our budget into defending against bioterrorism" (ABC News, 4 Apr. 02).
[By the end of May, not all of these people had been questioned by the FBI. Will they be
polygraphed? Are the polygraph questions specific and tough?]
17. Motivation-Late last summer the Suspect had a career setback that challenged his high
ambitions and left him angry and depressed. Quite possibly he interpreted the event as
indicating lack of appreciation both for him and for the magnitude of the biological weapons
threat. Perhaps he decided to mount an anthrax attack that would kill few people, if any,
but would wake up the country and prove that he was right. Or perhaps the letters were
actually an official assignment (after all, in the '60s DOD sprayed our own service men with
nerve gas to test their protective equipment, according to Pentagon documents made
public on May 23).
18. Containment of the Suspect-Not long ago, actions were taken that could curtail the
Suspect's career and separate him from sensitive matters; but there is also evidence for
efforts by some officials to reverse the situation.
[Will the Suspect gradually fade from sight? Has a deal been made? Or will he be rehabilitated
and rewarded for his service? Will there be no prosecution, no public notice, no deterrence of
similar acts by others in the future?]
19. The FBI-The anthrax attack was a crime by an American against Americans. Solving such
crimes has been the FBI's mission. Failure cannot be blamed on lack of foreign intelligence.
[In the face of hundreds of domestic anthrax hoaxes in recent years, the FBI told the Wall St.
Journal (25 Mar. 02) that it was ready for other modes of bioattack, but never anticipated
delivery by mail! However, the FBI's behavioral analysis of the perpetrator, released in
November 2001, indicated that he may have utilized the mail (without actual anthrax) for
harassment on previous occasions. Meanwhile, before Sept. 11 the Canadians carried out two
studies of anthrax delivery by mail, and their results may have been available to Fort Detrick in
advance of the attacks.]
The FBI has stated more than once that it insists upon 100% proof before making an arrest
in this case-a very stringent requirement. Why? --Either the FBI is under pressure from DOD
or CIA not to proceed because the Suspect knows too much and must be controlled forever
from the moment of arrest; [For the good of the country, is it really more important to hide
what he knows than to let justice be served?] --or the FBI is sympathetic to the views of
the biodefense clique; --or the FBI really is as incompetent as it seems.
Fragmentation of investigative activities and undue control of investigators by a
less-informed hierarchy seem to be the hallmarks of the anthrax investigation. This
profoundly unscientific approach eliminates the cross-fertilization that can occur when
seemingly isolated facts are brought together. There has been a tendency to write off a
direction of inquiry, or to swing radically in the opposite direction, on the basis of superficial
results or incomplete data. The likely outcome for the investigation is continued stalemate,
marking time on the off-chance that an unknown informer will turn up with a smoking gun.
Maybe time is not a factor in the typical FBI case, but in the anthrax case, rapid resolution is
critical. The significance of the anthrax attacks and our response to it cannot be overstated.
By breaking the taboo on the use of bioweapons, this event has engendered a future
threat that could dwarf 9/11.
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