Milzbrand made in USA / Anthrax made in USA
Washington Post: Waffenfähiges Milzbrand-Pulver in Labors der US-Streitkräfte hergestellt / Army scientists in recent years have made anthrax in a powdered form
Verschiedene Nachrichtenagenturen meldeten am 13. Dezember 2001, dass in Labors der
amerikanischen Streitkräfte bei Salt Lake City waffenfähiges Milzbrand-Pulver hergestellt worden sei. Die verwendeten Sporen sollen
jenen ähnlich sein, die in Anthrax-Briefen an
Politiker und Fernsehjournalisten gefunden wurden.
Sie gehörten zur sogenannten Ames-Linie. Von
keinem anderen Staat der Welt sei bekannt, dass dort
waffenfähiges Ames hergestellt werde, schrieb die
"Washington Post" am 13.12.2001. Einen Tag vorher hatte die "Baltimore Sun" berichtet, das Militär habe noch am selben
Tag die Herstellung geringer Mengen von
waffenfähigem Anthrax-Pulver seit 1992
eingeräumt. Dies sei für Experimente zu
Verteidigungszwecken nötig gewesen, erklärte dazu das B-Waffen-Institut der Armee, Dugway Proving Ground, in einer
Stellungnahme. Die Einrichtung ist rund 130
Kilometer von Salt Lake City, im Staat Utah,
entfernt. Geringe Mengen des in Utah unter
größter Geheimhaltung hergestellten
Anthrax-Pulvers seien seinerzeit zwischen den
Dugway-Labors und anderen militärischen
Forschungseinrichtungen hin- und hergeschickt
worden. Vertreter der Armee
hätten jedoch erklärt, dass der Verbleib aller dieser
Anthrax-Bestände genau belegt sei.
Der Experte für Biowaffen, Jan van Aken vom "Sunshine-Projekt" schrieb uns am 14. Dezember:
"Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen,
untenstehend einen aktuellen Artikel aus der New York Times, der
weitere Informationen über mögliche Quellen des Milzbrandes
aufdeckt. Entgegen bisherigen Annahmen hat die US-Armee doch
in den vergangenen Jahren Milzbrand in trockener, fein gepulverter
Form hergestellt. Diese Experimente fanden auf dem Gelände des
"Dugway Proving Ground" statt, einem militärischen
Übungsgelände in Utah.
Mit besten Grüßen
Jan van Aken (Sunshine Project Germany)
U.S. Recently Produced Anthrax in a Highly Lethal Powder Form
By WILLIAM J. BROAD and JUDITH MILLER
As the investigation into the anthrax attacks widens to include
federal laboratories and contractors, government officials have
acknowledged that Army scientists in recent years have made
anthrax in a powdered form that could be used as a weapon.
Experts said this appeared to be the first disclosure of government
production of anthrax in its most lethal form since the United
States renounced biological weapons in 1969 and began destroying
its germ arsenal.
Officials at the Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah said that in
1998 scientists there turned small quantities of wet anthrax into
powder to test ways to defend against biowarfare attacks. A spokeswoman at Dugway, Paula Nicholson, said the powdered anthrax produced that year was a different strain from the one used in the recent mail attacks that have killed five people.
Dugway officials said powdered anthrax was also produced in other
years but declined to say whether any of it was the Ames strain,
the type found in the letters sent to two senators and news
Government records show that Dugway has had the Ames strain
since 1992. Dugway officials said in a statement that the Federal Bureau of
Investigation was looking into "the work at Dugway Proving
Ground," along with that of other medical facilities, universities and
laboratories. "The Army is cooperating with and assisting the
F.B.I.'s efforts," the officials said.
The disclosure at Dugway comes as federal agents, as part of a
vast investigation of the anthrax attacks that has made little
apparent headway, are trying to figure out where stores of anthrax
are housed around the nation and who has the skill to create the
powdered form — a major technical step needed to make the
anthrax used in the terror attacks. The F.B.I. declined to detail its strategy other than to say its agents have visited some laboratories and are identifying new ones that
may have handled, or had access to, the Ames strain. "We're following every logical lead," said one law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The F.B.I has subpoenaed records from dozens of laboratories that
do pathogen research, drawing up a list of places that possess the
Ames strain. The bureau, citing the criminal investigation,
will not release the list or identify the labs being scrutinized. But
private experts say the list is most likely short.
Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a biological arms control expert at the
State University of New York at Purchase and chairwoman of a
bioweapons panel at the Federation of American Scientists, a
private group in Washington, concluded that at least 15 institutions
had worked recently with the Ames strain. Dr. Rosenberg, who has
argued that the likeliest suspect in the anthrax attacks is a
government insider or someone in contact with an insider, drew up
her list after surveying scientific publications about anthrax and
consulting private and federal experts.
Of the 15, Dr. Rosenberg said, four are "probably more likely than
the others to have weaponization capabilities" — the ability to turn
wet anthrax spores into a fine powder that could be used as a
Army researchers have previously acknowledged making wet
anthrax, but Dr. Rosenberg said the acknowledgment yesterday by
Dugway officials that they had produced dried anthrax was
the government's only such disclosure. "I know of no case of the
United States saying that it has made anthrax powder,"
Some details of Dugway's anthrax work were reported yesterday by
The Baltimore Sun. Dugway's disclosure was so sketchy that it was impossible to
determine how similar the powdered anthrax produced there was to
that sent in the anthrax attacks. In addition to drying, other
steps involved in producing the most lethal powders include making
the particles uniformly small and processing them so they
Private and federal experts are clashing over how much powdered
anthrax Dugway has made. The issue is politically sensitive since
some experts say producing large quantities could be
seen as violating the global treaty banning germ weapons.
William C. Patrick III, a scientist who made germ weapons for the
United States and now consults widely on biological defenses, told
a group of American military officers in February 1999
that he taught Dugway personnel the previous spring how to turn
wet anthrax into powders, according to a transcript of the
The process, Mr. Patrick told officers at Maxwell Air Force Base in
Alabama, was not as refined as the one used in the heyday of the
government's germ warfare program, but it worked. ...
But Ms. Nicholson, the Dugway spokeswoman, said workers there
"never produced more than a few grams" of powdered anthrax in
any given year. There are 454 grams in a pound.
Experts have said the letter sent to Senator Tom Daschle
contained about two grams of anthrax spores — a small amount,
but enough, if distributed with high efficiency, to infect millions of
Ms. Nicholson said the dry anthrax made in 1998 was of the strain
known as Vollum 1B, which the Army used to make anthrax
weapons before the United States renounced biological arms in
1969. She said it was used for decontamination studies.
"You have to use live spores because you are determining the
rates of inactivation or kill," she said.
She said Dugway did make one-pound quantities of Bacillus
subtilis, a benign germ sometimes used to simulate anthrax. Mr.
Patrick could not be reached for comment on this point.
Elisa D. Harris, who handled biological defense issues on the
National Security Council for the Clinton administration, said she
knew nothing about a pound of dried anthrax being made at
Dugway. She added that after President Richard M. Nixon unilaterally ended
America's germ weapons program, the United States
destroyed about 220 pounds of anthrax.
Dugway's production of dried anthrax is part of the government's
secret research program on how to defend against germ weapons,
which gained momentum in the late 1990's. The Clinton
administration began a series of projects aimed at understanding
the nation's vulnerabilities to biowarfare and devising
ways combat the threats.
Experts like Dr. Rosenberg have argued that some of these
programs violate the 1972 global treaty banning germ weapons.
Others say these projects, including making small amounts of the
germs, are permitted by the treaty and are vital to defense
It is uncertain how the disclosure by Dugway will be perceived
abroad, where some European countries have recently accused the
United States of turning its back on the germ treaty,
charges that the Bush administration denies.
New York times, December 13, 2001
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