Arbabsiar is Iranian-born, but a U.S. naturalized citizen, a Texas used car salesman with a cousin in the Iranian Quds force. According to U.S. prosecutors, in 2011, Arbabsiar contacted a confidential DEA informant in Mexico, and, believing he was talking to someone in a Mexican drug cartel, arranged the assassination of Saudi ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. But the assassination and other alleged terrorist plots, of course, never took place, and Arbabsiar was detained in Mexico, flown to the U.S. and interrogated by the FBI at (it turns out) an undisclosed military base from September 29 to October 10, 2011.
|By: Jeff Kaye Tuesday October 9, 2012 5:00 pm|
|By: emptywheel Sunday May 29, 2011 1:00 pm|
I guess some people tied to the anthrax case believe if you keep repeating the story, “Bruce Ivins stalked women, so he must have tried to kill Patrick Leahy” enough times, people will continue to believe it.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday May 25, 2011 5:51 pm|
The whole case depends on the FBI’s contention that a flask Ivins had–RMR-1029–was “the murder weapon.” But in fact, the FBI only has proof that Ivins had what might be one of eight or more potential precursors to the murder weapon. Their efforts to equate the two ignore some interim steps about which they seem to have little evidence (and what they have they’re not examining very closely).
|By: emptywheel Monday May 23, 2011 4:35 pm|
So let’s see. At some point during the anthrax attacks in 2001, USAMRID and AFIP decided to do anthrax tests on material from Flight 93. They purportedly found the hijackers tested positive for anthrax! But on second thought, FBI tells us, that positive result came from “lab contamination.” And then, presumably just after those tests, USAMRID and AFIP, perhaps working outside the chain of the official FBI investigation of anthrax, discover evidence implicating Iraq in the anthrax attacks. Results that, once again, further testing suggested was inaccurate.
|By: Jim White Friday May 20, 2011 5:22 pm|
A report from McClatchy provides important new evidence and analysis in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. The report shows that the FBI ignored as potentially erroneous a measurement of silicon in one anthrax sample and then hid this information from Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Even more importantly, the high silicon measurements in at least two samples also were coupled with high tin measurements, opening up the possibility that silicon was added to the attack material in a form that is not mentioned in any of the FBI documents.
Significantly, it is virtually impossible that Bruce Ivins, whom the FBI has concluded acted on his own to carry out the attacks, would have been able to perform the necessary chemical manipulations involved in this treatment of the spores. Ivins likely also would not have had access to the necessary laboratory equipment to perform this treatment.
|By: Jim White Thursday April 21, 2011 7:50 am|
In an article published Wednesday evening on their website, McClatchy points out yet another failing in the FBI’s Amerithrax investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people. The article focuses on the fact that the FBI was able to get a clear genetic fingerprint of a bacterial contaminant that was found in the attack material mailed to the New York Post and to Tom Brokaw (but not to either Senator Daschle or Senator Leahy). This contaminant, Bacillus subtilis, is used in some cases by weapons laboratories as an anthrax simulant, because its behavior in culture and in drying the spores is very similar to Bacillus anthracis but it is easier to handle because it is not pathogenic. I covered the FBI’s failure to link this B. subtilis contaminant to Ivins in this diary in February of 2010.
|By: Jeff Kaye Thursday March 24, 2011 1:56 pm|
While the lack of evidence makes it difficult to swallow what sounds like character assassination, we do at least have the list of panel members by which to examine the neutral disinterest the forensic psychiatric examination should demand of those who are investigating the background of Dr. Ivins. Instead, what a brief review of the panel’s bona fides reveals is an overwhelming stacking of this “expert” panel by doctors and others who are deeply beholden to government interests, and in particular to security agencies, including those involved in bioterrorism security. For such individuals, it is difficult to see that they would buck the position of the FBI and DOJ that Ivins was guilty.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday March 23, 2011 3:30 pm|
The FBI has linked to a redacted executive summary of the report some shrink contractors did on Bruce Ivins. While it is just the executive summary and even that is partly redacted, the report basically paints Bruce Ivins was a stalker which therefore makes him a possible bioterrorist.
Unfortunately for the shrinks who did the report, they start by endorsing the FBI’s now questionable anthrax theory.
|By: Jim White Tuesday February 15, 2011 3:10 pm|
It seems very likely to me that had Bruce Ivins not died, the analysis carried out by a panel from the National Academy of Sciences in assessing the scientific evidence tying Ivins to the 2001 anthrax attacks would have led to reasonable doubt on whether Ivins carried out the attacks. For this post, let us concentrate only on the NAS response to FBI claims on the spores used in the attack, especially with regard to how the spores were prepared.
|By: Jim White Friday December 10, 2010 7:45 am|
Both the New York Times and McClatchy report that Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) has written a letter to the FBI, blasting them for requesting a delay in the release of the final report from the National Academy of Sciences panel that has been reviewing the scientific analyses used in the FBI’s Amerithrax Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax mailings. It appears that in requesting the National Academies to delay release of its final report, the FBI has released an additional 500 pages of documents to the panel, but only after having seen the draft final report from the panel.