Monday, August 20, 2012

The West Nile Mystery: Saddam's Legacy?

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In recent days insecticide-spraying planes have been dispatched over Dallas, Texas to kill mosquitoes in order to combat a serious outbreak of the West Nile virus in the area:

Just the name of the virus bearing "West Nile" begs the question as to why the heck is such a disease infecting Texas? This is a long way from Africa after all.

When West Nile virus erupted in the Queens borough of New York City in the late-1990s, there was much buzz about the possibility that it was a biological weapon. What nation would have released such a bug against the United States? The primary culprit was Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

In a critical article that received scant popular attention in 1999, The New Yorker magazine revealed startling information that strongly suggests the West Nile virus was a manufactured biological weapon released into the U.S. by Saddam's agent(s).

Here is a key excerpt from the article:

THE mystery of how a West Nile-like virus got to New York City has been troubling the Central Intelligence Agency. At the headquarters of the C.I.A., in Langley, Virginia, there is a group of analysts and officers who concern themselves with biological weapons -- the C.I.A.'s bioweapons-analysis section. The section is run by a senior biologist who has had firsthand experience with some of the world's most dangerous viruses, including the Ebola virus. The scientist is said to be well respected by his peers, and he works with a team of analysts, mainly younger people fresh out of college. The analysts gather intelligence involving bioweapons and then try to assemble the big picture, fitting the data together with what they already know about bioweapons. After the New York diagnosis was changed to West Nile, on September 27th, the top officers in the bioweapons-analysis section suffered a lurch of uneasy recognition: they recalled a report that a self-described defector from Iraq had declared last April that Saddam Hussein was developing a strain of the West Nile virus as a biological weapon and was preparing to release it.

Someone in the analysis section apparently noticed that on April 6th a British tabloid, the Daily Mail of London, had published an excerpt from a book entitled "In the Shadow of Saddam," with a note that the account's credibility was "for the reader to judge." The author calls himself Mikhael Ramadan. That may or may not be his real name. Mikhael Ramadan is said to look a lot like Saddam Hussein. Purportedly, he served as one of Saddam's doubles, in order to help foil assassination attempts. There is a photograph, supposedly of him, on the back cover of the book, and he looks remarkably like Saddam except that he has more gray at the temples, and somehow he looks kindly. Eventually, Mikhael Ramadan managed to escape from Iraq. In his book he offers a wild-sounding account of his experiences working as Saddam's double, including such vignettes as a Kurdish rebel being lowered slowly into a vat of sulfuric acid. Mr. Ramadan also wrote, as the Daily Mail published it:

In 1997, on almost the last occasion we met, Saddam summoned me to his study. Seldom had I seen him so elated. Unlocking the top right-hand drawer of his desk, he produced a bulky, leather-bound dossier and read extracts from it.... The dossier holds details of his ultimate weapon, developed in secret laboratories outside Iraq.... Free of UN inspection, the laboratories would develop the SV1417 strain of the West Nile virus-capable of destroying 97 pc [per cent] of all life in an urban environment.... He said SV1417 was to be "operationally tested" on a Third World population centre.... The target had been selected, Saddam said, "but that is not for your innocent ears."

It sounded crazy. But why would a man presenting himself as an Iraqi defector predict that Saddam would unleash a virus just months before the same one broke out unexpectedly in New York? And, of all the thousands of viruses in the world, why West Nile? It was enough to make any bioweapons analyst at the C.I.A. feel uneasy. Adding another twist to the story, it turns out that in 1985 the Centers for Disease Control had sent samples of West Nile virus to a researcher in Iraq, which occasioned a controversy in the media five years later, on the eve of the Gulf War, when reports came out that Iraq had a biowarfare program. But the fatality rate for West Nile is not remotely near ninety-seven per cent, and "SV1417" is not a standard designation for any known strain of West Nile virus. It may be a code designation for some strain that Saddam's bioweaponeers might conceivably be working on, perhaps in a French-built virology facility near Baghdad that has been closed to inspectors from the United Nations for two years, ever since Saddam threw out all the U.N. inspectors. In the early nineteen-eighties, a French vaccine company, Institut Merieux, which is a division of the pharmaceutical giant Rhone-Poulenc, built a facility called the Foot and Mouth Vaccine Plant at a site now known as Al Manal. Institut Merieux helped the Iraqis operate Al Manal for a time, and trained the staff before departing. Al Manal was subsequently used for research into virus weapons. During the Gulf War, Al Manal and the Merieux equipment were used for making twenty thousand litres of botulinum toxin, or BTX -- one of the most lethal biotoxins known. In 1992, the United Nations tore down the buildings in which the BTX was made and destroyed that equipment, but it left standing eighty per cent of the facility, part of which was for virus research. (Some inspectors wanted the whole thing torn down.) Al Manal may be back in business developing virus weapons.

At the same time that the report about West Nile virus was being discussed in the C.I.A., Dr. Ken Alibek, the former deputy chief of research for Biopreparat, the Soviet Union's main biowarfare program -- he defected to the United States in 1992 -- spoke to various people on Capitol Hill, voicing his concern that the West Nile outbreak was suspicious. "I told them, 'It will not be possible to say whether or not it is terrorism unless we have a thorough study,' " he explained to me. "We need to take these situations with a high degree of seriousness."

Mikhael Ramadan is now apparently in hiding somewhere in Canada or the United States. At any rate, the C.I.A. people had an interest in finding him. Presumably, they would want to ask him more questions about the West Nile virus and whatever Saddam might have told him about any plans Iraq might have had for it and New York City. I don't know whether they succeeded in finding him. [FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE]

Is the disease now distressing Dallas, Texas, a legacy of Saddam Hussein's 'revenge' against America for the sanctions and war against his country in yesteryear?


Keep in mind the linkages I discovered between an Iraqi microbiologist, identified by Dr. Laurie Mylroie in her book War Against America with the pseudonym "Waly Samar", and the Anthrax mailings....a microbiologist who to this day continues to roam free in New York City as a college professor.

At the beginning of my key November 2002 post on Samar (after which my apartment was ransacked in an apparent attempt on my life or at least an attempt at intimidation), I note the following:

This author has been in touch with the FBI since January 2002 regarding 'Waly Samar' and his potential involvement in the 2001 Anthrax mailings. Furthermore, a more detailed version of this article along with my associated articles on 'Waly Samar' was provided to the FBI on October 22nd, 2002. The real name and identity of 'Waly Samar' is here concealed. He currently works in New York City and likely resides in New Jersey. No action has been taken against this individual to-date by American law enforcement agencies. [From my article, Is 'Waly Samar' an Iraqi Bioterrorist on U.S. Soil?]

Today there is even more profound evidence which has come to light indicating that 'Waly Samar' may have been the culprit behind the 2001 Anthrax mail attacks. If you run an Intelius report on him, you'll see that he once lived at the apartment where the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot was hatched by Ramzi Yousef, 'nephew' of the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The building in which (Musab) Yasin (brother of indicted WTC bombing fugitive Abdul Yasin) lived, 34 Kensington Avenue, was so central to the (1993 World Trade Center bombing) plot that one law enforcement official dubbed it "the conspirator's den". [Laurie Mylrioe's The War Against America: Saddam Hussein and the World Trade Center Attacks]

What's more, Bacillus Subtilis, an Anthrax-like bacteria that is Samar's expertise, contaminated the Anthrax used in the 2001 mailings. Some believe this contamination constitutes the DNA 'fingerprint' by which to truly solve the FBI's now foregone Amerithrax investigation:

Scouring the anthrax-laced mail that took five lives and terrorized the East Coast in 2001, laboratory scientists discovered a unique contaminant — a tiny scientific fingerprint that they hoped would help unmask the killer.

One senior FBI official wrote in March 2007, in a recently declassified memo, that the potential clue "may be the most resolving signature found in the evidence to date."

Yet once FBI agents concluded that the likely culprit was Bruce Ivins — a mentally troubled, but widely regarded Army microbiologist — they stopped looking for the contaminant, after testing only a few work spaces of the scores of researchers using the anthrax strain found in the letters. They quit searching, despite finding no traces of the substance in hundreds of environmental samples from Ivins' lab, office, car and home.

It's been two and a half years since Ivins committed suicide in the face of prosecutors' threats to charge him with five murders, each carrying a potential death sentence. It's been more than a year since the Justice Department, despite lacking hard proof, formally declared that Ivins "perpetrated the anthrax letter attacks."

But the FBI's decision not to fully test for the distinct bacterial contaminant, pieced together by McClatchy in interviews with scientists, federal law enforcement officials and in a review of recently declassified bureau records, could reignite the debate over whether its agents found the real killer.

The Justice Department closed the eight-year investigation, said to cost as much as $100 million. However, none of the circumstantial evidence it found showed that Ivins prepared the deadly powder, scrawled "Death to America" in a seeming mimic of al Qaida, or twice sneaked away on six and a half hour roundtrip drives to drop them in a Princeton, N.J., mailbox.

If the FBI got the right man, then there is no consequence to its decision to stop hunting for bacillus subtilis, a harmless bacterial contaminant that resembles anthrax. But if Ivins was innocent, then the killer is at large, and the bureau may have missed a big opportunity.

Read more here...

From Yurii V. Ezepchuk's "The Bioterrorist Attacks on America" in the Journal of Bioterror & Biodefense (July 2012):

The following reports from the investigative committee of the base laboratory stated that the necessary skills for the handling of the anthrax spores were possessed by Iraqi microbiologist Waly Samar, who worked in New York but lived in New Jersey, from where the first contaminated envelopes were sent [14]. He was a citizen of the USA and graduated from Hunter College where he received a doctorate degree in microbiology. It was easy for him to disguise his work under his investigation of non-pathogenic Bacillus subtilis, which is similar to the composition of the causative agent Bacillus anthracis, better known as anthrax. Since the laboratory techniques and technology used for both microorganism spores are very much alike and require similar precautions, his work was easily conducted under routine experimentation. As a highly competent microbiologist, Samar knew what had to be done in order to prevent contamination of laboratory facilities. Apart from filling the envelopes, he was not successful with the lyophilizing process of anthrax, indicating that the powdery material substance used was prepared ahead of time at a different location. Later it was found that some of the anthrax letters were contaminated with Bacillus subtilis spores. This bacteriological analyzes can be considered as evidence that handling with the anthrax letters was carried out in the lab in which Bacillus subtilis was cultivated...

...After the flasks containing the anthrax spores were given to Samar, he packaged the powder into the envelopes and placed the empty package in a laboratory biohazard waste bin which was removed daily to be destroyed. All of the operations Samar conducted were skillfully undetected by other laboratory staff.

The next step was to send the envelopes, who wrote the addresses on the envelopes, and who wrote the threatening note on the piece of paper. I hoped that investigators would be able to answer such questions as why certain addresses were selected and who put the letters into the mailbox. [FULL ARTICLE]

Finally, if you pull up a Google map between Samar's 2001 address on Elizabeth Ave, Piscataway, NJ and the mailbox at 10 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ where the Anthrax letters were mailed from, you'll see that Franklin Park and Kendall Park are en route - locations associated with the return address placed on the envelopes sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy:

News reports have pointed out that there is a town named “Franklin Park” in central New Jersey, but its Zip code is not 08852. Instead Zip code 08852 belongs to Monmouth Junction which is one town away from Franklin Park. The two towns are separated by a third town, Kendall Park.

There isn’t a Greendale School in central New Jersey, but there is a Greenbrook School in Kendall Park. Most reporters believe that the sender of anthrax letters changed Greenbrook to Greendale in an attempt to throw off investigators a bit.

What is interesting is that these three New Jersey towns actually meet at the intersection of Beekman Road and State Route 27 (AKA, Lincoln Highway). Franklin Park is on the north side of State Route 27, while Kendall Park is on the south side. A little sliver of Monmouth Junction follows Beekman Road and stops just before the intersection with State Route 27. Click here for a map to this intersection. What makes the Beekman/State Route 27 intersection so interesting is that the Greenbrook School is only about 1/3 of a mile southeast from this intersection at 30 Roberts St.. Except for a thick stand of trees, the school would be visible from the intersection. [SOURCE]

Also consider this article from ABC News, Doctor Says FBI, CDC Ignored 'Possible Lead':

A New Jersey doctor who wonders if he might have been the first person infected in the anthrax attack is still waiting for the FBI to talk to him about what he might know. What makes his story potentially significant is that his symptoms appeared long before those who were infected by the letters mailed Sept. 30 — actually a week before the terror attacks of Sept. 11. At the time he had a sore with a black scab, followed by what was diagnosed in a hospital as meningitis. In an interview with ABCNEWS' Good Morning America, Dr. Jerry Weisfogel said he may have had a brush with the anthrax attacker, but the government has ignored his story. .... Weisfogel works in the town of Kendall Park, N.J., which is near Franklin Park, the town found on the return address of the anthrax-contaminated letter that was mailed to Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

Thus, there is good reason to believe 'Waly Samar' was the culprit behind, or at least he was significantly involved in, the 2001 Anthrax mailings. Since this individual would almost certainly have been acting on behalf of Saddam's Iraq, the Iraq War was seemingly justified given that the former Iraqi dictator effectively used WMDs against America for terrorism.

In blaming Bruce Ivins in concluding the Amerithrax investigation, the USAMRIID scientist who committed suicide when he came under government scrutiny, the FBI and U.S. intelligence community have firmly established their incompetence IMHO:

ALSO SEE - Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy?

Could American 'intelligence' be any more stupid?!

My question is: Was Waly Samar involved in the release of West Nile virus in NYC and America on behalf of Saddam as well?

Of course, another burning question is: Why has the FBI failed to fully investigate and/or apprehend 'Waly Samar' up to now?

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