2001 anthrax attacks

Revision as of 17:19, 10 May 2022 by Marionumber1 (talk | contribs) (Add some Zack and Hatfill articles)

Jump to: navigation, search

Anthrax incidents

September 18

Mailed to ABC News (suspected), CBS News (suspected), NBC News, the New York Post, and AMI's National Enquirer (suspected)

October 9

Mailed to Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy


Middle East accusations

US government focus

Steven Hatfill

Main article: Steven Hatfill

Bruce Ivins

Main article: Bruce Ivins

Pushback against findings


9/11 hijackers

Government origin

Related articles: Science Applications International Corporation, Battelle Memorial Institute

See also


External links

Early investigation

  • Bob Fitrakis, "Battelle exposed in anthrax biochemical conspiracy", 2002/01/14: "Mainstream news accounts have finally fingered Battelle Memorial Institute, the spooky Dr. Strangelove Institute in Columbus, as ground zero in our domestic military-industrial anthrax scare. With five people dead and eighteen ill, Battelle’s role in directing the Defense Department’s “joint vaccine acquisition program” is now coming under heavy scrutiny. Battelle, in partnership with Michigan-based Bioport, has a virtual monopoly on military anthrax vaccine production in the U.S.. [...] As I reported in the Columbus Alive immediately after the anthrax scare began, Battelle is involved in developing a new and stronger strain of anthrax at its West Jefferson, Ohio labs. [...] As I noted in the Alive, the former No. 2 man in the Soviet biochemical warfare operation, Kanatjan Alibekov (now going by the alias Ken Alibeck) is a classified consultant with both the CIA and Battelle. A 1998 New Yorker article pointed out the work between William C. Patrick III and Alibeck on the anthrax project. [...] The Baltimore Sun reported that the Ames strain was also being produced at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, but more importantly, Battelle directs that program as well. [...] “Hadron Advanced Biosystems Inc., Alibeck’s company, sports an unusual provenance for a biotechnical venture. No other company, doing any kind of work, can claim to be headed by a former No. 2 man in a vast program aimed at turning anthrax, plague, smallpox, tularemia and many other germs into weapons of war,” noted the [Washington Post on Oct. 29]."

Zack as a suspect

  • Salon, "Fort Detrick's anthrax mystery", 2002/01/26
    • "The day after hearing from the FBI, Assaad met with special agents J. Gregory Lelyegian and Mark Buie in the FBI's Washington field office, along with Assaad's attorney, Rosemary McDermott. They showed Assaad a detailed, unsigned, computer-typed letter with a startling accusation: that the 53-year-old Assaad, an Environmental Protection Agency scientist who filed an age discrimination suit against the U.S. Army for dismissing him from a biowarfare lab, might be a bioterrorist.

      "Dr. Assaad is a potential biological terrorist," the letter stated, according to Assaad and McDermott. The letter was received by the FBI in Quantico, Va., but Assaad did not learn from the FBI where it had been mailed from. "I have worked with Dr. Assaad," the letter continued, "and I heard him say that he has a vendetta against the U.S. government and that if anything happens to him, he told his sons to carry on."

      According to Assaad, "The letter-writer clearly knew my entire background, my training in both chemical and biological agents, my security clearance, what floor where I work now, that I have two sons, what train I take to work, and where I live."
    • "[...] Assaad used to work at the U.S. Army's Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), in Fort Detrick, Md., a biowarfare lab many critics believe might have been the source of the stolen anthrax. According to internal Army documents in Assaad's own possession (and first reported about in the Hartford Courant), 27 specimens, including anthrax, Ebola and the hantavirus were lost in the early 1990s from the lab. The documents paint a chaotic picture of a poorly managed lab."
    • "[...] [Assaad] is not alone in his concerns about his former colleagues. Another scientist who worked at the lab at the time -- and who admits to having been part of a group in the lab that called itself the "Camel Club," organized as a kind of drinking club that on the side ridiculed the Egyptian-born Assaad -- said he also believes that the anthrax in the recent terror scare came from Fort Detrick's USAMRIID."
    • "[...] A big problem at the lab, which apparently contributed to specimens going missing, was that after the Gulf War, USAMRIID decided to phase out work some scientists had been doing on projects that the Army lab no longer considered crucial to their core mission of researching vaccines against bioweapons. Many scientists who had been engaged in other projects, such as Lt. Col. Phil Zack, who had been researching the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), were eager to continue working on projects USAMRIID said they should stop. What followed, the documents reveal, were scientists sneaking into the Army biowarfare lab to work on pet projects after-hours and on weekends, former workers like Zack, who left in 1991, still being let in to do lab work, pressure applied to technicians to help out, documents going missing, and deliberate mislabeling of specimens among other efforts to hide unsanctioned lab work."
    • "In particular, Assaad, who is Egyptian-American, was the target of the group of USAMRIID scientists and lab technicians who called themselves the Camel Club. Among his antagonists were colleagues in Fort Detrick lab's experimental pathology division, Zack and Rippy."
    • "Before the investigation ended, both Zack and Rippy were reprimanded. Then Zack left USAMRIID in December 1991, first heading to the Army's Walter Reed Institute, then going to the private pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, and then to a company in Colorado acquired by St. Louis' Nexstar Financial Management. Several calls by Salon to his last known phone number and address in Boulder, Colo., went unreturned, and Nexstar says it no longer has any record of Zack. Rippy, who left USAMRIID shortly after Zack, in February 1992, worked for a while at Eli Lilly, but could not be located by Salon."
  • Ed Lake, "Dr. Philip M. Zack is a Catholic", 2008/07/13

Hatfill as a suspect

  • World Socialist Web Site, "US media silent on anthrax cover-up charge", 2002/07/05
  • Mail & Guardian, "Murky past of a US bio-warrior" by Marléne Burger, 2002/08/15
    • "While working in the department of haematology at Stellenbosch University for three years during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hatfill made no secret of his AWB links, using the Milnerton Shooting Association's shooting range in Table View, Cape Town, to train members of Aquila. When a colleague recognised Hatfill in a newspaper photograph of Terre'Blanche surrounded by his uniformed bodyguards, the photo was pinned up on a laboratory noticeboard, "where it remained for some time, and led to Hatfill boasting that he was Aquila's weapons trainer in the Western Cape".

      Another former colleague says Hatfill alienated a number of staff members in the radio biology laboratory, because "he always carried a 9mm pistol and constantly boasted about his military past" Female colleagues particularly disliked Hatfill `because he used to invite them to 'poke and puke' parties" ' According to Lothar Bohm, professor of oncology at Stellenbosch, Hatfill was unpopular because "he just did not respect other people's lives or their work or their needs in the lab. He was the kind of person who would go into the labs late at night and take pieces of equipment without asking."

      Edward Rybicki, associate professor in Cape Town University's microbiology department, said Hatfill would "talk about running around in the bush and throwing grenades in Zimbabwe ... boast about shooting up the ANC's offices"."
    • "Hatfill emerged as the prime suspect behind the anthrax attacks when the FBI learned in June that he and a colleague, Joseph Soukup, commissioned a report in February 1999 from US bio terror expert William Patrick Ill on how a hypothetical anthrax attack could launched by mail, and how it would best be dealt with. At the time, Hatfill was working for an American defence contractor, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Although the report uncannily mirrors the actual attacks following the events of September 11 last year, right down to the amount - 2,5g of anthrax that could placed in an envelope without causing it to bulge, and specifies the same number of spores and microscopic particle size as were found in letters sent to the US senators, it was turned over to investigators by SAIC at the time of the anthrax scare."
    • "[...] Hatfill worked as a virologist at Fort Detrick only from September to January 1999, but continued to have access to laboratories there and at another military bio war facility, Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, until at least March this year. [...]"
    • "Just two months before the first anthrax victim died in Boca Raton, Florida, last October, Hatfill's security clearance was cancelled by the US Department of Defence. His employers, SAIC, were given no reason for the sudden withdrawal, and sacked Hatfill as a result. He told former colleagues that he had applied for a higher security rating in order to bid for a top secret government job, and was required to take a lie detector test, which he failed "on aspects of his earlier activities in Rhodesia." Hatfill allegedly complained that the polygraph was carried out by "amateurs" incapable of "understanding what Cold Warriors like himself had to do in Rhodesia"."
    • "Several of Hatfill's acquaintances said he had hinted over the years at having been involved in the world's worst recorded anthrax outbreak, which killed at least 180 of more than 10 500 human victims between 1978 and 1980 in the Rhodesian Tribal Trust Lands. The outbreak is believed to have been caused deliberately by Rhodesian security forces with the assistance of the late Professor Bob Symington, head of the anatomy department at the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine in Harare and father of a crude but effective biowarfare programme launched against guerrilla fighters and confirmed in recent years by senior ex Rhodesian military officers.

      It was Symington who arranged for Hatfill to study medicine in Zimbabwe and served as his mentor."
    • "Although serving at the time as a signaller with US Special Forces, Hatfill went to Zimbabwe in 1976 after spending eight months as a `health assistant" at a Methodist mission hospital in Kapanga, Zaire. In October 1976 he married chief medical missionary Glenn Eschtruth's daughter, Caroline. In April 1977 a group of Cuban led mercenaries invaded the mission station from Angola, and while eight Americans were later evacuated unharmed, Eschtruth was executed and buried in a shallow grave. Although his marriage ended after less than two years and Hatfill did not even know his wife had given birth to a daughter, Kamin, until she herself had a son in 1996 and tracked her father down, he often told colleagues his father in law's brutal murder had "caused me to undertake some actions other people wouldn't understand". [...]"
  • Michael C. Ruppert and Wayne Madsen, "Combining Biological and Economic Warfare", 2003/05/09 - details the likely involvement of Hatfill in the US Special Forces and Project Coast
  • Jeffrey M. Bale, "South Africa’s Project Coast: “Death Squads,” Covert State-Sponsored Poisonings, and the Dangers of CBW Proliferation", 2006 (Taylor & Francis Online page for the paper)
    • "There is also some evidence indicating that Stephen J. Hatfill, an American biological warfare expert whom the FBI designated as a “person of interest” in its investigation of the 2001 “anthrax letter” mailings in the United States, was involved in various Rhodesian intelligence or counterinsurgency operations. Although Hatfill’s activities in southern Africa have yet to be fully clarified, it is known that he worked for the Rhodesian police’s Special Branch and that he later obtained his medical degree from the University of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.85 Some have hinted that he operated out of the Selous Scouts base at the Bindura Fort, from whence McGuinness facilitated the launching of “black operations,” including CW actions. At present, however, intimations that Hatfill may have been personally involved in the covert dissemination of CW or BW agents in southern Africa can only be characterized as unsubstantiated. Be that as it may, in 2002 the South African media reported that Hatfill had earlier helped to train the Aquila Brigade shock troops of Eugene Terre’Blanche’s right-wing Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB: Afrikaner Resistance Movement).86 During this period, he also claims to have received advanced medical training from various SAMS components, as well as to have been assigned to its 2 Medical Battalion Group."
    • "85. On his CV, Hatfill claimed that he served with C Squadron of the Rhodesian SAS, whereas in a note to his Missouri high school newspaper he indicated that he saw action with the Selous Scouts. Neither of these claims has been confirmed, and could be false given all the other information he apparently fabricated on his CV. Even so, at least one unnamed SADF veteran claims that Hatfill did in fact serve in the Selous Scouts, “mainly as an ‘operational medical orderly’,” and added that it was the Scouts who “decided he should study medicine because they felt he would serve them better as a field surgeon than as a medic.” 24 January 2003 email forwarded to the author by Stephen Dresch of Forensic Intelligence. Moreover, in the memoirs of Peter McAleese, a former member of the Rhodesian SAS, the author mentions that a “Steve Hartful”–undoubtedly Hatfill–worked for the Rhodesian police’s Special Branch, one of the forces that played a significant role in the covert Rhodesian CW program. Compare Hatfill CV, p. 3; and Peter McAleese, No Mean Soldier: The Story of the Ultimate Professional Soldier in the SAS and other Forces (London: Cassell & Co., 1993), pp. 163–4."
    • "86. See, e.g., Tony Weaver, “US anthrax suspect had links with AWB,” The Herald (1 July 2002); and Marléne Burger, “Murky past of a US bio-warrior,” Mail & Guardian (15 August 2002). For more on the AWB, see Kemp, Victory or Violence; and P. J. Kotzé and C. P. Beyers, Die opmars van die AWB (Morgenzon: Oranjewerkers Promosies, 1988). For the entire Afrikaner paramilitary right in South Africa, see Martin Schönteich and Henri Boshoff, ‘Volk’, Faith and Fatherland: The Security Threat Posed by the White Right (Pretoria: Institute for Security Studies, 2003)."
  • Vanity Fair, "The Message in the Anthrax" by Don Foster, 2003/10

Ivins as a suspect

Global terror network

  • 23-page Paul Schultz dossier from Joe Calhoun (pages 2-5, 18-23)
    • 1996/10/28 memorandum by "Choctaw Joe" titled "Terrorist Threat Against NYC" (p.21-23)
      • "This memorandum is to summarize the pertinent information discussed in our telephone conversation of the afternoon of October 25. It is in response to your inquiry regarding the threat against the city of New York and what cult/criminal organization with ultra-right militia ties is capable of launching biological and chemical warfare to fulfill that threat.

        SOURCE OF THREAT. It is our belief that the international criminal infrastructure generally known as "White Eagle" is the most likely candidate to launch such a threat. The White Eagle underground has been growing rapidly in power and influence throughout the United States since the early 1990s and, according to our sources, is closely allied with the Iranians and the Russian mafia in promoting active measures of a high-order terrorist and revolutionary nature against the people and the government of the United States. [...]"
      • "TARGET POPULATIONS AND TERRORIST MODE OF OPERATIONS. Our sources indicate that the "uprising" will target large and mid-size cities primarily on the West Coast and East Coast as well as major federal centers in the Midwest such as Denver and Kansas City. Terrorist actions will include bombings, assassinations, and selected use of chemical and biological agents against presumed "enemies of the New Order." "Superbugs", including strains of botulism, typhoid, and anthrax, secretly developed by the Soviets during the Cold War and currently under the control of radical regimes in the Middle East, may be injected by field operatives into food and water supplies as well as used in covert assassination weaponry such as poisoned needles and stick pins. Field operatives have already been trained within certain domestic secret societies, particularly so-called "satanist" or "Mansonist" groups, to carry out the operation."
    • 1997/03/31 investigative memorandum by "CJ" titled "“The Star Chamber” and White Eagle Underground in Texas Gulf Area" (p.18-20)
      • "The “cult” in question [that abused Nick Schultz] is apparently the same as a secretive group known to military and domestic intelligence officials as “The Star Chamber.” The Star Chamber is the decision-making cadre of the White Eagle Underground and consists of high-level rogue intelligence agents from the CIA, the Army, and the Air Force as well as foreign terrorist operatives, particularly from Germany and Russia. [...]"
      • "Because the children describe repeatedly having seen stockpiles of advanced weapons, including planes and helicopters, as well as having heard boasts of “blowing up the world”, it is likely that the WEU under the command of the Star Chamber is planning major assaults on government facilities. Threats of such a nature against military bases were reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on 26 February, 1997. [...]"
  • William Job Leavitt Jr. and Larry Wayne Harris anthrax plot in February 1998
    • Baltimore Sun, "FBI foils anthrax plot in U.S. White supremacist, lab owner arrested by FBI in Nevada; Vials, car taken for testing; Bacillus to be used as terror weapon, say federal charges", 1998/02/20: "In a lightning operation involving scores of agents, the FBI arrested two men outside Las Vegas and charged them with obtaining deadly anthrax microbes for use as a terrorist weapon, authorities said yesterday. One suspect, Larry Wayne Harris, 46, of Lancaster, Ohio, is a microbiologist and white supremacist who is on probation from a 1995 case in which he fraudulently obtained bubonic plague bacteria. He boasted last summer of plans to spread deadly biological toxins in the New York City subway, according to an FBI document. The other suspect, William Job Leavitt Jr., 47, of Logandale, Nev., owns microbiology labs in Nevada and Germany and is listed in corporate documents as vice president of a Silver Spring health foundation. [...] In the 1995 case, Harris obtained the plague microbes from the American Type Culture Collection, a nonprofit Rockville firm that supplies microorganisms to researchers around the world. He was arrested with three vials of freeze-dried bubonic plague bacteria in the glove compartment of his car. [...] According to an FBI affidavit, Harris admits to being a lieutenant colonel in the Aryan Nation, a white supremacist hate group. Last summer, the affidavit says, he told an unnamed organization that he planned to place a "globe" filled with bubonic plague toxin in a New York subway station, where it would be smashed by a passing train and spread through the tunnel network. Harris allegedly bragged that that attack would kill hundreds of thousands of people and ruin the U.S. economy, the affidavit said. In November, Harris told U.S. News and World Report that if his friends were provoked, they would strike at government officials with biochemical weapons. [...] Harris also told the magazine that he cultured anthrax, but he denied he wanted to hurt anyone. He is author of a self-published book titled "Bacteriological Warfare: A Major Threat to North America," which has been described as a how-to manual for biological terrorism. [...] The current investigation began Wednesday, when a cancer researcher called agents at the Las Vegas FBI office and told them Harris and Leavitt had asked to use the scientist's lab equipment to test the anthrax bacillus. The researcher, whom the FBI did not name yesterday, said Leavitt claimed to have "military-grade" anthrax in flight bags in the trunk of his car. On Wednesday night, agents tailed Leavitt and Harris from Room 921 of the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to a meeting with the researcher at a restaurant, the FBI said. The two suspects were joined by a third man, who was not identified by authorities. [...] Corporate records list Leavitt as vice president of Mankind Research Foundation Inc., with a Silver Spring address. A telephone answering machine message at that address says the premises also house the Foundation for Blood Irradiation, and state records list another six corporations, including Lozanov Learning Institute Inc. and the Society for Application of Free Energy Inc. Mankind Research and Lozanov Learning Institute are both headed by Carl Schleicher, an inventor and entrepreneur who last year led an unsuccessful effort to convert a former Nike missile base in New Jersey as housing for the mentally ill and recovering substance abusers, the Bergen Record reported." - note that Mankind Research Foundation is a rumored MKUltra front and employed Dr. Richard Alan Miller who was a faculty advisor to Ted Bundy victim Donna Gail Manson in her college project on the occult
    • Washington Post, "VIALS SEIZED IN LAS VEGAS ARE TESTED FOR ANTHRAX", 1998/02/21: "By his own account, related in a series of taped interviews he gave to a Christian and family values television station here the day before his arrest Wednesday night, Harris's entry into the fringe of free-lance biological warfare research began when he met an Iraqi student at Ohio State who told him that Iraq was planning to unleash deadly biological agents in the United States in retaliation for its defeat in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The videotapes of the interview with KKJK-TV's Ted Gunderson, a retired FBI agent who hosts a show that explores various conspiracy theories, were seized by FBI agents yesterday. But Doc McKay, the station's general manager, stated in an interview that Harris had said the Iraqi student told him that hundreds of Iraqi women had infiltrated the United States carrying vials of anthrax and other biological warfare agents in their body cavities."
    • Baltimore Sun, "Maybe anthrax plot wasn't a plot at all Man who tipped FBI was in odd business deal with suspects", 1998/02/21: "[Ronald G.] Rockwell had the rights to a cure-all gizmo called the AZ-58 Ray Tube Frequency Instrument Prototype. Leavitt spent long nights in his home lab laboring to devise treatments for multiple sclerosis and AIDs and dreamed of ending drug addiction with herbs, acupuncture and subliminal messages. Even Harris took time out from racism and religious extremism to sell medical devices called "colloidal silver generators," said to produce a disease-fighting silver concoction, according to journalists who interviewed him last year. The scheme that brought them together, according to several people they told of the plans, went like this: Rockwell would sell the ray tube to Leavitt for $2 million, with a possible $18 million more to follow. Harris would help test the miracle machine on anthrax and maybe other organisms in Nevada. If the AZ-58 worked, Leavitt would mass-produce it in Germany and market it in Europe, far from the pesky oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At least that's what Rockwell and Leavitt said on Lou Epton's talk show on KXNT-AM in Las Vegas on Feb. 13. "As we speak, cultures are being prepared -- anthrax or something like it," Rockwell said, according to Epton. The FBI's criminal complaint identifies the source of the tip that led to the anthrax seizure as "a research scientist specializing in cancer research." The document noted that he had two felony convictions for conspiracy to commit extortion in 1981 and 1982, but it said he was providing information "simply as a citizen performing his civic duty." Lawyers for Leavitt said yesterday that the source was Rockwell, and they questioned whether his motive was so selfless. Kirby Wells, an attorney who helped Leavitt negotiate to purchase the ray tube, said Rockwell was supposed to deliver the machine Wednesday night for testing. He may have called the FBI, Wells said, because he feared the ray tube wouldn't work. [...] Leavitt had collaborated with Carl Schleicher, a Silver Spring, Md., inventor and entrepreneur, on several unorthodox projects. A few years ago, they sought to perfect a basement sealant as a barrier against radon gas. More recently, they considered purchasing a bankrupt hotel in the desert near Palm Springs, Calif., as a drug rehabilitation center. "He's a very religious guy," Schleicher said. "Very honorable. I had no reason to think otherwise." But the two parted ways last year."
    • Chicago Tribune, "PAIR CHARGED WITH HOLDING ANTHRAX LINKED BY BIOLOGY", 1998/02/22: "Leavitt is described by friends as a model citizen--a former member of the Logandale, Nev., Town Board, a president of the Rotary Club, a bishop of his Mormon congregation, a man who took troubled foster children into his home. Harris, by contrast, is a convicted felon with ties to hate-purveying white supremacist organizations who lived in a Lancaster, Ohio, house surrounded by barbed-wire fencing and a pack of 16 Doberman pinschers. Yet for all their differences, the men shared a passion for microbiology, and both were drawn to the unorthodox fringes of scientific research. A few months after they happened to meet at a scientific convention, the two were arrested at a suburban Las Vegas medical center and charged with possessing deadly biological toxins. [...] Though Leavitt claims to have studied medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California and done graduate research in medicine at Harvard University, his main source of income comes from two fire prevention companies he operates from his home. In recent years, however, he devoted more and more time and money to his hobby, medical research. [...] "At our 25th high school reunion five years ago, he told me about a device that would take the blood out of a patient through a line. He talked about treating (the blood) using ozone and then pumping it back into the body," said Martin Kravitz, a Las Vegas lawyer who attended Valley High School in Las Vegas with Leavitt. [...] A.C. Robison, a Logandale resident and political consultant who has known Leavitt for nine years, said: "My impression is he was working on a cure for multiple sclerosis. He's not an excitable guy. But he felt it had some potential. [...] The beige Mercedes he and Harris were using when they were arrested Wednesday is registered to Gary Gerwin of Palm Springs, Calif. Clark McCartney, a former landlord of Gerwin's, said Gerwin died in February 1996. He bequeathed his car to Leavitt out of gratitude for treating him for a blood disorder, McCartney said. [...] Harris has been described in practically opposite terms as Leavitt. One neighbor, an elderly woman who asked not to be identified, said she "was scared to death" of Harris. As part of a documentary about the anti-government movement, Harris was interviewed for nearly two hours last June. At that time, Harris said he had obtained anthrax by locating a burial site for cows infected with the bacteria more than 20 years ago, according to James Neff, who conducted the interview and is now a journalism professor at Ohio State University. [...] A microbiologist who studied at Ohio State University, Harris was arrested in May 1995, after a Rockville, Md., depository mailed vials of freeze-dried, inactive bubonic plague bacteria to his home. [...] A police search of his home at the time of the case uncovered blasting caps, hand grenade trigger mechanisms and other similar devices, according to documents on file at the Lancaster courthouse. Authorities also found a document displayed on Harris' wall indicating that he was a lieutenant in the Church of Jesus Christ of Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group. [...] The introduction to his book says he was moved to do his research by an Iraqi woman he met at Ohio State. Harris says the woman told him that Iraq and other countries were pursuing a germ warfare program and that attacks on America using plague and anthrax were anticipated for the Atlanta Olympic Games."
    • Las Vegas Sun, "One man released after anthrax turns out to be harmless veterinary vaccine", 1998/02/22: "William Job Leavitt, Jr., a key figure in the Las Vegas anthrax scare, was released from jail Saturday night on his own recognizance. His release, which occurred about 5:50 p.m., came six hours after the FBI disclosed the substance seized at a Green Valley clinic this week from him and a second defendant, Larry Wayne Harris, was a "harmless veterinary vaccine." At a noon news conference, Bobby Siller, special agent in charge of the Las Vegas FBI office, told a crush of local and national reporters that tests on the substance revealed it wasn't the deadly form of anthrax authorities had feared it was earlier in the week. After his release, Leavitt, a 47-year-old microbiologist and former Mormon bishop from Overton, held a news conference on the steps of the Clark County Detention Center. His voice shaking, and with his lawyers, Lamond Mills and Kirby Wells, at his side, Leavitt thanked his family and friends for their support during his more than 48 hours in jail. [...] Both of Leavitt's lawyers again cast doubt on the FBI's chief source in the case, Ronald G. Rockwell, a medical researcher the FBI acknowledge has two extortion convictions. "He is far from a credible witness," said Mills, who contended Rockwell was trying to sell Leavitt equipment that could test a miracle vaccine for anthrax. Mills said that Rockwell wanted money up front in the deal and when he didn't get it, he made up some "outlandish" allegations against his client. Mills said he has been told there are 18 lawsuits, mostly relating to alleged fraud, filed against Rockwell. [...] A woman who answered the door at Rockwell's residence said late this afternoon that he had no comment. The residence, 2821 Merritt Ave., also is the address of Rockwell Scientific Research. Brett Marshall, a spokesman and friend of Rockwell said Mills is wrong in indicating Rockwell was the subject of 18 lawsuits. Marshall said Rockwell actually filed the suits. Rockwell, he said still was standing by his story that Leavitt and Harris had told him they had anthrax."
    • Chicago Tribune, "ALL CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST 2 IN ANTHRAX CASE", 1998/02/24: "A federal judge on Monday cleared two men of all charges stemming from their involvement in an anthrax scare in Las Vegas last week but ordered one man--a microbiologist with ties to white supremacy groups--to remain in jail to face a new charge of violating his Ohio probation. The charges that Larry Wayne Harris and William Job Leavitt possessed anthrax for use in a weapon of mass destruction were dropped after authorities determined over the weekend that the material the FBI confiscated from the two men was harmless anthrax vaccine. Leavitt was freed, but Harris was ordered to remain in jail after Ohio officials filed charges that he violated his probation when authorities said they found biological agents at Harris' home in Lancaster, Ohio, during a search that followed his arrest in Nevada. [...] Last Wednesday morning the agency was tipped off that Harris reportedly had boasted about having enough anthrax to wipe out Las Vegas; after 12 hours of conducting surveillance and background checks of Harris and Leavitt, the FBI swooped in and arrested the two men. [...] In Columbus, Ohio, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Abel issued an arrest warrant for Harris after his probation officer filed a report asserting that Harris violated his probation on an April 1995 wire fraud conviction. Harris was sentenced to 18 months probation for misrepresenting himself as a CIA agent in a scheme to obtain bubonic plague from a Maryland laboratory through the mail. Harris could face 5 years in prison from a probation violation. [...] Leavitt has said he holds no grudges against the FBI. "He understands the FBI had a job to do and he doesn't hold any ill will against them for what they did," said his lawyer, Kirby Wells."
    • Las Vegas Sun, "Leavitt brings notoriety to small town", 1998/02/24: "Some Overton residents appeared to handle the influx of FBI agents in unmarked cars and media in vans and satellite trucks to this town 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas with a sense of humor, while others were visibly angry. As the media stood across the street from Leavitt's house and labs on Moapa Valley Boulevard, many residents throughout the weekend honked at reporters or yelled, "Get outta here," "Go home" and "Mind your own business." A few used obscene gestures."
    • Leavitt background
      • Deseret News, "Utahns victimized in insurance scam", 2003/04/05: "It would seem to have been an investment tailor-made for members of the LDS Church: A $1.6 trillion off-shore trust created by descendants of church founder Joseph Smith, guarantees of 100-percent annual returns on investments for 99 years, and sales meetings punctuated by expressions of faith and prayer. But the FBI says it was a scam, one that stretched coast to coast and swindled people of all faiths of $50 million. [...] The Deseret News has learned that Utahns were victimized in the elaborate scheme, and one Utah County man apparently worked for the bogus company, called Good Samaritan Insurance Co. They have not yet been charged, but the man — as well as his father — are both suspects under federal scrutiny, the FBI confirmed. [...] A joint investigation by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the California Department of Insurance resulted in indictments last month against eight San Diego-area men, who are now charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Those charged include John Franklin Harrell, Kenneth Lorenzo Kempton, Kenneth Eugene Hodgell, Morris Sankary, William Job Leavitt Jr., Jack Reitz, J. Paul Anderson and Juan Gregorio Fuentes. The mastermind behind the scheme, the FBI says, is Harrell, 69, who has no connection whatsoever to the LDS Church. Harrell used an intoxicating concoction of religion, conspiracy theories and anti-government rhetoric to swindle investors while creating a "cult-like investment fraud and money laundering criminal enterprise," the FBI said."
      • Moapa Valley Progress, "OBITUARY: Mary “Betty” Leavitt", 2012/07/18: "Betty Leavitt passed away July 9, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, a week before her 93rd birthday. She was born July 21, 1919. She is survived by her son, William Job Leavitt, Jr. and his wife Valerie Claire Leavitt. [...] Betty spent most of her growing up years in Dos Palos, California where her father was a greatly respected farmer and rancher. Her father also managed the Wiser Ranch in Moapa, Nevada prior to her birth. She graduated as Valedictorian of her high school class. She met William Job Leavitt, Sr. during World War II while working at a military base in California. Soon after their meeting William left for Harvard University at the request of the military. Upon his graduation from Harvard Business School, Bill and Betty were married in Christ Church on Harvard Square August 10, 1942. Following their marriage they were stationed at many different locations including The Pentagon in Washington DC. It was at this time, after approximately 9 years of trying to have a child that their only child, William Job Leavitt, Jr. was born. They went on to serve in other locations; including The Panama Canal Zone, and San Antonio, Texas at Randolph Air Force Base.. They were transferred to Las Vegas, Nevada for Bill to serve as Wing Comptroller at Nellis Air Force Base in 1955. Lieutenant Colonel Leavitt had a massive heart attack at the age of 42 and was forced to retire from the Air Force due to physical disability in 1958. Bill and Betty then went into the real estate business in the Las Vegas area opening Pyramid Realty. After Bill’s death in 1968, Betty continued in real estate and helped organize the Professional Standards Committee of the Board of Realtors. She ultimately helped draft many of the guidelines and standards used today in the real estate industry. She continued to work in real estate as a broker for many years until her retirement."
  • White supremacist groups deliberately spreading disease

Microbiologist deaths

  • The Globe and Mail, "Scientists' deaths are under the microscope", 2002/05/04: "It's a tale only the best conspiracy theorist could dream up. Eleven microbiologists mysteriously dead over the span of just five months. Some of them world leaders in developing weapons-grade biological plagues. Others the best in figuring out how to stop millions from dying because of biological weapons. Still others, experts in the theory of bioterrorism. Throw in a few Russian defectors, a few nervy U.S. biotech companies, a deranged assassin or two, a bit of Elvis, a couple of Satanists, a subtle hint of espionage, a big whack of imagination, and the plot is complete, if a bit reminiscent of James Bond."
  • Benito Que
    • ...
  • Don Wiley
    • ...
  • Valdimir Pasechnik
    • ...
  • Robert Schwartz
    • ...
  • Nguyen Van Set
    • ...
  • Victor Korshunov
    • ...
  • Ian Langford
    • ...
  • Tanya Holzmayer and Guyang "Matthew" Huang
    • ...
  • David Wynn-Williams
    • ...
  • Steven Mostow
    • ...

Other curiosities

  • Brian Shaffer disappearance - in 2006 from Columbus OH
    • The Lantern, "Is Brian Shaffer alive?", 2009/04/12: "Brian Shaffer has been missing since April 1, 2006. He was last seen on surveillance video outside the Ugly Tuna Saloona on the South Campus Gateway at 1:55 that morning. One of the last people to see Shaffer that night was William “Clint” Florence, one of Shaffer’s best friends. Attorney Neil Rosenberg represents Florence, who has refused at least two requests to take polygraph tests during the investigation of Shaffer’s disappearance. [...] Private investigator Don Corbett, who has worked on the case for free for the Shaffer family, said Florence refused his request to take a polygraph as recently as last September. [...] In the e-mail he sent to Corbett on Sept. 22, 2008, Rosenberg said: “If Brian is alive, which is what I’m led to believe after speaking with the detective involved, then it is Brian, and not Clint who is causing his family pain and hardship. Brian should come forward and end this.” Rosenberg said last week in a phone interview that as far as he is concerned the case is closed, and he declined to comment about the investigation or the e-mail he sent to Corbett. [...] Florence, 32, works for the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Vanderbilt University Medical School, where he is a postdoctoral fellow, according to a Vanderbilt Web site. [...] Brian’s brother, Derek, is the last surviving member of the immediate family. His father, Randy, died on Sept. 14, 2008, when a tree limb fell on him outside his house during a windstorm. Derek’s mother died of cancer three weeks before Brian went missing."
    • nerdmoot comments on Reddit in 2018 about their suspicion that Shaffer was recruited into intelligence
      • "I’m not a conspiracy theorist type but I truly believe he was recruited by the CIA or NSA or even more secretive blackops group. I know for a fact that these agencies recruit students right on campus."
      • "I’m kind of old. I graduated in the early-mid 90s. I had a friend (yep I know what you’ll say, but it’s true) who was American-Chinese student that was able to speak with a very specific Mandarin accent that the CIA wanted. After graduating he pretty much disappeared for 3 years and eventually came back to get a law degree from OSU. All he would ever say is that his job required him to make a lot of phone calls. CIA Documentation naming OSU as a recruitment school"
    • Note that Ohio State University, which Shaffer attended as a medical student, has had Les Wexner as a trustee