The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 25, 2001- 7A
Anthrax tainted wi unusual compound
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The anthrax spores that conta-
minated the air in Senate Majority Leader Tom
Daschle's office had been treated with a chemical addi-
tive so sophisticated that only three nations are thought
to have been capable of making it, sources said yester-
The United States, the former Soviet Union and Iraq
are the only three nations known to have developed the
kind of additives that enable anthrax spores to remain
suspended in the air, making them more easily inhaled
and therefore more deadly, experts said yesterday. Each
nation used a different technique, suggesting: that
ongoing microscopic and chemical analyses may
reveal more about the spores' provenance than did
their genetic analysis, which is largely complete but
reportedly has done little to narrow the field.
A government official with direct knowledge of the
investigation said yesterday that the totality of the evi-
dence in hand suggests that it is unlikely that the spores
were originally produced in the former Soviet Union or
Iraq. Even identifying the kind of coating may not
solve the crucial question of who is perpetrating the
terror, because little is known about how secure the
stores of the three countries' stocks have been during
the past few years.
Nonetheless, the conclusion that the spores were
produced with military quality differs considerably
from public comments made recently by officials close
AP PHOTO to the investigation, who have said the spores were not
"weaponized" and were "garden variety." Those
* descriptions may be technically true, depending on
how one defines those terms, several experts said. But
they obscure the basic and more important truth that
the spores were treated with a sophisticated process,
meaning the original source was almost certainly a
The finding strongly suggests that the anthrax spores
in the U.S. mail attacks were not produced in a univer-
sity or makeshift laboratory or simply gathered from
natural sources. But it does not answer the question of
whether a state-sponsored laboratory supplied the
anthrax spores directly to terrorists or simply lost con-
trol of some stocks in recent years.
The presence of the high-grade additive was con-'
firmed for the first time yesterday by a government
source familiar with the ongoing studies, which are
being conducted by scientists at the Army Medical
Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Det-
rick in Frederick. Four other experts in anthrax
weapons said they had no doubt that such an additive
was present based on the high dispersal rate from the
letter to Daschle (D-S.D.).
"The evidence is patent. on its face," said Alan Zeli-
coff, a senior scientist at Sandia National Laboratories'
Center for National Security and Arms Control. "The
amount of energy needed to disperse the spores (by
merely opening an envelope) was trivial, which is vir-
tually diagnostic of achieving the appropriate coating."
David Franz, formerly of USAMRIID and now at
the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, said,
"In order for a formulation to do what the one in
Daschle's office appears to have done -- be easily air-
borne -- it would require special treatment."
Genetic testing of the spores found in Daschle's
office, at NBC offices in New York and in Florida
found that the three samples were ipdistinguishable.
The ongoing USAMRIID studies on the spores used
in the U.S. attacks involve examinations using conven-
tional microscopes and scanning electron microscope's,
along with complex chemical analyses that are difficult
to conduct even when the bacteria in question are not
dangerous. The analyses are far more difficult in this
case, experts said, because anthrax spores must be
studied in specially sealed laboratory enclosures to
ensure that they do not escape.
Results of those tests have not been made public
beyond a simple description of how small the spore
particles were in the Daschle letter. That particle size, 1
1/2 to 3 microns in diameter, said Sen. Bill Frist (R-
Tenn.) is extremely small - a first requirement for
making "weapons grade" anthrax spores for warfare or
But more than that is needed to get anthrax spores to
drift easily in the air and spread widely without settling
quickly to the ground. That is because tiny particles
tend to have electrostatic charges - the static electrici-
ty that can cause hair to extend skyward when it is
rubbed against a balloon. Those charges make the tini-
est particles clump together into heavier ones, which
then settle to the ground.
One of the primary goals of bioweapons engineers
since the 1960s was to figure out how to treat those
tiny particles in ways that would neutralize the prob-
lematic charges. Properly processed, the tiny particles
will remain separated from each other and fly up and
outward with virtually no effort. An imperceptible
wisp of a breeze can, end them across a room.
Washington Mayer Anthony Williams takes part in a news conference in
Washington yesterday to discuss the city's anthrax threat.
Continued from Page 1A
prised the University is being involved since it is under
no contractual obligations with Fila. He also said
Amaker's business with Fila has been satisfied.
"In the first face-to-face, and the only face-to-face I
had with Tommy (prior to his hire), he asked if we
were a Nike school now," Martin said. "Then he men-
tioned to me at that time he had a relationship with
another shoe company. And I can't even remember if
he said Fila or not. He said, 'That's fine, that's over. I've
fulfilled my obligations.' That whole conversation
didn't take 30 seconds with respect to (Fila)."
In 1997, Amaker signed a deal with Seton Hall for
his first job as a division I head coach. That June, he
Continued from Page 1A Mail sem
ton area. The agencies have been being held
criticized for waiting several days and there is
before testing people for anthrax at ' "Even as
the contaminated Washington distrib- tractor-trail
ution center. as a demon
"It is critical that your agencies that proces
retrace your steps to ensure that no said.
one else dies from this scourge," "We nee
Grassley wrote to Potter and CDC we are sani
director Jeffrey Koplan. "It is up to destroying1
public health authorities and the U.S. going to ru
Postal Service to' demonstrate that made cool
mail delivered in Washington, DC is know. So f
not dangerous." the case." s
Tom Ridge, the newly named The post
director of homeland security, told has bought
CBS News that public health officials made of N
didn't make the safety of postal for use by1
workers a lower priority. mail.
"I'm absolutely positively, 1,000 The age
percent convinced that they weren't of obtainin
looking at the collar of the shirts, workers th
whether it was a white collar or a cent of ba
blue collar challenge," Ridge said. spores, offi
"They were looking at a medical Some fe
challenge." already h
The Postal Service is at war, Potter masks.
has said, insisting that the agency Ken Vau
will continue to deliver the mail. terik, a. m
Willhite said the post office is said his co
expected to deliver universal mail week to thi
service. "We are going to provide departme
safe and secure mail service every- name. The
where in the United States," she said. as $300 ea
Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said yes- Postal ol
terday that he wouldn't recommend has started
shutting down the mail system but system oni
would consider suggesting closings blowers-
in targeted areas. terial clean
President Bush released $175 mil- Mail del
lion to help the agency, and the postal ed, Willhi
governing board authorized an addi- think we'r
tional $200 million in emergency shakedow
spending to help pay for equipment from Bren
and other measures. ties."
The high-tech sanitizing equip- Brentw
ment coming next week uses an elec- mail sorti,
tron beam to kill bacteria and spores was clos
and is similar to technology used to anthrax co
sterilize medical equipment and sani- is being do
tize foods. Maryland.
reached a five-year arrangement with Fila, with a five
year option for Fila. Amaker is in the fifth year of his
Amaker's deal consisted of a "consulting agree-
ment" with Fila, which the lawsuit claims was "a nec-
essary precursor to the separate outfitting agreements
by which all of Seton Hall's athletic teams were outfit-
The University's deal with Nike does not require any
such "consulting agreement," and Amaker hasn't done
any negotiating with Nike personally.
Fila's claim alleges Amaker began contract talks
with Michigan in July of 2000, which would have been
before his final year season at Seton Hall. Amaker
attempted to end his contract with Fila during that time
but was advised that he would have to buy out his con-
Martin denies that any negotiations between the
University and Amaker began at that time.
"I was interim (athletic director). There is no way I
was either ever given the authority or would I based on
common sense ever encumber a permanent AD,
because I wasn't even a candidate for this position!'
Martin said that the University will reimburse
Amaker for his legal fees, but if he has to pay a settle-
ment, that will be his own responsibility.
Martin also said not to rule out counter-filings
against Fila as a possibility, saying there is such a thing
as a nuisance lawsuit.
Fila declined to comment beyond its written state-
said has not yet deter-
re to locate the equipment.
nt to Congress already is
for screening, she said,
no plan to destroy mail.
s we speak we are taking
lers of mail to be sanitized
stration project to see how
ss would work," Willhite
d to make sure that while
itizing the mail we are not
people's keepsakes. If it's
uin your grandma's home-
kies, we want to let you
ar, that doesn't seem to be
office also reported that it
a 90-day supply of gloves
itrile, a high-grade plastic,
postal workers sorting the,
ney also is in the process
g advanced face masks for
at can screen out 95 per-
cteria including anthrax
ederal mailroom workers
ave received protective
ughan, president of Neo-
aker of breathing masks,
rmpany provided masks last
he mail room of a federal
nt, which he would not
masks can cost as much
fficials also said the agency
d using a vacuum cleaning
its machines - instead of
and switched to anti-bac-
ivery is not being restrict-
te said, but she added: "I
e having a little bit of a
n cruise in moving mail
twood to the other facili-
ood, Washington's main
ng and distribution center,
ed Sunday because of
ntamination, and its work
one at facilities in suburban
Continued from Page 1A
Since the campaign was launched,
hundreds of Pakistani militants sympa-
thetic with the Taliban and bin Laden
have entered Afghanistan vowing to
fight the United States.
Among them were the 22 Pakistanis
killed by a U.S. strike. The militants -
members of the banned group Harakat
ul-Mujahedeen - died when a U.S.
bomb hit a house in Kabul where they
were meeting Tuesday, said Muzamal
Shah, a Harakat leader in Pakistan.
Shah said the men went to
Afghanistan to help the Taliban "devise
a plan for fighting against America."
Pakistani border guards at Torkham
refused yesterday to allow 11 of the
bodies to be brought into Pakistan for
burial. Sources close to the Harakat ul-
Mujahedeen said the bodies later were
The Pakistani group, which is fight-
ing Indian soldiers in Kashmir, has
been declared a terrorist organization
by the United States.
U.S. attacks this week have focused
on al-Qaida and Taliban positions
facing Kabul and on Mazar-e-Sharif,
in hopes that the anti-Taliban north-
ern alliance can advance on those
For the fourth straight day, U.S. jets
streaked across the skies near the vil-
lage of Korak Dana about 30 miles
north of Kabul, pounding Taliban posi-
tions with bombs and missiles.
Taliban fighters unleashed several
surface-to-air missiles, which failed to
bring down the planes. They also bom-
barded northern alliance positions with
artillery and mortar fire.
Saeed Mir Shah, a fighter with the
northern alliance, said he counted 10
bombs over a 2 1/2 hour period at
midafternoon. "All the houses were
shaking," he said.
Pakistan, a key Muslim ally in the
anti-terror campaign, has opposed
allowing the northern alliance to seize
There are widespread doubts over the
alliance's ability to govern. Its factions
- made up largely of members of
'tajik and Uzbek ethnic minorities -
fought each other when they last con-
trolled Kabul between 1992 and 1996
and in the process largely destroyed the
city, costing some 50,000 lives.
Continued from Page 1A
also being careful not to implement
any procedures that break with the
norm. PS spokeswoman Diane
Brown laid this year, the department
will 'function just as it has every other
Some students said that despite
safety concerns, the annual hunt for
house parties, hay rides and Halloween
costumes will continue as always.
"People will be more careful but I
don't think it will affect the party scene
much. The atmosphere here changed
for awhile, but now we don't really
know the extent of the danger, things
have kind of gone back to the way they
were," said LSA freshman Andy Leno-
Some feel as if Halloween will be a
good way to release pent up stress.
"I don't think that the events right
now will make Halloween more low
key. If anything it will make it more
outrageous with all the crap going on
in the world," said LSA senior Andrea
"I think people need an excuse to let
loose and have fun because people are
really keyed up right now. Halloween is
a good day to do that," said Jeremy
Kessmann, a Business junior.
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installments over the course of five
years. The fellows are nominated by an
anonymous committee and don't know
they are being considered for the award
until they receive it.
Sheng said he was in Washington
preparing a concert when he received
the call on his cell phone.
"I had been given notice by the
Dean that I was about to receive an
important phone call," he said. "I had
no clue. It was a complete surprise."
Sheng said he has no specific plans
for the award money yet, but wants to
spend time in Europe practicing his
Music Dean Karen Wolff said the
award is an honor, both for Sheng and
"Bright Sheng has established him-
self as one of America's foremost
composers. It is a source of great pride
that he is a member of the U-M
School of Music faculty," Wolff said.
11 T- .1- ho e : 1h - .mr -:.:inn
certo for the New York Philharmonic's
celebration of the 20th anniversary
debut of cellist Yo Yo Ma and pianist
Emanuel Ax, premiering in 2003.
Sheng is known for a unique combi-
nation of Western and Eastern cultural
influence in his musical compositions.
He extensively studied the two cul-
tures until he was able to merge the
"The music is deeply rooted in the
foundation of both cultures but is a
new hybrid art," Sheng said.
Chinese instruments are traditional-
ly solo instruments, and not made to
play in a large ensemble, so Sheng
said he must face this challenge when
creating his music. But he said he
turns that seeming disadvantage into
"If you make it a handicap it won't
work, but if you look at it and take
the idea as part of the initial incep-
tion before you start writing, you can
build ideas around that fact," Sheng
Sheng's music has been performed
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