Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:04pm EST
* Iran says nuclear scientist killed in car bombing
* Officials in Iran blame killing on Israel, U.S.
* Fifth such attack in two years in apparent “covert war” (Adds U.S. comment, clarifies to show scientist was passenger, edits)
By Ramin Mostafavi and Parisa Hafezi
TEHRAN, Jan 11 (Reuters) – An Iranian nuclear scientist was blown up in his car by a motorbike hitman on Wednesday, prompting Tehran to blame Israeli and U.S. agents but insist the killing would not derail a nuclear programme that has raised fears of war and threatened world oil supplies.
The fifth daylight attack on technical experts in two years, the magnetic bomb delivered a targeted blast to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan’s silver sedan as he was driven down a busy street near a Tehran university during the morning rush hour. The chemical engineer’s driver also died, Iranian media said, and a passer-by was slightly hurt.
Israel, whose military chief said on Tuesday that Iran could expect to suffer more mysterious mishaps, declined comment. The White House, struggling for Chinese and Russian help on economic sanctions, denied any U.S. role and condemned the attack.
While Israeli or Western involvement seemed eminently plausible to independent analysts, a role for local Iranian factions or other regional interests engaged in a deadly shadow war of bluff and sabotage could not be ruled out.
The killing, which left debris hanging in trees and body parts on the road, came in a week of heightened tension:
Iran has started an underground uranium enrichment plant and sentenced an American to death for spying; Washington and Europe have stepped up efforts to cripple Iran’s oil exports for its refusal to halt work that the West says betrays an ambition to build nuclear weapons. Iran says its aims are entirely peaceful.
Tehran has threatened to choke the West’s supply of Gulf oil if its exports are hit by sanctions, drawing a U.S. warning that its navy was ready to open fire to prevent any blockade of the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which 35 percent of the world’s seaborne traded oil passes.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran’s threats to close the strait were “provocative and dangerous” and repeated the White House denial of any U.S. involvement in the killing of Ahmadi-Roshan.
Analysts saw the latest assassination, which would have taken no little expertise, as less a reaction to recent events than part of a longer-running, covert effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear development programme that has also included suspected computer viruses and mystery explosions.
While fears of war have forced up oil prices, the region has seen periods of sabre-rattling and limited bloodshed before without reaching all-out conflict. But a willingness in Israel, which sees an imminent Iranian atom bomb as a threat to its existence, to attack Iranian nuclear sites, with or without U.S. backing, has heightened the sense that a crisis is coming.
The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, which has failed to persuade the West that its quest for nuclear power has no hidden military goal, said the killing of Ahmadi-Roshan would not deter it: “We will continue our path without any doubt … Our path is irreversible,” it said in a statement carried on television.
“The heinous acts of America and the criminal Zionist regime will not disrupt our glorious path … The more you kill us, the more our nation will awake.”
First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, quoted by IRNA news agency, said: “Iran’s enemies should know they cannot prevent Iran’s progress by carrying out such terrorist acts.”
Iran’s leaders, preparing for the first national election since a disputed presidential vote in 2009 brought street protests against 32 years of clerical rule, are struggling to contain internal tensions. Defiance of Israel and Western powers plays well with many who will vote in March.
In Washington, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said: “The United States had absolutely nothing to do with this … We strongly condemn all acts of violence, including acts of violence like what is being reported today.”
Israel, which has a history of covert killings abroad, declined comment, though army spokesman Yoav Mordechai wrote on Facebook: “I don’t know who settled the score with the Iranian scientist, but I am definitely not shedding any tears.”
On Tuesday, Israeli armed forces chief Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz was quoted as telling members of parliament: “For Iran, 2012 is a critical year in combining the continuation of its nuclearisation, internal changes in the Iranian leadership, continuing and growing pressure from the international community and things which take place in an unnatural manner.”
The attack bore some of the hallmarks of sophisticated intelligence agencies capable of circumventing Iran’s own extensive security apparatus and apparently taking care to limit the harm to passers-by.
While witnesses spoke of a frighteningly loud explosion at 8:20 a.m. (0450 GMT) and parts of the Peugeot 405 ended up in the branches of the trees lining Gol Nabi Street, much of the car was left intact. This suggested a charge designed to be sure of both killing the occupants and preventing serious injury to others.
Witnesses said the motorcycle, from which the rear pillion passenger reached out to stick the device to the side of the car, made off into the heavy commuter traffic.
Though the scientist killed — the fourth in five such attacks since January 2010 — was only 32, Iranian media described him as having a role overseeing uranium enrichment at Natanz underground site. The semi-official news agency Mehr said Ahmadi-Roshan had recently met officials of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
At the IAEA in Vienna, where a spokeswoman condemned the killing, officials could not confirm knowing of him.
Analysts say that killing scientists — especially those whose lack of personal protection suggests a relatively junior role — is unlikely to have much direct impact on Iran’s nuclear programme, which Western governments allege is seeking to enrich enough uranium highly enough to let it build weapons.
Sabotage — like mysterious reported explosions at military facilities or the Stuxnet computer virus widely suspected to have been deployed by Israel and the United States to disrupt nuclear facilities in 2010 — may have had more direct effects.
However, assassinations may be intended to discourage Iranians with nuclear expertise from working on the programme.
An Israel official said Mossad agents called that “virtual defection”: “It’s not that we’ve been seeing mass resignations, but rather a sense of spreading paranoia,” the official, who has extensive Iran expertise, told Reuters.
“It means they have to take more precautions, including, perhaps, being a little less keen to stand out for excellence in their nuclear work. That slows things down.”
Bruno Tertrais from France’s Strategic Research Foundation said: “It certainly has a psychological effect on scientists working on the nuclear programme.”
He cautioned, however, against assuming that Israel, the United States or both were behind the latest attack.
Trita Parsi, a U.S.-based expert on Iran, said the killing might, along with the heightened rhetoric of recent weeks, be part of a pattern ahead of a possible resumption of negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme; some parties may want to improve their bargaining position, others may see violence as a way of thwarting renewed negotiations altogether, Parsi said.
Last month, Iran signalled a willingness to return to a negotiating process which stalled a year ago, though Western officials say a new round of talks is far from certain yet.
Iran’s decision to carry out enrichment work deep underground in the once undeclared plant at Fordow, near the holy Shi’ite city of Qom, could make it harder for U.S. or Israeli forces to carry out veiled threats to use force against Iranian nuclear facilities. The move to Fordow could reduce the time available for diplomacy to avert any attack.
The announcement on Monday that enrichment — a necessary step to make uranium into nuclear weapons — had begun at Fordow has given added impetus to Western efforts to impose an oil export embargo intended to pressure Tehran to halt enrichment.
Iran, a signatory to the treaty banning the spread of nuclear weapons, complains it is entitled to conduct peaceful research and denies any military nuclear aims. Its adversaries say its failure to take up their offers of help with civilian technology undermine the credibility of its position.
Oil prices have firmed 5 percent since U.S. President Barack Obama moved on New Year’s Eve to block bank payments for oil to Iran. The European Union is expected this month to impose a ban on its states buying oil from Tehran, and other major customers have been looking for alternative supplies.
In Iran, the new U.S. sanctions have started to bite.
The rial currency has lost 20 percent of its value against the dollar in the past week and Iran has threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, visiting Beijing, appealed for Chinese cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation, but Chinese officials made clear that they still opposed the U.S. sanctions and would go on buying Iranian oil.
Russia, too, came out against the U.S.-led oil embargo. (Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi, Robin Pomeroy and Mitra Amiri in Tehran, Allyn Fisher-Ilan and Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Fredrik Dahl in Vienna, Lucy Hornby in Beijing and Andrew Quinn in Washington; Writing by Alastair Macdonald editing by Tim Pearce)
Microbiologist Dr. David Kelly, 59, was found dead after seemingly slashing his wrist in a wood near his home at Southmoor, Oxfordshire, days after being named as the Iraq dossier mole. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death continues. Dr. Kelly was Britain’s leading expert on Baghdad’s weapons programs.
Dr. Steven Mostow, 63, was one of the country’s leading infectious disease and bioterrorism experts and was associate dean at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He died in a plane crash near Centennial Airport.
Dr. Ian Langford, 40, found dead at his blood-spattered and ransacked home. Langford was a Senior Fellow at the Univ. of East Anglia’s
Died 2012Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment in the UK. He was discovered by police and ambulance men. The body was naked from the waist down and partly wedged under a chair. Cause of death: not determined by post-mortem examination.
Dr. David Banks, 55, died in an aircraft crash in Queensland, AU. Much of Dr. Banks’ work involved trying to keep diseases affecting cattle, pigs and fruit orchards out of Australia. His current work looked at foot and mouth disease and its potential to spread through the archipelago and Australia in addition to swine fever, Nipah virus and Japanese encephalitis.
Virus expert, Dr Robert E. Shope, and principal author of a highly publicized 1992 report by the National Academy of Sciences warning of the possible emergence of new and unsettling infectious illnesses died at age 74 of lung transplant complicatons. Dr. Shope also built the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses, a collection of some 5,000 samples. Harvard biochemistry professor Don C. Wiley has been declared missing after his abandoned rental car was discovered on a highway outside of Memphis, Tenn. The car, discovered on I-40—which runs between Memphis and Arkansas—had the keys in the ignition, the hazard lights off and a full tank of gas. Award-winning micro-biologist David Wynn-Williams, 55, killed by a vehicle while out jogging in England. In 2000 he was appointed leader of the Antarctic Astrobiology Project, which explores the effects of environmental stress at the limits of life on Earth. Wynn-Williams had assessed the capability of microbes to adapt to environmental extremes, including the bombardment of ultraviolet rays and global warming.
Dr. Eugene F. Mallove, a Norwich Free Academy graduate, 56, died May 14, 2004 after being beaten to death during an alleged robbery. Mallove appeared on Coast To Coast AM as recently as Feb. 2004 speaking about alternative energy. Mallove was well respected for his knowledge of cold fusion. http://www.infinite-energy.com/
Jeong H. Im, retired protein chemist, age 72, was found in the burning trunk of his car with mutlitple stab wounds to the chest. West Nile researcher, Dr. Michael Perich, 46, died in a one-vehicle car accident. From 1986 to 1992, Perich worked at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., as the vector suppression program manager and research medical entomologist. Colleagues described him as “one of the few entomologists with the experience to go out and save lives today.”
#119 Professor Dr. Richard Crowe, 60, died May 27 in an off-road accident in Arizona. Dr. Crowe came to UH Hilo 25 years ago and helped launch the University’s undergraduate astronomy program. is numerous publications and co-authored works added significantly to the body of astronomical literature. He regularly trained UHH student observers with the UH 24-inch telescope on Mauna Kea, and conducted many research programs on that telescope. In 2005, he won the AstroDay Excellence in Teaching Award for his efforts. In 1991, Dr. Crowe was selected as a Fujio Matsuda Research Fellow for his scholarly work on pulsating variable stars. Crowe was also active in the community. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay.
#118 Gelareh Bagherzadeh, died Jan. 17, when she was shot outside her home, DDetectives investigating the murder of an Iranian molecular scientist gunned down in her car as she drove home believe she was followed or that someone was waiting for her. Bagherzadeh was struck by a single bullet that entered the passenger door window as she talked on her cell phone with her ex-boyfriend. Bagherzadeh was a molecular genetic technology student at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and also active in promoting Iranian women’s rights.
#117 James S. Miller, 58, as a result of being attacked during a home invasion. Professor James Steven Miller came to Goshen College to teach in 1980, the same year he completed his doctorate degree in medical biochemistry at Ohio State University. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry in 1975 from Bluffton (Ohio) University. The Goshen College Board of Directors granted Professor Miller tenure in June 1985. He primarily taught upper-level courses taken by students in nursing, pre-medical and other health-related tracks.
#116 Zachary Greene Warfield, 35, died July 4 in a boating accident on the Potomac River. Zack was a co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors for Omnis, Inc., a McLean, VA-based strategic consulting firm for the intelligence, defense and national security communities. He spearheaded major research initiatives and, in addition to helping steer the company, was directly involved in numerous projects, including analytic training and technology consulting. Prior to founding Omnis, Zack was an engineer and analyst for the U.S. Government and private industry. As a science and technology analyst, he assessed missile and space systems, managed technical contracts, and investigated Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program as a member of the Iraq Survey Group, serving in Baghdad on two separate occasions. As an engineer, he worked on aerospace projects for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and private industry. Most notably, Zack designed critical guidance systems that ensured a successful landing for the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity; his name is inscribed on one of the rovers, and remains on Mars today.
#115 Jonathan Widom, 55, died July 18 of an apparent heart attack. He was a professor of Molecular Biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. Widom focused on how DNA is packaged into chromosomes — and the location of nucleosomes specifically. Colleagues said the work has had profound implications for how genes are able to be read in the cell and how mutations outside of the regions that encode proteins can lead to errors and disease.
#112-114 Fanjun Meng, 29, and Chunyang Zhang, 26, drowned in a Branson hotel swimming pool. Both were from China and working in the anatomic pathology lab at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Meng was a visiting scholar and his wife, Zhang, was a research specialist, according to information at the university’s website. Meng was working on research looking at a possible link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease.Police said the investigation is ongoing as to the cause of the drowning but had said earlier there was no sign of foul play.
#107-111 Andrei Tropinov, Sergei Rizhov, Gennadi Benyok, Nicolai Tronov and Valery Lyalin, in a Russian plane crash.. The five scientists were employed at the Hydropress factory, a member of Russia’s state nuclear corporation and had assisted in the development of Iran’s nuclear plant. Theyworked at the Bushehr nuclear power plant and helped to complete construction of it. Officially Russian investigators say that human error and technical malfunction caused the deadly crash, which killed 45 and left 8 passengers surviving.
#106 Rodger Lynn Dickey, 56, from an apparent suicide Mar. 18 after he jumped from the Gorge Bridge. Dickey was a senior nuclear engineer with over 30 years of experience in support of the design, construction, start-up, and operation of commercial and government nuclear facilities. His expertise was in nuclear safety programmatic assessment, regulatory compliance, hazard assessment, safety analysis, and safety basis documentation. He completed project tasks in nuclear engineering design and application, nuclear waste management, project management, and risk management. His technical support experience included nuclear facility licensing, radiation protection, health and safety program assessments, operational readiness assessments, and systems engineering.
#105 Gregory Stone, 54, from an unknown illness Feb. 17. Stone, who was quoted extensively in many publications internationally after last year’s BP oil leak, was the director of the renowned Wave-Current Information System. Stone quickly established himself as an internationally respected coastal scientist who produced cutting-edge research and attracted millions of dollars of research support to LSU. As part of his research, he and the CSI Field Support Group developed a series of offshore instrumented stations to monitor wind, waves and currents that impact the Louisiana coast. The system is used by many fishermen and scientists to monitor wind, waves and currents off the Louisiana coast. Stone was a great researcher, teacher, mentor and family man.
#104 Bradley C. Livezey, 56, died in a car crash Feb. 8. Livezey knew nearly everything about the songs of birds and was considered the top anatomist. Livezey, curator of The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, never gave up researching unsolved mysteries of the world’s 20,000 or so avian species. Carnegie curator since 1993, Livezey oversaw a collection of nearly 195,000 specimens of birds, the country’s ninth largest. Livezey died in a two-car crash on Route 910, authorities said. An autopsy revealed he died from injuries to the head and trunk, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Northern Regional Police are investigating.
#103 Dr Massoud Ali Mohammadi, 50, was assassinated Jan. 11 when a remote-control bomb inside a motorcycle near his car was detonated. This professor of nuclear physics at Tehran University was politically active and his name was on a list of Tehran University staff who supported Mir Hossein Mousavi according to Newsweek. The London Times reports that Dr. Ali-Mohammadi told his students to speak out against the unjust elections. He stated “We have to stand up to this lot. Don’t be afraid of a bullet. It only hurts at the beginning.” Iran seems to be systematically assassinating high level professors and doctors who speak out against the regime of President Ahmadinejad. However, Iran proclaims that Israel and America used the “killing as a means of thwarting the country’s nuclear program” per Newsweek.
#102 John (Jack) P. Wheeler III, 66. last seen Dec. 30found dead in a Delaware landfill, fought to get the Vietnam Memorial built and served in two Bush administrations. His death has been ruled a homicide by Newark, Del. police. Wheeler graduated from West Point in 1966, and had a law degree from Yale and a business degree from Harvard. His military career included serving in the office of the Secretary of Defense and writing a manual on the effectiveness of biological and chemical weapons, which recommended that the United States not use biological weapons.
#101 Mark A. Smith, 45. Died Nov. 15 renowned Alzheimer’s disease researcher has died after being hit by a car in Ohio. Smith was a pathology professor at Case Western Reserve University and director of basic science research at the university’s memory and cognition center. He also was executive director of the American Aging Association and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. He is listed as the No. 3 “most prolific” Alzheimer’s disease researcher, with 405 papers written, by the international medical Journal.
#100 Chitra Chauhan, 33. Died Nov. 15 was found dead in an apparent suicide by cyanide at a Temple Terrace hotel, police said. Chauhan left a suicide note saying she used cyanide. Hazmat team officials said the cyanide was found only in granular form, meaning it was not considered dangerous outside of the room it was found in. The chemical is considered more dangerous in a liquid or gas form. Potassium Cyanide, the apparent cause of death, is a chemical commonly used by universities in teaching chemistry and conducting research, but it was not used in the research projects she was working on. Chauhan, a molecular biologist, was a post-doctoral researcher in the Global Health department in the College of Public Health. She earned her doctorate from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi, India, in 2005, then studied mosquitoes and disease transmission at the University of Notre Dame.
#99 Franco Cerrina, 62. Died July 12 was found dead in a lab at BU’s Photonics Center on Monday morning. The cause of death is not yet known, but have ruled out homicide. Cerrina joined the faculty of BU in 2008 after spending 24 years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He co-founded five companies, including NimbleGen Systems, Genetic Assemblies (merged with Codon Devices in 2006), Codon Devices, Biolitho, and Gen9, according to Nanowerk News. NimbleGen, a Madison, WI-based provider of DNA microarray technology, was sold to Basel, Switzerland-based Roche in 2007 for $272.5 million. Cerrina, chairman of the electrical and computer engineering department, came to BU two years ago from the University of Wisconsin at Madison as a leading scholar in optics, lithography, and nanotechnology, according to his biography on the university website. The scholar was responsible for establishing a new laboratory in the Photonics Center.
#98 Vajinder Toor, 34. Died April 26 shot and killed outside his home in Branford, Conn. Toor worked at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in New York before joining Yale.
#97Joseph Morrissey, 46. Died April 6 as a victim of a home invasion. The autopsy revealed that the professor died from a stab wound. Although the cause of death was first identified as a gun shot wound, the autopsy revealed that the professor died from a stab wound. Morrissey joined NSU in May 2009 as an associate professor and taught one elective class on immunopharmacology in the College of Pharmacy.
#96 Maria Ragland Davis, 52. Died February 13 at the hand of neurobiologist Amy Bishop. Her background was in chemical engineering and biochemistry, and she specialized in plant pathology and biotechnology applications. She had a doctorate in biochemistry and had worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Monsanto Company in St. Louis. She was hired at the University of Alabama after a seven-year stint as a senior scientist in the plant-science department at Research Genetics Inc. (later Invitrogen), also in Huntsville.
#95 Gopi K. Podila, 54. Died February 13 at the hand of neurobiologist Amy Bishop, Indian American biologist, noted academician, and faculty member at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He listed his research interests as engineering tree biomass for bioenergy, functional genomics of plant-microbe interactions, plant molecular biology and biotechnology. In particular, Padila studied genes that regulate growth in fast growing trees, especially poplar and aspen. He has advocated prospective use of fast growing trees and grasses as an alternative to corn sources for producing ethanol.
#94 Adriel D. Johnson Sr. , 52. Died February 13 at the hand of neurobiologist Amy Bishop. His research involved aspects of gastrointestinal physiology specifically pancreatic function in vertebrates.
#94-96 Amy Bishop, 45, Neurobiologist – murdered three fellow scientists February 13 after being denied tenure. Dead biology professors are: G. K. Podila, the department’s chairman, a native of India; Maria Ragland Davis; and Adriel D. Johnson Sr.
#93 Keith Fagnou, 38. Died November 11 of H1N1. His research focused on improving the preparation of complex molecules for petrochemical, pharmaceutical or industrial uses. Keith’s advanced and out–of-the-box thinking overturned prior ideas of what is possible in the chemistry field.
#92 Stephen Lagakos, 63. Died October 12 in an auto collision, wife, Regina, 61, and his mother, Helen, 94, were also killed in the crash, as was the driver of the other car, Stephen Krause, 52, of Keene, N.H. Lagakos centered his efforts on several fronts in the fight against AIDS particularly how and when HIV-infected women transmitted the virus to their children. In addition, he developed sophisticated methods to improve the accuracy of estimated HIV incidence rates. He also contributed to broadening access to antiretroviral drugs to people in developing countries.
#91 Malcolm Casadaban, 60. Died Sept. 13 of plague. Casadaban, a renowned molecular geneticist with a passion for new research, had been working to develop an even stronger vaccine for the plague. The medical center says the plague bacteria he worked with was a weakened strain that isn’t known to cause illness in healthy adults. The strain was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for laboratory studies.
#90 Wallace L. Pannier, 81. Died Aug. 6 of respiratory failure and other natural causes. Pannier, a germ warfare scientist whose top-secret projects included a mock attack on the New York subway with powdered bacteria in 1966. Mr. Pannier worked at Fort Detrick, a US Army installation in Frederick that tested biological weapons during the Cold War and is now a center for biodefense research. He worked in the Special Operations Division, a secretive unit operating there from 1949 to 1969, according to family members and published reports. The unit developed and tested delivery systems for deadly agents such as anthrax and smallpox.
#89 August “Gus” Watanabe, 67. Died June 9, found dead outside a cabin in Brown County. Friends discovered the body, a .38-caliber handgun and a three-page note at the scene. They said he had been depressed following the death last month of his daughter Nan Reiko Watanabe Lewis. She died at age 44 while recovering from elective surgery. Watanabe was one of the five highest-paid officers of Indianapolis pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly and Co. when he retired in 2003.
#88 Caroline Coffey, 28. Died June 3, from massive cuts to her throat. Hikers found the body of the Cornell Univ. post-doctoral bio-medicine researcher along a wooded trail in the park, just outside Ithaca, N.Y., where the Ivy League school is located. Her husband was hospitalized under guard after a police chase and their apartment set on fire.
#87 Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi, 53. Died February 14, of “suspicious” causes. Dr. Noah (formerly Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi) is described in his American biography as a pioneer of Mind-Body-Quantum medicine who lectured in five countries and ran a successful health care center General Medical Clinics Inc. in King County, Washington for 15 years after suffering a heart attack in 1989. Among his notable accomplishments was discovering an antitoxin treatment for bioweapons.
#86 Bruce Edwards Ivins, 62. Died July 29, of an overdose. He committed suicide prior to formal charges being filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an alleged criminal connection to the 2001 anthrax attacks. Ivins was likely solely responsible for the deaths of five persons, and the injury of dozens of others, resulting from the mailings of several anonymous letters to members of Congress and members of the media in September and October, 2001, which letters contained Bacillus anthracis, commonly referred to as anthrax. Ivins was a coinventor on two US patents for anthrax vaccine technology.
#84 & 85 Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23. Died July 3, after being bound, gagged, stabbed and set alight. Laurent, a student in the proteins that cause infectious disease, had been stabbed 196 times with half of them being administered to his back after he was dead. Gabriel, who hoped to become an expert in ecofriendly fuels, suffered 47 separate injuries.
#83: Yongsheng Li, age 29. Died: sometime after 4 p.m. on March 10, when he was last seen as a result of unknown causes. He was found in a pond between the Women’s Sports Complex and State Botanical Gardens on South Milledge Avenue Sunday and had been missing 16 days. Li was a doctoral student from China who studied receptor cells in Regents Professor David Puett’s biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory.
#82: Dr. Mario Alberto Vargas Olvera, age 52. Died: Oct. 6, 2007as a result of several blunt-force injuries to his head and neck. Ruled as murder. Found in his home. He was a nationally and internationally recognized biologist.
#81: Yoram Kaufman, age 57 (one day before his 58th birthday). Died: May 31, 2006when he was struck by an automobile while riding his bicycle near the Goddard center’s campus in Greenbelt. Dr. Kaufman began working at the space flight center in 1979 and spent his entire career there as a research scientist. His primary fields were meteorology and climate change, with a specialty in analyzing aerosols — airborne solid and liquid particles in the atmosphere. In recent years, he was senior atmospheric scientist in the Earth-Sun Exploration Division and played a key role in the development of NASA’s Terra satellite, which collects data about the atmosphere.
#80: Lee Jong-woo, age 61. Died: May 22, 2006after suffering a blood clot on the brain. Lee was spearheading the organization’s fight against global threats from bird flu, AIDS and other infectious diseases. WHO director-general since 2003, Lee was his country’s top international official. The affable South Korean, who liked to lighten his press conferences with jokes, was a keen sportsman with no history of ill-health, according to officials.
#79: Leonid Strachunsky. Died: June 8, 2005 after being hit on the head with a champagne bottle. Strachunsky specialized in creating microbes resistant to biological weapons. Strachunsky was found dead in his hotel room in Moscow, where hed come from Smolensk en route to the United States. Investigators are looking for a connection between the murder of this leading bio weapons researcher and the hepatitis outbreak in Tver, Russia.
#78: Robert J. Lull, age 66. Died: May 19, 2005 of multiple stab wounds. Despite his missing car and apparent credit card theft, homicide Inspector Holly Pera said investigators aren’t convinced that robbery was the sole motive for Lull’s killing. She said a robber would typically have taken more valuables from Lull’s home than what the killer left with. Lull had been chief of nuclear medicine at San Francisco General Hospital since 1990 and served as a radiology professor at UCSF. He was past president of the American College of Nuclear Physicians and the San Francisco Medical Society and served as editor of the medical society’s journal, San Francisco Medicine, from 1997 to 1999. Lee Lull said her former husband was a proponent of nuclear power and loved to debate his political positions with others.
#77: Todd Kauppila, age 41. Died: May 8, 2005of hemorrhagic pancreatitis at the Los Alamos hospital, according to the state medical examiner’s office. Picture of him was not available to due secret nature of his work. This is his funeral picture. His death came two days after Kauppila publicly rejoiced over news that the lab’s director was leaving. Kauppila was fired by director Pete Nanos on Sept. 23, 2004 following a security scandal. Kauppila said he was fired because he did not immediately return from a family vacation during a lab investigation into two classified computer disks that were thought to be missing. The apparent security breach forced Nanos to shut down the lab for several weeks. Kauppila claimed he was made a scapegoat over the disks, which investigators concluded never existed. The mistake was blamed on a clerical error. After he was fired, Kauppila accepted a job as a contractor at Bechtel Nevada Corp., a research company that works with Los Alamos and other national laboratories. He was also working on a new Scatter Reduction Grids in Megavolt Radiography focused on metal plates or crossed grids to act to stop the scattered radiation while allowing the unscattered or direct rays to pass through with other scientists: Scott Watson (LANL, DX-3), Chuck Lebeda (LANL, XTA), Alan Tubb (LANL, DX-8), and Mike Appleby (Tecomet Thermo Electron Corp.)
#76: David Banks, age 55. Died: May 8, 2005. Banks, based in North Queensland, died in an airplane crash, along with 14 others. He was known as an Agro Genius inventing the mosquito trap used for cattle. Banks was the principal scientist with quarantine authority, Biosecurity Australia, and heavily involved in protecting Australians from unwanted diseases and pests. Most of Dr Banks’ work involved preventing potentially devastating diseases making their way into Australia. He had been through Indonesia looking at the potential for foot and mouth disease to spread through the archipelago and into Australia. Other diseases he had fought to keep out of Australian livestock herds and fruit orchards include classical swine fever, Nipah virus and Japanese encephalitis.
#75:Dr. Douglas James Passaro, age 43. Died April 18, 2005 from unknown cause in Oak Park, Illinois. Dr. Passaro was a brilliant epidemiologist who wanted to unlock the secrets of a spiral-shaped bacteria that causes stomach disease. He was a professor who challenged his students with real-life exercises in bioterrorism. He was married to Dr. Sherry Nordstrom..
#74: Geetha Angara, age 43. Died: February 8, 2005. This formerly missing chemist was found in a Totowa, New Jersey water treatment plant’s tank. Angara, 43, of Holmdel, was last seen on the night of Feb. 8 doing water quality tests at the Passaic Valley Water Commission plant in Totowa, where she worked for 12 years. Divers found her body in a 35-foot-deep sump opening at the bottom of one of the emptied tanks. Investigators are treating Angara’s death as a possible homicide. Angara, a senior chemist with a doctorate from New York University, was married and mother of three.
#73: Jeong H. Im, age 72. Died: January 7, 2005. Korean Jeong H. Im, died of multiple stab wounds to the chest before firefighters found in his body in the trunk of a burning car on the third level of the Maryland Avenue Garage. A retired research assistant professor at the University of Missouri – Columbia and primarily a protein chemist, MUPD with the assistance of the Columbia Police Department and Columbia Fire Department are conducting a death investigation of the incident. A “person of interest” described as a male 6’–6’2″ wearing some type of mask possible a painters mask or drywall type mask was seen in the area of the Maryland Avenue Garage. Dr. Im was primarily a protein chemist and he was a researcher in the field.
#72: Darwin Kenneth Vest, born April 22, 1951, was an internationally renowned entomologist, expert on hobo spiders and other poisonous spiders and snakes. Darwin disappeared in the early morning hours of June 3, 1999 while walking in downtown Idaho Falls, Idaho (USA). The family believes foul play was involved in his disappearance. A celebration of Darwin’s life was held in Idaho Falls and Moscow on the one-year anniversary of his disappearance. The services included displays of Darwin’s work and thank you letters from school children and teachers. Memories of Darwin were shared by at least a dozen speakers from around the world and concluded with the placing of roses and a memorial wreath in the Snake River. A candlelight vigil was also held that evening on the banks of the Snake River.
Darwin was declared legally dead the first week of March 2004 and now the family is in the process of obtaining restraining orders against several companies who saw fit to use his name and photos without permission. His brother David is legal conservator of the estate and his sister Rebecca is handling issues related to Eagle Rock Research and ongoing research projects.
Media help in locating Darwin is welcome. Continuing efforts to solve this mystery include recent DNA sampling. Stories about his disappearance continue to appear throughout the world. Issues surrounding missing adult investigations have received new attention following the tragedies of 911.
#s70-71: Tom Thorne, age 64; Beth Williams, age 53; Died: December 29, 2004. Two wild life scientists, Husband-and-wife wildlife veterinarians who were nationally prominent experts on chronic wasting disease and brucellosis were killed in a snowy-weather crash on U.S. 287 in northern Colorado.
#69: Taleb Ibrahim al-Daher. Died: December 21, 2004. Iraqi nuclear scientist was shot dead north of Baghdad by unknown gunmen. He was on his way to work at Diyala University when armed men opened fire on his car as it was crossing a bridge in Baqouba, 57 km northeast of Baghdad. The vehicle swerved off the bridge and fell into the Khrisan river. Al-Daher, who was a professor at the local university, was removed from the submerged car and rushed to Baqouba hospital where he was pronounced dead.
#68: John R. La Montagne, age 61. Died: November 2, 2004. Died while in Mexico, no cause stated, later disclosed as pulmonary embolism. PhD, Head of US Infectious Diseases unit under Tommie Thompson. Was NIAID Deputy Director. Expert in AIDS Program work and Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
#67: Matthew Allison, age 32. Died: October 13, 2004. Fatal explosion of a car parked at an Osceola County, Fla., Wal-Mart store. It was no accident, Local 6 News has learned. Found inside a burned car. Witnesses said the man left the store at about 11 p.m. and entered his Ford Taurus car when it exploded. Investigators said they found a Duraflame log and propane canisters on the front passenger’s seat. Allison had a college degree in molecular biology and biotechnology.
#66: Mohammed Toki Hussein al-Talakani, age 40. Died: September 5, 2004: Iraqi nuclear scientist was shot dead in Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad. He was a practicing nuclear physicist since 1984.
#65: Professor John Clark, Age 52, Died: August 12, 2004. Found hanged in his holiday home. An expert in animal science and biotechnology where he developed techniques for the genetic modification of livestock; this work paved the way for the birth, in 1996, of Dolly the sheep, the first animal to have been cloned from an adult. Head of the science lab which created Dolly the sheep. Prof Clark led the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, one of the world s leading animal biotechnology research centers. He played a crucial role in creating the transgenic sheep that earned the institute worldwide fame. He was put in charge of a project to produce human proteins (which could be used in the treatment of human diseases) in sheep’s milk. Clark and his team focused their study on the production of the alpha-I-antitryps in protein, which is used for treatment of cystic fibrosis. Prof Clark also founded three spin-out firms from Roslin – PPL Therapeutics, Rosgen and Roslin BioMed.
#64: Dr. John Badwey, age 54. Died: July 21, 2004. Scientist and accidental politician when he opposed disposal of sewage waste program of exposing humans to sludge. Suddenly developed pneumonia like symptoms then died in two weeks. Biochemist at Harvard Medical School specializing in infectious diseases.
#63: Dr. Bassem al-Mudares. Died: July 21, 2004. Mutilated body was found in the city of Samarra, Iraq*. He was a Phd. chemist and had been tortured before being killed. He was a drug company worker who had a chemistry doctorate.
#62: Professor Stephen Tabet, age 42. Died on July 6, 2004 from an unknown illness. He was an associate professor and epidemiologist at the University of Washington. A world-renowned HIV doctor and researcher who worked with HIV patients in a vaccine clinical trial for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network
#61: Dr. Larry Bustard, age 53. Died July 2, 2004 from unknown causes. He was a Sandia scientist in the Department of Energy who helped develop a foam spray to clean up congressional buildings and media sites during the anthrax scare in 2001. He worked at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. As an expert in bioterrorism, his team came up with a new technology used against biological and chemical agents.
#60: Edward Hoffman, ag2. Die 6ed July 1, 2004 from unknown causes. Hoffman was a professor and a scientist who also held leadership positions within the UCLA medical community. He worked to develop the first human PET scanner in 1973 at Washington University in St. Louis.
#59: John Mullen, age 67. Died: June 29, 2004. A Nuclear physicist poisoned with a huge dose of arsenic. A nuclear research scientist with McDonnell Douglas. Police investigating will not say how Mullen was exposed to the arsenic or where it came from. At the time of his death he was doing contract work for Boeing.
#58: Dr. Paul Norman, age 52. Died: June 27, 2004. From Salisbury Wiltshire. Killed when the single-engine Cessna 206 he was piloting crashed in Devon. Expert in chemical and biological weapons. He traveled the world lecturing on defending against the scourge of weapons of mass destruction. He was married with a 14-year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter, and was the chief scientist for chemical and biological defense at the Ministry of Defense’s laboratory at Porton Down, Wiltshire. The crash site was examined by officials from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the wreckage of the aircraft was removed from the site to the AAIB base at Farnborough.
#57: Dr. Assefa Tulu, age 45. Died: June 24, 2004. Dr. Tulu joined the health department in 1997 and served for five years as the county’s lone epidemiologist. He was charged with trackcing the health of the county, including the spread of diseases, such as syphilis, AIDS and measles. He also designed a system for detecting a bioterrorism attack involving viruses or bacterial agents. Tulu often coordinated efforts to address major health concerns in Dallas County, such as the West Nile virus outbreaks of the past few years, and worked with the media to inform the public. Found face down, dead in his office. The Dallas County Epidemiologist died of a hemorrhagic stroke.
#56: Thomas Gold, age 84. Died: June 22, 2004. Austrian born Thomas Gold famous over the years for a variety of bold theories that flout conventional wisdom and reported in his 1998 book, “The Deep Hot Biosphere,” the idea challenges the accepted wisdom of how oil and natural gas are formed and, along the way, proposes a new theory of the beginnings of life on Earth and potentially on other planets. Long term battle with heart failure. Gold’s theory of the deep hot biosphere holds important ramifications for the possibility of life on other planets, including seemingly inhospitable planets within our own solar system. He was Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at Cornell University and was the founder (and for 20 years director) of Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space Research. He was also involved in air accident investigations.
#55: Antonina Presnyakova, age 46. Died: May 25, 2004. A Russian scientist at a former Soviet biological weapons laboratory in Siberia died after an accident with a needle laced with ebola. Scientists and officials said the accident had raised concerns about safety and secrecy at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, known as Vector, which in Soviet times specialized in turning deadly viruses into biological weapons. Vector has been a leading recipient of aid in an American program.
#54: Dr. Eugene Mallove, age 56. Died: May 14, 2004. Autopsy confirmed Mallove died as a result of several blunt-force injuries to his head and neck. Ruled as murder. Found at the end of his driveway. Alt. Energy Expert who was working on viable energy alternative program and announcement. Norwich Free Academy graduate.Beaten to death during an alleged robbery. Mallove was well respected for his knowledge of cold fusion. He had just published an “open letter” outlining the results of and reasons for his last 15 years in the field of “new energy research.” Dr. Mallove was convinced it was only a matter of months before the world would actually see a free energy device.
#53: William T. McGuire, age 39. Found May 5, 2004, last seen late April 2004. Body found in three suitcases floating in Chesapeake Bay. He was NJ University Professor and Senior programmer analyst and adjunct professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. He emerged as one of the world’s leading microbiologists and an expert in developing and overseeing multiple levels of biocontainment facilities.
#52: Ilsley Ingram, age 84. Died on April 12, 2004 from unknown causes. Ingram was Director of the Supraregional Haemophilia Reference Centre and the Supraregional Centre for the Diagnosis of Bleeding Disorders at the St. Thomas Hospital in London. Although his age is most likely the reason for his death, why wasn’t this confirmed by the family in the news media?
#51: Mohammed Munim al-Izmerly, Died: April 2004. This distinguished Iraqi chemistry professor died in American custody from a sudden hit to the back of his head caused by blunt trauma. It was uncertain exactly how he died, but someone had hit him from behind, possibly with a bar or a pistol. His battered corpse turned up at Baghdad’s morgue and the cause of death was initially recorded as “brainstem compression”. It was discovered that US doctors had made a 20cm incision in his skull.
#50: Vadake Srinivasan, Died: March 13, 2004.Microbiologist crashed car into guard rail in Baton Rouge, LA. Death was ruled a stroke. He was originally from India, was one of the most-accomplished and respected industrial biologists in academia, and held two doctorate degrees.
#49: Dr. Michael Patrick Kiley, age 62. Died: January 24, 2004. Died of massive heart attack. Ebola, Mad Cow Expert, top of the line world class. It is interesting to note, he had a good heart, but it “gave out”. Dr. Shope and Dr. Kiley were working on the lab upgrade to BSL 4 at the UTMB Galvaston lab for Homeland Security. The lab would have to be secure to house some of the deadliest pathogens of tropical and emerging infectious disease as well as bioweaponized ones.
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#48: Robert Shope, age 74. Died: January 23, 2004. Virus Expert Who Warned of Epidemics, Dies died of lung transplant complications. Later purported to have died of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis which can be caused by either environmental stimulus or a VIRUS. It would not be hard to administer a drug that would cause Dr. Shope’s lung transplant to either be rejected or to cause complications from the transplant. Dr. Shope led the group of scientists who had an 11 MILLION dollar fed grant to ensure the new lab would keep in the nasty bugs. Dr. Shope also met with and worked with Dr. Mike Kiley on the UTMB Galveston lab upgrade to BSL 4. When the upgrade would be complete the lab will host the most hazardous pathogens known to man especially tropical and emerging diseases as well as bioweapons.
#47: Dr Richard Stevens, age 54. Died: January 6, 2004. He had disappeared after arriving for work on 21 July, 2003. A doctor whose disappearance sparked a national manhunt, killed himself because he could not cope with the stress of a secret affair, a coroner has ruled. He was a hematologist. (hematologists analyze the cellular composition of blood and blood producing tissues e.g. bone marrow).