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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial


Post 9/11/01 Killings of Individuals

Assassination of foreign nationals designated as "enemy combatants" has been a stated policy of the Bush administration since the issuance of several executive orders since late 2001. Assassination of citizens has not been acknowledged, but there are ominous cases suggesting the possibility that people not involved in armed struggles have been targeted for assassination.

Mysterious Deaths of Microbiologists

In November of 2001, a series of mysterious deaths of renowned microbiologists started. Sixteen died within five months, most having been murdered or killed under unusual circumstances.

  • On November 12, 2001, Dr. Benito Que, 52, was killed in a carjacking, later deemed a possible stroke. Que was an expert in infectious diseases and cellular biology at the Miami Medical School. 1  
  • On November 16, Don Wiley's body was found in the Mississippi River. 2   Wiley, 57, was one of the world's leading researchers of deadly viruses.
  • On November 21, Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, 64, was killed by a stroke. He was an expert in the weaponization of germs and viruses. 3  
  • On November 24, three microbiologists died when a Swissair flight from Berlin to Zurich crashed. Dr. Yaakov Matzner, dean of the Hebrew University school of medicine; Amiramp Eldor, head of the hematology department at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and a world-recognized expert in blood clotting; and Avishai Berkman, director of the Tel Aviv public health department and businessman. 4  
  • On December 10, Dr. Robert Schwartz, 57, was stabbed and slashed with what police believe was a sword in his farmhouse in Leesburg, Virginia. Schwartz worked at Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology on DNA sequencing and pathogenic microorganisms. 5  
  • On December 14, Nguyen Van Set, 44, died in an airlock in his lab. His organization had just discovered a virus which can be modified to affect smallpox. 6  
  • In January, 2002, Ivan Glebov was killed in a bandit attack and Alexi Brushlinski was killed in Moscow. Both were world-renowned and members of the Russian Academy of Science. 7  
  • On February 9, Victor Korshunov, 56, was killed by a cranial injury. He was the head of the microbiology sub-faculty at the Russian State Medical University. 8  
  • On February 11, Ian Langford, 40, was murdered in his home. He was one of Europe's leading experts on environmental risk. 9  
  • On February 28, Tanya Holzmayer, 46, and Guyang Huang, 38, were killed in an alleged murder/suicide incident. Holzmayer helped create drugs that interfere with replication of the HIV virus, and Huang was a highly-regarded scholar in genetics. 10  
  • On March 24, David Wynn-Williams, 55, was killed while jogging. He was an astrobiologist with NASA Ames Research Center. 11  
  • On March 25, Steven Mostow, 63, was killed in a private plane crash. He was an expert on bioterrorism threats. 12  

Execution-Style Killings by Law Officers in the US

On December 2nd, 2001, two Vermont police officers executed an asylum seeker in a church. The resources of Vermont's Attorney General's office were employed to produce a cover-up of the killing.

On December 7, 2005, federal air marshals shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar as he attempted to disembark from an American Airlines 757 while it was parked at the gate in Miami International Airport. Alpizar was shot to death while he was on the jetway. Marshals contend they heard Alpizar say something about a bomb. However, several passengers have stated that they never heard him say anything about a bomb. He was unarmed, and had cleared all of the security checks. 13   John McAlhany described passengers being threatened at gunpoint for merely attempting to witness the incident.

I was on the phone with my brother. Somebody came down the aisle and put a shotgun to the back of my head and said put your hands on the seat in front of you. I got my cell phone karate chopped out of my hand. Then I realized it was an official. 14  

White House spokesman Scott McClellan immediately defended the marshals' action. 15  


1. Scientists' Deaths are Under the Microscope, Globe and Mail, 5/4/02 [cached]
2. Police identify body found in Mississippi River as missing scientist, CNN, 12/22/01 [cached]
3. V. Pasechnik, 64, Is Dead, Germ Expert Who Defected, New York Times, 11/23/01 [cached]
4. Singer dies in Swiss plane crash, CNN, 11/25/01 [cached]
5. Scientist Found Slain In His Loudoun Home, Washington Post, 12/12/01 [cached]
6. Scientist dies in lab airlock, Sydney Morning Herald, 12/12/01 [cached]
7. A Moscow band hunting for heads. For scientists heads, Pravda, 2/9/02 [cached]
8. A Moscow band hunting for heads. For scientists heads,
9. Mystery death of scientist, London Times, 2/13/02 [cached]
10. Pizza Delivery May Have Been Ambush, San Jose Mercury News, 2/28/02 [cached]
11. Obituary: David Wynn-Williams, London Times, 3/27/02 [cached]
12. Victims Identified in Fatal Plane Crash, KUSA TV/NBC, 3/26/02 [cached]
13. Witnesses in Miami airport shooting differ on whether Alpizar made bomb threat, NewsDay.com, 12/9/05 [cached]
14. Eyewitness: I Never Heard the Word 'Bomb', time.com, 12/8/05 [cached]
15. Fretful Passenger, Turmoil on Jet and Fatal Shots, theledger.com, 12/9/05 [cached]

page last modified: 2010-08-06