Did bin Laden buy bioterror?

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Did bin Laden buy bioterror?

1999 testimony says he did

Erin McCormick, Lance Williams, Chronicle Staff Writers Sunday, October 21, 2001 2001 San Francisco Chronicle

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/10/21/MN197841.DTL

Evidence in an Egyptian terrorism trial two years ago included claims that Osama bin Laden already had dangerous biological agents in his arsenal.

Moreover, a ranking terrorist affiliated with bin Laden told a journalist during that trial that the Saudi-born financier of terror and his top aide, Islamic Jihad leader Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, had purchased biological and chemical agents and drawn up a list of 100 U.S. and Israeli targets on which to unleash them.

Testimony in that trial and other court proceedings in the United States have told of bin Laden and his operatives negotiating to buy such deadly materials as anthrax, the Ebola virus and bomb-grade uranium for creating weapons of mass destruction.

In U.S. trials this year, one former bin Laden deputy testified he met with black-market figures to try to buy a cylinder of enriched uranium that could be used in nuclear weapons construction, while another claimed al Qaeda was conducting chemical weapons experiments on dogs.

However, there is much debate among terrorism experts about whether bin Laden's network actually has such sophisticated weapons capabilities.

"Everybody knows (bin Laden) has been trying to get his hands on whatever weapons he can," said Harvey Kushner, an international terrorism expert and professor of criminology at Long Island State University. "Does he have them? We don't know."

PURCHASES IN EASTERN EUROPE Ahmad Salamah Mabruk, military commander of Islamic Jihad and No. 2 to al- Zawahiri in that organization, claimed that he does.

During the 1999 Egyptian trial of 107 suspected terrorists, Mabruk talked to a reporter from the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat about al Qaeda's "biological and chemical weapons."

"He said to me that al-Zawahiri and bin Laden (had purchased) the weapons from countries in Eastern Europe," reporter Mohammed Salah told The Chronicle in a phone interview from Cairo.

Mabruk spoke of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri having a list of 100 targets worldwide, all related to the United States or Israel, Salah reported.

"This was a big scoop in my opinion, but the Americans didn't read this article," Salah said. "They come now to try to understand what happened (in court) two years ago."

During the trial, Egyptian military investigators told the court that defendants had reported the purchase of dangerous biological agents by bin Laden associates, through the mail, for as little as $3,865, "shipping included."

Egyptian government documents detailing the confessions, described in the Arabic press, said that factories in Eastern Europe offered to sell the viruses that cause Ebola and salmonella poisoning to bin Laden's associates -- without asking what the group planned to do with them.

The accused terrorists also claimed to have made agreements to buy "samples of anthrax" from a factory in Southeast Asia and a culture of the paralyzing botulinum bacteria from a lab in the Czech Republic for $7,500.

TRUTH OR BRAVADO? Still, the 1999 claims that bin Laden had actually obtained biological and chemical weapons left authorities "a little bit confounded," said Khalid Duran,

a terrorism expert who has written about the 1999 Islamic Jihad case.

"They wondered what's actually going on," he said. "Is this really true, does he really have these weapons, or is it some kind of boasting" by a terrorist facing a long prison sentence?

Duran said he is personally convinced that al Qaeda has indeed obtained deadly substances that could be fashioned into weapons, but probably only small quantities.

"The nature of his clandestine war requires secrecy, and (secrecy) is difficult to maintain when you have huge stores" of hazardous materials, he said.

Elisa Harris, a former National Security Council staff director who specialized in preventing the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons,

said she doubts al Qaeda has the technical know-how to handle true biological weapons.

"Just because you have a vial of raw seed stock (for anthrax) doesn't mean you have a weapon," said Harris, now a research fellow at the University of Maryland.

Kimberly McCloud, analyst with the Monterey Institute's Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said bin Laden might easily acquire the capability for something like the recent anthrax mailings to the U.S. Senate and media outlets if he hooked up with another terrorist group or a nation, like Iraq, that has been researching such weapons for decades.

"Even if bin Laden never had biological weapons capabilities, he could have connected with someone who did," she said.

Terrorism experts say getting nuclear or chemical weapons to work also would present huge technical challenges for an organization like al Qaeda.

VARIOUS REPORTS There have been numerous accounts of bin Laden's attempts to acquire and master such weapons, both in open court testimony and in less reliable reports attributed to international intelligence agencies.

-- This year, at the trial of terrorists accused in the 1998 bombings of U. S. embassies in Africa, a former top bin Laden aide recounted being sent to start negotiations with a former Sudanese government official who claimed to be willing to sell a cylinder of uranium to al Qaeda for $1.5 million.

Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl helped run al Qaeda's finances until he got caught embezzling bin Laden money and became a U.S. government informant in 1996. He told the court he was sent to meet with former Sudanese President Salah Abdel al Mobruk in 1993 to examine the alleged nuclear material, contained in a 2- foot-long cylinder that bore a South African stamp.

One of the former Sudanese official's associates asked him, "Are you serious? You want to buy uranium?" al-Fadl recounted in his testimony. "I told him, 'Yes. I know people. They are very serious, and they want to buy it.' "

When asked in court why al Qaeda sought the purchase, al-Fadl explained, "It's easy to kill more people with uranium."

After meeting with the alleged uranium dealers twice, al-Fadl said, he hooked them up with another bin Laden associate who planned to use an electronic device to test the cylinder. He said he never found out if the material was real or whether the purchase was completed.

-- Arabic press accounts, reportedly based on information leaked by Russian intelligence agencies in 1998, said bin Laden operatives once attempted to trade $30 million in cash and two tons of Afghan opium for Soviet warheads obtained by Chechen organized crime figures. Eventually, bin Laden planned to obtain or develop a portable, nuclear "suitcase bomb," the reports said.

-- Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in connection with a failed plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport, testified earlier this year that al Qaeda was experimenting with cyanide gas for use in terror attacks.

In a trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Ressam said he and other guerrilla fighters participated in an experiment at one of bin Laden's Afghanistan training camps in which a dog was killed with cyanide gas. The men were preparing for a planned attack in which cyanide was to be pumped into the ventilation system of an office building, he said.

-- The New York Times quoted intelligence sources earlier this year as saying nerve gas experiments have been conducted on dogs, rabbits and other animals at a bin Laden camp for training terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. It said satellite surveillance photos and other information sources indicated that terrorists at the camp, called Abu Khabab, tested chemical and poison bombs on animals tethered to posts at firing ranges.

-- Terrorism expert Duran said he had learned of phone conversations among suspected al Qaeda operatives, monitored by German authorities, in which the men seemed to discuss barrels of a poison gas that the group had stockpiled somewhere in France.

The suspected terrorists reportedly talked about an operation in which a suicide commando would be used to open the container and release the poison in an effort to kill "all living beings in a fairly wide radius."

Bin Laden himself has made it clear that he considers obtaining weapons of mass destruction a priority.

"If I seek to acquire such weapons, this is a religious duty," he told ABC News in 1998. "How we use them is up to us."

E-mail Erin McCormick at emccormick@sfchronicle.com and Lance Williams at lmwilliams@sfchronicle.com.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/10/21/MN197841.DTL&type=printable

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), October 21, 2001

Answers

test -- IGNORE

Since the beginning of October, WFP and its partner non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have delivered food rations for two million people inside Afghanistan - equivalent to one third of the total number of Afghans who need food aid.

WFP food convoys: latest

WFP has been able to step up deliveries from countries neighbouring Afghanistan

Peshawar, North West Pakistan: today, WFP loaded 1,500 metric tonnes of food aid

WFP food aid deliveries into Afghanistan continue from both Tajikistan and Iran

-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 29, 2001.


test -- IGNORE

Since the beginning of October, WFP and its partner non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have delivered food rations for two million people inside Afghanistan - equivalent to one third of the total number of Afghans who need food aid.

WFP food convoys: latest

WFP has been able to step up deliveries from countries neighbouring Afghanistan

Peshawar, North West Pakistan: today, WFP loaded 1,500 metric tonnes of food aid

WFP food aid deliveries into Afghanistan continue from both Tajikistan and Iran

=================

US arranges food convoys from IRAN --

Afghan Food Delivery to Transit Iran

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has agreed to allow the delivery of U.S. food aid through its territory to Afghanistan and the construction of a refugee camp on its soil near the border, relief officials said.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic revolution. But as Washington has been putting together an anti-terror coalition the past month, delicate communications have been passed between the two countries.

Marius de Gaay Fortman, a coordinator for the World Food Program, said 45,000 tons of American wheat will arrive in Iran in early November to be delivered to the Afghan people through Iran.

A U.S. ship delivering the wheat will not come to Iran, he said, but rather the supplies will be transferred to another ship provided by the agency in international or Pakistani waters.

Fortman told reporters that another 20,000 tons of wheat donated by the United States will arrive in Pakistan early November, and by December there will be a consignment of 100,000 tons of American wheat for Afghanistan through Iran and Pakistan.

Iran accepted U.S. relief for itself - delivered through international agencies - after destructive earthquakes in 1997 and 1990. This was the first time the government has accepted to open the way for U.S aid on route for Afghanistan. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said in Washington that Iran has conveyed to the United States through Swiss intermediaries that it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found in distress on its territory.

Tehran has also allowed refugee camps to be set up on its territory just along the border with Afghanistan in case of an influx of people fleeing the fighting, a Red Cross official said. Iran, already home to some 2 million Afghan refugees, has resisted accepting more in the current crisis.

Setting up the camps at the border will allow easy access to refugees and facilitate relief operations, Astrid Heiberg, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told a news conference.

Heiberg said concern is growing that a large number of Afghans will head to the Iranian border as fighting escalates inside Afghanistan and winter approaches. She did not elaborate.

Iran's top decision-making body, the Supreme National Security Council, made the decision on the camps Wednesday after the Taliban refused to allow the camps in Afghanistan, Ahmad Ali Norbala, head of the Iran Red Crescent Society, said at the news conference.

International aid workers pulled out of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, leaving local staffers to try to run the operations.

In Vienna, Austria, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, said Thursday that so far Afghans have not fled in high numbers into neighboring nations, rather they have been fleeing cities to hide in the countryside

But the commissioner is preparing for the worst case scenario of 1.5 million refugees as the crisis sharpens. So far, bout 50,000 Afghan refugees have arrived in Pakistan since Sept. 11.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/ap/20011018/wl/attacks_iran_1.html



-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 29, 2001.


One idea is that the US should stop the war once 6,000 people are killed there. Given the near cessation of food aid, this figure is probably close to being reached already. Mark Robinowitz

Man you are either extremely careless or you purposefully try and spread false information! After reading many of your posts, I suspect is is both!

Check the source of how food aid is going.

It is FAR from "near cessation".

all one has to do is look at the daily update from World Food Program (www.wfp.org)

From todays report --

Since the beginning of October, WFP and its partner non- governmental organisations (NGOs) have delivered food rations for two million people inside Afghanistan - equivalent to one third of the total number of Afghans who need food aid.

WFP food convoys: latest 10/29/01

WFP has been able to step up deliveries from countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

Peshawar, North West Pakistan: today, WFP loaded 1,500 metric tonnes of food aid.

WFP food aid deliveries into Afghanistan continue from both Tajikistan and Iran

=================

WHY are they able to "step up delivery"??

Because the US arranges food convoys, to deliver US aid, from IRAN

=================

Afghan Food Delivery to Transit Iran

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has agreed to allow the delivery of U.S. food aid through its territory to Afghanistan and the construction of a refugee camp on its soil near the border, relief officials said.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic revolution. But as Washington has been putting together an anti-terror coalition the past month, delicate communications have been passed between the two countries.

Marius de Gaay Fortman, a coordinator for the World Food Program, said 45,000 tons of American wheat will arrive in Iran in early November to be delivered to the Afghan people through Iran.

A U.S. ship delivering the wheat will not come to Iran, he said, but rather the supplies will be transferred to another ship provided by the agency in international or Pakistani waters.

Fortman told reporters that another 20,000 tons of wheat donated by the United States will arrive in Pakistan early November, and by December there will be a consignment of 100,000 tons of American wheat for Afghanistan through Iran and Pakistan.

Iran accepted U.S. relief for itself - delivered through international agencies - after destructive earthquakes in 1997 and 1990. This was the first time the government has accepted to open the way for U.S aid on route for Afghanistan. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said in Washington that Iran has conveyed to the United States through Swiss intermediaries that it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found in distress on its territory.

Tehran has also allowed refugee camps to be set up on its territory just along the border with Afghanistan in case of an influx of people fleeing the fighting, a Red Cross official said. Iran, already home to some 2 million Afghan refugees, has resisted accepting more in the current crisis.

Setting up the camps at the border will allow easy access to refugees and facilitate relief operations, Astrid Heiberg, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told a news conference.

Heiberg said concern is growing that a large number of Afghans will head to the Iranian border as fighting escalates inside Afghanistan and winter approaches. She did not elaborate.

Iran's top decision-making body, the Supreme National Security Council, made the decision on the camps Wednesday after the Taliban refused to allow the camps in Afghanistan, Ahmad Ali Norbala, head of the Iran Red Crescent Society, said at the news conference.

International aid workers pulled out of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, leaving local staffers to try to run the operations.

In Vienna, Austria, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, said Thursday that so far Afghans have not fled in high numbers into neighboring nations, rather they have been fleeing cities to hide in the countryside

But the commissioner is preparing for the worst case scenario of 1.5 million refugees as the crisis sharpens. So far, bout 50,000 Afghan refugees have arrived in Pakistan since Sept. 11.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/ap/20011018/wl/attacks_iran_1.html



-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 29, 2001.


One idea is that the US should stop the war once 6,000 people are killed there. Given the near cessation of food aid, this figure is probably close to being reached already. Mark Robinowitz

Man you are either extremely careless or you purposefully try and spread false information! After reading many of your posts, I suspect is is both!

Check the source of how food aid is going.

It is FAR from "near cessation".

all one has to do is look at the daily update from World Food Program (www.wfp.org)

From todays report --

Since the beginning of October, WFP and its partner non- governmental organisations (NGOs) have delivered food rations for two million people inside Afghanistan - equivalent to one third of the total number of Afghans who need food aid.

WFP food convoys: latest 10/29/01

WFP has been able to step up deliveries from countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

Peshawar, North West Pakistan: today, WFP loaded 1,500 metric tonnes of food aid.

WFP food aid deliveries into Afghanistan continue from both Tajikistan and Iran

=================

WHY are they able to "step up delivery"??

Because the US arranges food convoys, to deliver US aid, from IRAN

=================

Afghan Food Delivery to Transit Iran

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has agreed to allow the delivery of U.S. food aid through its territory to Afghanistan and the construction of a refugee camp on its soil near the border, relief officials said.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic revolution. But as Washington has been putting together an anti-terror coalition the past month, delicate communications have been passed between the two countries.

Marius de Gaay Fortman, a coordinator for the World Food Program, said 45,000 tons of American wheat will arrive in Iran in early November to be delivered to the Afghan people through Iran.

A U.S. ship delivering the wheat will not come to Iran, he said, but rather the supplies will be transferred to another ship provided by the agency in international or Pakistani waters.

Fortman told reporters that another 20,000 tons of wheat donated by the United States will arrive in Pakistan early November, and by December there will be a consignment of 100,000 tons of American wheat for Afghanistan through Iran and Pakistan.

Iran accepted U.S. relief for itself - delivered through international agencies - after destructive earthquakes in 1997 and 1990. This was the first time the government has accepted to open the way for U.S aid on route for Afghanistan. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said in Washington that Iran has conveyed to the United States through Swiss intermediaries that it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found in distress on its territory.

Tehran has also allowed refugee camps to be set up on its territory just along the border with Afghanistan in case of an influx of people fleeing the fighting, a Red Cross official said. Iran, already home to some 2 million Afghan refugees, has resisted accepting more in the current crisis.

Setting up the camps at the border will allow easy access to refugees and facilitate relief operations, Astrid Heiberg, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told a news conference.

Heiberg said concern is growing that a large number of Afghans will head to the Iranian border as fighting escalates inside Afghanistan and winter approaches. She did not elaborate.

Iran's top decision-making body, the Supreme National Security Council, made the decision on the camps Wednesday after the Taliban refused to allow the camps in Afghanistan, Ahmad Ali Norbala, head of the Iran Red Crescent Society, said at the news conference.

International aid workers pulled out of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, leaving local staffers to try to run the operations.

In Vienna, Austria, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, said Thursday that so far Afghans have not fled in high numbers into neighboring nations, rather they have been fleeing cities to hide in the countryside

But the commissioner is preparing for the worst case scenario of 1.5 million refugees as the crisis sharpens. So far, bout 50,000 Afghan refugees have arrived in Pakistan since Sept. 11.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/ap/20011018/wl/attacks_iran_1.html



-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 29, 2001.


One idea is that the US should stop the war once 6,000 people are killed there. Given the near cessation of food aid, this figure is probably close to being reached already. Mark Robinowitz

Man you are either extremely careless or you purposefully try and spread false information! After reading many of your posts, I suspect is is both!

Check the source of how food aid is going.

It is FAR from "near cessation".

all one has to do is look at the daily update from World Food Program (www.wfp.org)

From todays report --

Since the beginning of October, WFP and its partner non- governmental organisations (NGOs) have delivered food rations for two million people inside Afghanistan - equivalent to one third of the total number of Afghans who need food aid.

WFP food convoys: latest 10/29/01

WFP has been able to step up deliveries from countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

Peshawar, North West Pakistan: today, WFP loaded 1,500 metric tonnes of food aid.

WFP food aid deliveries into Afghanistan continue from both Tajikistan and Iran

=================

WHY are they able to "step up delivery"??

Because the US arranges food convoys, to deliver US aid, from IRAN

=================

Afghan Food Delivery to Transit Iran

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has agreed to allow the delivery of U.S. food aid through its territory to Afghanistan and the construction of a refugee camp on its soil near the border, relief officials said.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 Islamic revolution. But as Washington has been putting together an anti-terror coalition the past month, delicate communications have been passed between the two countries.

Marius de Gaay Fortman, a coordinator for the World Food Program, said 45,000 tons of American wheat will arrive in Iran in early November to be delivered to the Afghan people through Iran.

A U.S. ship delivering the wheat will not come to Iran, he said, but rather the supplies will be transferred to another ship provided by the agency in international or Pakistani waters.

Fortman told reporters that another 20,000 tons of wheat donated by the United States will arrive in Pakistan early November, and by December there will be a consignment of 100,000 tons of American wheat for Afghanistan through Iran and Pakistan.

Iran accepted U.S. relief for itself - delivered through international agencies - after destructive earthquakes in 1997 and 1990. This was the first time the government has accepted to open the way for U.S aid on route for Afghanistan. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said in Washington that Iran has conveyed to the United States through Swiss intermediaries that it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found in distress on its territory.

Tehran has also allowed refugee camps to be set up on its territory just along the border with Afghanistan in case of an influx of people fleeing the fighting, a Red Cross official said. Iran, already home to some 2 million Afghan refugees, has resisted accepting more in the current crisis.

Setting up the camps at the border will allow easy access to refugees and facilitate relief operations, Astrid Heiberg, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told a news conference.

Heiberg said concern is growing that a large number of Afghans will head to the Iranian border as fighting escalates inside Afghanistan and winter approaches. She did not elaborate.

Iran's top decision-making body, the Supreme National Security Council, made the decision on the camps Wednesday after the Taliban refused to allow the camps in Afghanistan, Ahmad Ali Norbala, head of the Iran Red Crescent Society, said at the news conference.

International aid workers pulled out of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States, leaving local staffers to try to run the operations.

In Vienna, Austria, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, said Thursday that so far Afghans have not fled in high numbers into neighboring nations, rather they have been fleeing cities to hide in the countryside

But the commissioner is preparing for the worst case scenario of 1.5 million refugees as the crisis sharpens. So far, bout 50,000 Afghan refugees have arrived in Pakistan since Sept. 11.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/ap/20011018/wl/attacks_iran_1.html



-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), October 29, 2001.



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