Skip to comments.Adelaide equipment 'saved bin Laden'
Posted on 08/30/2005 10:15:07 AM PDT by LibWhacker
CODAN, an Adelaide company that supplies remote-area long-distance communications to Afghanistan, may inadvertently have helped al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden escape a US missile strike.
The Institute for War and Peace Reporting, a news agency that works closely with local people in war situations, reported in late 2001 that the al-Qaeda leader escaped from a house in Kabul three hours before it was hit. Quoting an al-Qaeda source, the report said terrorist spotters across Afghanistan had used the sophisticated Codan radio network to warn bin Laden of the approaching missile attack.
"Bin Laden's foreign legion is equipped with a sophisticated Codan radio network of the type used by the UN and aid workers in places such as Afghanistan," the report said.
The ABC reported yesterday that an al-Qaeda operative, Mohamedou Slahi, had ordered radio communications equipment from Codan earlier that year. Operating under the trading name BITS, Slahi paid Codan in May 2001 for unspecified goods and a detailed quote was prepared for more than $32,000 worth of equipment, according to the ABC.
In Adelaide, Codan's chief finance and information officer, David Hughes, said the company would never knowingly sell its products for use in terrorist or criminal activity. Since September 11, it regularly checked US State Department and Australian Government websites that carried lists of known terrorist organisations.
"We take this pretty seriously," Mr Hughes said. "We do the best we reasonably can to make sure our products don't fall into the wrong hands.
"We sell through an extensive distribution network around the world and we routinely visit these customers and do what we can to ensure their bona fides are correct. Beyond that, without being a specialist security organisation it is difficult to do much more."
He said the company had no first-hand knowledge of its equipment being sold to or used by al-Qaeda. Following the ABC's disclosures, he said the company would work with Government security agencies to keep its equipment out of terrorists' hands.
Codan is a local success story that began in the 1950s and developed long-range communications equipment for use in the bush. Its products have become increasingly sophisticated and its communications and TV broadcast equipment favoured by the UN and aid agencies is sold in 150 countries.
It specialises in remote, high-frequency and microwave communications and its voice-encrypted transmitters can transfer signals over thousands of kilometres by bouncing off the ionosphere.
Two years ago, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Dr Robert Finn, announced that the US would pay for a Codan communications network across Afghanistan, linking Kabul with its 32 provincial governments.
Great! Another dem distraction piece designed to lead any inverstigation away from the truth! Wilie was paid with Saudi money and Iraqi oil voucher money to "miss" OBL. Had nothing to do with Aussie technology. Willie's people called OBL's people and told them a time. Easy-peasy!!
How did 'al Qaeda spotters' know a missile was launched and that it was heading for bin Ladin? This is fishy. SOunds like another AQ lie.
3 hours? Would the missiles have even been launched by then?
'Ya got me! By eavesdropping maybe? Can't believe our military communications are susceptible to al Qaeda eavesdroppers, though. I was hoping someone else knew. Never heard of Codan either.
I could be wrong but I have a hard time believing this story. For it to be true, that would have had to be the slowest moving cruise missile in history. A cruise missile would cover a lot of distance in 3 hours and Afganistan just isn't all that big.
It's been said that the Serbs had 'spotters' outside the USAF base at Aviana (Italy) that gave advance warning of a strike. May have factored-in to the loss of a Stealth Fighter.
In this case, I think that the cruise missiles were launched from ships. So unless Bin Laden had people out there in the Indian Ocean or Arabian Sea I think he just lucked-out.
The newer air-launched cruise missiles are listed with a speed of up to about 600 mph. Heck, even the older Tomahawks do 550 mph.