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Startling implications of a Jihadi letter
American Thinker ^ | November 09, 2007 | Ray Robison

Posted on 11/09/2007 11:03:03 AM PST by neverdem

New light is being shed on the 2001 anthrax attacks in a fascinating open letter to Ayman al Zawahiri of al Qaeda, written by a jihadi living in London.

Numan Bin Uthman, a former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, provides yet more evidence that the global Islamic jihad movement is losing its resolve.  But the letter contains a startling admission. Uthman tells us of a conversation he had with al Qaeda leaders before the 9/11 attacks in which he urged them not to use WMD. From AKI News:

Uthman also said that he had taken part in an important al-Qaeda summit in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2000, in which al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had defined search for and use of weapons of mass destruction as a "Sharia obligation".

"During this occasion, I had a strong dispute with the martyr Abu Hafs al-Kumandan, because he was heavily involved in acquiring weapons of mass destruction," he said in the letter.
I was unfamiliar with the name "al Kumandan" but there is a well known al Qaeda leader named Abu Hafs who is a "martyr" and was killed by U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. Looking up Kumandan on the internet I found a reference and it seems to mean "commander". Abu Hafs has been identified as Usama bin Laden's WMD chaser. He fits Uthman's description. He was the number three man in al Qaeda.

Controversial informant Ibn Sheik al Libi identified Abu Hafs, otherwise known as Mohammad Atef as a contact between al Qaeda and the Saddam regime for procurement of WMD, before he recanted.

In a previous article I noted that a new al Qaeda document matched very well with a Saddam regime document. The linkage between the documents gave a chain of command and time-line from a Saddam regime order to "hunt Americans" in Somalia followed by a Abu Hafs order just two days later that would lead to that ultimate end. 

I have also argued publicly that the 2001 anthrax attack makes a lot more sense as a continuation of the 9/11 attacks than as the plot of some embittered scientist. If al Qaeda did perform the anthrax attack, I consider it likely that Abu Hafs most likely obtained anthrax from Iraq, through his relationship to the Saddam regime in his position as WMD chaser.Former CIA Director George Tenet confirmed in his book At The Eye of the Storm that a second al Qaeda source backed up this connection; there is further evidence of collaberation. It didn't have to be much; just a small sample, a pound or two easily smuggled out of Iraq.

Uthman continues:

"He wanted to use these weapons to dissuade the United State from attacking Afghanistan. And yet I knew that al-Qaeda did not have any strategic vision and would have used the weapons to kill indiscriminately and not to dissuade".
Now consider this: you plan to conduct an attack (9/11) and you expect retaliation. One tactic to counter the threat of invasion would be to make the enemy believe he will endure a devastating biological attack (or mutually assured destruction, to resurrect an antiquated term).

But having WMD and using WMD are two different things. It is well known that before the Gulf War Saddam Hussein had massive stockpiles and the ability to soak the battlefield in WMD. However, he did not use them, partially because President George H.W. Bush promised nuclear retaliation if Saddam used WMD. Saddam had them but did not have the will to use them against U.S. forces; he wasn't willing to accept the consequences.

But what if we had known he had the will? What if Saddam had proved beyond a doubt that an invasion would have been met with WMD? Would that have been a successful deterrent? Quite possibly it might have.

Now consider the possibility that al Qaeda leaders believed we would retaliate for 9/11 and decided that they would have to prove they not only had WMD but also the will to use WMD. How would they do that?

One very solid way would be to launch a small scale WMD attack in the United States as a demonstration. Remember, Uthman said,
"He wanted to use these weapons to dissuade the United State from attacking Afghanistan."
Of course, he doesn't say if this is directly related to 9/11. He may have meant that before 9/11 UBL  wanted WMD to keep us out of Afghanistan. But remember, this whole conversation takes place in the context of procuring WMD as a duty of jihad. And prior to this, Usama bin Laden had already declared war on the United States. I think the rest of his statements make it clear what he meant.

Remember, he said "And yet I knew that al-Qaeda did not have any strategic vision and would have used the weapons to kill indiscriminately and not to dissuade". The word "indiscriminately" as used here sounds an awful lot like he means a terrorist attack without actually having to say terrorist and thereby validate the term. Jihadis find it very important to invalidate that concept (along with "war on terror") in order to convince other Muslims that it is really a war on Islam.

Uthman continues:

"At that time I said that provoking the United States would turn them against the Taliban and by striking the country in an unconventional way would bring occupation to the entire Middle East and not only Afghanistan and that's what's happened," he said.
Uthman clearly is indicating that he warned Usama bin Laden and Mohammad Atef not to strike the U.S. in an "unconventional way" which is one way to describe an attack with WMD or unconventional weapons. He highlights that he claimed the war would spread to the Middle East "and that's what's happened". He means he warned al Qaeda that the war would spread to Iraq if they used WMD.

Considering that the world (minus the bulk of the American press) now sees that it is quite likely the U.S. will defeat al Qaeda in Iraq, Uthman has clearly written an "I told you so" to Zawahiri.

He speaks circumspectly, so as not to admit too much that would support the case made by the Bush Administration, but his meaning is clear. Uthman has become convinced that Usama bin Laden has lost the war in Iraq, has lost his credibility and lays it all at the feet of his use of anthrax on the United States. Of course, the vagaries of his statement will be exploited with alternate theories by liberals bent on denying the al Qaeda threat and George Bush's success. All I ask is for the fair minded to keep Uthman's statements in context to get the big picture here.

Now let's put that big picture together.

Uthman says he tried to talk Mohammad Atef and Usama bin Laden out of using WMD in a terrorist attack to convince the U.S. not to retaliate in Afghanistan because it would ultimately spread to Iraq.

Why would Uthman expect this? I can think of one salient reason.

Because he knew that al Qaeda was planning an Anthrax attack with weaponized anthrax provide by Saddam Hussein.

H/T Mata Harley

TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1996; 1999; 200110; 200201; 911attacks; abdulrahman; abuhafs; abuwael; abuwail; afghanistan; alhawali; alkumandan; allibi; alqaeda; alzawahiri; amerithrax; amesstrain; ansaralislam; anthrax; anthraxattacks; atcc; atef; aymanalzawahiri; azzam; binladen; binuthman; biopreparat; blindsheik; blindsheikh; caliphate; darpa; declarationofwar; documents; domesticterrorism; egyptians; fallschurch; fallschurchcell; georgemason; gmu; hawali; hekmatyar; iana; ibnsheikallibi; imminenthorizon; iraq; iraqi; isis; kandahar; kenalibek; kumandan; libya; libyans; microbiologist; mohammadatef; mullahkrekar; numanbinuthman; opimminenthorizon; osamabinladen; portondown; raufahmad; saddamhussein; salafists; sedition; shariaobligation; somalia; taliban; terrocharities; threatletter; uk; uthman; warningletter; whywefight; wmd; zawahiri
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1 posted on 11/09/2007 11:03:04 AM PST by neverdem
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To: jveritas; eyespysomething


2 posted on 11/09/2007 11:05:37 AM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

OK. Do we need more evidence to convince us that mass deportation is the answer?

3 posted on 11/09/2007 11:11:39 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: neverdem

The writer wins the award for the most tenuous and convoluted 9/11-to-Saddam link yet. He’s probably good at the Kevin Bacon game, too.

4 posted on 11/09/2007 11:12:37 AM PST by Deathmonger
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To: neverdem

Interesting article.

5 posted on 11/09/2007 11:34:15 AM PST by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.)
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To: neverdem
Numan Bin Uthman

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

6 posted on 11/09/2007 12:08:11 PM PST by rfp1234 (Mundus vult decipi: the world wants to be deceived. ---James Branch Cabell)
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged
<< sarc>>Nonsense! Everybody KNOWS that the anthrax letters were sent by a lone white male.<< /sarc>>
7 posted on 11/09/2007 12:28:37 PM PST by InABunkerUnderSF ("Gun Control" is not about the guns. "Illegal Immigration" is not about the immigration)
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To: Deathmonger
Uthman clearly is indicating that he warned Usama bin Laden and Mohammad Atef not to strike the U.S. in an "unconventional way" which is one way to describe an attack with WMD or unconventional weapons.

I would say that flying plains into the World Trade Center was pretty unconventional.

8 posted on 11/09/2007 12:35:52 PM PST by usurper (Spelling or grammatical errors in this post can be attributed to the LA City School System)
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To: neverdem
Numan! [/Jerry Seinfeld voice]

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
9 posted on 11/09/2007 1:44:59 PM PST by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: neverdem
I really, really want this story to be true.

If it were true, the entire rationale of the American and worldwide Left of the last five+ years would be proven disastrously wrong in front of everyone. It would be glorious.

But for now, I have to put this in the too-good-to-be-true file. Related thread.

10 posted on 11/09/2007 1:55:46 PM PST by denydenydeny (Expel the priest and you don't inaugurate the age of reason, you get the witch doctor--Paul Johnson)
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To: denydenydeny

Thanks for the link.

11 posted on 11/09/2007 2:19:12 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

What Ray R. says about Uthman, the meeting in Kandahar in the summer of 2000 (it was over several days), and the discussion he had with Atef and Ayman is correct.

But instead of confusing that significant letter (and the significant witness to that meeting who is available to interview), with a connection to Iraq,

consider the access that a Salafist Iraqi American microbiologist working with his former teacher, Bin Laden’s sheik Al-Hawali, had to know-how from the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency program funded at the George Mason University Center for Biodefense.

At one point, his office was about 10 feet from the famed Russian bioweaponeer Ken Alibek and the former USAMRIID head Charles Bailey, who has published a lot papers using the Ames strain of anthrax. The scientist’s name was Ali Al-Timimi. Judging from the directory, they shared the same fax number and mailstop. He was sentenced to life plus 70 years for sedition — for exhorting some young men to go defend their religion and fight jihad.

On the first anniversary of the anthrax, he had a letter hand-delivered to all members of Congress warning them not to invade Iraq.

Al-Timimi had a high security clearance for work for the Navy, according to a fascinating article by Milton Viorst in the Atlantic Monthly. His bionformatics program was co-sponsored by the American Type Culture Collection, which has the most diverse microbiological collection the world. While ATCC does not have Ames in its online catalog, they do not deny to me that they had it in their patent repository.

Pork-fueled proliferation merely increases the risk of infiltration. Emails between Ayman Zawahiri and Atef in Spring 1999 show that they did not even begin to consider biological weapons until the USG kept telling them how it easy it was. Ayman decided that they should use the cover of universities and charities in weaponizing anthrax. The Defense Intelligence Agency has produced correspondence showing that one scientist, Rauf Ahmad, was attending conferences in the UK sponsored by their biodefense establishment, Porton Down. He visited laboratories including one with thousands of pathogens and tells Ayman “I successfully achieved the targets.”

Here are the details of the infiltration of the program at GMU.

Sheiks, Bioweaponeers, And DARPA,anthraxa.html#SheikandtheBioweaponeers

a. Hardball Tactics In An Era Of Threats,anthraxa.html#Hardball%20Tactics%20In%20An%20Era%20Of%20Threats

b. The Education Of Ali Al-Timimi,anthraxa.html#The%20Education%20of%20Ali%20Al-Timimi

c. “The Straight Path”: Connecting the Dots,anthraxa.html#StraightPath

d. GMU Center For Biodefense: Discovery Hall,anthraxa.html#GMU%20Center%20for%20Biodefense:%20Discovery%20Hall

e. Islamic Ruling On The Peace Process,anthraxa.html#Ali%20and%20The%20Islamic%20Ruling%20On%20The%20Peace%20Process

f. The 2006 Arrest Of Former Falls Church “911 Imam” And Fellow Salafist Lecturer Awlaqi,anthraxa.html#The%202006%20Arrest%20Of%20Falls%20Church%20Imam%20And%20Fellow%20Salafist%20Lecturer%20Awlaqi

g. Real Men Don’t Type: Ability of Intelligence To Prevent Domestic Bioterrorism,anthraxa.html#The%20Ability%20of%20Intelligence%20To%20Prevent%20Domestic%20Bioterrorism

12 posted on 11/09/2007 3:12:07 PM PST by ZacandPook
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To: neverdem

Here is a different thread based on a different article relating to this recent open letter to Zawahiri. As revised, this article includes Bin Uthman’s comments in an interview from last December where the Libyan discusses the issue of targeting. There were definitely those — whose support Bin Laden was actively courting — who objected to sloppy targeting (the killing of civilians, women and children etc). This Libyan was speaking for the record — perhaps someone could ask him to address the issue of WMD more specifically — perhaps he could be asked specifically his opinion of the anthrax mailings. The operation, according to former CIA Director Tenet, was strictly compartmentalized at the highest levels and so there is no reason he would know details. But him talking to Atef and Ayman and Bin Laden about these general issues in the Summer of 2000 is pretty damn good and so his insights would be important. Tenet says the anthrax planning was done in parallel to the 9/11 planning.

Jihadist’s Letter to Zawahiri Reveals Anthrax Motive

13 posted on 11/09/2007 3:23:44 PM PST by ZacandPook
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To: ZacandPook

Your thread and the blog were already linked in comment# 10, IIRC. Thanks for the other links.

14 posted on 11/09/2007 3:32:34 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

Ray’s discussion of Iraq has to be judged in light of the fact that they know the anthrax was cultured in the Northeastern United States based on isotope ratios.

Now did Ali have a connection to the Iraqi embassy? Yes. So it indeed is a complicated world we live in.

15 posted on 11/09/2007 3:49:45 PM PST by ZacandPook
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To: neverdem
So much for all those liberal moonbats who insist that there was no connection between Sadaam's regime and Islamofascists. Saddaam gave them the Anthrax. And whats even more disturbing is that the Syrians likely have a large store of Anthrax powder, ready to be unleashed against Israel, smuggled out of Iraq in the weeks leading up to the US invasion of Iraq, with the help of Russian made military vehicles as observed by intel satellites.

This is very bad news for Israel.

Because Olmert will do nothing.

16 posted on 11/09/2007 11:26:22 PM PST by Candor7 (
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To: Candor7

There’s no basis to suggest that Saddam gave Al Qaeda anthrax.

Ayman had no need to get it from Saddam.

Saddam had no need to give it.

Ray’s article posted above in no way provides support for anthrax from Saddam, and as I noted, the microbial forensics show that it was cultured in the northeastern United States.

17 posted on 11/10/2007 2:54:45 AM PST by ZacandPook
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To: Candor7

In mid-January 2002, Dr. Barbara Rosenberg noted to the Wall Street Journal that “The FBI has gotten short lists of suspects from several people over two months ago.” Kenneth Alibek, president of Advanced Biosystems Inc., a defense contractor located at George Mason University, told the Journal that he wasn’t surprised to learn that his name had appeared on one such list. The Journal noted that born Kanatjan Alibekov, Dr. Alibek was formerly deputy director of the secret Russian germ weapons program known as Biopreparat. The Journal published an OpEd in late October 2001 titled “The Elephant in the Room” suggesting Iraq was responsible. Neither the Journal nor any other paper for over a half decade would note that the elephant in the room was in an office not much more than 10 feet from Dr. Alibekov. The microbiologist had been taught by Bin Laden’s sheik al-Hawali who had been the express subject of the 1996 declaration of war. Al-Timimi would eventually be prosecuted for exhorting young men to go to Afghanistan to defend Afghanistan against the imminent invasion by the US in October 2001. Dr. Alibek’s fellow microbiologist hand-delivered on the first anniversary of the anthrax mailings to Senators Leahy and Daschle a letter in the name of Bin Laden’s sheik warning against the invasion of Iraq.

What did Salafist Ali Al-Timimi, an Iraqi-American, think of Saddam? I don’t know. I know a good friend of his leading Ali’s charity IANA hated Saddam.

18 posted on 11/10/2007 3:42:55 AM PST by ZacandPook
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To: neverdem
If there are no WMDs in Iraq, why are all deployees, both Military and Civilian required to get the vaccination. (When they weren’t after the initial invasion)?
19 posted on 11/10/2007 5:32:02 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter ( Who is America's George Galloway?)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

While the question whether there were WMDs in Iraq is entirely separate from who was responsible for the anthrax mailings, it is worth noting that Al-Timimi’s charity was funding large sums of money to Iraq to help establish a caliphate there in Northern Iraq. The one friend of Ali’s I mentioned was sentenced to 22 years. Although not a subject of the charges, the sentencing memo explains he was funding the group renamed Ansar Al-Islam.

In a separate case, it was revealed that correspondence shows that Mullah Krekar, expected this charity person to establish a US center for Mullah Krekar.

So the responsibility of US-based Salafists opposed to the invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq is actually entirely consistent with the prudence of vaccination (assuming for the sake of argument that it is safe).

Of course, resolution of Amerithrax would have helped ensure the safety of troops also.

But these Salafists were supporters of men like Azzam and Hekmatyar. Abiding by the teaching of Qutb and Ibn Tamiyah. They were opposed to Saddam because they considered him apostate. Having said, Saddam very likely had infiltrated Ansar al-Islam (through a fellow named Wael).

More broadly, more often than not, possession of WMDs is a reason not to attack them — not a reason to attack them.

20 posted on 11/10/2007 6:56:49 AM PST by ZacandPook
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