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Hijacker 'Given Anthrax Flask By Iraqi Agent'
The Times (UK) ^ | 10-27-2001 | Daniel McGrory

Posted on 10/26/2001 4:15:17 PM PDT by blam


Hijacker 'given anthrax flask by Iraqi agent'


INTELLIGENCE agents from Prague to Swansea are uncovering a trail of clues that point to President Saddam Hussein of Iraq having a hand in al-Qaeda’s terrorist missions. Iraqi ministers have spent the week protesting Baghdad’s innocence to the United Nations, but will not say why some of its diplomats who met Mohammed Atta, one of the suspected September 11 hijackers, disappeared from their European posts after that date.

Nor will Baghdad explain why Saddam’s agents were spotted at various times this year with Atta in Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic.

Many in the Pentagon are sure Saddam helped to orchestrate the simultaneous hijackings and the anthrax attacks, but President Bush and Tony Blair have yet to be convinced. To get proof of the Baghdad connection, senior officials in the Bush Administration even sent a former CIA director to Britain on a covert mission.

Intelligence officers in Washington have deliberately leaked the testimony of an Iraqi defector hiding in Turkey who said that Saddam set up a terrorist training school on the outskirts of Istanbul to practice hijacking a Boeing passenger aircraft. The CIA says that it is assessing the claims.

Meanwhile, a special FBI team sent to Europe to uncover al-Qaeda cells say that they are studying a report from Prague that anthrax spores were given to Atta during his last meeting in Prague in April with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, the Iraqi consul. “If it can be shown that Atta was given a flask of anthrax,” a Western intelligence official said, “then the link will have been made with Osama bin Laden and with Iraq.”

What is known is that Atta made at least four visits to the Czech Republic to see Mr al-Ani. Czech intelligence officers who saw them embrace at Ruzyne Airport admit that they had no idea who the man greeting Saddam’s envoy was. When they were followed to the headquarters of Radio Free Europe the suspicion was that they may have been plotting to bomb it.

Yesterday the German newspaper Bild suggested a more sinister motive for their meetings. The claim, according to Israeli security sources, is that Atta was handed a vacuum flask of anthrax by his Iraqi contact. From Prague, it is believed Atta flew to Newark. From New Jersey, letters laced with anthrax were sent to broadcasters and politicians in New York, Washington and Florida. Czech officials have been to Washington to reveal all they know, but they can’t question the Iraqi envoy because Mr al-Ani was deported from Prague in April for “activities incompatible with his status as a diplomat”.

Stanislav Gross, the Czech Interior Minister, confirmed yesterday a meeting in Prague between Atta and Mr al-Ani just weeks before the envoy was expelled.

US scientists believe the anthrax spores sent to Tom Daschle, the Senate Majority Leader, had been treated with a sophisticated chemical additive only three countries can manufacture: Russia, America and possibly Iraq.

Former UN weapons inspectors suggest that Saddam could have helped bin Laden to get nuclear material. Critics of the Pentagon’s view say that Iraq would not share its nuclear secrets, but might watch for others trying to buy on the black market.

(Go to the Times site for the rest of the article)

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthrax; czechatta
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To: Rocko
I thought he used nerve gas and other non- bio gases.
101 posted on 10/26/2001 6:53:39 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: abwehr
"We want someone to do what we, ultimately will have to do ourselves, open that door and kill it ourselves!"


102 posted on 10/26/2001 6:54:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
"By the time we realize there is no 'big event' coming, we will be realizing the true extent of the damage done to us."

Nope, that dog won't hunt.

103 posted on 10/26/2001 7:01:01 PM PDT by blam
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To: mjk19
They're reporting that a coating of a bentonite substance is used. Bentonite is a material that comes from certain types of clay and is used to waterproof foundations of buildings. When it gets wet it swells and seals out water. It comes in powder form and is placed in the cavities of cardboard sheets that are applied to building foundations during construction. They get wet, swell and seal out water. It can also be injected in walls to stop leaks. I think it can be made into an extremely fine powder too.

I wonder what other characteristics it has and why it is beneficial as a spore coating. Unless the drying process of the bentonite also does something to the bacteria to create spores? Maybe it keeps the spores drier and more effective?

Any ideas out there?

104 posted on 10/26/2001 7:06:53 PM PDT by chickenlips
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To: blam
Nope, that dog won't hunt.

I'm not saying this will happen, but that perhaps that is part of the strategy of bin Laden and company. Remember that mysterious 'Skyfall' FBI warning? One wonders if these anthrax mailings ARE the threat, or are made to scare us into believing they have something really big planned. They could be playing poker with a bad hand, and bluffing.

105 posted on 10/26/2001 7:07:29 PM PDT by TrappedInLiberalHell
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To: TrappedInLiberalHell
I think they had targeted two or three people with the anthrax letters and never dreamed of poluting the mail system. They actually got lucky with these even though they missed the target.
106 posted on 10/26/2001 7:11:27 PM PDT by blam
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To: jwalsh07
I can't understand why the anthrax in DC is so much more prolific than the stuff sent to New York. Its gnawing at me.

Just a thought, but...

Sunlight is supposed to kill the spores. Also, we don't know what the chemical (or possibly electric charge) is that keeps these spores from clumping. While the spores themselves are not killed by heat, it could be that the additive is destroyed by heat.If the anthrax is actually placed in the envelopes and delivery orginates from close to DC, then the letters would be exposed to the summer heat for a much shorter time in transit to DC than they would be for Florida or NY.

IOW, the letters may all have contained the same deadly aerosalized spores, but something related to transit time or conditions broke down the additive, making those that had to travel longer distances degrade along the way.

107 posted on 10/26/2001 7:14:32 PM PDT by Lion's Cub
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To: blam
I think you are right. The widespread contamination is a side effect.
108 posted on 10/26/2001 7:15:17 PM PDT by 6ppc
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Comment #109 Removed by Moderator

To: Clinton's a rapist
How obtuse can you get? Knocking down the WTC and trying to destroy the Capitol and the White House was plenty enough provocation to get Saddam killed. He's using the threat of unleashing WMD against Americans to ward off exactly that retaliation.

That is your WILD A$$ speculation. If there is anyone "obtuse" it is you. But that is another matter. The situation is like THIS: The very worst case scenario is that Saddam + OBL + all terrorists fire off nukes in our cities and unleash everything they got biological or otherwise and kill a few million Americans but we survive as a nation. Epic slaughter--Yes! But now it’s our turn. Suddenly there is no Iraq, no Afghanistan, no Mecca, no Saudi Arabia, no more Syria, no more terrorists--they are ALL DEAD. Well you get the picture. Saddam proved quite responsive when GB senior gave him an ultimatum in the Gulf War. OBL maybe crazy but I don't think Saddam is. You should think before you run with a lot of half-baked nonsense. This is to AGAIN to NOT say that Saddam is NOT involved in either 9/11 or the Anthrax attacks. I think he is.

110 posted on 10/26/2001 7:26:56 PM PDT by WRhine
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To: 6ppc
"I think you are right. The widespread contamination is a side effect."

In the future, they may design packages of mischief with that in mind....and let our own distribution systems deliver the mayhem.

111 posted on 10/26/2001 7:28:15 PM PDT by blam
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To: Lion's Cub
You could be right. The chemistry though is above my pay grade. I would think a bioweapons designer would take the environment into account but who knows.
112 posted on 10/26/2001 7:36:11 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: abwehr
"I'm all for being vigilant but the government has dropped the ball, someone in Afghanistan cannot hurt me. Someone here can. I suggest we drop the pretense. How about you?"

Let's Roll.

113 posted on 10/26/2001 7:37:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: WRhine
I guess what I am saying is that when America can wipe out the ENTIRE civilization of its enemies (OBL, radical Muslims, Iraq, etc.) and the enemies can't come close to wiping out America, the enemy is NOT in a position to BLACKMAIL America. We are talking about something a lot more than a 100:1 kill ratio to our advantage. Only the INSANE would take us up on this threat.
114 posted on 10/26/2001 7:45:55 PM PDT by WRhine
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To: blam
Could our two airborne divisions do it without nukes?
115 posted on 10/26/2001 7:57:49 PM PDT by aculeus
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To: WRhine
If Washington were nuked, who would have the authority and codes to launch a counter attack? Thanks, Niki
116 posted on 10/26/2001 8:01:21 PM PDT by niki
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To: niki
If Washington were nuked, who would have the authority and codes to launch a counter attack? Thanks, Niki

You don't think that the administration would have figured this out if it were in fact being blackmailed with a WMD threat as some on this thread think? And if this is was the case I don't think you would see too many people, at least high profile politicans, hanging around Washingtion DC like the are. The fact that Bush & Company are there and it is busy like usual should clue you in as to the validity of this way out speculation.

117 posted on 10/26/2001 8:17:17 PM PDT by WRhine
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To: aculeus
"Could our two airborne divisions do it without nukes?"

As it sits now, probably. It seems a lot of people are expecting this thing to spread, so.....

118 posted on 10/26/2001 8:39:39 PM PDT by blam
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To: WRhine
"The fact that Bush & Company are there and it is busy like usual should clue you in as to the validity of this way out speculation."

I 've read that Bush and Cheney (Almost all the time) are being kept seperated by the distance of a small nuclear explosion. Valid? Don't know.

119 posted on 10/26/2001 8:42:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: WRhine
Remember -- Islam is a faith of peace and tolerance -- or else!

LOL. That's the way to put it. We are peaceful and tolerate to our own. Need protection from our terrorism? Join Us!

Just like gangsters.

120 posted on 10/26/2001 8:43:49 PM PDT by mrustow
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