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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: blam; harpseal; Squantos; Lent; Manny Festo; FITZ; rebdov; Sabertooth; Poohbah
141 posted on 10/26/2001 9:46:24 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: Travis McGee
A thousand leaky envelopes of the stuff mailed the same morning all over the USA would cause a major health disaster, and would shut down our postal system for months, doing great damage to our economy.

Based on all the theories we see, we can imagine the theories, the evidence, the intelligence that is going around the government. If there was a threat of thousands of packages being mailed simultaneously - expect the postal service to be shut down as was the air traffic on the day of attack. Inconvenient to everyone - yes - but it will be done - it would have to be done. But, they don't have to mail this stuff - it could easily be sprinkled anywhere - in the stores, the malls in some form that when our people walked over it, it breaks open the package and the stuff disperses or any other scenario - tons of them.

Remember how Bush does things - carefully, thoroughly and after looking at all aspects. That is what they are doing now. They are fighting - BUT - they are evaluating constantly and carefully, thoroughly yet a bit slowly working through this.

When they act - it will be the most advantageous based on the knowledge they have - right or wrong - it is the best they can do with what data they have. We just have to continually pray for the Lord to give them wisdom in these matters. With this team we don't have to worry about rash reckless action - it will be well researched and thought out.

142 posted on 10/26/2001 9:55:10 PM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: Travis McGee
Doesn't everyone have an 8 axis mill ?

:o) ......Stay Safe !

143 posted on 10/26/2001 9:59:59 PM PDT by Squantos
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To: mjk19
"Saddam is a cruel sadistic dictator but he has to be smart to rule Iraq for so long."

If he was so smart, why did he march into Kuwait? Only to get his butt kicked all the way back to Baghdad?

Crazy guys do crazy things.

144 posted on 10/26/2001 10:04:18 PM PDT by okie01
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To: ClancyJ
I agree, other delivery methods might work better. But if a thousand anthrax letters were mailed at once, there would be no way to know until the first cases fell ill days later. By then....Not that so many people would die, maybe a few hundred. But the economy would be severely damaged as our post offices were all shut and decontaminated.

And then, another wave of letters could be mailed. And so on.

Another means of attack would be the glass jar "anthrax bomb" tossed onto subway tracks to be spread by the wind rush, or tossed against ventilator intakes of buildings.

145 posted on 10/26/2001 10:06:26 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: AmericanInTokyo
"...would Freepers support the federal government going after them, smashing their networks and executing them for capital crimes?"

Why the hell not?

146 posted on 10/26/2001 10:11:06 PM PDT by okie01
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To: mjk19
I suspect they know more than we are hearing. Remember that in war part of the strategy is psychological. A lot of things are being put out there for a reason, and perhaps one of these days we will all know why, or perhaps, not.
We are certainly getting conflicting reports and hopefully the enemy is just as confused as we are!
147 posted on 10/26/2001 10:12:00 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: mjk19
Thanks. That was a great clarification. How hard is it to process the anthrax with this particular coating? Can someone in a say a college level lab do this?

Since it took the Iraqis many years to figure this out, no one who doesn't have access to the classified recipe could do it in a college lab. Whether someone who DID know the recipe could do it in a college lab depends on the technical difficulty of the process, and the details are probably classified so I don't know. (The distinction between difficulty of discovery and difficulty of implementation is very important.)

148 posted on 10/26/2001 10:12:57 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: blam
All in good time.

Saddam delenda est.

149 posted on 10/26/2001 10:19:04 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: abwehr; blam
We are not going to just die in place without a fight, and we know who the enemy are: they are the terrorists among us, and the loose support net which they depend on.

If the feds won't take care of business, we will. Depend on it.


150 posted on 10/26/2001 10:26:44 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: blam
Does anyone have an official estimate (or just a good guess) on how much Anthrax has been mailed around? An ounce...two, three?

Imagine the havoc an innocent-looking package of the stuff with a slow leak could wreak on a coast-to-coast trip through the US Postal System?

151 posted on 10/26/2001 10:40:34 PM PDT by PLMerite
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Yes. I took an oath concerning defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies.
152 posted on 10/26/2001 11:00:14 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Travis McGee
Anyway you look at it it is horrible. This is why terrorists have to be stopped. They take away peace, safety, and enjoyment in life.

I just can't get over how they do these horrible things and all you see in the press is how America is hated and we should look at why.

I can look at why - America is the one always coming to the aid of countries in need with funds, troops, humanitarian assistance. America has always been a beacon of the success of democracy, decency, respect for human life, concern for their fellow man and freedom to earn your way, determine your life and develop your dreams.

We can look all day at why we are hated but what difference? Maybe we are hated because our women have equal rights. So, we make our women wear veils and take away their rights. Maybe OBL is now happy, but what about Omar? Maybe he hates us because we worship God and not Allah. So, guess we give up God and worship Allah. Now the people in the U.S. hate themselves because they had to give up God and worship Allah.

Maybe they need to be more tolerate of others and work on giving up hate. Hollywood touts the mantra - "we need to see why they hate us". So, is Hollywood going to change their lifestyle? Will they give up nudity in movies, will they wear veils?

What those sprouting the mantra "we need to see why they hate us" really mean is that we should give our wealth to them. Wealth redistribution is what this is about. If not wealth, then it is stop halting the aggression of those against this government and freely allow the subversives to overtake us.

You can't deal with the reasons for hate unless you actually are torturing your citizens, starving them, etc. However, in each of these countries that hate us - they do these very things.

Sorry for the rant.

153 posted on 10/26/2001 11:01:24 PM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: Clinton's a rapist
It would be interesting (frightening) to know what threats have been presented to Washington, and how credibile they are thought to be. That Cheney expects more US civilian than military casualties is ominous. He seems ready to risk the threats, and wanting to inform the public. But Sharon's voiced concern about US moves towards appeasement says something different.

Perhaps we are just messing around in Afghanistan (a country in rubble from many years of war) for public consumption. Neither side really thinks it is worth very much, except for the political effect of the human disaster sure to come this winter. Washington does not expect it to trigger significant retaliation. In fact it is likely the opponent wanted this action in Afghanistan. It certainly was provoked.

Our unseen opponent has demonstrated disciplined organization, pretty good targeting, efficient tactics, and deadly effect. We are in for more demonstrations unless Washington accommodates, I think.

Iraq is off the table until we can disarm the threat in this country.

154 posted on 10/26/2001 11:05:48 PM PDT by GregoryFul
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To: blam
The article lost its appeal when it stated according to Israel security forces.
155 posted on 10/26/2001 11:19:36 PM PDT by doc
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To: ClancyJ
Don't be sorry.

The one thing arabs do better than killing westerners is kill each other. Their jihad will result in their "quarantine" from civilization, an end to trade and travel. After ten years of civil war, famine, disease and anarchy, all of their cities may resemble Kabul or Mogadishu.

156 posted on 10/27/2001 12:08:26 AM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: habs4ever
You still don't get it. He is deterring us from taking him out.

Oh well, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

157 posted on 10/27/2001 1:00:32 AM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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To: GregoryFul
It would be interesting (frightening) to know what threats have been presented to Washington, and how credibile they are thought to be.

The most likely scenario is the administration had solid intelligence that Iraq was behind 9/11 from the get-go, and has never been in any serious doubt about the nature and purpose of the anthrax campaign. Remember, the national command authority is seeing this thing unfiltered through a fog of goofy, contentless news stories, reassuring pablum, and deliberate misdirection. If they didn't have a good fix on where this stuff was coming from and the war aims behind it within 12 hours of swabbing that first spore from Bob Stevens' septum, then somebody needs to get fired.

158 posted on 10/27/2001 1:10:03 AM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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To: WRhine
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.

You still don't get it. He is deterring us for retaliating against him for 9/11. That is the chance he is taking. Saddam is saying to Bush, "Do you feel lucky, punk?" He's counting that Bush blinks. If Bush doesn't blink, it's Game Over for Saddam, but then, after 9/11, that was the default outcome anyway. This is simply how war works; the weapons and tactics are unconventional, but the underlying strategy is as old as the hills.

It's not clear yet whether Bush "feels lucky." On the one hand, we are seeing some misdirection, where the media is being fed stories (with absolutely no supporting evidence, just blather) that the government thinks the anthrax came from right-wing militias, a notion which is ridiculous on its face to anyone who has followed this closely. OTOH, out of the other side of its mouth, the government is letting on that they think al-Qaeda is responsible. The idea that the national command authority is still in the dark about whether the anthrax came from all-American whackos or al-Qaeda is, of course, absurd. So, the question is: is this misdirection designed to appease Saddam and make the anthrax go away, or is it to keep Saddam guessing when we will hit him? Your guess is as good as mine on that.

159 posted on 10/27/2001 1:28:02 AM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
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To: Clinton's a rapist
Of course I get it.You, sir, have a very fevered imagination, and what makes you think that he is fending the US off? Because it hasn't happened yet? Unless you can prove to us that you have a direct pipeline into the NSC and WH, you know as litle as anyone else, so all your permutations and scenarios are as valid as the next guy's.Maybe if you understand the concept of deterrence, I will take your ideas seriously, but all you give us so far is your belief that Saddam has what you think he has.Is he Superman? There's is no equivalence in the threats between the US and Iraq.Nuclear war vs bioterrorism isn't a fair fight, ergo, it isn't a deterrent.
160 posted on 10/27/2001 8:01:29 AM PDT by habs4ever
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