CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Al-Qaida anthrax threat?

Posted by DXer on June 4, 2009

 Stars and Stripes reports (6/4/09) …   bin laden 2

  • U.S. counterterrorism officials say a video of an al-Qaida recruiter threatening to smuggle anthrax across the Mexican border and into the U.S. via an underground tunnel is authentic, The Washington Times reported on Wednesday.
  • The video aired in February on Al Jazeera and has since appeared on militant Web sites, the paper said, calling it the latest sign that the terror group is determined to carry out another major attack on U.S. soil.
  • The video shows Kuwaiti dissident Abdullah al-Nafisi telling supporters in Bahrain that al-Qaida is seeking to commit another attack and is even willing to align itself with white extremist groups in the United States.
  • “Four pounds of anthrax — in a suitcase this big — carried by a fighter through tunnels from Mexico into the U.S. are guaranteed to kill 330,000 Americans within a single hour if it is properly spread in population centers there,” the recruiter reportedly said, according to a translation.
  • A spokesman for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the U.S. takes such threats seriously, the paper reported.

read the entire article at …

 LMW COMMENT … I put the question mark in the headline above. It is hard to judge whether this is a real threat or not. The counterterrorism officials who spoke to the Washington Times (exclusively) are not named. The statement about 330,000 deaths in a single hour does not match our 2001 experience. There is no corroborating evidence. One unsettling aspect of this to those of us who question the FBI’s integrity in the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks is whether we can trust whoever is putting out this story.

5 Responses to “* Al-Qaida anthrax threat?”

  1. DXer said

    Who does Kuwaiti Professor Abdallah Nafisi think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

  2. DXer said

    The lecturer mentions the Taliban and Mullah Omar in his talk.

    By way of some history as it relates to the anthrax mailings, in October 2001, the Taliban emissary to Pakistan denied any involvement in the anthrax mailings, saying “We don’t even know what anthrax is.” The Taliban had long denied having any interest in biological or chemical weapons research. The next month, however, reporters were tipped off by a senior official of the Northern Alliance to check out the Institute of Veterinary Vaccine Production in Kabul run by the Minister of Agriculture.                    

    The lab was repeatedly targeted by bombers but the closest of 13 B-52 bombs landed 50 feet away, causing craters. There was a walk-in incubator to develop bacteria. The equipment used to make vaccines was taken away the day before the bombardment began. The cement walls of the building were cracked. Doors were blasted off their hinges. Shards of glass were strewn on the floor. At the end of one corridor on the second floor a reporter and photographer from The Mirror (UK) were led into a small office. The word “anthrax” was scribbled on an unbroken test tube. A sign read “to be safe than sorry” — the word “better” had fallen off. When AP journalist Kathy Gannon and a photographer stood in front of a glass bottle labeled in English “anthrax spore concentrate” in the two-story building, the photographer’s reflection shone back. The scientists explained that their work at the lab was intended only to develop animal vaccines. Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the one place where the only vial that had English on it said ‘anthrax’ kind of gives you pause.” Testing showed that it was avirulent strain used in developing animal vaccines. The scientists complained that much of the anthrax vaccine on hand had expired and that they were having trouble getting the supplies they needed to produce more. Before 9/11, private companies in India and Iran had been their main suppliers. Shipments were halted after Sept. 11, and the laboratories had to rely on their stocks.

    Mullahs oversaw the anthrax vaccine laboratory much to the consternation of the scientist in charge of the lab. The mullahs had ordered that the lab be moved to Kabul so that they could oversee it. According to one British press report, much of the laboratory staff had disappeared some months before 9/11 and their whereabouts were unknown. The Institute once had a staff of 45 and one of Afghanistan’s most modern buildings. The scientists gathered before an AP journalist and photographer pointed to a large clear container that held concentrated anthrax spores. The scientists explained that the Taliban had taken a keen interest in their work. Although he was famed for his ability to recite the koran and not scientifically inclined, the Minister of Agriculture would come and inspect what they were doing. The head of the lab explained, “He and his Taliban superiors were interested in the technical detail of what happened here, although they had no background in science.” The International Committee of the Red Cross and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization provided the scientists technical help. The head of the lab acknowledging that the Taliban could have obtained the knowledge to handle and develop anthrax. The former director of the lab said: “Sadly, some use what is meant to be good for their own destructive ends.”      

    Minister of Agriculture hated the West. “We’d rather have been running the labs on our own,” the lead scientist explained. “But the mullahs were in charge of everything and we couldn’t stop them learning about our activities. There was always a danger information could get into the wrong hands.” The lab was first built in a northern province in 1993 with equipment from India. Scientists infected three sheep to study the results in developing new vaccines. They told a reporter from the Mirror that they buried the carcasses 30 feet down away from any water supplies. “This was very dangerous work, though we knew what we were doing. We developed the technology of how to keep anthrax bacteria and how to develop it for use in vaccines.” “I would be suspicious of the anthrax research and any research during the Taliban (period) because they were under the control of Osama and al-Qaida,” the deputy head of Northern Alliance military intelligence, told The Associated Press. “We have strong evidence of their involvement in chemical weapons,” he added. “We believe that they were using government facilities, like the Ministry of Agriculture, to do their research in terrorism.” A source who worked at the factory told the Mirror (UK): “There’s no doubt the Taliban were planning chemical or biological warfare against the West. I believe anthrax might have been first on their list.” It was the American Taliban John Walker Lindh that reported the battlefield rumor that the next wave would be a chemical or biological attack.

    • DXer said

      Among the correspondence written by Rauf Ahmad seized in Afghanistan, there are handwritten notes about the plan to use NGOs, technical institutes and medical labs as cover for aspects of the work, and training requirements for the various personnel at the lab in Afghanistan. Two Pakistani nuclear scientists founded Ummah Tameer-e-Nau in June 2000. “Reconstruction of the Muslim Ummah,” or “UTN,” an Islamabad-based organization whose stated purpose was to conduct relief and development work in Afghanistan. UTN built a flour mill in Kandahar and purchased land in the Kandahar region. UTN business cards from the organization carry the motto “Build to Help, Help to Build.” After the fall of the Taliban, coalition forces and the media began to search UTN facilities in Kabul. It was in November that it was reported by The Economist that the “House of Anthrax” had been found.

      Documents found by journalists in November 2001 at a villa in Kabul occupied by UTN suggested brainstorming seminars on anthrax had been held to include diagrams suggestive of a plan to use a helium-filled balloon to disperse anthrax across a wide area. The nondescript two-story villa occupied by the Pakistani aid group was in a quiet residential neighborhood of Kabul where a number of international charities were located. One downloaded document had the picture of former Secretary Cohen holding up a 5 pound bag of sugar. There were details about the U.S. military’s vaccination program downloaded from a Defense Department site on the Internet and other Defense Department documents relating to anthrax. There were 10 copies each of most of the documents. On the floor, there was what appeared to be a disassembled rocket alongside a helium canister, as well as two bags of powder. A detailed diagram scrawled in black felt tip pen on a white board shows what appears to be a balloon rising at various trajectories, alongside a fighter jet that is apparently shooting at the balloon. Beside the jet are the words, “You are dead, bang.”

      There were also pictures of ground missiles linked by lines to the balloon. Mathematical calculations indicated the height at which the balloon would fly, the distance from which it would be shot down and the area over which its contents would be dispersed. Beside one of the balloons is the word “polystyrene” and beside another the word “cyanide.” Loose sheets of paper containing scribbles of missiles and balloons were strewn around the house, indicating those attending the seminar had been taking notes and doing calculations.

      Although people can reasonably disagree on the conclusion to be drawn of the drawing on the white board showing aerial dispersal of anthrax by balloon, the drawings should be understood in the context of Ayman’s research and reading on the subject. One email from Ayman to Atef lists Peace or Pestilence as one of the books he had read. (The author argued that said science should combat disease, not find devious ways to spread it. That book included a description of the Japanese research on anthrax leading up to WW II and the US concern that anthrax was being dispersed by balloons being sent to the US on high hot air currents. Unit 731 experimented extensively with anthrax bombs and hot-air balloons filled with the deadly disease. In late 1944, aerosol scientists at Ft. Detrick (then known as Camp Detrick) were alarmed when news of some large balloons, as large as 150 feet around, had been sighted silently floating over populated areas. Within a few months, over 250 balloons had been discovered in nine western states. The balloons are known only to have been armed with an incendiary device and killed and injured only a very few people.

      A senior CNN producer who visited many UTN and Al Qaeda houses in Afghanistan, found the documents linking UTN to Jaish e Muhammad, the Army of the Prophet Mohammad, the Pakistani militant group that had been listed as a terrorist organization by the US on October 12, 2001. Other documents linked UTN to the Pakistan-based Saudi charity WAFA Humanitarian Organization and Al Rashid Trust, two other non-governmental organizations with ties to al-Qaeda that were designated on September 23, 2001 as supporters of terrorism.

      The New York Times reported on the search of the home by US personnel. A group of men armed with pistols, reportedly Americans, wearing gas masks, rubber gloves and boots, then came to remove powdered chemicals. The men had instructed the guards posted by National Alliance to not go in the home because the chemicals could be dangerous. The room that had been littered with papers was empty and had been swept or vacuumed by the Americans. Even after the second group visited the home, and cleaned it, several bags of chemicals were still strewn in the yard. Two small plastic bags each appeared to hold two to three pounds of brown powder. On the outside of one appeared the name “Mahlobjan” and the number 436. A second bag had the numbers 999 — or 666 — along with a crescent moon, the symbol of Islam. The New York Times reported that there was also a small seal stamped on the corner of the bag, with an eagle in its center. The worker at a charity next door, “Save the Children,” said that Mehmood had been a quiet neighbor and it was impossible to tell whether the men visiting the house were aid workers or not.

      The manager of the Kabul WAFA office explained that Abu Ghaith was the founder of WAFA before the Combat Review Status Tribunal. Shortly before September 11, he helped Abu Ghaith to leave Afghanistan. and his family leave for Karachi, Pakistan. He had known Abu Ghaith from Kuwait. Before 9/11, he had been in Kandahar working with WAFA. He was paid $200 a month but had been willing to work for free as a volunteer. After a month, however, he got a new supervisor he did not like. He would get upset when medical supplies came and it was broken or crooked. He complained about the expensive long distance calls young people would make, but his supervisor disagreed with his complaints. When the supervisor rifled through his and his wife’s things, he had reached his limit. His supervisor, in any event, said he only wanted people from Mecca working for him and kicked him out on about August 1, 2001. After bringing his family to Pakistan, he returned to Kabul where he met Abu Ghaith. He spent 16 days in what has been described as a “safe house” in Kabul while waiting to go safely back to Pakistan. “I am not a combat fighting animal. It is just a charity organization. What is my mistake? Why are you mentioning Al Qaida and fighting when I worked for a charity organization?” He says he did not know Abu Ghaith was an Al Qaeda spokesman until after 9/11. The Tribunal found his statements to be self-serving and unpersuasive. Abu Ghaith, as Al Qaeda’s spokesman at the time, later claimed that Al Qaeda had the right to use their military, nuclear, and biological equipment to kill hundreds of thousands of people.” In short, although the unclassified evidence relating to the unlawful combatants associated with WAFA in Afghanistan tended not to be rocket scientists, Al Qaeda’s practice of using charities as cover was well-established.

  3. DXer said

    Expert Kohlmann reports that “The LeT  [Lashkar-e-Taiba] has also displayed persistent efforts at aimed at obtaining remote control drone aircraft, presumably in order to gather reconnaissance on enemy positions. Kohlman quotes a November 2000 Taiba Bulletin that quotes a LeT representative boasting “Lashkar-e-Taiba also made a remote control aeroplane that was caught in Occupied Kashmir.

    Authors Schwartz and University of Minnesota Professor Osterholm explained in December 2000:

    “Dozens of Websites offer information on new and used crop-dusting planes and equipment that can be fitted to almost any plane or even trucks. Most of the equipment can be found on those sites produce a highly controlled mist spray, with nozzles that can set the droplet size precisely.”

    “A quick call to the toll-free number for a state university’s agricultural service (listed, naturally on its Website) revealed that powder dispersal systems, while less popular than wet systems, are still available. One Website even provides a handy guide to the area one would expect to cover using various particle sizes, wet and dry — from thousand micron particles to half-micron particles capable of drifting almost four hundred miles.”

    It was no small irony that by the time the paperback version came out in September 2001 just a few miles away Zacarias Moussaoui had in fact downloaded such materials onto his laptop.

    Attorney General Ashcroft, on October 1, 2001 explained:

    “I think shortly after the September 11 events, we developed information about crop dusters and noted that there had been an interest expressed in the dispersal of chemical agents by some of the individuals who had relationships with the hijackers and were the hijackers, and we asked those who were associated with the agriculture, chemical industry, and crop dusting to begin to be more careful, to lock their airplanes, to be aware of anyone seeking to adjust the kind of way in which the nozzles would be, which would maybe require a different approach.”

    President Bush, at a press conference on October 11, 2001 said:

    “We received knowledge that perhaps an al-Qaeda operative was prepared to use a crop-duster to spray a biological weapon or a chemical weapon on American people, and so we responded. We contacted every crop dust location, airports from which crop-dusters leave. We notified crop-duster manufacturers to a potential threat. We knew full well that in order for a crop-duster to become a weapon of mass destruction would require a retrofitting, and so we talked to machine shops around where crop-dusters are located.”

    Mohammed Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui reportedly made inquiries about cropdusters and a cropdusting manual was found among Moussaoui’s belongings. Ahmad Ressam, an Al Qaeda terrorist caught in the United States, revealed that Bin Laden was personally interested in using low flying aircraft to disperse biological agents. In early June 3, 2003, a CIA report concluded that the reason for Atta’s and Zacarias Moussaoui’s inquiries into cropdusters was in fact for the contemplated use in dispersing biological agents such as anthrax. Moussaoui, however, has confessed only to a plot to fly a 747 into the White House if the United States government refused to free the blind sheikh. On August 13 and 15, 2001, Moussaoui was getting practice on a 747 simulator in Minneapolis and thus the evidence has always remained ambiguous.

    In an interview with ABC News, Johnelle Bryant, a USDA employee, provided this very dramatic account of a meeting with Atta in connection with a loan he wanted for $650,000 to start a cropdusting business. Anthrax likely can be delivered using the nozzle setup that some USDA official says Atta imagined (as explained by Secretary Cohen some years ago). Secretary Cohen’s remarks were found in the Kabul home with papers relating to the aerial delivery of anthrax.

    Some investigators on the team prosecuting Zacarias Moussaoui thought he wasn’t expected to take part in the 9/11 plan as such or fly into the White House as prosecutors would allege in January 2003, but was expected instead to use a cropduster. In an e-mail dated July 31, 2001, after receiving $14,000 from Ramzi Binalshibh, Moussaoui inquired of a Minnesota school concerning a 6 month or year long cropdusting course. Although French intelligence suggests instead that there was a separate hijacking plot (of an international airline) to occur later, in light of the e-mail, use of a cropdusting plane may have been an alternative plan at least as of the end of July 2001. Khalid Mohammed reportedly has told his interrogators that Moussaoui was to be part of a second wave of attacks. He said that Moussaoui’s interest in cropdusters may have related to Yazid Sufaat’s work on anthrax.

    In a coded communication in the summer of 2001, KSM told Ramzi Binalhibh to send the “skirts” to “Sally”, apparently referring to sending funds to Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui may have been considered as a substitute if one of the pilots, who had developed a strained relationship with Atta, dropped out. They were referred to as the “unhappy couple” and it was said that a divorce would be expensive. Was Moussaoui really slated for a “second wave” of similar attacks on California targets that merely involved the same modus operandi? In an email dated July 31, 2001, he was inquiring about a cropdusting course. Was this just a means of avoiding the need for “muscle hijackers?” (After the first “wave”, it likely would be more difficult for such muscle to get into the country.)

    Relatedly, it’s unknown what role Atta’s roommate, pilot Ramzi Binalshibh, would have played if he had succeeded on one of his four attempts to get into the country. Ramzi Binalshibh was Atta’s former roommate in Germany and was captured in Karachi, Pakistan on September 11, 2002. The government deleted the two allegations regarding cropduster inquiries from the indictment of Moussaoui. Although the move was never explained, it was likely because in his defense he was relying on a July 31, 2001 e-mail seeking to sign up for a cropdusting course that would take 6 months to a year. Moussaoui was attempting to use the e-mail to argue that it demonstrated that he was not part of the 9/11 conspiracy.

    On September 19, 2001, an FBI agent asked a federal judge in Colorado for permission to search an e-mail account named “” that Sufaat had given Moussaoui to use.

    Perhaps the cropdusters related to a chemical or nerve agent. Based on the interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, it now appears that the 9/11 planners lost confidence in Moussaoui’s discretion, and intended to use him only as a fallback. Whatever the reason for any inquiries, perhaps they ran out of pilots (due to Zacarias Moussaoui’s arrest and Ramzi Binalshibh’s inability to get into the country). The prosecution team in the Moussaoui case at one point, in January 2003, argued there was to be a fifth plane targeting the White House. Bin Laden wanted the White House to be targeted. Atta thought it would be too difficult. Or perhaps cropdusters will be used in the future. The FBI is currently looking for a diminutive Saudi Arabian, Adnan Shukrijumah, who, at least according to some reports, was trained as a pilot and was last known to have been in Miami in late 2001. The Saudi Arabian from Florida is said to be at the level of Atta. Jdey, also hotly sought by the FBI, was one of two other pilots who for unknown reasons were not still candidates for the first wave.

    A Somali college student who knew Moussaoui, Mohammed Warsame from Canada, was detained. In recent years, before being detained, he lived in Minneapolis. Initially, he was arrested as a material witness. Like Moussaoui, Warsame attended Khalden Camp at the Darunta complex the same time as Ahmed Ressam. He reportedly roomed with Moussaoui at one point. U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis declined to comment on the case and said he would seek to prosecute any federal law enforcement officials who provided information to the media. Warsame’s wife said that FBI agents had entered their apartment, given him $100 and had money for her too. The agents wanted her husband’s cooperation, told him to tell his wife not to worry and said they would bring him back in two days. Warsame was indicted in the end. A superseding indictment in June 2005 alleges that Mohammed Warsame provided false statements to the FBI when he claimed that since 1995 he had traveled only to Saudi Arabia and Somalia. The indictment alleges that from 2000 through 2001, Warsame traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to attend military training camps and participate in combat. Relatedly, the indictment alleges he also made false statements about his frequent contact with associates he met while attending Afghanistan military training camps. Those associates, according to the indictment, have since relocated to Canada, Pakistan and elsewhere throughout the world.        

    As part of “Operation Tripwire,” the FBI long ago asked crop-dusting companies to make sure they alert the bureau if they detect suspicious activity. The FBI has reached out to various industries and institutions, such as prisons and crop-dusting companies, to alert the FBI of suspicious activity. “We are not looking at just the obviously dangerous activity but looking at terrorist fund raising, terrorist recruiting efforts, training efforts, maybe logistical support efforts, and .. signatures,” FBI official Larry Mefford said. Might Al Qaeda plan on coming in under the FBI’s radar — under the tripwire — by using ultra lights? KSM had Ohio truck driver Faris researching ultra lights at an internet cafe. There was a suggestion that leaders would use them for escape. Variations of the threat that should be encompassed within the FBI’s “Operation Tripwire” include ultra lights, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAV”) of all types including small planes and helicopters, balloons, and gliders. What the FBI was being told by other detainees and learning from arrests in the US did nothing to assuage the concern that an attack was being planned to disperse anthrax aerially.
    For example, Moazzam Begg, a man from Great Britain arrested in Islamabad in February 2002, who now is consulting on a video game involving escape from Guantanamo, allegedly confessed to being involved in a plot to use weaponized anthrax using a remote controlled drone over the London parliament. A Pakistani court had ordered his release. Before the order was executed, however, he had already been transferred to Afghanistan. He was then flown to Guantanamo Bay in February 2003. The 35-year-old father of four from Birmingham had gone to Afghanistan via Iran in the summer of 2001 and then in November or December went to Pakistan. In Afghanistan, he had been outside of Kabul. He told his father that he hoped to open two small schools to promote literacy — one for girls taught by his wife and one for boys he would teach. MI5 and MI6 had known of him. Three years earlier in Birmingham there was a raid on his book shop but no arrests. The Maktabah al Ansar book shop in Birmingham, England sold al-Hindi’s autobiographical account of fighting in Kashmir, Army of Madinah in Kashmir.

    In addition to books, Begg sold items such prayer beads and clothing. Begg may have come to be of interest to MI5 after Yemen jailed a friend of his in 1999 for plotting terrorism with the son of Abu Hamza, the extremist cleric based at the Finsbury Park mosque. Then authorities raided again in the summer of 2001. In the last raid, a computer, five floppy disks and two CD-roms were taken. Neither raid resulted in any charges. Begg was arrested in 1994 for alleged benefit fraud, but the charges were dropped. Night vision goggles and a flak jacket were found at the time. The authorities say that his name appeared on documents of the Taliban and on a photocopy of a payment transfer at an Afghanistan camp. The money transfer directed the London branch of Pakistan’s Habib Bank AG Zurich to credit the account of an individual identified as Moazzam Begg in Karachi for an unspecified sum of money. It was found in Abu Khabab’s chemical bunker. His family says it must be a case of mistaken identity.

    The British MP’s had joined together to insist that Begg and other British citizens be returned from Guantanamo, where he had been after his first year at Bagram. He reportedly confessed to a plot to use a drone dispersing anthrax to kill those same MPs.  He and others apparently were given the choice of choosing between a 20 year sentence in a plea or risk receiving a death penalty in a military tribunal. His lawyer says the confession was not admissible as it was coerced. MI5 officers interviewed him at Camp X-Ray five times. Gareth Peirce, who has acted for Moazzam Begg, said: “Anything that any human being says or admits under threat of brutality is regarded internationally and nationally as worthless. It makes the process an abuse. Moazzam Begg had a year in Bagram airbase and then six months in Guantanamo Bay. If this treatment happened for an hour in a British police station, no evidence gathered would be admissible,” she said. After being released, Mr. Begg contemplated a run for MP himself.

    The interest in ultra lights is not new and dates back to the hang glider purchased in 1995 or so when one was purchased and shipped to Afghanistan by a US doctor named Zaki. The doctor was a friend of Bin Laden’s chief of security in Sudan, former US Army sergeant Ali Mohammed. Dr. Ali Zaki (along with his brother, a NYC/NJ pharmacist) traveled with Ayman but claimed not to know the real identity of his fellow alum from Cairo Medical school. Dr. Zaki graduated from Cairo Medical School in 1971. Zawahiri would speak at the room established at the Cairo University Medical School for the Egyptian Islamic Group, which had not yet been banned. The group during this time was extremely influential with the student body. Dr. Zaki is a gynecologist and prominent civic leader in San Jose, CA. He disputes the date of Zawahiri’s visit, claiming it was years earlier, when the jihadists were our friends. A used car salesman from Silicon Valley was going to train on the hang glider and train others. The plan was to break imprisoned islamist leaders out of an Egyptian prison, according to the US doctor. Other official intelligence reporting, in contrast, suggests the plan was to assassinate Mubarak at one of his palaces.     

    When a friend of the respected Dr. Dhafir, the leader of an Albany mosque, Aref, who had arrived in the states in 1999, was convicted in 2006 of supporting terrorism, the jury never heard about his 14 phone calls to a Syrian number the FBI linked to Osama bin Laden. An FBI informant claimed that only weeks after the 9/11 attacks, a messenger from al-Qaeda approached him delivering a message: Bin Laden was looking for information about flight schools and “how close the individual could get to an (redacted) aircraft.” The messenger gave the informant two fax numbers in Damascus, Syria, one of which Aref contacted 14 times between November 1999 and October 2001. Prosecutors argued that a senior IMK leader, Mullah Krekar, formed Ansar-al-Islam in 2001. Subsequently, when Aref was convicted, the 30 guilty counts included lying to FBI agents about knowing Krekar. In targeting Aref, the government also had evidence showing that his name, address and telephone number were found in a notebook when U.S. forces raided a suspected Ansar-al-Islam facilities in Iraq in the spring and early summer. An Iraqi Kurd, Aref’s grandfather had been a well-known imam. What word, beginning with a vowel apparently, might be redacted in this alleged message shortly before 9/11 to an Albany, NY imam : “how close the individual could get to an (redacted) aircraft.”

    In 2002, a man named Singh tried to purchase over the internet a wireless video module and a control module for use in an unmanned aerial vehicle (“UAV”). He chose an airborne video system with a camera and transmitter able to transmit video images from a UAV back to a receiver from as far as 15 miles away. The video camera could be used in military reconnaissance and in helping aim artillery and other weaponry across enemy lines. Singh placed his order from England, but the company was unable to confirm Singh’s overseas credit card. Two young men from Northern Virginia, among the group later known as the “Virginia Paintball Defendants,” assisted him in completing the purchases. In the summer of 2002, Singh visited Virginia, staying first with one of them and then with another.

    In December 2003, it was announced that a suburban Chicago woman had been pled guilty to lying about her involvement with an attempt to export remote-controlled aircraft to Pakistan. The shipment of radios, modems and auto pilot systems to a company in Pakistan apparently was confiscated. The relative whom she was doing a favor fled the country. Such a plane reportedly cost $12,000 and could carry a 220 lb. payload.

    In late May 2004, Great Britain’s Tony Blair got hit by purple powder thrown from the balcony from area where guests sit. The bioshield covered only where members of the public sit. Blair now may be skittish about pigeons flying overhead, particularly given MI5 once considered the feasibility of dropping small anthrax bombs using pigeons during WW II. It was not until August 2004 that we learned about casing of helicopters in the Spring of 2001 by Jafar the Pilot, Al Hindi, and Al-Marri — who had been sent by anthrax plotters KSM and Hambali.

    Condoleezza Rice says no one ever imagined (at least she didn’t imagine) that Al Qaeda would fly planes — first into the World Trade Center and then into Pentagon. Let’s hope it is within her imagination of future national security advisors that Al Qaeda may be planning to disperse weaponized anthrax aerially — for example, by a remote controlled airplane, a cropduster, or even a hang glider. Or, yes, maybe even by carrier pigeons or a teabag thrown over the White House fence.

  4. DXer said


    This article is merely reporting on the Washington Times description of the video — but it is notable for its omission of the sentence saying that there is no evidence that Al Qaeda has the capability to make a mass strike. It’s just a guy talking — he has a website I’ve linked and is available for questions. Historically, though, the inquiries into cropdusters in 2001 raises the same question of capability of aerosol release and is worth exploring based on the facts.

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