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

* Hambali: Recommendation for Continued Detention (excerpt)

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 25, 2011

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11 Responses to “* Hambali: Recommendation for Continued Detention (excerpt)”

  1. DXer said

    Figure in Torture Report Pushes for Gitmo Release

    By BRITAIN EAKIN
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/08/18/figure-in-torture-report-pushes-for-gitmo-release.htm

  2. DXer said

    High-profile Guantanamo prisoner makes his first appearance before a review board

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/high-profile-guantanamo-prisoner-makes-his-first-appearance-before-a-review-board/2016/08/18/7f7448bc-655a-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html

  3. DXer said

    High Court refuses to free alleged al-Qaida arch terrorist held without charge for 3 years
    By YONAH JEREMY BOB
    11/19/2013 15:42

    Court rules ‘biological weapons expert’ too dangerous to free.
    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/High-Court-refuses-to-free-alleged-al-Qaida-arch-terrorist-held-without-charge-for-3-years-332255

    The court ultimately accepted the state’s arguments that Samer Abed a-Latif al-Barak was an arch-terrorist who had training in and headed al-Qaida’s biological weapons program, had recruited many violent followers and had significant contact with top al-Qaida leaders like current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    A three justice panel of Daphna Barak-Erez, Edna Arbel and Uzi Vogelman said that being kept in administrative detention for more than three years with no definite end in sight was “not a situation to be accepted lightly,” but that in light of how dangerous he was, “at this time there is no less harmful method” for preventing Barak from returning to carrying out terror attacks.

    Noting what it called new intelligence regarding Barak, the court said there was no basis to argue that Barak had become less dangerous over time.

    It said that the IDF had decided there was no public interest in pursuing the matter not because it doubted that Barak had committed the crimes he was accused of, but because the crimes dated back to 1998 and there might be issues with violating the statute of limitations for how soon a criminal case must be brought after the date of the alleged crime in question.

    However, the court seemed to imply that the delay in bringing the case was a technicality that was not Israel’s fault since for most of 2001-2010, Barak was in either US or Jordanian custody.

    ***

    Barak will have another chance to challenge his detention in six months and every six months going forward, though now that his case is public, Israel’s efforts to send him to a third country may get expedited to avoid further headlines on the issue.

  4. DXer said

    Abu Bakr al-Filistini (Samer Al-Barq) is named as one of Yazid’s assistants in Hambali’s interrogation report leaked by Wikileaks. The name Abu Bakr al-Filistini squares with the report that Al-Balucchi asked Aafia SIddiqui to assess al-Filistini’s skill in connection with the lab as it was reconstituted in Karachi.

  5. DXer said

    This May 6, 2013 article in Malay recounts Hambali’s biography based on a document leaked by Wikileaks. It explains that after Christmas eve bombings in Indonesia in 2000, Hambali became a fugitive and fled to Malaysia with his wife. He arrived in Kandahar through Karachi, Pakistan. During the month of August, 2001, Hambali and Yazid Sufaat went to Karachi for two to three weeks on one of Yazid’s equipment buying trips. It reports that they returned to Kandahar after the September 11 attacks of 2001. In November 2001, Hambali and his wife left the Kandahar towards Karachi, Pakistan. They lived in the house of Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti for two weeks. In December 2001 they left the country.

    Thus, Hambali’s wife is also a resource in corroborating the timeline.

    SENIN, 06 MEI 2013 | 06:57 WIB
    Jejak Petualangan Hambali Versi Amerika Serikat

    http://www.tempo.co/read/news/2013/05/06/118478150/Jejak-Petualangan-Hambali-Versi-Amerika-Serikat

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Riduan Isomuddin alias Hambali menjadi satu-satunya warga Indonesia yang masih ditahan di penjara super ketat Amerika Serikat di Guantanamo, Kuba. Nasibnya bersama sekitar 165 tahanan lainnya menjadi perhatian dunia setelah 100 tahanan mogok makan sejak dua bulan lalu. Presiden Amerika Barack Obama, Selasa 30 April 2013, akhirnya kembali menyampaikan janjinya untuk menutup penjara itu.

    Menurut Amerika, Hambali merupakan tahanan berisiko tinggi dan bernilai tinggi karena memiliki kedekatan dengan anggota senior al-Qaeda, memfasilitasi operasinya, dan dinilai bertanggung jawab atas beberapa pemboman di Asia Tenggara, termasuk bom Bali 12 Oktober 2002 yang menewaskan lebih dari 200 orang. Ia bertindak sebagai perencana operasional dalam beberapa serangan teroris. Ia memfasilitasinya dengan uang, personel, dan perlengkapan untuk al-Qaeda dan operasi Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

    Di bawah ini adalah jejak petualangan Hambali, berdasarkandokumen Tim Departemen Pertahanan Amerika Serikat yang menangani Guantanamo, yang dibocorkan kepada dunia oleh Wikileaks.

    * * *

    Riduan Isomuddin memiliki banyak nama alias. Ini di antaranya: Encep Nurjaman, Mizi, Azman, Alejandro Davidson Gonzalez, Hendrawan, Kahar, Muzabkar, Halim Osmann, Samsuri, Daniel Suarez Naveira. Lahir di Cianjur, 4 April 1964, Hambali lulus dari Sekolah Islam Allanah di Cianjur.

    Pada tahun 1985, ia pindah ke Malaysia untuk bekerja dan menikah dengan perempuan setempat. Ia direkrut di masjid di Malaysia oleh Abdullah Sungkar. Ia menghadiri sesi belajar Islam dan ceramah dengan Abdullah Sungkar dan organisasinya selama kurang lebih enam bulan. Ia menyebut istilah “dicuci otak” untuk menggambarkan pelajaran yang ia terima dan itu meyakinkan dia untuk berjihad. Pada akhir masa belajarnya, pemimpin kelompok memilihnya untuk berlatih di Afghanistan.

    Pada akhir 1986, ia melakukan perjalanan ke Peshawar, Pakistan. Dari sana, ia melakukan perjalanan ke Camp Sada di Afghanistan untuk mengikuti pelatihan. Ia di Afghanistan dan Pakistan selama kurang lebih satu setengah tahun, untuk mengikuti pelatihan dan bertempur dan kembali ke Malaysia pada tahun 1988.

    Setelah kembali dari Afghanistan, ia melakukan perjalanan ke seluruh Asia Tenggara dan mempromosikan ekstremisme. Sepanjang tahun 1990, ia mengembangkan hubungannya antara Jemaah Islamiyah dan kelompok Islam lainnya. Pada pertengahan tahun 1991, Hambali melakukan perjalanan dari Malaysia ke Filipina untuk melakukan dakwah. Selama perjalanannya, ia mengunjungi camp Abu Bakar Front Pembebasan Islam Moro (MILF). Pada pertengahan tahun 1997, ia dikirim oleh pimpinan Jemaah Islamiyah untuk bertemu dengan Rohingyan Solidaritas Organization (RSO) di Bangladesh untuk membahas kegiatan RSO.

    Pada akhir tahun 1997, ia sekali lagi melakukan perjalanan ke Filipina untuk bertemu dengan anggota MILF, untuk meninjau kamp Abu Bakar. Tahun berikutnya, pelatihan JI dimulai pada di sana.

    Selama tahun 1998, ia ditunjuk sebagai pemimpin kelompok daerah JI, yang mencakup Malaysia dan Singapura. Pada pertengahan 1998, Hambali melakukan perjalanan lagi ke Thailand untuk bertemu dengan seseorang yang terkait dengan Jamaat Salafi. Tujuan kunjungan ini adalah untuk memperkenalkan JI dengan organisasi tersebut.

    Pada awal 1999, tahanan melakukan perjalanan ke Kandahar, Afganistan, dan bertemu dengan Khalid Syaikh Muhammad, untuk membahas hubungan antara JI dan Al-Qaeda, serta pembentukan pelatihan bagi anggota JI di Afghanistan.

    Pada pertengahan-1999, tahanan bertemu lagi dengan kepemimpinan Jamaat Salafi, kali ini untuk membahas kegiatan militan di Thailand. Pada bulan September 1999, ia pergi ke Ambon, Indonesia, untuk mengumpulkan informasi untuk kepemimpinan JI mengenai konflik Islam-Kristen di Ambon, dan di mana JI kemudian dikirim koperasi. Pada awal tahun 2000, tahanan lagi perjalanan ke Kandahar. Ia mengunjungi anggota JI dari grup regionalnya yang melakukan pelatihan di sana dan juga bertemu dengan Abu Hafs al-Masri alias Muhammad Ati. Pada Desember 2000, ia berwisata bersama tahanan Faiz Bafana ke Manila. Mereka bertemu dengan pelaksana operasi JI, Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, mengenai rencana penyerangan.

    Setelah pemboman malam natal 2000 di Indonesia, ia menjadi buronan dan melarikan diri ke Malaysia dengan istrinya. Ia tiba di Kandahar melalui Karachi, Pakistan. Selama bulan Agustus 2001, Hambali dan Yazid Sufaat pergi ke Karachi selama dua sampai tiga minggu untuk membeli peralatan laboratorium dan untuk mengunjungi saudaranya.

    Mereka kembali ke Kandahar setelah serangan 11 September 2001. Pada bulan November 2001, tahanan dan istrinya meninggalkan Kandahar menuju Karachi, Pakistan. Mereka tinggal di wisma Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti selama dua minggu. Pada Desember 2001, ia dan istrinya berangkat Karachi menuju Thailand, melalui Sri Lanka.

    Di Thailand, Hambali bertemu dengan anggota Jamaah Salafi. Ia kemudian melanjutkan perjalanan ke Malaysia, tinggal selama satu atau dua minggu, dan kemudian menuju Indonesia untuk mendapatkan dokumen baru. Pada Januari 2002, ia telah bergabung kembali dengan istrinya di Thailand.

    Pada bulan September 2002, ia melakukan perjalanan ke Kamboja untuk empat sampai lima bulan untuk mendapatkan dokumen palsu. Pada bulan Februari atau Maret 2003, kembali ke Thailand dari Kamboja. Hambali ditangkap pada 14 Agustus 2003 di Thailand, melalui operasi gabungan AS-Thailand. Ia dikirim ke Guantanamo pada 4 September 2006 dan masih di sana hingga saat ini.

  6. DXer said

    Adnan El-Shukrijumah was closely connected with Al Qaeda/ 911 operatives Al-Hawsawi and KSM, both of whom are associated with Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning through the documentary evidence. El-Shukrijumah was also closely connected to Mohammed Atta. There is a $5 million reward for his capture. In 2010, he was indicted in connection with a NYC subway plot.

    By way of background, Hambali introduced Al Qaeda anthrax lab technician Yazid Sufaat to Zawahiri at Al Qaeda’s Media House. (see above) Yazid in Facebook email and chat does not deny to me Al Qaeda’s responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings. Instead, he pleads the Fifth Amendment. Nor does he deny that he was working with virulent Ames. Yazid had assured KSM that he and his assistants were safe because they had been vaccinated. After our exchanges, Yazid was arrested for terrorism in connection with his conversations with some young men leaving for Syria. His next hearing is scheduled for May 17, 2013.

    Al-Hawsawi had worked there at the Media House before working to help the 911 hijackers into the US — he was KSM’s assistant. Al-Hawsawi’s laptop had the anthrax spraydrying documents on it. The night Atta was copying and cutting at KINKOS and Maryland (see film that has not been disclosed by the FBI), Atta returned unused funds to Al-Hawsawi. (see record of wire transfer) After fleeing to Pakistan, Adnan El-Shukrijumah and lived in Karachi safehouses wih Al-Hawsawi. (see Al-Hawsawi interrogation report)

    According to Al-Hawsawi, American Adnan El-Shukrijumah aka “Jafar The Pilot” lived with Al-Hawsawi in safe houses in Karachi from February 2002- April 2002. See detention report that is uploaded.

    The anthrax letters are in Atta’s handwriting. I have uploaded the exemplar and handwriting comparison.

    El-Shukrijumah was seen with Atta by an INS employee 2001. (see 911 Commission Report). Atta prayed at the mosque where El-Shukrijumah, which was next to his house and where his father Gulshair led prayers. Gulshair had been at the Brooklyln mosque where he translated for Blind Sheik Abdel-Rahman. El-Shukrijumah used to raise funds for Global Relief Foundation which was involved in Al Qaeda’s WMD aspirations. An FBI undercover informant says he was told to stay away from El-Shurkijumah in 2001 because it was thought that El-Shukrijumah was suspicious of him — and instead the informant, interviewed in 2009 by ABCNews — was directed to concentrate on the 19-year-old who seemed like an easier target. That young man then too grew suspicious and said he wanted to withdraw from the suggested plan to target electrical substations. The prosecutors initially declined to prosecute because he had been entrapped by an earlier freelance undercover. But then the prosecution proceeded in May 2002. That young man says he saw El-Shukrijumah, who attended the same mosque, as late as July 2001.

    KSM says he directed El-Shukrijumah to case targets in NYC, Washington, DC. and throughout the US in 2001.http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      In the Spring of 2002, while living with Al-Hawsawi in Karachi, Adnan El-Shukrijumah is thought to have been giving advice to Muhammad Binyam who was going to assist Jose Padilla. (El-Shukrijumah knew Padilla from Florida.) Binyam’s detention report mentions Jaffar Al-Tayar.

      “KU-10024 [KSM] and his nephew, Ammar al-Baluchi, aka (Abd al-Aziz Ali), ISN US9PK-010018DP (PK- 10018), instructed both US-10008 and detainee on the methods to execute this operation. Detainee was to return to the UK where he would obtain valid travel documents before traveling to the US to meet US-10008. Following their meetings with KU-10024, Jaffar al-
      Tayyar taught detainee and US-10008 to falsify documents by substituting photographs, erasing entry/exit stamps, and removing visas.17 Al-Qaida operative and 11 September coordinator Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, ISN US9YM-010013DP (YM-10013), taught them how to encode a telephone number before passing it to another individual. The co-conspirators then
      surrendered their passports to PK-10018, who forged a Pakistani visa and departure authorization. For the last week of March 2002, detainee and US-10008 spent time creating email addresses on the internet for communication while abroad. On 4 April 2002, PK- 10018 gave them a total of $16,000 US. Later, they met again with KU-10024, YM-10013, and Abd al-Rahim Moulana Gulam Rabbani, ISN US9PK-001460DP (PK-1460), at which
      time KU-10024 provided US-10008 with an additional $5,000 US and they exchanged email

      17 Analyst Note: This is believed to be the same Jaffar al-Tayyar, aka (Adnan el-Shurijumah), who has ties to the dirty bomb plot and numerous ties with senior al-Qaida leadership. Additionally, al-Tayyar had previous ties with
      US-10008 in Florida; however, detainee has denied recognizing Jaffar. Detainee’s non-recognition can be found in: 001458 FM40 27-OCT-2004. For additional information linking detainee and US-10008 with Jaffar al-Tayyar,
      reference: IIR 7 718 0116 03, TD-314/09403-04.

  7. DXer said

    In 2010, there was talk about bringing Hambali to Washington DC for trial but some thought the threat too great. You may remember Al-Balucchi asked his wife Aafia Siddiqui to share her opinion on Abu Bakr al-Filistini’s abilities regarding anthrax and the Karachi lab.

    U.S. may bring key Guantanamo detainee to Washington for trials: officials
    http://www.chinaview.cn 2010-01-16 09:31:42

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Justice Department is considering bringing a key Guantanamo detainee to Washington for trials, officials said Friday.

    The detainee, named Hambali, alias Riduan Isamuddin, is believed to be a leader of Al-Qaeda link in Southeast Asia region of Jemaah Islamiyah.

    A decision could be made in a matter of weeks, said officials on condition of anonymity.

    Hambali was allegedly to have played a key role in a series of terrorist strikes in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines before he was arrested in 2003 in Thailand by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agents and Thai police. He was then transferred to Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

    While the Justice Department said a final decision has not yet been made on Hambali’s case, Republican critics already expressed strong opposition after receiving classified briefings on this issue.

    “Such a plan is unacceptable and I will vehemently oppose it,” Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., wrote Friday in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.

    “If the American people knew these threats, they would never tolerate the transfer of these detainees to major urban population centers for trial,” he added.

    Wolf insisted that trials should be at Guantanamo or some remote, secure facilities far from any U.S. population centers.

    Hambali’s case stirs another round of debate after the Obama administration decided in November to bring the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from Guantanamo to New York for trials.

    U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the controversial Guantanamo prison by Jan. 22, 2010, but is expected to miss the deadline after the failed Christmas Day terror plot make things even more complicated.

    Currently, there are 198 prisoners left at the Guantanamo prison, and about 90 of them are Yemenis, according to the Pentagon.

  8. DXer said

    Who is Abu Bakr al-Filistini, one of the two assistants named in this Detainee Assessment excerpt by Hambali.

    I have previously suggested the names of the two assistants were Barq and Wahdan. But my source was remembering the names years after the fact and spellings vary.

    Abu Bakr al-Filistini squares with the report that Al-Balucchi asked Aafia SIddiqui to assess al-Filistini’s skill in connection with the lab as it was reconstituted in Karachi.

    Yazid has publicly said that both his assistants had PhDs. Who is Abu Bakr al-Filistini and where did he get his degree? What was his concentration of study?

    http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  9. DXer said

    Muklis Yunos was arrested on May 25, 2003. Agents reportedly became suspicious when an ambulance pulled over and delivered Yunos, who was wearing a plaster cast on a leg as part of a disguise. According to other reports, he was also wearing facial bandages. An Egyptian missionary accompanying him, Al Gabre Mahmud, was apparently on an international terrorist watchlist. Authorities became suspicious when the two went to the wrong gate (and did not go to the one typically used for medical transport). The pair then objected when officials wanted to remove some of the mummy-like bandages. AP reported that a police intelligence dossier describes him as “a fanatic of the extreme fundamentalist movement” who received training in an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, including lessons on the use of anthrax as a biological weapon. He is described as about five foot three and with the features of a Japanese-Korean. According to one report, Yunos initially was cooperating with authorities over a bucket of spicy Kentucky Fried Chicken, complaining about the arrogance and unhelpfulness of MILF leadership.

    Hambali was arrested in mid-August 2003 in Thailand. Hambali had fled Malaysia with his wife, Lee, not long after 9/11. His wife and her sister had studied at the school of Bashir, JI’s religious leader. He told his mother they were moving to Thailand. Hambali worked and his wife studied Arabic. Over the next two years, he also spent time in Cambodia and Myanmar.
    Soft-spoken and polite, the neighbors said he kept to himself in the apartment building.

    His wife, an ethnic Chinese Malaysian who converted to Islam, was also detained. After being shipped to Jordan, where he was harshly interrogated, Hambali eventually began providing information about Al Qaeda’s anthrax production program. He told interrogators that the terror network had what author Ron Suskind describes as an “extremely virulent” strain of anthrax before the September 11 attacks. In the autumn of 2003, Suskind claims, U.S. forces in Afghanistan found a sample of the virulent anthrax at a house in Kandahar. Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind writes: “One disclosure was particularly alarming: al Qaeda had, in fact produced high-grade anthrax.
    Hambali, during interrogation, revealed its whereabouts in Afghanistan. The CIA soon descended on a house in Kandahar and discovered a small, extremely potent sample of the biological agent.”

    Suskind wrote:

    “Ever since the tense anthrax meeting with Cheney and Rice in December 2001, CIA and FBI had been focused on determining whether al Qaeda was involved in the anthrax letter attacks in 2001 and whether they could produce a lethal version that could be weaponized. The answer to the first was no; to the second, ‘probably not.’ Though the CIA had found remnants of a biological weapons facility — and blueprints for attempted production of anthrax — isolating a strain of virulent anthrax and reproducing it was viewed as beyond al Qaeda’s capabilities.”

    Suskind continued:

    “No more. The anthrax found in Kandahar was extremely virulent. What’s more, it was produced, according to the intelligence, in the months before 9/11. And it could be easily reproduced to create a quantity that could be readily weaponized.”

    “Alarm bells rang in Washington. Al Qaeda, indeed, had the capabilities to produce a weapon of massive destructiveness, a weapon that would create widespread fear.

    Based on the additional information being provided in 2003, authorities also captured two mid to low level technicians — an Egyptian and a Sudanese. President Bush has explained that these mid-to low level technicians were part of a Southeastern Asian based cell that was developing an anthrax attack on the United States.

    In Fall of 2006, President Bush explained:

    “KSM also provided vital information on al Qaeda’s efforts to obtain biological weapons. During questioning, KSM admitted that he had met three individuals involved in al Qaeda’s
    efforts to produce anthrax, a deadly biological agent — and he identified one of the individuals as Yazid. KSM apparently believed we already had this information, because Yazid had been captured and taken into foreign custody before KSM’s arrest. In fact we did not know about Yazid’s role in al Qaeda’s anthrax program.

    Information from Yazid then helped lead to the capture of his two principal assistants in the anthrax program.”

  10. DXer said

    George Tenet in his May 2007 In the Center of the Storm says Sufaat was “the self-described ‘CEO’ of al-Qai’da’s anthrax program.” Tenet reports that “Sufaat had impeccable extremist credentials” and “[i]n 2000 he had been introduced to Ayman al-Zawahiri personally, by Hambali, as the man who was capable of leading al-Qai’da’s biological weapons program.”

    The 9/11 Commission Report explained:

    “Hambali played the critical role of coordinator, as he distributed al Qaeda funds earmarked for joint operations. In one especially notable example, Atef turned to Hambali when al Qaeda needed a scientist to take over its biological weapons program. Hambali obliged by introducing a U.S.-educated JI member, Yazid Sufaat, to Ayman al Zawahiri in Kandahar. In 2001, Sufaat would spend several months attempting to cultivate anthrax for al Qaeda in a laboratory he set up near the Kandahar airport.”

    Participants at a key meeting in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000 included Hambali, Yazid Sufaat, two of the 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almidhar, Cole planner Attash aka Khallad, and others. Tawfiq Bin Attash was a long time Bin Laden operative. The Yemeni first went to Afghanistan in 1989. He came to lead Bin Laden’s bodyguards and was an intermediary between Bin Laden and those who carried out the bombing of the Cole in October 2000. Attash also had been a key planner in the 1998 embassy bombings, serving as the link between the Nairobi cell and Bin Laden and Atef. Khalid Almhidhar, one of the 9/11 hijackers, was from Saudi Arabia but was a Yemeni national. Almhidhar was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the indictment against Zacarias Moussaoui. Al-Hindi, who along with Jafar the Pilot would later case the NYC landmarks, had gone to Kuala Lumpur with Attash. While not at the meeting with the hijackers, they met Hambali shortly after.

    Zacarias Moussaoui was alleged, at least initially, to have received his money from Yazid Sufaat, under the cover of a company managed by his wife named Infocus Tech. A legitimate company, the company has eight employees and virtually no connection to the US. The company was an importer of US computer software and hardware. After authorities found a letter signed by Yazid Sufaat purporting to authorize Zacarias Moussaoui as its marketing representative, authorities went looking for Sufaat. But by then, he had left for Pakistan and Afghanistan. According to his wife, he went to Pakistan in June 2001 because he wanted to do his doctorate in pathology at the University of Karachi. Dursina had attended Sacramento State with Sufaat. It was her mother who encouraged Yazid’s religious studies. According to his wife, Sejarhtul Dursina, “He had planned to set up a medical support unit in Afghanistan, near Kandahar.” Kandahar is where Al Qaeda established its anthrax lab and where extremely virulent (but unweaponized) anthrax, according to author Suskind, was found at a home identified by Hambali after his capture.

    Sufaat graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1987. He received a bachelors degree in biological sciences, concentrating on clinical laboratory technology, with a minor in chemistry. Sacramento State biological sciences professor Robert Metcalf taught Sufaat a food microbiology class in the spring of 1986. The first lesson in class was to teach students how German physician Robert Koch proved that anthrax was caused by a specific bacterium. “All of my students know how to isolate anthrax in soil samples,” Metcalf told the Chicago Tribune. “Anthrax was the first organism we talked about.” Sufaat joined the Malaysian army, where he was a lab technician assigned to a medical brigade. After five years, he left the service with the rank of captain and worked for a civilian laboratory. In August 1993, he set up his own company, Green Laboratory Medicine. The 9/11 Commission Report notes that Sufaat started work on the al Qaeda biological weapons program after he participated in JI’s December 2000 church bombings. In December 2001, Sufaat was arrested upon returning from Afghanistan to Malaysia where (his wife says) he had been serving in a Taliban medical brigade.

    Malaysian officials sought to minimize Sufaat’s role. Sufaat merely was a foot soldier who provided housing and false identification letters and helped obtain explosives. “I would put it this way: If Hambali [Al Qaeda’s point man in Southeast Asia] was the travel agent, Sufaat was the guy at the airport holding up the sign.”

    Sufaat admits to having purchased 4 tons of ammonium nitrate to build a truck bomb for the Singapore cell. The Malaysian officials report that they believe that Sufaat had no knowledge of what the hijackers who stayed at his condominium or Zacarias were planning. That is consistent with the principles of cell security ordinarily followed — also evasion in interrogation. At a minimum, however, the established facts relevant to the Amerithrax investigation show that in the Summer and Fall of 2001 an Al Qaeda supporter who had assisted in the 9-11 operation — and who was a lab technician working with anthrax — was in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Was he the fellow perceived as Filipino who the journalist met in Afghanistan in the Fall of 2001 bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax? According to Sufaat’s attorney, Sufaat gave two FBI agents no fresh evidence during a 30-minute interrogation finally conducted in November 2002 (where they mainly wanted to know how he knew Zacarias). The U.S. has asked for his extradition in connection with hosting of the two 9/11 hijackers, but Malaysia refused. President Bush reports that US officials did not fully appreciate Sufaat’s role in Al Qaeda’s anthrax program until after KSM’s capture in March 2003.

    As described in US News, a former reporter from the Kabul Times actually may have met a Filipino carrying papers from Zawahiri and bragging about his ability to manipulate anthrax. The man may have been Hambali’s lieutenant, Muklis Yunos, who had been Hambali’s right-hand man and was in charge of special operations for the Philippine Moro Islamic Liberation Front (“MILF”). British reporter Philip Smucker explained that the Afghan reporter working with him spoke fluent Arabic and made regular undercover trips into Afghanistan from Pakistan. He had visited three functioning al Qaeda camps at grave risk to his life. Smucker explains that his colleague had landed in a Kabul hotel with a Filipino scientist who had a signed letter from al Qaeda’s number two, Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri, authorizing him to help the network develop biological weapons. The man at the hotel had described his own efforts to develop an “anthrax bomb.” Filipino Muklis Yunos was an explosives expert who had participated with Yazid Sufaat in the December 2000 church bombings. Upon his arrest in May 2003, Philippine intelligence said he had received anthrax training in Afghanistan.
    Perhaps he was who the journalist encountered. Or perhaps we need to learn more about this fellow Zubair.

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