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

* “First Do No Harm” : Dr. Amer Aziz was Dr. Batarfi’s mentor

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 6, 2011

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19 Responses to “* “First Do No Harm” : Dr. Amer Aziz was Dr. Batarfi’s mentor”

  1. DXer said

    Kenya: Wife accused of helping anthrax plot is charged
    By The Associated Press | Posted Jun 6th, 2016

    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=235&sid=40085355&title=kenya-wife-accused-of-helping-anthrax-plot-is-charged

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Police in Kenya have charged the wife of a medic suspected of planning an anthrax attack and recruiting for the Islamic State group with being a member of a terrorist organization.

    Police accuse Nuseiba Mohammed Haji, wife of medical intern Mohammed Ali Abdi, of being an accomplice in a foiled plan by Islamic State-linked extremist medics to launch an anthrax attack in Kenya.

    Abdi was arrested in April.

    Haji, a medical student who was extradited from Uganda, appeared before a trial magistrate Monday and denied the charges.

    • DXer said

      For someone reportedly facing a mandatory 70 year sentence, the young woman certainly had a genuine-looking smile during her first court appearance last month.

      Judging from an NPR report last week, are we to have much confidence in the local police? (I don’t know).

      In connection with anthrax, did it go beyond loose, irresponsible and ill-considered talk? (I don’t know). If she did not have the support of her family, she might not have had the advantages of advanced education.

      In any event, under the Quran, if she and her colleagues had proceeded she would have suffered eternal damnation under her own belief system given the guidance under the hadiths about the prohibited use of such a weapon.

      Is ISIS really involved rather than the Al Qaeda-affiliate Al Shabaab?

      I believe her husband is set to plead guilty on June 9. Perhaps we will learn more if the FBI and CIA does not suppress the information like it did with Rauf Ahmad and Al Qaeda’s anthrax program.

      Of course, if Al Qaeda attacks with anthrax before the FBI complies with FOIA, those responsible for the withholding and foot-dragging may have to answer questions before Congress.

      Anthrax, Al Qaeda and Ayman Zawahiri: The Infiltration of US Biodefense
      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

  2. DXer said

    Kenyan Police Arrest Man Suspected of Planning Anthrax Attack

    Paul Richardson
    May 4, 2016 — 2:29 AM EDT

    Kenyan police arrested a medical intern at a hospital in the south of the country who is suspected of leading a network with links to Islamic State that was planning a biological attack.

    Mohammed Abdi Ali, an intern at Wote Hospital in Makueni county, was detained April 29 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Police Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet said in a statement published on his Twitter account.

    “The suspects were planning large-scale attacks akin to the Westgate Mall attack with the intention of killing innocent Kenyans,” Boinnet said. “His network also included medical experts with whom they planned to unleash a biological attack in Kenya using anthrax.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-04/kenyan-police-arrest-man-suspected-of-planning-anthrax-attack

  3. DXer said

    State Department adds Osama bin Laden’s doctor to terrorist designation list
    By THOMAS JOSCELYNOctober 21, 2014

    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/10/state_department_add_1.php#ixzz3GqwVyMqq

    The State Department today added Ramzi Mawafi, a longtime al Qaeda operative who was close to Osama bin Laden, to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists.

    Mawafi “is an Egyptian national and long-time al Qaeda member best known as the former doctor to Osama bin Laden,” the State Department says in its announcement. Mawafi “also served as an explosives expert for al Qaeda.”

    Mawafi “escaped from an Egyptian prison in 2011, and is now believed to be in the Sinai Peninsula coordinating among militant groups and helping to arrange money and weapons to support violent extremist activity.”

    ***

    CNN also noted that Mawafi had been in contact with two already established jihadist groups: Takfir wal Hijra and the Palestinian Islamic Army.

    In Sept. 2013, the Associated Press (AP) cited Egyptian military intelligence officials who said that Mawafi was working with multiple jihadist groups, and facilitating the flow of funds and weapons to them. The Egyptian officials explained that two jihadists captured in the Sinai, a Yemeni and a Palestinian, “provided information about Mawafi’s role while under questioning.” And an Egyptian court described Mawafi as “the secretary general of al Qaeda in Sinai.”

    At least one representative from al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula took part in an al Qaeda “conference call” in the summer of 2013. The communications, which were first reported by the Daily Beast, involved more than 20 al Qaeda operatives from around the world, including Zawahiri and Wuhayshi. It was during the call that Wuhayshi’s appointment as al Qaeda’s general manager was announced to other terrorist commanders.

    The US was forced to close nearly two dozen diplomatic facilities after officials learned of the communications, which utilized a complicated Internet-based infrastructure. The al Qaeda terrorists reportedly planned to attack one or more diplomatic outposts. One of the facilities closed as a precautionary measure was the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, because authorities were concerned that al Qaeda’s presence in the Sinai could be used as a staging ground for an attack.

  4. DXer said

    Accused terror doc Khurram Sher acquitted
    http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/08/19/accused-terror-doc-khurram-sher-acquitted

    A London, Ont., pathologist has been acquitted of terrorism — the first person facing terror charges in Canada to be acquitted at trial

  5. DXer said

    1. NE PHILADELPHIA MAN ACCUSED OF HAVING TIES TO AL-QAIDA
    http://6abc.com/news/ne-philly-man-accused-of-having-ties-to-al-qaida/245443/

    One neighbor said, “Oh there must have been 50… 50 police, and they had on their backs FBI.”

    Dawari is charged in the federal indictment with immigration fraud. The United States Attorney says in a 2013 application to become a U.S. citizen he failed to disclose his affiliation with a known extremist group in Afghanistan and Pakistan with links to the al-Qaida terror network.

    “[Nino Tinari ] says his client worked as a doctor in Afghanistan before coming to the United States in 2008, and he may have treated members of a terrorist organization but he isn’t a member of one.”

    “He is not a terrorist. Never was a terrorist. Has no ties to terrorism. This is something that comes out of the clear blue and we’re trying to determine what the heck is going on,” Tinari said.

    The government says he not only was a member of the terror group, but that he continued to affiliate with the insurgents while here in the United States.

    2. U.S. v. Hayatullah Dawari
    http://www.justice.gov/usao/pae/News/2014/August/dawari_indictment.pdf

    • DXer said

      http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/08/06/philadelphia-man-al-qaeda-linked-group/
      by DAN MCQUADE

      “According to his Facebook page, Dawari graduated high school in 1971 and in 2011 attended Community College of Philadelphia. Also, his profession is listed as: “why should I be employed ? I am the boss !””

      mug shot

      Off-topic:

      Someone last night passing by scrabble club at the tail end, says that google is dropping old material. He said it is no longer as good in researching things 12 years back and earlier. He described himself as a researcher on religion. He says that he is going to write a book on the rules applicable in islam, as he has done for other religions. Almost everyone else had left, taking the new 5th edition copies of the Scrabble dictionary I was selling out of my trunk (and their computers) with them.

      But I was more troubled by the fact that the nice man was telling my opponent that “goy” was not a word, given I had just nominated him “Mr. Dictionary” who would be arbiter of all challenges. Knowledge is only as good as its source. Is Bing better, in fact, now than google for research dating prior to 12 years? I encouraged him to use the Wayback Machine — a very powerful tool — for such research.

      In this Philadelphia case, why 50 agents? What is the backstory?

  6. DXer said

    Al-Qaeda spokesman Abu Ghaith, now facing charges in federal court in Manhattan, played a senior role in the charity arranging for the procurement of the equipment being provided Al Qaeda anthrax lab director Yazid Sufaat. Sufaat had first set up in his lab at Omar Hospital and then had crates delivered to the new lab at Kandahar in May 2001.

    In this SECRET / NOFORN // 20330429 the writer cautioned that Dr. Batarfi was concealing information about Dr. Ayman Zawahiri’s anthrax program.

    Dr. Batarfi gave the telephone number for Dr. Jamil Qasim (Saeed Mohammed) who Sufaat “was to contact for funding assistance. Jamil Qasim was a microbiology student and served as a junior medical advisor for al-Wafa in the Karachi office.” [Rendered to Jordan, Saeed Mohammed corroborates this.]

    “Detainee denied any knowledge of al-Wafa’s involvement with biological weapons, adding there were other individuals with this information. Detainee added, “I am not the only one who knows these things.” (Analyst Note: Detainee’s statement that he is “not the only one” who knows about the biological weapons is a contradiction to his statement that he had no knowledge of them.”

    “Detainee also stated he instructed Jamil Qasim in the Karachi office to allocate $4,000 to $5,000 US to assist Yazid Sufaat in purchasing these items.”

    “Detainee [Dr. Batarfi] was the al-WAFA NGO chief medical advisor in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    SA-005 hired detainee [Dr. Batarfi] to supervise the purchase of medical supplies and equipment for al-Wafa.”

    “Detainee may be withholding information on al-Wafa’s support to al-Qaida and specifically the anthrax research program. When first detained, detainee refused repeated requests to act an as informant for US intelligence agencies. Detainee reversed his decision and offered to assist in an attempt to security his early release….”

    Dr. Batarfi was released in 2009. It is Wednesday and so he must be a triple agent.

    Dr. Batarfi, for example, before his release explained how Abu Ghaith spoke with Dr. Batarfi’s before his meeting with Bin Laden. He also spoke to interrogators about Abu Ghaith’s two week stay in Karachi.

    By way of some additional history, Dr. Batarfi’s mentor, Amer Aziz, was sweated on the subject for the maximum 30 days then permitted under Pakistani statute.

    He had three chain-smoking interrogators — a tall man, a woman, and an Urdu-speaking man, all chain-smokers.

    But it was in the Kandahar lab where Yazid Sufaat and his two assistants, all vaccinated to work with the virulent anthrax, where you got down to the short strokes.

    And then of course there was the Karachi lab that we’ll continue not to talk about.

    Dr. Batarfi says he had heard about who the anthrax mailer was and named some names.

    Stanley Cohen’s murderer-of-the-day, Abu Ghaith, was just a public face — this schoolteacher’s role evidenced nepotism more than anything else.

    But Attorney Cohen knows that it is still enough, without more, to warrant his imprisonment for life.

    Abu Ghaith might as do the return favor of telling his side of the story told of his role that has been told by Dr. Batarfi and Yazid Sufaat and others.

    These lawyers are taking all this money to make these terrorists look like lying crybabies.

    • DXer said

      “Abu Ghaith might as [well] do the return favor of telling his side of the story told of his role that has been told by Dr. Batarfi and Yazid Sufaat and others.

      These lawyers are taking all this money to make these terrorists look like lying crybabies.”

      Note that Yazid Sufaat and Dr. Batarfi were not released until after Dr. Ivins committed suicide in late July 2008 after the DOJ/FBI threatened to call his family to ask how things were at home. They had swabbed him for DNA (when they already had his DNA) in order to test it against the semen-stained panties that they again found.

      There is a direct connection between the conclusions urged by the Amerithrax investigators, prosecutors and psychiatrists (for example, in their 2011 presentation to DNI) and the fact that the Al Qaeda anthrax threat is not resolved.

      The psychiatrists could have said to the DNI staff: Oops, the key witness we relied on repeatedly in the behavioral report writes in her 2009 book she was having psychotic delusions about murderous astral entties attached to her clients. Judith McLean wrote that she was taking her instructions each night in 2000 and 2001 from an alien. But they didn’t.

      Greg S. also had a key role in interviewing Aafia Siddiqui.

      What’s crazy is a government system that does not have a viable means of correcting mistakes given the CYA mentality that dominates inside government.

      That’s why disclosure is important under the Government in the Sunshine Act. … so mistakes are not made due to compartmentalization of information.

      http://www.amerithrax.wordpress.com

    • DXer said

      In the unclassified portion of his hearing, before it went classified, Dr. Batarfi discussed spying for the US.

      “So many times some interrogators and some people have made an offer to me to help the U.S. and to work with the U.S. They offered it to be me in Bagram the first time and said,” You can either be with us or against us. You will only be in GTMO for one year maximum because we did not find anything against you.” I denied to work for the US because I did not want to work as a spy for any country. I came to know they needed help only and they were not trying to make me an agent. I am ready now to work with the U.S. If you need for anything after releasing or if you keep me, I am willing to work with you as a helper but not as a spy. Because if I am in Yemen and they find that I have traded any organization or tried to do it, they would maybe kill me. It is very dangerous.”

      http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/627-ayman-saeed-abdullah-batarfi/documents/2

      He was known as “Ayman.” [There was a “Amin” associated with the anthrax lab that one interrogator suggested might be referring to Dr. Ayman Zawahiri].

      Dr. Batarfi says he had arranged the purchase for Yazid Sufaat because it was safer to have WAFA, which was already in Karachi, used $5,000 rather than bring it. (Yazid, as he has said in an interview, well financially well-off).

      So Dr. Batarfi offered to serve as a spy in unclassified setting and then was released.

      If he wants to help, he could best help by giving an interview. Reporters could then press him on the cover story Yazid was using about a blood testing lab.

      • DXer said

        Oh, wait. We know Dr. Batarfi was lying at the open hearing about being fooled about Yazid’s cover story because elsewhere in SECRET/ NO FORN documents leaked by Anonymous we learned that he had told us about the fellow who told him about the anthrax mailer.

  7. DXer said

    I first learned about Al Qaeda’s anthrax program in connection with a raid on the Khawaja compound the day, as I recall, that Dr. Aziz was arrested and held for 30 days for intense questioning. Dr. Aziz was Batarfi’s mentor. Rauf Ahmad was mentioned as being part of the trail that led to the Khawaja compound.

  8. DXer said

    Background articles about the questioning of Dr. Aziz about anthrax:

    1.

    ISLAMABAD, Nov 8 (Reuters) – A Pakistani court ordered the military government on Friday not to extradite a prominent doctor detained on suspicion of links with al Qaeda without high court permission.

    The provincial high court in the eastern city of Lahore gave the government until Tuesday to explain the detention since last month of the doctor, Amir Aziz.

    “He should not be extradited to the United States without the permission of the court,” Judge Tassadaq Hussain Gilani said in response to a petition filed by Aziz’s mother challenging his detention and requesting that he should not be extradited.

    Aziz has been detained for more than two weeks without charge. The authorities say he is being interrogated by the intelligence services but have given no reason.

    Aziz’s brother Imran told Reuters last month the doctor was detained on October 21 by police working with U.S. FBI agents and he had been accused of supplying anthrax to al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

    Imran said his brother had visited Afghanistan during Taliban rule, but only to give humanitarian assistance.

    His arrest has angered many Pakistanis including doctors, and the six-party alliance of hardline Islamic groups, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, which won an unexpected number of seats in October 10 national election.

    Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said this week the government had not received a request from the United States for the extradition of Aziz.

    The military government is a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terror and has allowed FBI agents to operate on its terrority in pursuit of al Qaeda and Taliban fugitives, something that has greatly angered Islamic militants.

    2.

    By Phil Reeves in Lahore, Pakistan
    16 November 2002

    America’s hunt for Osama bin Laden, and the extra-judicial methods used by intelligence agents in rounding up his alleged associates, face a new challenge in Pakistan.

    It centres on the secret detention of a British-trained orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Amir Aziz. American investigators suspect he provided medical treatment to Bin Laden and al-Qa’ida members in Afghanistan before the attack on the World Trade Centre.

    Yesterday a High Court judge in Lahore ordered the Pakistan Interior Ministry to “cause the production” of the doctor in his court next Tuesday, setting the stage for a possible showdown.

    Dr Aziz, 46, who used to treat the Pakistan cricket team, was taken away by FBI and Pakistani intelligence agents during a raid on his hospital office in Lahore on 21 October. His relatives have not seen him since. They have also not been told why he was detained or where he is.

    The case has generated strong emotions in Lahore in the eastern state of Punjab, which is widely seen as Pakistan’s intellectual capital and a stronghold of democratic opposition to General Pervez Musharraf’s military rule.

    The order by the judge, Tassadaq Hussain Jilani, was the court’s second attempt to get the government to produce the doctor in response to a habeas corpus petition from Dr Aziz’s elderly mother and a pro-democracy political party, a faction of the Pakistan Muslim League.

    Last week the judge – who had earlier passed an injunction barring the doctor’s extradition – told the Interior Ministry to produce the doctor before him yesterday. It failed to do so, asking for more time on the basis that it was not sure of Dr Aziz’s whereabouts.

    Central to the issue is the role of Pakistan’s Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI). Its agents, to the annoyance of many Pakistanis, have been working with the FBI in tracking down and detaining suspected Islamist militants. Scores of Pakistanis have spent months being interrogated, without trial or charge, at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – a practice widely seen in Pakistan as a violation of sovereignty.

    The doctor’s family and lawyers believe the ISI knows where he is being held. They have not been impressed by the Interior Ministry’s pleadings that one reason it has been unable to track down Dr Aziz is because the ISI does not come under its remit.

    Nor has Judge Jilani. He declared that he was “not satisfied” and warned the government that its citizens, “even those accused of a serious crime”, are entitled to the due process of law.

    His court “shall see to it” that Dr Aziz is provided with his rights, he told a crowded courtroom. “People owe their allegiance to the state because it promises them security and justice. If people lose faith in state institutions, you can imagine the consequences.”

    All sides in the case have so far avoided an all-out confrontation, which could stoke up the anger and resentment Pakistan about the so-called war on terror.

    Why the Americans are so interested in Dr Aziz remains unclear. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, quoting his unnamed colleagues, said that he operated on Bin Laden in Afghanistan two years ago. If this is true, the Americans are certain to want to discover all they can about this.

    Dr Aziz’s relatives in Lahore say he went to Afghanistan to do voluntary work at the Kabul Medical Centre. But they said he did so openly. He also travelled to Kosovo to work during the crisis there.

    He is a devout Muslim. One of the lawyers fighting his case, Ehsan Wyne, described him as “a religious and philanthropic person, but not a fundamentalist or an extremist”.

    There were unsourced news reports immediately after his arrest that he was accused of supplying anthrax to Islamist militants. Other accounts were even more vague, suggesting that he might have been involved in assisting al-Qa’ida to develop biological and chemical weapons.

    These allegations were dismissed as “absolutely baseless” yesterday by the doctor’s brother, Dr Muhammad Ayub, a Lahore cardiologist. He told The Independent that Dr Aziz was a prominent and busy surgeon, who trained in London and Edinburgh in the 1980s.

    He was not connected with any political organisation, he said. “He is an orthopaedic surgeon who I think may not even know the chemical formula for water. He is concerned with people’s bones.”

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=352575

    3.

    Doctor Amir Aziz released after month detention:

    LAHORE, Nov 19: Doctor Amir Aziz detained for 29 days over suspected links to top al-Qaeda militants was released today, his mother told AFP, hours ahead of a second deadline for the government to produce him in court. Doctor Amir Aziz, an eminent orthopaedic surgeon who openly sympathised with the Taliban and gave them free medical treatment on trips to Afghanistan, was delivered to his residence in Lahore by Pakistani intelligence agents. “He has been released. He is now sleeping,” Aziz’ mother Zakia said. The doctor’s release came days after the Lahore High Court ordered the government to produce him and outline under what grounds he was being held. The government failed to produce him last Friday and was ordered again to bring him before the court today. (AFP) (Posted @ 10:55 PST)
    Waqqas

    4.

    From Jang 11-20-02
    Dr Amir dramatically released after 29 days

    Says he was not physically tortured, but questioned by FIA team about Osama, Taliban

    By Salman Aslam & Asim Hussain

    LAHORE: Renowned orthopaedic surgeon and philanthropist Dr Amir Aziz was dramatically released in the early hours of Tuesday and dropped at his house after spending 29 days in captivity with the FBI and CIA officials who questioned him about his links with Osama Bin Laden and Taliban.

    Talking to The News, Dr Amir said the intelligence agencies picked him on October 21, from his house and handed him over to American agencies at an unknown place near Islamabad. He said they did not physically torture him, but he suffered a lot of mental torture during the interrogation by the US officials. His sudden arrival amazed his family when one of his brothers responded the doorbell and found him standing at the gate.

    The news of Amir’s release spread in the city like a wild fire as his close relatives, friends and colleagues rushed to his house to see him and congratulate his family.

    Mrs Kamran, sister-in-law of Dr Amir, said the courage of his mother during this ‘time of trial’ was a source of strength for the whole family. She was sick and weak, but instead of sitting in a corner crying for her son, she moved court and met people. It is a miracle and blessing of Almighty Allah that Amir is back among us.

    Amir said his captors specifically asked him about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, Mulla Omar and al-Qaeda network in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

    He said they believed that “I had treated Osama and other al-Qaeda members after September 11, and financed their activities.” He said that he was asked if he was involved in developing and transporting Anthrax, a chemical weapon, which killed many in the US. He said they also questioned him if he knew about the arms dumps of al-Qaeda in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

    Amir said the FBI agents interrogated him in groups of two in shifts in the presence of Pakistani officials. He said usually he was interrogated from 8 to 12 hours a day, sometimes it went on for 19 hours. They did not allow him to sleep and rest, he said. “They repeated the same questions, but learnt nothing from me,” he said.

    He disclosed that the Americans had some anonymous letters containing serious allegations against him. He did not know who wrote those letters and why, but believed some not so friendly people were behind them.

    Besides, he was questioned about some newspaper reports that he treated Mulla Omar and he had given him his pistol as a souvenir. “They questioned me about that pistol for two days,” said Amir. The Americans were also keen to discover my financial links with Osama bin Laden and Taliban. They were sure of that because they thought this was the reason “I have been treating the poor patients free of charges,” he said.

    To a question whether the Americans had anything concrete against him, he said in that case they would not have released him.

    Talking to newsmen at his house, Dr Amir Aziz said he was picked by the local intelligence agencies on October 21, and sent to Islamabad, where he was interrogated by the FBI and CIA teams.

    He said they accused him of providing facilities to al-Qaeda for making chemical weapons, but he refuted the allegations. He said they asked him to disclose the names of al-Qaeda people because he was with them as a doctor.

    To a question, he said he did not lie to his interrogators and told them the whole truth. Dr Amir said he made it clear to the investigators that he was a doctor and treated his patients irrespective of their color, caste and creed. He said he never questioned them about their religion or profession.

    5.

    From Jang 11-21-02

    Pakistan refuses to extradite Dr Aziz

    Surgeon twice failed lie detector test; denies helping al-Qaeda develop nuclear weapons

    By Mariana Baabar

    ISLAMABAD: Dr Amir Aziz, a leading orthopedic surgeon, twice failed a lie detector test, while in custody of the intelligence agencies, that picked him up without any charges on October 21. He was released on Tuesday on the intervention of the Lahore High Court and because of intense public pressure.

    “Dr Amir Aziz twice took the lie detector test, and both times he failed, while he was being interrogated both by the local and American intelligence agencies. We have definite information about him personally taking currency and some chemicals many a times to Afghanistan. He had broken the local laws on several accounts. We really did not have any problem with the people he gave medical treatment to inside Afghanistan. That was the least of our concerns,” government sources supervising and monitoring Amir Aziz told The News.

    A psychologist said it is now internationally accepted that because of sheer fear and tension, these tests cannot be fully relied upon and nor are they a hundred per cent perfect.

    What is little known is the fact, maintain our sources, that there was intense pressure on the Pervez Musharraf government to turn in Dr Amir Aziz to the US authorities and extradite him to the United States for further investigation. “Yes, there was tremendous pressure but we were given instructions from the highest authorities in the land, that though Amir Aziz would be held as long as possible for intense questioning by both governments, on no account would he be handed over to the Americans. In the past we had seen both the army and the prime ministers eager to hand over Pakistani nationals to the Americans but we insisted that if there were charges filed against Amir Aziz, then he would be tried in a Pakistani court,” confided the official.

    He added that even in the case of the American journalist, Daniel Pearl, the government had withstood American pressure to hand over the accused and instead Pakistan decided to hold the trial here.

    The military government once again asked by the visiting US Secretary of Treasury, Paul O’Neill for Amir Aziz’s extradition but Pakistan instead urged the US to help it recover millions of dollars stashed in the US banks by several Pakistanis presently wanted by the authorities here.

    However, our sources were tightlipped when asked about the kind of chemicals that Amir Aziz was suspected to have taken to Afghanistan and whether they were linked to the manufacture of Anthrax or some other biological weapon. “It is enough to say that Amir Aziz was not innocent as even in hell there is no fire, but that taken by a person with him,” the official said.

    The official would also not give a satisfactory reply as to why the charges could not stick and the doctor was released. “We are satisfied with the material we obtained during the investigations,” was the only answer.

    But others say two reasons hastened the process of the doctor’s release. First, was that the detention of Amir Aziz was going to be taken up in a big way in Parliament, where protests were going to be heard from every corner of the Lower House for which the government would have no reply.

    Secondly, the unprecedented reaction to the execution of Balochistan’s Aimal Kasi, was also an eye-opener for the government if it did not react quickly in the doctor’s case. “We knew that there would be some reaction in Quetta and we had organised security. But intelligence reports spoke of numbers exceeding far beyond what we had calculated. And this was proven from the time the body of Aimal Kasi arrived at Quetta airport till the time he was laid to rest. The message from the people was quite clear,” our sources said.

    AFP adds: A popular Pakistani surgeon was asked by US investigators during a month in detention if he had helped al-Qaeda develop nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons, he said late Tuesday.

    Agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) quizzed Aziz on allegations he supplied al-Qaeda militants with information on manufacturing non-conventional weapons, he told AFP in an interview at his home. “I was interrogated by FBI and CIA agents. All interrogation was conducted by them, but during all that time I was in the custody of Pakistanis,” Aziz said.

    “I was alleged to have helped al-Qaeda in preparing chemical, nuclear, biological and radiological weapons. All this was false.” He said his month in custody was spent in “long question-and-answer sessions” with the US investigators. “I suffered mental agony from the long sessions,” he said, adding there was no mental or physical torture.

    6. The Associated Press

    LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) – A prominent Pakistani doctor who admitted treating Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders before and after Sept. 11 said Wednesday that the terrorist mastermind was in excellent health and showed no signs of kidney failure.

    Dr. Amer Aziz, recently released after being held incommunicado and interrogated for a month by FBI and CIA agents, told The Associated Press he knew nothing of al-Qaida’s plans. He rejected allegations he helped the organization in its efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

    Speaking at his clinic in Lahore, Aziz said he met bin Laden twice – in 1999 after the al-Qaida leader hurt his back falling off a horse in southern Afghanistan, and in November 2001, two months after the terrorist attacks, when Aziz was summoned to treat another senior al-Qaida leader, Mohammed Atef, in Kabul.

    Bin Laden was in strong health on both occasions, said Aziz, a British-educated orthopedic surgeon. He said he saw no evidence that the al-Qaida leader had kidney disease, as has been widely reported, or that he was on dialysis.

    “He was walking. He was healthy. He just told me to give good treatment to his man (Atef), that he was a very important man,” Aziz said of the November meeting, in which al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was also present.

    “If you are on dialysis, you have a special look. I didn’t see any of that,” Aziz said, adding that he also gave bin Laden a complete physical in 1999 and found no signs of kidney problems.

    Reports of bin Laden’s poor health – and his deteriorating appearance in video tapes released shortly after U.S. bombing began in Afghanistan in October 2001 – fueled speculation that he might have died. Intelligence officials now say an audiotape released last month was recorded recently and was the voice of the al-Qaida leader.

    American officials say that they have received persistent reports that bin Laden was wounded or suffering some kind of kidney ailment, but none has been verified.

    Aziz said that when he went to Afghanistan last November to set up a surgical unit at the University of Jalalabad, near the border with Pakistan, he had no idea that he was going to meet bin Laden.

    “I was stunned,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is the most wanted man in the world.’ But he seemed so calm.”

    A day after he treated Atef for a slipped disk, the al-Qaida military chief was killed by U.S. bombing, Aziz said, adding that he attended Atef’s funeral.

    The bearded Aziz, who speaks fluent English, said it never occurred to him to turn in bin Laden. He said he had been traveling to Afghanistan since 1989 to give medical support to Islamic fighters, a time when it was “kosher for everyone to support the mujahedeen,” or holy warriors. In those days, anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan were supported by the United States.

    “Different countries have since made a somersault, but I had no plans to do so myself,” he said. “Anyone who is fighting for what is right, it is my duty to treat them.”

    Aziz said his American interrogators grilled him on bin Laden’s health, asked him for the names of those he treated, and accused him of helping al-Qaida obtain weapons of mass destruction.

    “The allegations were stunning, to say the least,” the doctor said. “I was told that I had been involved in helping al-Qaida with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons – the whole lot.”

    Aziz said he had no training or knowledge in making weapons. He said he was never privy to al-Qaida plans – before or after Sept. 11.

    “They said: ‘Since you have been close to them for so long, you must be a confidante and they must confide in you,”’ Aziz said. “I said: ‘You may eat and drink and travel with people. You don’t disclose you’re business plans to them.”’

    Aziz said U.S. agents – seven men and one woman – took turns interrogating him for up to 19 hours at a stretch. He said he was held after his Oct. 21 arrest in a locked room at a safe-house in Rawalpindi. Each morning, he would be blindfolded and driven to another house about a half-hour away, where the interrogations were held.

    Aziz said he was not physically abused and that his treatment was good, although he complained the agents smoked heavily – more than a pack a day each in the small interrogation room. “I’ve never smoked so much passively in my life,” he said.

    Aziz said he told the agents everything he knew. One American interrogator gave him a book on al-Qaida, “Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America,” written by an anonymous senior U.S. intelligence agent, which Aziz said he read during his incarceration.

    He said the agents threatened him with years in jail and offered him money and a new life in the United States if he cooperated. He said the repetition of their questions got to him.

    “Once I broke down and wept because they wouldn’t believe me. It was so frustrating,” he said.

    In the end, Aziz said, the agents let him go because there was no evidence against him. He said that before his Nov. 19 release, the agents each apologized to him for putting him through the ordeal, then returned him to his family in Lahore.

    He said he is trying not to be bitter.

    “It’s Allah’s will. When I was there I would pray that Allah would give me something good to take out of this,” Aziz said. “I think he has. I am a much more patient man now, and I have learned a lot. But my family has been through hell.”

    11/27/02 20:51 EST

  9. DXer said

    John Brennan Is Still Wrong on Gitmo Detainee

    8:12 AM, May 13, 2011 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/john-brennan-still-wrong-gitmo-detainee_560982.html

    But a recently leaked April 29, 2008 threat assessment prepared by Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) contains numerous references to Batarfi’s ties to al Qaeda’s anthrax program. These connections were made through a known al Qaeda front named al Wafa, which employed Batarfi and provided cover for al Qaeda’s pre-9/11 pursuit of an anthrax capability.

    • DXer said

      The equipment included a centrifuge and autoclave.

      http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/627-ayman-saeed-abdullah-batarfi/documents/2/pages/3316#21

      “It was [a] centrifuge, anti placenta for blood groupings; it was [an] autoclave for blood spacement. It was very simple equipment. He said it was approximately $5000.”

      Later, during that same ARB session, the following allegation was read:

      “The Detainee told another al Wafa volunteer to purchase four to five thousand United States Dollars worth of medical equipment for the Malaysian microbiologist.”

      Again, Batarfi responded:

      “…I told the Malaysian microbiologist, if you want to purchase the $5000 worth of items for the lab it is better to purchase it through al Wafa and you give the money to Afghanistan to me and then send it to Pakistan because it is unsafe.”

      I’m more troubled by the fact that Dr. Batarfi stated it was in August 2001 when numerous other witnesses confirm that the shipment of that equipment occurred in May 2001, not August 2001.

  10. DXer said

    “Do No Harm”: Biography of the Former Cairo MD Vanguards of Conquest #1 Agiza

    Ahmed Agiza was born in 1956. A summary provided by the American Civil Liberties Union: describes the life of Ahmed Agiza.

    In November 1998, Mahmoud Jaballah spoke to a colleague and was informed that a man matching Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub’s description had moved to Toronto. Jaballah said that he was a shrewd and manipulative man who had worked directly under Abdel Hamid, thought to be a reference to Ahmed Agiza, which CSIS maintains would make Mahjoub the second-in-command of the militant organisation Egyptian Islamic Jihad/Vanguards of Conquest. Ahmed Agiza’s rendition from Sweden in mid-December is one of the most oft-cited examples of a CIA rendition.

    Forty-five year-old Ahmed Agiza was secretly apprehended in Sweden on December 18, 2001, by Swedish Security Police. Agiza was then handed over to agents of the CIA. The ACLU reports rendition agents ” stripped him, dressed him in overalls and chained and shackled him before transporting him in a Gulfstream V aircraft to Egypt, where he was severely tortured.” In 1982, the ACLU alleges, Agiza had been arrested and tortured by Egyptian security police because they suspected that his cousin had been involved in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. Agiza filed a lawsuit against the Egyptian government in 1991 for his torture and then left Egypt with his family to various countries in the Middle East, before finally settling in Iran.

    Agzia was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 25 years in the 1999 trial of the Albanian returnees.

    The ACLU biography explains:

    “In early in 2000, concerned that improving relations between Egypt and Iran might result in his expulsion back to Egypt, Agiza decided to flee Iran with his family and seek asylum in the United Kingdom. Because he could not secure visas to travel to the U.K., he purchased tickets to Canada instead. On September 23, 2001, during a transit stop through Stockholm, Agiza and his family decided to seek asylum in Sweden, instead.

    On December 18, 2001, while their joint application for asylum was pending before the Swedish immigration authorities, Agiza was secretly apprehended by Swedish Security Police and taken by them to Bromma airport on the outskirts of Stockholm where he was handed over to agents of the CIA. They stripped him, inserted suppositories into his rectum, dressed him in a diaper and overalls, blindfolded him and placed a hood over his head. Agiza was then handcuffed, shackled and dragged into an awaiting Gulfstream V aircraft, registered number N379P. Flight records obtained in the course of investigations in Europe into CIA activities in Europe show that this aircraft departed Johnson County Airport, North Carolina on December 18, 2001 and proceeded to Cairo, Egypt. These records show also that the same aircraft then left Cairo for Bromma airport in Sweden and arrived there at 7:43 p.m. The plane departed Bromma for Cairo at 8:48 p.m., arriving on December 19, 2001. On December 20, 2001, the aircraft departed Cairo at 6:56 and arrived back in Washington, D.C. at 7:18 p.m.

    ***

    Agiza was held in solitary confinement in a squalid prison cell measuring little more than two square meters, without windows, heat or light. He was kept shackled and blindfolded for extended periods, and was interrogated, beaten, and tortured repeatedly.”

    On April 27, 2004, after a six-hour military trial, Agiza was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for membership in an Islamic organization banned under Egyptian law. In June 2004, Agiza’s prison sentence was reduced to 15 years and he was transferred to the minimum security prison at Tora. In September 2008, Agiza was awarded $ 527,000 in damages in a settlement with the Swedish ministry of justice.

    Given that the anthrax was sent the day after the denial of Mahjoub’s bail — just as had been threatened in late January 2001 — the facts relating to Agiza and who he knew are important to keep in mind.

    • DXer said

      “Do No Harm”: Biography of the Former Cairo MD Vanguards of Conquest #1 Al-Sharif

      Al-Sayyid Imam Abd-al-Qadir Imam al-Sharif was the ideological theoretician and spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad throughout much of the 1990s in Afghanistan. He was born in Egypt in 1950. Like Zawahiri, he was introverted and memorized the Quran at a young age. He learned life’s lessons by rote from an old book. Like Zawahiri, his academic success led him to the Cairo University Medical School. He graduated in 1974, the same year as Zawahiri, and like Zawahiri got his masters there in 1978. He worked as an intern in the surgery department of Qasr al-Ayni Medical College, which was the school’s teaching hospital. Al-Shairf, known as Dr. Faldl in Islamist circles, was active in the student cells that formed the first core of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He knew Kamal Habib, EIJ’s founder, and Ayman Zawahiri well. After the Sadat assassination and its aftermath, he fled in 1982 and settled for a short while in the United Arab Emirates. He then left it for the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, He was joined by Ayman al-Zawahiri in 1986 and taught Ayman some of the practical surgery skills that had eluded him

      They both then left for the city of Peshawar on the Pakistani-Afghan borders where Al-Sharif managed the Kuwaiti Crescent Hospital. Al-Sharif was the spiritual leader of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization from 1987 until 1993. He completed there his first book “The Fundamentals of Preparedness for Holy War” which provided key guidance for the jihadists along with his book “The Complete Guide to Seekers of Holy Science.” After going to Sudan in 1993, he had a falling out with Al-Zawahiri there. Al-Sharif’s chief strategic disagreement with Zawahiri was that he believed that violent attacks were futile, and instead advocated slow and steady infiltration into the structure of the state. Before he left Sudan, Al-Sharif gave a copy of his finished manuscript to Zawahiri, saying that it could be used to raise money. But then Zawahiri omitted key criticisms from the manuscript and the radical changes infuriated Al-Sharif. Al-Sharif then left Sudan to Yemin in the middle of 1994 where he worked as a doctor. He worked at a hospital at a mountain town outside of Sanaa, Yemen and called himself Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Sharif.

      In 1999, like Dr. Agiza, he was sentenced was 25-years in absentia in the “Returnees from Albania” trial. He worked in Yemen until 2004 when the government handed him over to the Egyptians in February 2004. In 2007, he issued his initiative for stopping the violence “A Document for Rationalization of Jihad in Egypt and the World.”

      In it, he emphasized that “all the jihadist movements in the world should rationalize their operations according to the Shariah rules, especially after the appearance of updated versions of killing in the name of jihad which involved breaches of the Shariah.” His son reports that at Tora Prison, his “cell” is a private room with a bath and a small kitchen, refrigerator, and a television.

      Al-Sharif writes: “Oh, you young people, do not be deceived by the heroes of the Internet, the leaders of the microphones, who are launching statements inciting the youth while living under the protection of intelligence services, or of a tribe, or in a distant cave or under political asylum in an infidel country. They have thrown many others before you into the infernos, graves, and prisons.” Muhammad Salah, the Cairo bureau chief of Al Hayat, was allowed into Tora Prison to interview Fadl, and published a . a six-part series, where Fadl defended the work as his own and “left no doubt of his personal grudge against Zawahiri.” Fadl labels 9/11 “a catastrophe for Muslims,” because Al Qaeda’s actions “caused the death of tens of thousands of Muslims—Arabs, Afghans, Pakistanis and others.”

      Former EIJ spiritual guide, Cairo Medical School trained Al-Sharif, has continued his catfight with Zawahiri. Cairo-based writer for the Ann Arbor charity IANA, Kamal Habib, says that the criticism of Zawahiri is making Imam (Al-Sharif) look bad.

      As with both Zawahiri and Agiza, given that the anthrax was sent the day after the denial of Mahjoub’s bail — just as had been threatened in late January 2001 — the facts relating to al-Sharif and who he knew are important to keep in mind.

  11. DXer said

    http://www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp?id=612

    In December 2002, Jang publication “The News” (in English), in reporting on a raid of a compound of doctors in Lahore, Pakistan let drop a remarkable sentence about the microbiologist who actually played a central role in seeking to obtain the Ames anthrax strain for Ayman Zawahiri. The article noted, as reported by the CIA’s Foreign Broadcasting Information Service, that “Well-placed sources pointed out the Manawan arrests were also part of the chain of events which started from the arrest of PCSIR’s Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research microbiologist of Dr. Abdur Rauf and interrogations of Dr. Amer Aziz.”

  12. DXer said

    By way of background, Jamil Qasim, mentioned in the Detainee Assessment above, was rendered on October 23, 2001. He was a student helping with procurement of equipment from Karachi.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TKjL_5gbFHgJ:www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp%3Fid%3D2850+anthrax+Qasim&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    It was 1 a.m. in the morning on October 23, 2001. Parts of the airport runway were pitch black. Masked Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (“ISI”) agents in a rented white Toyota sedan sped up with a shackled and blindfolded man. In the empty corner of the Karachi airport, a soldier with his face covered filmed the transfer of Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, age 27. Two weeks earlier a postal worker had died in the US from exposure to mailed anthrax. Authorities were rounding up the usual suspects — using a Gulfstream V jet registered to people in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. who existed only on paper.

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