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

* Mohammed Ahmad Rabbani was one of two who Khalid Mohammed (KSM) used to help Atef and Sufaat moving a roomful of crates purchased in Pakistan to Kandahar for the Al Qaeda anthrax program. KSM’s assistance had been sought by Abu Harith al-Masri.

Posted by DXer on May 6, 2011



7 Responses to “* Mohammed Ahmad Rabbani was one of two who Khalid Mohammed (KSM) used to help Atef and Sufaat moving a roomful of crates purchased in Pakistan to Kandahar for the Al Qaeda anthrax program. KSM’s assistance had been sought by Abu Harith al-Masri.”

  1. DXer said

    Nothing but Pitch Black Darkness
    Ahmed Rabbani’s journey through the U.S. dark prison system to Guantánamo.
    By Fatima Bhutto
    AUGUST 14, 2021, 3:20 AM

  2. DXer said

    The Rabbani in the news today who helped move the crates for Yazid Sufaat’s relocated and expanded lab was Abdul Rabbani, not this other Rabbani. It took both Rabbanis to do the heavy lifting.

    Here is Abdul Rabbani’s March 2016 profile.

    Click to access 20160321_U_ISN_1460_GOVERNMENTS_UNCLASSIFIED_SUMMARY_PUBLIC.pdf

  3. DXer said

    At Atef’s instruction, in May 2001, KSM had some crates with laboratory equipment to Kandahar where Sufaat was setting up a new lab. He had been at Omar Hospital.

  4. DXer said

    Science writer Laurie Garrett explains in I HEARD THE SIRENS SCREAM (July 18, 2001)

    “The other revelation in the 641 pages was evidence related to three 2004 searches for anthrax spores carried out by the FBI and “other intelligence partners” in an “overseas location” used in 2001 by al-Qaeda. Though the location is classified, it appears to have been Afghanistan, where U.S. Special Forces found two al-Qaeda related laboratories, one in Kabul and the other in Tora Bora, where Osama bin Laden successfully dodge American capture in December 2001?”

    [Comment: Tora Bora? Kandahar.]

    The three different rounds of swabbing, soil sampling and testing yielded contradictory results, some positive for anthracis, some negative. Adding to the confusion, another unnamed U.S. intelligence agency scoured the location before the FBI first reached the site, not only finding anthrax, but the Ames strain. The Ames-type Bacillus anthracis is a form of the bacterium never previously found in Asia. Further details of the possible al-Qaeda role in Amerithrax remain classified, and were not provided to the NRC.

    One point stands out: The primary two rounds of testing, first by an unnamed intelligence agency and then by the FBI, came up positive for Ames strain anthrax, while the second two were negative. It cannot be ruled out that the first two rounds of swabbing and sampling were so thorough that little Bacillus anthracis remained to be found in the final pair of investigations.

    Given the passage of time between putative use of the al-Qaeda lab and the four separate rounds of scouring and swabbing, including ultimate removal of entire sinks and plumbing for laboratory testing back in the U.S., the NRC said the FBI findings were, “inconclusive regarding the presence of B. anthracis Ames at the undisclosed site. Several scientific and technical issues should be explored in more detail.” The entire issue of possible al-Qaeda involvement in the 2001 anthrax attacks “deserves a more thorough scientific review,” the NRC said.

  5. DXer said

    The crates were moved in May 2001 to Kandahar. But let’s consider the anthrax vaccine lab in Kabul.

    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 an 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 noted that the Taliban could have obtained the knowledge to handle and develop anthrax.

    The Taliban 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 who reported the battlefield rumor that the next wave would be a chemical or biological attack.

  6. Old Atlantic said

    Citizenship Pakistan. Pakistan may send our stealth helicopter to China in retaliation for our finding bin Laden and killing him in their country. Their anger is the reaction of the guilty caught in the act. Screaming. Threats. Anger. Venting hatred.

    We are seeing their true selves. We are seeing their true attitude towards us. Harboring bin Laden is the moral equivalent of sending anthrax through the mail to create terror in the US.

    They are the ones who don’t respect what is ours. They are the ones who didn’t respect us before the 9/11 and anthrax attacks. Search Pakistan sanctions unjust to hear how they spoke of us before 9/11. It is continuous with how they speak now.

  7. DXer said

    Zacarias Moussaoui received his money from Yazid Sufaat, under the cover of a company managed by his wife named Infocus Tech, an importer of US computer software and hardware. (245) Sufaat, who was arrested upon returning from Afghanistan to Malaysia where he had been serving in a Taliban medical brigade, 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. 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.

    After authorities found a letter signed by Yazid Sufaat purporting to authorize Zacarias Mousaoui as its marketing representative, they went looking for Mr. 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. According to his wife, Sejarhtul Dursina, “He had planned to set up a medical support unit in Afghanistan, near Kandahar.” Dursina had attended Sacramento State with him. It was her mother who encouraged Yazid’s religious studies.

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