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

* GAO: Is there any evidence that Al Qaeda has ever used anthrax in an Improvised Explosive Device as Mullah Doud has claimed?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 8, 2012

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One Response to “* GAO: Is there any evidence that Al Qaeda has ever used anthrax in an Improvised Explosive Device as Mullah Doud has claimed?”

  1. DXer said

    The New York Times has written about the planning to use ricin in bombs.

    Mr. Klaidman’s book discussed how Awlaki’s involvement served as part of the justification for targeting him for killing by drones (citing lawyer and government official Harold Koh).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/world/middleeast/13terror.html?pagewanted=all

    Qaeda Trying to Harness Toxin for Bombs, U.S. Officials Fear

    Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
    Yemeni soldiers sought Qaeda militants last year. Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch is said to be seeking castor beans for making ricin.
    By ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER
    Published: August 12, 2011

    For more than a year, according to classified intelligence reports, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen has been making efforts to acquire large quantities of castor beans, which are required to produce ricin, a white, powdery toxin that is so deadly that just a speck can kill if it is inhaled or reaches the bloodstream.

    Intelligence officials say they have collected evidence that Qaeda operatives are trying to move castor beans and processing agents to a hideaway in Shabwa Province, in one of Yemen’s rugged tribal areas controlled by insurgents. The officials say the evidence points to efforts to secretly concoct batches of the poison, pack them around small explosives, and then try to explode them in contained spaces, like a shopping mall, an airport or a subway station.

    President Obama and his top national security aides were first briefed on the threat last year and have received periodic updates since then, top aides said. Senior American officials say there is no indication that a ricin attack is imminent, and some experts say the Qaeda affiliate is still struggling with how to deploy ricin as an effective weapon.

    These officials also note that ricin’s utility as a weapon is limited because the substance loses its potency in dry, sunny conditions, and unlike many nerve agents, it is not easily absorbed through the skin. Yemen is a hot, dry country, posing an additional challenge to militants trying to produce ricin there.

    But senior American officials say they are tracking the possibility of a threat very closely, given the Yemeni affiliate’s proven ability to devise plots, including some thwarted only at the last minute: a bomb sewn into the underwear of a Nigerian man aboard a commercial jetliner to Detroit in December 2009, and printer cartridges packed with powerful explosives in cargo bound for Chicago 10 months later.

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