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

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* what BL-3 lab did Abdur Rauf visit?

Posted by DXer on June 29, 2009

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what BL-3 lab did Abdur Rauf visit?


Ayman letter

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) gave DXer a copy of the correspondence between the scientist helping Ayman Zawahiri infiltrate western biodefense along with 100+ pages of documents seized in Afghanistan.

Abdur Rauf … was the subject of a 2006 article by Joby Warrick in the Washington Post, titled Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case … Scientist With Ties To Group Goes Free.

Here are excerpts from that article …

  • In December 2001, as the investigation into the U.S. anthrax attacks was gathering steam, coalition soldiers in Afghanistan uncovered what appeared to be an important clue: a trail of documents chronicling an attempt by al-Qaeda to create its own anthrax weapon.
  • The documents told of a singular mission by a scientist named Abdur Rauf, an obscure, middle-aged Pakistani with alleged al-Qaeda sympathies and an advanced degree in microbiology.
  • Using his membership in a prestigious scientific organization to gain access, Rauf traveled through Europe on a quest, officials say, to obtain both anthrax spores and the equipment needed to turn them into highly lethal biological weapons.
  • He reported directly to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and in one document he appeared to signal a breakthrough.
  • “I successfully achieved the targets,” he wrote cryptically to Zawahiri in a note in 1999.
  • Precisely what Rauf achieved may never be known with certainty.
  • That’s because U.S. officials remain stymied in their nearly five-year quest to bring charges against a man who they say admitted serving as a top consultant to al-Qaeda on anthrax.
  • With the evidence against Rauf, some U.S. officials say they are perplexed about why Pakistani authorities have refused to further pursue him, while acknowledging that the case presents both legal and political difficulties for Pakistan.
  • The heavily redacted notes and other documents were obtained from the Defense Department through the Freedom of Information Act after they were first described in the journal Science in a 2003 article by three researchers at the National Defense University.
  • Rauf’s name was redacted, but U.S. and Pakistani officials confirmed his authorship in interviews with The Washington Post.
  • Rauf’s detention kicked off a joint U.S.-Pakistani investigation that at first was remarkably successful.
    • The FBI’s New York office took the lead U.S. role, and its agents worked closely with the CIA and bureau officials in Pakistan in carrying out interrogations.
    • Though not formally charged with any crimes, Rauf consented to questioning and provided useful leads, U.S. and Pakistani officials said.
    • But problems began when the U.S. side sought to expand the investigation with the goal of pursuing criminal charges, including possible indictment and prosecution in the United States, officials from both countries confirmed.
    • In earlier cases, the Pakistani government incurred the wrath of Islamic leaders when it sought to prosecute professionals for alleged ties to al-Qaeda.
    • In 2003, the Pakistanis shut off U.S. access to Rauf. According to Pakistani officials familiar with the case, there simply was not enough evidence showing that he succeeded in providing al-Qaeda with something useful.
  • Since then, Rauf has been allowed to resume his normal life.
  • “He was detained for questioning, and later the courts determined there was not sufficient evidence to continue detaining him,” said Tariq Azim Khan, Pakistan’s information minister. “If there was evidence that proved his role beyond a shadow of a doubt, we would have acted on it. But that kind of evidence was not available.”
read the entire article at …

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