Friday, September 23, 2005

1999 Article in Sharq al Awsat Said Al Qaeda Had Anthrax

The following article, published in Arabic on March 6, 1999 in the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat, details confessions made to courts in Egypt that confirm that as of 1999, Osama Bin Laden and elements loyal to him had already purchased biological weapons including Ebola, Anthrax, and Salmonella.


Bin-Ladin Men Reportedly Possess Biological Weapons

Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic

March 6, 1999

Report by Khalid Sharaf-al-Din in Cairo

(FBIS Translated Text) Confessions by defendants in the "Albanian Arabs" case, which is being considered by the Egyptian Supreme Military Court at Hykstap Base, northern Cairo, have revealed that elements loyal to Bin-Ladin have obtained germ and biological weapons by post in return for a small sum. Factories in the former (Soviet bloc) eastern countries are supplying to whoever wants them viruses causing deadly diseases, such as Ebola and Salmonella, without verifying the identity of the importer.

Thus, a member of the organization has managed to obtain an offer for the supply of samples of anthrax and other poisonsfrom a factory in one of the East Asian countries. The germs have been made available at a price equivalent to $3,695 plus freight charges. At another point in the investigation, the defendants pointed out that a laboratory in the Czech Republic agreed to supply samples of the deadly gas, Potolinium (transliterated as published), for a sum equivalent to $7,500 per sample.

The laboratory did not inquire about the purposes for using the deadly gas.

Egyptian security agencies have conducted investigations into the case of the "returnees from Albania" over the past four months and compiled a 20,000-page report, parts of which have been examined by Al-Sharq al-Awsat. The defendants made full confessions about the nature of their activities against the Egyptian regime, such as acts of violence in Egypt and plans to destabilize the state. The confessions of the defendants revealed many surprises about the full role being played by the leaders of fundamentalist groups abroad.

The first defendant in the "Albanian Arabs" case, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Najjar, revealed in his confession, which covers 143 pages of the report on the investigations conducted by the higher state public prosecution before referring the whole case to the military justice, that Ayman al-Zawahiri was declared leader by members of Jihad group abroad several years ago; also, that 'Abbud al-Zummar, former leader of the group and founder of the Jihad Organization, who is currently serving a life sentence for the assassination of the late Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, is no longer the actual leader of the organization and does not have any organizational authority.

This information explains the conflicting positions of the imprisoned group leaders and the absconding leaders abroad on the initiative to stop acts of violence, which was announced by the imprisoned leaders and rejected by the absconding ones. Al-Najjar says Jihad's organizational structure has become very complex since many leaders now live abroad, and those who live in Egypt are careful to not expose themselves to danger.

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