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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Al Qaeda and Biological Weapons

Bottom line up front and then we will hit the meat and potatoes of the news reports.

A report from the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation, released in December, warned that "terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon."

With that said, yesterday a news article was released by The Sun, claiming that al-Qaeda has been experimenting with the Bubonic Plague aka Black Death, which killed tens of thousands of people in the Middle Ages.

The report alleges that the al-Qaeda experiment went wrong and ended up killing over 40 al-Qaeda operatives.

The killer bug, also known as the plague, swept through insurgents training at a forest camp in Algeria, North Africa. It came to light when security forces found a body by a roadside.

The victim was a terrorist in AQLIM (al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb), the largest and most powerful al-Qaeda group outside the Middle East.

It trains Muslim fighters to kill British and US troops.

Now al-Qaeda chiefs fear the plague has been passed to other terror cells — or Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Following up on that report, the Washington Times, says according to an intelligence official, it is confirmed there was and experiment gone "awry" although the Bubonic Plague aspect itself was dismissed by the official and it was referred to as "biological or chemical."

The official, who spoke on the condition he not be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said he could not confirm press reports that the accident killed at least 40 al Qaeda operatives, but he said the mishap led the militant group to shut down a base in the mountains of Tizi Ouzou province in eastern Algeria.

He said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The communication suggested that an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official.

No matter the exact nature of what chemical or biological agent was being experimented with, the bottom line here is that al-Qaeda managed to kill 40 of their own, they are still intent on attacking and killing as many innocent people as they can and they are working with weapons such as these.

Another little tidbit in the Times' report shows:

British authorities in January 2003 arrested seven men they accused of producing a poison from castor beans known as ricin. British officials said one of the suspects had visited an al Qaeda training camp. In the investigation into the case, British authorities found an undated al Qaeda manual on assassinations with a recipe for making the poison.

With George Bush handing over the White House to Barack Obama, we can only hope that Obama will be as vigilant against terror attacks as Bush has been since 9/11.

For those that like to pretend the danger isn't there.... this should serve as a wake up call, then again, those that cannot see the dangers to begin with after 9/11, are probably to wrapped up in denial to bother waking up to these realities to begin with.