Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|In pin sat a pin, in pin out: Anthrax inside or outside US?|
|10/30/01 at 08:31:16|
|Evidence supports both foreign, domestic theories|
Clues pointing to domestic terrorists:
Handwriting analysts and terrorism experts cite the notes that accompanied the anthrax sent to Sen. Tom Daschle, NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw and the New York Post. The analysts point out that the writer used the abbreviation "09-11-01" to refer to the date of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. An American would be more likely to abbreviate the date using that month-day-year format; Europeans and many Asians would be more likely to place the day before the month: 11-09-01. Several analysts also point to the notes' sign-off — "Allah is great" — as an indication that it might have been the work of an American trying to come off as an Islamic terrorist. A Muslim would have been far more likely to write, "God is great," the analysts say.
The way the anthrax attacks were carried out — a few letters targeting select individuals — is not typical of Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda terrorism network. Al-Qa'eda's attacks on U.S. embassies, the U.S. military and other targets typically have been dramatic events designed to kill as many people as possible.
Investigators seeking links between the 19 hijackers and the anthrax attacks have come up with no leads. Tests conducted on hijackers' hotel rooms, apartments and rental cars and on luggage they left behind have revealed no traces of anthrax.
Anthrax is widely available in academic and other research settings, making it possible for a rogue scientist here to have produced the product that was mailed.
Clues pointing to foreign terrorists:
Producing the type of anthrax spores that were used and turning them into an aerosol form requires much money and expertise. That may indicate that the anthrax was produced by a state-sponsored bioweapons program.
The first known postmark on an anthrax-laden letter — the one sent to Brokaw — was Sept. 18. That suggests an attack that was designed to be a follow-up to the hijackings a week earlier. Some analysts say that the difficulty involved in handling such potent anthrax makes it unlikely that a domestic group not linked to the hijackings could have been inspired by them, then put the anthrax into the mail system within 7 days.
No radical groups in the USA are known to have the capability to have produced the type of anthrax used in the attacks.
Investigators now know that hijacker Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence official in June 2000 and in April. They also know that Iraqi officials have had conversations with al-Qa'eda about biological weapons since the mid-1990s. Finally, U.S. officials know that Iraq's efforts to build up its bioweapons program have included the hiring of several scientists from the former Soviet Union who have such expertise.
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