Unholy trinity in chemical weapons pact

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Unholy trinity in chemical weapons pact

Chris Griffith 24sep01

AS intelligence services try to prove who was behind the New York and Washington attacks, the evidence is mounting that a secret pact was forged between Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Sudan to wage a terrorist war against the US.

The pact, forged in 1998, led to Iraqi experts helping to build a chemical weapons factory especially for bin Laden's terrorists in Sudan and bin Laden and Saddam Hussein's Iraq co-operating to build several others. In a paper for the US Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, its chairman Yossef Bodansky said the chemical weapons factory, in Soba, south-west of Sudan's capital Khartoum, was built with Iraqi know-how for Islamic terrorists affiliated mainly with bin Laden.

Bodansky's paper shows a growing brashness of Iraqi involvement in developing chemical weapons for terrorism in Sudan away from the prying eyes of US planes patrolling the no-fly zone in Iraq. It cites two other ultra-modern chemical weapons factories built in Sudan with Iraq expertise.

One, at Kafuri, houses laboratories developing chemical weapons, nerve agents and biological weapons, while another in the Mayu area has production lines for warheads, bombs and canisters utilising chemical agents. They were built three years ago.

Iraq and bin Laden both separately forged links with Sudan, in north Africa, a decade ago.

The Iraqi-Sudanese co-operation began during the 1990 Gulf War when Iraq sent guns equipped with chemical shells, SCUD-B launchers and missiles to Sudan to strike Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The fact these SCUDs originated from Iraq was confirmed in the mid-1990s when the Russians, after being asked to fix them, recognised the serial numbers were from missiles sold to Iraq.

After the Gulf war, Iraq needed to protect its chemical weapons development from US forces patrolling the Gulf.

This escalated in 1997 when Iraq moved weapons it had stored in Yemen to Sudan, and in the same year, weapons of mass destruction.

Bin Laden's involvement with Sudan began in 1991 after he was expelled from Saudi Arabia for his anti-government activities. He spent five years living in Sudan building a complex web of business and financial interests before returning to Afghanistan.

Intelligence reports claim the secret pact between Sudan, Iraq and bin Laden was made in October 1998 and there are numerous reports of meetings between bin Laden and Iraqi officials since.

Some of this evidence emerged in early 1999, when the Paris-based Arab language newspaper Al Watan Al Arabi reported that western diplomatic and security sources had warned in secret reports that Iraq, Sudan and bin Laden were co-operating to build several chemical and germ weapons factories in Sudan financed by bin Laden and supervised by Iraqi experts and technicians.

It said the Baghdad-Khartoum-bin Laden deal was regarded as the biggest act of co-ordination between extremist Islamic organisations and Baghdad "for confronting the US, the common enemy".

Late in 1998, Italian paper Corriere della Sera reported: "Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden have sealed a pact."


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 24, 2001

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