Zarqawi: among the plotters
From the New York Post, :
April 27, 2004 — Diabolical al Qaeda terrorists confessed yesterday to plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy and other targets in Jordan with sophisticated chemical bombs that could have wiped out 80,000 people.
Azmi al-Jayousi, leader of the terror cell, said the fiendish plan also targeted the headquarters of Jordanian intelligence and the prime minister’s office.
The plot aimed to use trucks loaded with explosives and chemicals to unleash massive poison clouds, Jordanian officials said.
The authorities said a group of 10 suspects planned to pack the truck bombs with deadly cocktails of 71 lethal chemicals – including blistering agents, nerve gas and choking agents – and then simultaneously crash them into their targets.
A Jordanian government scientist said the well-trained terrorists – who had acquired 20 tons of chemicals – had planned to combine just the right amount of explosives to spread the lethal clouds without destroying the poisonous chemicals.
In a confession aired on Jordanian state TV, al-Jayousi, the head of the Jordanian cell of al Qaeda, admitted he was schooled in explosives and poisons in Afghanistan, then plotted in Iraq with Jordanian militant Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, a close associate of Osama bin Laden.
“I took explosives courses, high level, poisons, then I pledged allegiance to [al-Zarqawi], to obey him without any questioning,” said al-Jayousi, who had marks on his face and neck.
Another suspect, car mechanic Hussein Sharif Hussein, said al-Jayousi recruited him and asked him to buy and modify trucks so they could crash through gates and walls.
Upon exploding, the truck bombs would have released a toxic cloud that would have extended for three miles over Amman, the capital.
Al-Jayousi said he received $170,000 from al-Zarqawi via messengers from Syria to finance the truck-bomb plot and used part of it to buy tons of chemicals.
“According to my experience as an explosives expert, the whole of the intelligence department will be destroyed,” al-Jayousi said.
The headquarters are within a mile of a large medical center, a shopping mall and a residential area.
In raids last Tuesday, Jordanian officials said they seized 20 tons of chemicals and explosives as well as three trucks with specially modified plows designed to crash through security barricades.
The chemicals included sulfuric acid, a powerful blistering agent that can also be used to increase the strength of explosions.