“Using his membership in a prestigious scientific organization to gain access, Rauf traveled through Europe on a quest, officials say, to obtain both anthrax spores and the equipment needed to turn them into highly lethal biological weapons.” Wouldn’t it be a good idea for such scientific organizations to begin at least attempting to screen prospective members for adherence to the jihad ideology? But of course, no one is considering such measures. To do so would (somehow) constitute “bigotry.”
“Suspect and A Setback In Al-Qaeda Anthrax Case: Scientist With Ties To Group Goes Free,” by Joby Warrick in the Washington Post, :
In December 2001, as the investigation into the U.S. anthrax attacks was gathering steam, coalition soldiers in Afghanistan uncovered what appeared to be an important clue: a trail of documents chronicling an attempt by al-Qaeda to create its own anthrax weapon.
The documents told of a singular mission by a scientist named Abdur Rauf, an obscure, middle-aged Pakistani with alleged al-Qaeda sympathies and an advanced degree in microbiology.
Documents seized by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2001 included letters from a Pakistani scientist to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The scientist, identified by U.S. and Pakistani officials as Abdur Rauf, traveled through Europe in search of anthrax spores and bioweapons equipment. The result of his work for al-Qaeda remains unclear.
Using his membership in a prestigious scientific organization to gain access, Rauf traveled through Europe on a quest, officials say, to obtain both anthrax spores and the equipment needed to turn them into highly lethal biological weapons. He reported directly to al-Qaeda’s No. 2 commander, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and in one document he appeared to signal a breakthrough.
“I successfully achieved the targets,” he wrote cryptically to Zawahiri in a note in 1999.
Precisely what Rauf achieved may never be known with certainty. That’s because U.S. officials remain stymied in their nearly five-year quest to bring charges against a man who they say admitted serving as a top consultant to al-Qaeda on anthrax — a claim that makes him one of a handful of people linked publicly to the group’s effort to wage biological warfare against Western targets.
Rauf, 47, has been under scrutiny in Pakistan since he was detained there for questioning in late 2001, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials who agreed to talk about the case for the first time. But officially he remains free, and Pakistan now says it has no grounds for arrest. Last year, in an acknowledgment of the impasse in its four-year joint investigation with Pakistan, the FBI officially put the case on inactive status.
“We will never close the door, but the chances of getting him into the United States are slim to none,” said one U.S. intelligence official, who, like others, agreed to discuss the case on the condition that he not be identified by name.