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There Are Two Anthrax Institutes in Afghanistan

Posted October. 18, 2001 09:34,   


While it was known that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had founded and operated a large-scaled anthrax vaccine research laboratory in Kabul, the Afghan capital, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Oct. 17 that there is another anthrax vaccine research laboratory in Jalalabad, the Taliban stronghold.

This newspaper reported that the French NGO, MADERA (committee for aid to Afghanistan urban economy development) founded a research center for anthrax vaccine in Jalalabad in 1996 under the permissions from the Taliban with the financial supports from EU, France and UN subsidiary groups, and produced 6 hundred bottles of vaccines in this center to prevent animals from being infected with anthrax.

The U.S. Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI), which is conducting an investigation over the case of anthrax-tainted mail attacks that is driving the whole world into fear, stated on Oct. 16 that the case was not found to have been carried out systematically, but its possibility might not be totally excluded.

The New York Times reported on Oct. 17 that there were on the mails delivered to Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashle and NBC news anchorman Tom Brokaw such words as `Death to America` and `Allah is Great` adding ``there is a possibility that the writer of the mail can be an Islamic fundamentalist or a person who is connected to Osama bin Laden.``

This newspaper pointed out that the anthrax bacteria delivered to Sen. Dashle had been well refined so that their spores could be spread out through the air, and they might affect President George W. Bush`s visit to China.

ABC reported on Oct. 16, citing FBI officials, that on the basis of the fact that the anthrax bacteria had been produced by advanced technical skill as not to be found by a electronic elector, they could possibly have been produced for a military use or by a group who are receiving nation-level support.

The U.S. news media pointed out that only such countries are able to produce such highly refined anthrax bacteria as the United States, Britain, Russia or Iraq, and it is highly possible that among these countries Iraq could be behind the scene.

Meanwhile, British newspaper Guardian reported on Oct. 17 that the Taliban of Afghanistan had proposed to the United States that it could had over bin Laden to a country other than the U.S. for a trial without any condition if the U.S. stopped air strikes.

This newspaper reported, citing a top Pakistani military official, ``The Taliban`s proposal as such was made when Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil visited Pakistan on Oct. 15 and met CIA and Pakistani officials.``

The U.S. continued to strike on Oct. 16 and 17 by dispatching two U.S. Army Special Forces AC-130 gun-ships besides combat planes the areas where the Northern Alliance and the Taliban were confronting each other in addition to air-defense systems and military facilities that had been major targets so far.

Han Ki-Heung eligius@donga.com