From: NY Transfer News
Subject: Brits, Europeans Highly Skeptical of "Dirty Bomber" Tale
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 04:46:12 -0400
Organization: NY Transfer News
NNTP-Posting-Date: 14 Jun 2002 08:44:57 GMT
User-Agent: Pan/0.11.3 (Unix)
Brits, Europeans Highly Skeptical of "Dirty Bomber" Tale
Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit
ENGLISH, EUROPEAN SECURITY EXPERTS DOUBT USA'S TALE ABOUT PADILLA
The Independent - June 12, 2002
British security sources raise doubts over US claims about 'dirty bomber'
By Kim Sengupta and Andrew Buncombe in Washington
British and European security officials are highly sceptical of
American claims that the alleged "dirty bomb" plotter, Abdullah
al-Muhajir, was preparing to unleash a radioactive attack.
British sources point out that despite extensive inquiries, no
evidence has been produced to show that he had access to the
radioactive material needed to build the bomb, or indeed that he had
even worked out a time or place to launch the attack.
The most that could be said about Mr Muhajir, a former member of a
Chicago street gang now allegedly working for al-Qa'ida, is that he
had the "intention" of launching such an attack, security sources
President Bush announced yesterday that a "full-scale manhunt" was
under way across the United States for accomplices of Mr Muhajir.
"We will run down every lead, every hint. We're in for a long
struggle in this war on terror. And there are people that still want
to harm America."
Before his arrest at Chicago's O'Hare airport on 8 May, Mr Muhajir
who changed his name from Jose Padilla stopped in Zurich on the
way from Pakistan, where he collected $10,500 (7,000).
Despite claims by the Attorney General, John Ashcroft, that the FBI
had disrupted a plan to launch a radioactive attack against
Washington, other officials conceded yesterday that there was no
evidence that any such plot had progressed beyond the most basic
British security sources, who believe Mr Muhajir might have been
acting as a courier, said the Americans investigated Mr Muhajir's
activities and tried to find a terrorist network he may have been
involved with inside the US. The highly publicised announcement of
the arrest only came after the failure to find anything more
In Washington there was a growing suspicion that the arrest was
seized on by the Bush administration in dramatic fashion for
political ends. British and European security agencies do believe,
however, that there is still a real threat of a possible attack.
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