Borders, cyanide, and terrorism
5/29/2002 12:00:00 AM - Michelle Malkin
Unidentified bandits stole 10 tons of sodium cyanide briquettes
earlier this month during a roadside robbery in Mexico. The lethal chemical,
combined with sulfuric acid, is used in gas chamber executions; a single
whiff can kill in minutes. The hijacked truck was found May 16 with some of
the storage containers still intact. But between 70 and 80 drums, each
weighing about 220 pounds, are still missing.
State Department official Francis Taylor said he was "concerned
about it ending up in terrorist- or criminal- or
people-that-don't-know-what-they-have hands." So should we all be.
Assurances from American embassy officials that Mexican authorities are
"taking the lead" to find and prevent the cyanide from leaving the country
are hardly comforting.
This is a government, after all, that encourages millions of its
citizens to break our laws and violate our borders every day. And whose idea
of border security is for us to build water stations and light towers for
the comfort and convenience of their nation's smugglers bringing people and
goods into our country illegally.
The Dallas Morning News points out that "there is no evidence
that the material might be headed for the United States or even that the
hijackers knew what they were stealing." Well, there's no evidence to the
contrary, either. There is plenty of evidence, however, that this deadly
poison is in high demand by Osama bin Laden's operatives all over the world
who want to kill Americans. They want to send it through our air vents,
smear it on our doorknobs and dump it in our water supplies.
Ramzi Yousef, one of the convicted 1993 World Trade Center
masterminds, told federal agents that he would have used sodium cyanide if
he had the money because he wanted to create a deadly gas cloud that would
rise into the office towers and kill everyone. Ahmed Ressam, the al Qaeda
terrorist convicted in the Los Angeles International Airport millennium
bombing plot, testified recently that he had been trained in an Afghanistan
camp on how to kill people with cyanide. Here's a partial transcript from
his testimony last summer against a fellow conspirator:
Question: "You practiced these techniques on the dogs so that
later on in one of your operations you would be able to perform such
techniques on human beings, is that correct?"
Ressam: "Yes. We wanted to know what is the effect of the gas,
Question: "Some of your potential targets while you were in the
camp were American citizens, is that correct?"
Ressam: "In regard to targets in general, yes. Yes, we were
speaking about America as an enemy of Islam."
Question: "[O]ne of the examples was to put the cyanide right
near the air intake of a building such as a government building, correct?"
Ressam: "Yes, that's right."
Question: "And the reason that you would put the cyanide, you
were trained, near the air intake would be to kill the most amount of people
without endangering yourself and without being detected, correct?"
Ressam: "Yes, that's how gas is used in killing."
Ressam also described how terrorist coaches instructed al Qaeda
campers on how to mix cyanide and other toxic chemicals into an oily paste
to smear on door handles so that those who touched them would be killed by
toxins coursing through their blood. This method, Ressam confirmed, was to
be used "against intelligence officers and other VIPs."
In France last March, European intelligence agents disrupted a
plan by suspected al Qaeda terrorists to test a poison gas weapon reportedly
made with hydrogen cyanide. In Italy, two different groups with links to al
Qaeda were arrested earlier this year in possession of cyanide compounds.
One of the groups had maps of underground tunnels, where holes had been dug,
and a water main leading to the American Embassy in Rome.
America is under attack. Eight to nine tons of cyanide are
missing. And we are letting Mexico "take the lead" in finding the shipment
and preventing it from making its way across our borders and into our water