We posted a week or two ago on the arrest of al Qaeda plotters in Jordan, armed with chemical weapons which they obtained in Syria; one obvious question is whether the weapons originated in Iraq. Here is the latest on what should be a really big story, unless there is an unpopular vote on American Idol tonight:
Under the direction of Abu Musab al Zarqawi — a terrorist chemical-weapons expert who began operating in Iraq well before the U.S. invasion of that country — al Qaeda planned to launch its first weapons-of-mass-destruction attack last month in Jordan. The U.S. Embassy in Amman was one of the planned targets of the attack.
A televised confession by the terrorist allegedly responsible for carrying out the operation included information that closely tracks the testimony about Zarqawi and his operations in Iraq that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003.
According to the government of Jordan, the attack could have killed as many as 80,000.
In Herat, [Afghanistan],” Jayousi told Jordanian TV, “I began training under Abu Musab [al Zarqawi] which involved high-level instruction in explosives and poisons. Then I promised my loyalty to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I agreed to work for him — no questions asked. When Afghanistan fell, I again met up with al-Zarqawi in Iraq.”
“There in Iraq,” said Jayousi, “I was told by Abu Musab to travel to Jordan with Muwaffaq Udwan. We were to get ready for a military action in Jordan.”
“When I arrived in Jordan, I met with another person with ties to Abu Musab by the name of Haytham Omar Ibrahim — a Syrian — who secured our safe houses,” said Jayousi.
“Next Muwaffiq and I began reconnaissance on the targets,” said Jayousi. “Then we began to gather chemicals needed to make explosives. . . . amassing almost 20 tons, which was sufficient for all our plans in Jordan. Then I began manufacturing.”
During this time, Zarqawi directed resources to Jayousi through Syria.
Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing that the administration foresaw after 9/11 and has done its best to combat, apparently wilth extraordinary success?