Skip to main content /WORLD
CNN.com /WORLD
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


COMPLETE COVERAGE | FRONT LINES | AMERICA AT HOME | INTERACTIVES »

Al Qaeda documents, manuals found in Kabul

Papers reveal plans to construct nuclear weapons

papers
Papers found in homes vacated by al Qaeda in Kabul reveal detailed nuclear weapons research.  


KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- As the Taliban fled Kabul after opposition forces moved into the city, discarded documents from the al Qaeda terrorist network were discovered in their wake, revealing terrorism plots and plans to construct nuclear weapons.

CNN found several documents in the diplomatic quarter of Kabul, including one bound together by a note with the words "the biggest bombs" in Arabic script. The following pages indicated research into nuclear weapons material, including uranium-235, and one heading read "how to make a nuclear bomb."

CNN found piles of papers, exercise books, documents and instruction manuals in the Kabul quarters for the Taliban's Arab guest fighters, tossed out as the Northern Alliance moved into Kabul.

VIDEO
CNN's Christiane Amanpour reports on documents found in Kabul that detail nuclear weapon assembly instructions (November 16)

Play video
(QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
 
Attack on America
 CNN.COM SPECIAL REPORT
 CNN NewsPass Video 
Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
 MORE STORIES
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
 EXTRA INFORMATION
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
Most wanted terrorists
What looks suspicious?
In-Depth: America Remembers
In-Depth: Terror on Tape
In-Depth: How prepared is your city?
 RESOURCES
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk

CNN's people in Kabul say at least one of the al Qaeda houses they and other news organizations visited was "cleaned out" overnight. While the houses are still full of trash, all the interesting documents have been removed. CNN's Jamie McIntyre has confirmed U.S. forces have been on site.

The documents CNN found included a letter to Abu Habbab, one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants, in which the author wrote: "I am sending you companions who are eager to be trained in explosives and whatever else they may want." The letter was signed and dated January 2001.

In an apparent reference to the September 11 terror attacks, another letter sent from Kandahar to Kabul said that since the last operation against America, the author was unable to travel and that he had changed his name.

Many of the documents and manuals included instructions on how to hijack and blow up airplanes, and how to explode trains, ships and other modes of transportation. One 82-page manual included a notation that said it was published by al Qaeda's committee for recruitment and training.

Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge confirmed Thursday that nuclear-related documents were found in an al Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan. At the same time, Ridge downplayed the significance of the material on CNN's "Larry King Live," saying much of it could have been taken off the Internet years ago.

"To my knowledge there wasn't anything there that isn't in some public library or that you couldn't pull off the Internet," he said. "I think the concern that we have is this individual, he's talking about acquiring the broadest possible range of weapons; so we have to prepare against all of them."

CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour contributed to this report.



 
 
 
 



RELATED SITES:
See related sites about World
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

WORLD TOP STORIES:

 Search   

Back to the top