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


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

Possible weapons lab found in Afghanistan

Possible weapons lab found in Afghanistan


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. troops operating near Kandahar discovered a chemical and biological research facility built by al Qaeda forces in the region, the U.S. military said Saturday.

The site contained laboratory equipment that could be used to research and produce biological and chemical weapons, according to U.S. Central Command, which is overseeing the military campaign in Afghanistan.

American troops found "medical supplies and commonly available laboratory equipment judged suitable for growing biological samples, as well as a variety of associated supplies," said U.S. Central Command.

But a Pentagon official said there is no evidence that any chemical or biological weapons were actually produced at the laboratory.

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

"There were no biological agents and no active production of material at this site," the official said.

According to other military officials, the types of materials and equipment found suggest the development of weapons of mass destruction appeared "beyond the grasp" of al Qaeda.

U.S. officials have repeatedly said that Osama bin Laden, the terrorist mastermind alleged to have engineered the September 11 terrorist attacks, has sought various weapons of mass destruction -- including nuclear devices -- as well as biological weapons such as anthrax.

"A variety of sources" led to the discovery of the facility in southern Afghanistan. But defense officials would not say whether interrogations of Taliban and al Qaeda captives being held in Afghanistan and at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, played a role in the discovery.

Pentagon officials said the laboratory is similar to up to 60 sites discovered, identified and examined by U.S. and coalition forces. The sites showed al Qaeda's "obvious intent" to research and develop biological and chemical weapons.

"No one has been able to connect the dots," however, or link the facilities to a common biological or chemical production effort, said U.S. officials.



 
 
 
 







RELATED SITES:
WORLD TOP STORIES:

 Search   

Back to the top