GENTECH archive


Sudangas clue: story stinks

My confidential sources reveal that the bombed Sudan site is also the
covert source of traces of the compound "AGWA"(registered tradename).
Although "AGWA" is plentiful elswhere, the Sudan  is a desert region where
the compound is extremely rare. Its presence in minute quantites
indicates that the site has been used in the manufacture of life-forms
which are a threat to international stability.

"My confidence that the facility was manufacturing hostile life-form
precursors is quite high," said MichaelP, speaking for an anonymous
source. Intelligence officials report that the bombed factory has been
under satellite scrutiny since before it was conceived; they add that
intelligence agents had obtained neighbourhood soil samples before
construction of the now-destroyed factory , samples which contained
"significant" amounts of the compound "AGWA" .


London TIMES   August 26 1998
   VX gas clue 'in factory soil'
   A SOIL sample secretly obtained from the Sudan factory bombed by
   America last week contained a chemical used to make nerve gas,
   intelligence officials in Washington claimed yesterday.
   The announcement was made only two days after the Administration said
   it would not release details of evidence linking the factory to
   chemical weapons. The policy switch came under pressure to justify the
   bombing in the face of growing insistence in Sudan and elsewhere that
   the factory made only medicines and was unconnected with Osama bin
   Laden, the Saudi multimillionaire who has now been charged with
   terrorism by a grand jury in New York.
   US officials said they also believe that Iraqi scientists engaged in
   chemical warfare were helping to produce elements of the nerve gas VX
   at the Sudan factory. "Our confidence that the facility was
   manufacturing chemical-weapons' precursors is quite high," said Mike
   McCurry, the White House press secretary, speaking from Martha's
   Vineyard where President Clinton is on holiday.
   Intelligence officials said the factory on the outskirts of Khartoum
   had been under surveillance for more than two years, adding that the
   CIA had recently obtained samples from its surroundings that contained
   "fairly high amounts" of the chemical Empta
   (O-ethylmethylphosphonothioic acid). The Americans said the chemical
   had seeped into the soil through spillage or emissions from the
   factory and had no known use other than for making VX. The
   Administration has also admitted for the first time that the Ashifa
   pharmaceutical factory was also making medicines, including malaria
   pills for children. It was destroyed by US Navy cruise missiles.
   Earlier, American officials had said they knew of no commercial
   production at the plant.
   Sudanese officials dismissed the soil sample claim as a lie. They said
   the Americans could have taken sand from anywhere in the world.
   Tom Carnaffin, a British engineer who once managed part of the Ashifa
   factory, said on American television that it did not have the safety
   factors or decontamination areas needed to make hazardous components
   of nerve gas. But American experts said that hiding a small production
   area inside a large factory was not difficult.
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