- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

Al Qaeda has been testing fatal chemical weapons on dogs, according to videotapes obtained by CNN and scheduled to air this week.
"Perhaps the most disturbing piece shows the test of chemical agents on dogs. This has never been seen before," CNN foreign correspondent Nic Robertson said yesterday on "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."
"We see experiments involving three different dogs. The dogs die as a result of chemical elements being introduced to the rooms that they are in."
Mr. Robertson said he obtained 64 tapes which "experts" from a variety of different fields have labeled "authentic al Qaeda material" about a month ago from a contact in Kabul.
He said some chemical analysis specialists who have viewed the dog tapes believe the gas used to kill them was "probably a nerve agent," while others either "believe it may be hydrogen cyanide" or are not sure what it is.
"But what they all conclude from this material is that al Qaeda here has demonstrated that they cannot only control these chemical agents, but they have found a way essentially of weaponizing it, putting it in a form that can kill animals and, these experts believe, potentially humans," Mr. Robertson said.
"They believe that the al Qaeda can control this material in such a way that they can now use it as a lethal force against the rest of the world."
CNN has shown the tapes to specialists in defense, military training and explosives.
Mr. Robertson said there have been indications from some interviews with al Qaeda prisoners that the terrorist network has been testing with cyanide and other chemicals.
Weapons experts he spoke with said the tapes provide "conclusive proof of a level of knowledge, of a level of training, of a level of sophistication and a level of development" that was not previously known.
One expert who saw the tapes, he said, was convinced they had been "filmed by al Qaeda for al Qaeda." Because of this, the viewer concluded "we had, in fact, discovered a library belonging perhaps to Osama bin Laden, definitely to key members of al Qaeda."
Mr. Blitzer said another "very chilling videotape" involving training in explosives and urban attacks will air this week on CNN's "Terror on Tape" series.
Mr. Robertson said one tape shows the chemical process involved in making pure TNT. "But it goes beyond that," he said, since that same process is used in making fuses and detonators. This is significant, he said, because detonators have historically been difficult for terrorists to make.
A CNN spokeswoman said the first of Mr. Robertson's "Terror on Tape" reports will air today in the 7 a.m. hour of "American Morning." But she said reports will continue throughout the week.
The reports are also scheduled to be broadcast at 5 p.m. weekdays on "Wolf Blitzer Reports." Mr. Blitzer warned that "viewer discretion is strongly advised," because the segments "contain very disturbing material."

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