Papers in Kabul houses give insight on al-Qaida

Maps, lists, weapons are evidence of scope of network, ties to Taliban

War On Terrorism

The World


KABUL, Afghanistan - A flight simulator computer program, a list of flight schools in the United States and documents describing chemical, biological and nuclear warfare and referring to the al-Qaida organization were found yesterday in two houses littered with paper.

Some of the documents - in addition to 19 highly advanced French-made Milan antitank missiles discovered Thursday - were in a house that belonged to the Ministry of Defense of the former Taliban government.

Other documents were found in a private residence two miles away in the same upscale district of Kabul.

The houses appeared to have been left in haste when the Taliban abruptly fled the city Monday.

The contents of the houses - hundreds of pieces of paper scattered across the floors - appeared to provide evidence of the activities of al-Qaida in Kabul, confirming the extent of its network, the nature of its planning and its training methods, as well as its links to the Taliban government.

The houses were adorned with maps, including one listing the locations of power plants in Europe, Africa and Asia. Another map showed Saudi Arabia with American military bases marked with the words, "Occupied by the Crusader."

There were also ashes and other evidence in both houses that documents had been burned.

It was not clear how the French-made antitank missiles could have been obtained by the Taliban.

The papers include addresses of individuals living in Canada and Italy, letters listing the names of young recruits hoping to join the al-Qaida network and lists of people who lived in the houses.

One of the visiting cards was from U-Enterprises Ltd., a Vancouver-based company that was founded in April 1998. One of its directors is Essam Hafez Marzouk, who was arrested in Egypt two years ago and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for links to the militant Islamic Al Jihad group.

The contents of the two houses suggest an organization that used the Internet to research rudimentary bomb-making and chemical weapons development and to track news coverage of Osama bin Laden.

Notebooks from young recruits describe daily lessons in military tactics, bomb-making and basic chemistry. About 20 people worked in each of the houses, neighbors said.

The neighbors described the men as Arabs who kept to themselves and followed regular routines. The documents suggest a broad network, including Somalis, Algerians, Bosnians, Uzbeks, Sudanese and natives of the Dagastan region of Russia.

Documents in English described "explosives and demolition techniques" and showed how to blow up electrical power lines. Others, in Arabic, showed how to put a bomb in a suitcase and pass lie detector tests.

The private house held several aviation-related documents. Amid the paper was a form that comes with a "Microsoft Flight Simulator 98" computer program, which simulates the experience of flying a commercial jet.

The form listed the identification number the owner needed to install the program. In an adjacent room, a tattered page from an undated Flying magazine listed U.S. flight training schools.

A document titled "Before and After Precautions For Using Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare" was found on the floor of the private house. The page contained the preface by Abul Khabad, a man who identified himself as being from Greece and a "protector of Mujahadin."

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