NEW YORK, May 9: A leaked US document suggests that the owner of several drugstores in New York City could be an Al Qaeda agent with knowledge of anthrax, 'Mother Jones' a prominent online blog reported on Monday.
The anthrax drug is believed to be lethal as it causes instant death if one breathes or touches it. In the aftermath of 9/11 attacks many cases of anthrax were discovered but none was fatal as suspected.
The document was apparently released by Wikileaks which has made public hundreds of documents with information on suspected extremists held at the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
According to 'Mother Jones' blog, a 2008 US document says the name of the Pakistani-born entrepreneur was cited in a paper discovered at a Qaeda location in his home nation, seemingly connected to an allusion to a vaccine for anthrax, which is considered a potential bioterror agent. A calendar retrieved from one possible militant contained unspecified information connecting the businessman to biological weapons activities.
The man's name was included in the document, but was not published by 'Mother Jones' as he could not be reached directly to address the assertion included in the US document. The article notes that the validity of the claim linking the man to the terrorist network could not be determined.
The suspect held at Guantanamo Bay said that the pharmacy owner was a long-time acquaintance and an operative for a Taliban-backing organisation active in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
One document states that a person held since 2003 had a diary with details on how to reach a “possible Al Qaeda anthrax operative” who was said at the time to reside and own a number of pharmacies in New York.
Internet information indicates that the man owns no fewer than four drugstores around New York City. A call to one location reached a man who said he was the brother of the owner who, he said, had returned to Pakistan, claims the website.