Iranian NBC Components Possibly On Hijacked Ship

There is speculation that one of the Iranian ships seized by Somolian pirates may contain either chemical or nuclear components. Several of the pirates have become ill and the wounds descibed indicates some sort of chemical or nuclear agent was responsible.

As Somali pirates brazenly maintain their standoff with American warships off the coast of Africa, the cargo aboard one Iranian ship they commandeered is raising concerns that it may contain materials that can be used for chemical or biological weapons.

Some local officials suspect that instead of finding riches, the pirates encountered deadly chemical agents aboard the Iranian vessel.

On Aug. 21, the pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, stole onto the decks of the merchant vessel Iran Deyanat.

They ransacked the ship and searched the containers. But in the days following the hijacking, a number of them fell ill and died, suffering skin burns and hair loss, according to reports.

The pirates were sickened because of their contact with the seized cargo, according to Hassan Osman, the Somali minister of Minerals and Oil, who met with the pirates to facilitate negotiations.

“That ship is unusual,” Osman told the Long War Journal, an online news source that covers the War on Terror. “It is not carrying a normal shipment.”

The pirates reportedly were in talks to sell the ship back to Iran, but the deal fell through when the pirates were poisoned by the cargo, according to Andrew Mwangura, director of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program.

“Yes, some of them have died,” he told the Long War Journal. “Our sources say [the ship] contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals.”

Iran has called the allegations a “sheer lie,” and said that the ship “had no dangerous consignment on board,” according to Iranian news source Press TV. Iran says the merchant vessel was shipping iron ore from a port in China to Amsterdam.

The ship’s contents are still unclear, but the reported deaths and skin abrasions have raised concerns that it could be more than meets the eye.

The massive shipping company that controls the vessel, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL), was recently designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury over nuclear proliferation concerns. IRISL, which is accused of falsifying documents to facilitate the shipment of weapons and chemicals for use in Iran’s missile program, is blocked from moving money through U.S. banks as well as from carrying food and medical supplies as part of U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

“IRISL’s actions are part of a broader pattern of deception and fabrication that Iran uses to advance its nuclear and missile programs,” said Stuart Levey, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The U.S. government has made no accusation against IRISL regarding the Iran Denayat; the State Department would not comment on reports of its suspicious cargo.

“I don’t have any information on that case,” said State Department spokesman Curtis Cooper. “We’re aware that there are currently 12 other hijacked ships off the Somali coast. This is obviously something that is disturbing.”

Experts on Somalia are dubious of claims made by the country’s provisional government, whose president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, reportedly has family ties to the pirates.

“I’m not saying it’s impossible that this has happened, but I’d take anything they say with a great deal of salt,” said J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University. “They have made fanciful claims before in the hopes of attracting U.S. and other international attention.”

Pham said that the 14 provisional governments that have ruled Somalia since 1991 have all relied on foreign aid for support and profit and could be trying to attract attention by inflating the current crisis.

“Would it be beyond them to raise the specter of WMDs in order to attract resources and international assistance? The only source of revenue for this government is foreign aid,” he told FOXNews.com.

Chemical experts say the reports sound inconsistent with chemical poisoning, but may reflect the effects of exposure to radiation.

“It’s baffling,” said Jonathan Tucker, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “I’m not aware of any chemical agent that produces loss of hair within a few days. That’s more suggestive of high levels of radioactive waste.”

Tucker, a chemical and biological weapons expert, said that Chinese companies have been implicated in selling Iran so-called dual-use chemicals, legal ingredients that can be processed into chemical weapons.

The U.S. government says that Iran maintains facilities to process those chemicals as part of a chemical and biological weapons program. “Iran continues to seek dual-use technologies that could be used for biological warfare,” said Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell in testimony before Congress in February.

But while Iran has purchased and shipped such chemicals in the past, it remains unclear whether the Iran Deyanat contains any illegal chemicals or harmful agents.

“A number of Chinese companies have been implicated in this illicit trade, but I’ve never heard of extremely toxic chemicals being shipped,” Tucker told FOXNews.com. “It’s very rare it’s very unlikely that a country would ship manufactured weapons from one country to another.”

Click here to read more on this story from the Long War Journal.

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North Korea Starting Up Nuclear Program Again

Well I did not think the original intentions of the North Korean regime would last long… That is if it actually ever did stop. I gues now that Kim is feeling better, he is back in control. There must have been some speculation within the N. Korean leadership that he was not going to pull through when they originally agreed to stand down their nuke program.

I wonder what Obama would do… How would he handle this situation. Diplomacy has not worked, is not working and does not look like it will work in the near future. Maybe he will do what Bill Clinton did, look the other way until they have more nuclear weapons developed… The same strategy he will use against Iran I am sure.

North Korea says it is preparing to restart its partially dismantled main nuclear reactor.

North Korean diplomat Hyon Hak Bong made the announcement to reporters Friday in the border village of Panmunjom, where talks are set to begin between North and South Korea on energy aid.

Pyongyang had been dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear reactor as part of a six-nation nuclear disarmament deal. But it suspended work on the facility because it said the United States had failed to remove the North from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. 

British research institute International Institute for Strategic Studies says it will take less than a year for North Korea to restore the reactor.

Hyon also angrily denied reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is sick, dismissing them as rumors spread by people who hate his country. 

South Korean officials said earlier this month that Mr. Kim underwent brain surgery after suffering a stroke. The 66-year-old leader’s health has been the focus of global concern after he failed to show up at a national celebration marking the country’s 60th anniversary.

In a separate development , an expert on Pyongyang’s missile program says North Korea appears to be able to test its missiles under more realistic conditions than before. Joseph Bermudez’s comments to VOA on Thursday follow South Korean media reports that North Korea has been testing the engine for its longest-range missiles. 

Bermudez reported last week in Jane’s Defence Weekly about a new North Korean missile test and launch site, which he called Pyongyang’s “most advanced to date.” He said the launch facility appears to be about one or two years from completion. 

The long-range missile is theoretically capable of hitting the United States, but it failed less than a minute after launch during a test in 2006. It is not known if the missile is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon of the size that North Korea is able to produce. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

Ahmadinejad Denies 9/11Happened

Ok the tinfoilist have already tried to play this one out and have been proven wrong. They have never been able to produce a single piece of evidence. Now Ahmadinejad, the terrorist president of Iran, has declared that 9/11 did not actually happen. I guess that since he was not allowed to the site of the World Trade Centers, that  is evidence that the attack never took place. What an asshat.

This is more rhetoric from a little man who needs to stay in the spot light. I thinks that Hugo Chavez will be coming out with similar rhetoric soon.

I find it interesting that he makes this public announcement in conjuction with his refusal to abide by UN Resolutions… Hmmm.

In his most provocative anti-US speech to date, Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raised doubts about whether al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001 attack on New York actually took place. He was addressing Iran’s Nuclear Technology day, April 8, DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report. He went on to ask why the US had never released the names of the thousands of dead in the Trade Center attacks and how the most advanced security, intelligence and tracking devices in the world had failed to detect the hijackers’ planes before they struck the two New York towers.

Ahmadinejad is famous also for denying the Nazi Holocaust.

Announcing earlier that Iran had begun installing 6,000 new advanced (P2) centrifuges for uranium enrichment at Natanz, the Iranian president claimed his country’s nuclear program had passed the point of no-return technologically and politically.

America is disintegrating politically, militarily and economically, according to Ahmadinejad, who boasted that Iran’s nuclear achievement is a turning-point in history that will change the international order prevailing since World War II.

He asked why everyone jumps on Iran’s nuclear program when “a band of international pirates has stores crammed with nuclear bombs.”

DEBKAfile adds: By going full steam ahead with uranium enrichment, Iran is flouting three UN Security Council resolutions and standing fast against threats, sanctions and incentives offered by the West to halt a process capable of producing nuclear weapons.

Instead, Tehran is installing a new generation of advanced P2 centrifuges to replace the older P-1 machines and accelerate enrichment. He claims they are five times cheaper than the commercial machines.

The five Security Council members and Germany meet later this month for their umpteenth discussion on Iran’s nuclear activities. However, aside from “sweetening” their incentives package and tighter sanctions, they have run out of ideas for curbing Iran’s rapidly-advancing nuclear plans.

China Hands Over Intel Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program

China, a long time defender of Iran over it’s potential nuclear weapons program, has turned over intel regarding the program. China is probably in a good position to actually reveal what Iran’s intentions are as it is believed they helped Iran develope their nuclear program.  This is a turning point for Iran, as one of their staunchest allies is afraid enough of what Iran’s plans are, they are releasing their information on it.

VIENNA, Austria —  China, an opponent of harsh U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran, has nonetheless recently provided the International Atomic Energy Agency with intelligence linked to Tehran’s alleged attempts to make nuclear arms, diplomats have told The Associated Press.

Beijing, along with Moscow, has acted as a brake within the council, consistently watering down a U.S.-led push to impose severe penalties on Tehran for its nuclear defiance since the first set of sanctions was passed in late 2006.

A Chinese decision to provide information for use in the agency’s attempts to probe Iran’s purported nuclear weapons program would appear to reflect growing international unease about how honest the Islamic republic has been in denying it ever tried to make such arms.

The new development was revealed by two senior diplomats who closely follow the IAEA probe of Iran’s nuclear program. One commented late last week and the other Wednesday.

The IAEA declined comment, and nobody was picking up phones at the Iranian and Chinese missions to the IAEA.

John Bolton, the previous U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and before that the U.S. undersecretary of state in charge of the Iran nuclear dossier, said any such Chinese move would be “potentially significant” because of Beijing’s former military ties to Tehran. /**/

In a telephone call from Washington, Bolton said America believed that the Chinese had helped Iran develop its nuclear program, particularly in one area of uranium enrichment, “plus they had cooperation on ballistic missile programs as well.”

The diplomats said Beijing was the most surprising entry among a fairly substantial list of nations recently forwarding information to the agency that adds to previously provided intelligence, and which could be relevant in attempts to probe Iran for past or present nuclear weapons research.

But they said several other countries not normally considered to be in the anti-Iran camp had also done so in recent weeks.

The diplomats — who demanded anonymity because their information was confidential — declined to name individual nations. But they attributed a generally increased flow of information to the U.N. nuclear watchdog to concerns sparked by a multimedia presentation to the 35 IAEA board members by the agency in February about intelligence previously forwarded by member states on Iran’s alleged clandestine nuclear arms program.

One of the diplomats said the agency also was on the lookout for misleading information provided it, either inadvertently or in attempts to falsely implicate Iran.

One example, he said was a document showing experiments with implosion technology that can be used to detonate a nuclear device. While the document appeared genuine, it was unclear whether it originated from Iran, said the diplomat.

Suspected weapons-related work outlined in the February presentation and IAEA reports preceding it include:

—uranium conversion linked to high explosives testing and designs of a missile re-entry vehicle, all apparently interconnected through involvement of officials and institutions;

—procurement of so-called “dual use” equipment and experiments that also could be used in both civilian and military nuclear programs; and

—Iran’s possession of a 15-page document outlining how to form uranium metal into the shape of a warhead.

A U.S. intelligence estimate late last year said Tehran worked on nuclear weapons programs until 2003, while Israel and other nations say such work continued past that date.

Tehran continues uranium enrichment, which can generate the fissile core of nuclear warheads, and has led to three sets of Security Council sanctions but insists it is developing the technology only for its other use — power generation.

It denies ever trying to make atomic arms and last month declared the issue of its purported nuclear weapons strivings — and any attempt to investigate them — closed, asserting that information suggesting it ever had a nascent nuclear arms program is fabricated.

But the agency has signaled it is not giving up on its efforts to investigate purported military aspects of Tehran’s nuclear activities. Other diplomats told the AP that deputy director general Olli Heinonen planned to meet in the next few days with Ali-Ashgar Soltanieh, Iran’s chief delegate to the agency, to press for answers.

Ahead of that tentative meeting, Gregory L. Schulte, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, urged Tehran to end its stonewalling. He told the AP that with the next IAEA report due in about two months, time was running out for Iran to “explain these serious indications of troubling activities.”

An IAEA report in February said suspicions about most past Iranian nuclear activities had eased or been laid to rest. But it also noted that Iran had rejected the information provided by IAEA member nations to the agency for its probe of suspected weapons research as false and irrelevant.

It also noted that Iran had blocked agency requests to talk to key officials suspected of possible involvement in past military nuclear programs, among them one identified by diplomats as nuclear engineer Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

They told the AP that he and others active as academics in Iran’s civilian nuclear faculties are suspected by the agency of key roles in secret nuclear activities with a possible military dimension, including the procurement of “dual use” equipment.

In a summary recently forwarded to the AP, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group that claims to have informants inside the Iranian government, identified three others as Revolutionary Guard commander Fereydoon Abbasi, Seyed Jaber Safdari and Mohammed Mehdi Nejad-Nouri.

It said the three and others are involved in clandestine nuclear weapons-related research at three Iranian universities: Beheshti; Malek Ahstar and Imam Hossein.

Asked for verification, a senior diplomat of an IAEA member state said that a fact check run by his country’s relevant agency showed the claims to be generally accurate. Another senior diplomat also said the information appeared to be fairly reliable.

Saddam’s Downfall

Here’s another story the liberal media does not want you to know. They are so intent on chanting that Bush Lied that they want to bury the truth.

The truth is simple, Saddam Hussein had a program to convince the world that he had weaopons of mass destruction and had all intentions of starting it up once the heat was off. He had the assests in place to resume the program at will, sort of like Iran’s “suspended” nuke program…

The program was so good they he believed it himself…

But the liberals will keep chanting that Bush Lied… Wake up, it is only a lie if he knew it to be false and said it anyways… Bush, Congress, intel agencies around the world, governments around the world believed that he had weapons of mass destruction. The liars are the ones that deny they believed it or campaign that they only believed it because of Bush’s lies…

NEW YORK – Saddam Hussein allowed the world to believe he had weapons of mass destruction to deter rival Iran and did not think the United States would stage a major invasion, according to an FBI interrogator who questioned the Iraqi leader after his capture.

Saddam expected only a limited aerial attack by the United States and thought he could remain in control, the FBI special agent, George Piro, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

“He told me he initially miscalculated … President Bush’s intentions,” said Piro. “He thought the United States would retaliate with the same type of attack as we did in 1998 … a four-day aerial attack.”

“He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack,” Piro said.

In 2003, a close aide of Saddam’s told The Associated Press that Saddam did not expect a U.S. invasion and deliberately kept the world guessing about his weapons program, although he already had gotten rid of it.

Keeping up the illusion of weapons program
Saddam publicly denied having unconventional weapons before the U.S. invasion, but prevented U.N. inspectors from working in the country from 1998 until 2002 and when they finally returned in November 2002, they often complained that Iraq wasn’t fully cooperating.

Piro, a Lebanese-American who speaks Arabic, debriefed Saddam after he was found in an underground hideout near his home city north of Baghdad in December 2003, nine months after the U.S. invasion.

Piro said Saddam also said that he wanted to keep up the illusion that he had the program in part because he thought it would deter a likely Iranian invasion.

“For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that (faking having the weapons) would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” Piro told Scott Pelley of “60 Minutes.”

Piro added that Saddam had the intention of restarting an Iraqi weapons program at the time, and had engineers available for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Kuwait invasion after insult to Iraqi women
Piro also mentioned Saddam’s revelation during questioning that what pushed him to invade Kuwait in 1990 was a dishonorable swipe at Iraqi women made by the Kuwaiti leader, Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

During the buildup to the invasion, Iraq had accused Kuwait of flooding the world market with oil and demanded compensation for oil produced from a disputed area on the border of the two countries.

Piro said that Al Sabah told the foreign minister of Iraq during a discussion aimed at resolving some of those conflicts that “he would not stop doing what he was doing until he turned every Iraqi woman into a $10 prostitute. And that really sealed it for him, to invade Kuwait,” said Piro.

Pakistan Descending Into Dismal Pit

A dark day in Pakistan with the terrorist assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto , who recently returned from exile. President Musharraf is taking the brunt of the public’s anger even though it is believed to be Islamic terrorist who executed the shooting and bombing.

The people of Pakistan need to get a grip and stop the rioting and protesting Musharraf and help the authorities apprehend those that worked with the suicide bomber. Enough with the sheltering of terrorists, aiding them, helping them move freely through your villages. It is time to bring them to justice.

These terrorists are killing your own people, stand up and fight the right enemy.

Do not disgrace her memory with this animal behavior, instead honor her by doing the right thing.

This is the second time Musharraf has face a large violent backlash, which could topple his government and allow nuclear arms to fall into terrorists hands, the unseen plan that the media does not report on.

Additionally this falls into the standard MO for al Qaeda to attack just before an election to try and influence it. In this case I guess their thinking is that Musharraf is the lesser of two evils.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan —  Pakistan’s paramilitary forces were on red alert Thursday following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

The former prime minister was murdered by an attacker who shot her in the neck and chest after a campaign rally and then blew himself up. Her death stoked new chaos across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.

At least 20 others were also killed in the homicide bombing that immediately followed Bhutto’s shooting.

Bhutto’s supporters erupted in anger and grief after her killing, attacking police and burning tires and election campaign posters in several cities. At the hospital where she died, some smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf blamed Islamic extremists for Bhutto’s death and said he would redouble his efforts to fight them.

“This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war,” he said in a nationally televised speech. “I have been saying that the nation faces the greatest threats from these terrorists. … We will not rest until we eliminate these terrorists and root them out.”

In the U.S., President Bush strongly condemned the attack “by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy.”

Musharraf convened an emergency meeting with his senior staff, where they were expected to discuss whether to postpone the elections, an official at the Interior Ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto, 54, addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, 8 miles south of Islamabad. She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto’s party, said he was standing about 10 yard away from her vehicle at the time of the attack.

“She was inside the vehicle and was coming out from the gate after addressing the rally when some of the youths started chanting slogans in her favor. Then I saw a smiling Bhutto emerging from the vehicle’s roof and responding to their slogans,” he said.

“Then I saw a thin, young man jumping toward her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away,” he added.

Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and taken into emergency surgery. She died about an hour after the attack.

A doctor on the team that treated her said she had a bullet in the back of the neck that damaged her spinal cord before exiting from the side of her head. Another bullet pierced the back of her shoulder and came out through her chest.

She was given open heart massage, but the main cause of death was damage to her spinal cord, the doctor said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

“At 6:16 p.m., she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital.

“The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred,” Bhutto’s lawyer Babar Awan said.

Bhutto’s supporters at the hospital exploded in anger, smashing the glass door at the main entrance of the emergency unit. Others burst into tears. One man with a flag of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party tied around his head was beating his chest.

“I saw her with my own eyes sitting in a vehicle after addressing the rally. Then, I heard an explosion,” Tahir Mahmood, 55, said sobbing. “I am in shock. I cannot believe that she is dead.”

Many chanted slogans against Musharraf, accusing him of complicity in her killing.

“We repeatedly informed the government to provide her proper security and appropriate equipment … but they paid no heed to our requests,” Malik said.

As news of her death spread, angry supporters took to the streets.

In Karachi, shop owners quickly closed their businesses as protesters set tires on fire on the roads, torched several vehicles and burned a gas station, said Fayyaz Leghri, a local police official. Gunmen shot and wounded two police officers, he said.

In Rawalpindi, the site of the attack, Bhutto’s supporters burned election posters from the ruling party and attacked police, who fled from the scene. Violence also broke out in Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and many other parts of Pakistan, where Bhutto’s supporters set fire to a bus, pelted stones at shops and blocked city roads.

Musharraf, who announced three days of mourning for Bhutto, urged calm.

“I want to appeal to the nation to remain peaceful and exercise restraint,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif, another former premier and opposition leader, arrived at the hospital and sat silently next to Bhutto’s body.

“Benazir Bhutto was also my sister, and I will be with you to take the revenge for her death,” he said. “Don’t feel alone. I am with you. We will take the revenge on the rulers.”

He later announced that his party would boycott the Jan. 8 elections, and he called for Musharraf to step down immediately.

“The holding of fair and free elections is not possible in the presence of Pervez Musharraf,” Sharif said at a news conference. “After the killing of Benazir Bhutto, I announce that the Pakistan Muslim League-N will boycott the elections.”

He added: “I demand that Musharraf should quit immediately.”

Hours earlier, four people were killed at a rally for Sharif when his supporters clashed with backers of Musharraf near Rawalpindi.

Hours after her death, Bhutto’s body was carried out of the hospital in a plain wooden coffin by a crowd of supporters. Her body was expected to be transferred to an air base and brought to her hometown of Larkana.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who met with Bhutto just hours before her death, called her a brave woman with a clear vision “for her own country, for Afghanistan and for the region — a vision of democracy and prosperity and peace.”

Bhutto’s death will leave a void at the top of her party, the largest political group in the country, as it heads into the elections. It also fueled fears that the crucial vote could descend into violence.

Pakistan is considered a vital U.S. ally in the fight against Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists including the Taliban. Usama bin Laden and his inner circle are believed to be hiding in lawless northwest Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan.

The U.S. has invested significant diplomatic capital in promoting reconciliation between Musharraf and the opposition, particularly Bhutto, who was seen as having a wide base of support in Pakistan. Her party had been widely expected to do well in next month’s elections.

Bush, speaking briefly to reporters at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, demanded that those responsible for the killing be brought to justice.

“The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy,” Bush said.

Pakistan was just emerging from another crisis after Musharraf declared a state of emergency on Nov. 3, and used sweeping powers to round up thousands of his opponents and fire Supreme Court justices. He ended emergency rule Dec. 15 and subsequently relinquished his role as army chief, a key opposition demand. Bhutto had been an outspoken critic of Musharraf’s imposition of emergency rule.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford universities, Bhutto served twice as Pakistan’s prime minister between 1988 and 1996.

Her father was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, scion of a wealthy landowning family in southern Pakistan and founder of the populist Pakistan People’s Party. The elder Bhutto was president and then prime minister of Pakistan before his ouster in a 1977 military coup. Two years later, he was executed by the government of Gen. Zia-ul Haq after being convicted of engineering the murder of a political opponent.

Bhutto had returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile on Oct. 18. On the same day, she narrowly escaped injury when her homecoming parade in Karachi was targeted in a suicide attack that killed more than 140 people.

Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto’s return to the country with suicide bombings.

At the scene of Thursday’s bombing, an Associated Press reporter saw body parts and flesh scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park, where Bhutto had spoken. He counted about 20 bodies, including police, and could see many other wounded people.

Police cordoned off the street with white and red tape, and rescuers rushed to put victims in ambulances as people wailed nearby.

The clothing of some victims was shredded and people put party flags over their bodies. Police caps and shoes littered the asphalt.

Hundreds of riot police had manned security checkpoints around the venue. It was Bhutto’s first public meeting in Rawalpindi since she came back to the country.

In November, Bhutto had also planned a rally in the city, but Musharraf forced her to cancel it, citing security fears.

In recent weeks, suicide bombers have repeatedly targeted security forces in Rawalpindi, where Musharraf stays and the Pakistan army has its headquarters.

The liberal media and Government officials want us to believe N. Korea is ready to play nice… Low and behold aluminum tubes from N. Korea, which they presented as evidence that they did not have a covernt nuclear weapons program, tested positive with traces of enriched uranium

The Posts, liberal stance, is that the traces were contamination by other equipment… What other equipment, the equipment being used to enrich water…

N. Korea managed to run its clandestine program though the Clinton Presidency… Maybe they are just waiting for Hillary to take the reins and start up again. This past years news about N. Korea’s involvement in Iran and Syria should send up some warning signs… But alas the liberal media says it is not so…

WASHINGTON —  Traces of enriched uranium have been found on smelted aluminum tubing provided to the United States by North Korea in its effort to prove it was not operating a secret nuclear program, The Washington Post reported.

Citing U.S. and diplomatic officials, the Post said the discovery by U.S. scientists apparently contradicts North Korea’s claim that its acquisition of thousands of aluminum tubes were for conventional purposes rather than a nuclear program. Such tubes could be used in the process of converting hot uranium gas into fuel for nuclear weapons, according to U.S. officials.

The U.S. did not want to reveal the discovery of the uranium traces because it could expose intelligence methods and complicate diplomatic efforts aimed at North Korea, the Post said in a story posted on its Web site late Thursday. The office of the director of national intelligence and the State Department declined to comment on the discovery, the newspaper said.

The tubing could have been contaminated by exposure to other equipment rather than by an active enrichment program, the Post said, citing unidentified officials.

North Korea is expected to issue a declaration by the end of the month in which it outlines all its nuclear programs. Under an agreement with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States, North Korea has begun disabling its main nuclear facilities.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told The Associated Press last week that the Bush administration was not ready to “engage broadly” with North Korea until its leadership ended all aspects of its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea and Iran “are clearly still states about which there are significant proliferation concerns,” Rice said