The Command Post
Global War on Terror
April 28, 2003
"Egyptian sailor dies in Brazil from anthrax-police"

From this:

BRASILIA, Brazil, April 28 (Reuters) - A crew member of an Egyptian merchant ship has died in northern Brazil, almost certainly from anthrax, after opening a suitcase suspected of containing the substance which he was taking to Canada.

A spokesman for Brazilian federal police in the Amazon state of Para said on Monday an autopsy of the Egyptian man, whom he named as Ibrahim Saved Soliman Ibrahim, showed that he had died after vomiting, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.

"He was the victim of anthrax," said Fernando Sergio Castro, adding that police were 90 percent certain that Ibrahim had died of anthrax.

Ibrahim had traveled to Brazil from Cairo to join his ship, the Wabi Alaras, which loaded bauxite in the Amazon to take to Canada...

Castro said Ibrahim had been given the suitcase in Cairo by an unidentified person and was due to deliver it to somebody in Canada. But he doubted Ibrahim knew what the content of the bag was otherwise he most likely would not have opened it.

"Health Canada awaits anthrax ship results" says that Canadian officials are awaiting test results from swab samples taken on the quarantined ship.

There appears to be confusion over the ship's name. The Globe & Mail report (second link) says it's "Wadi Al Arab." The Reuters report says "Wabi Alaras." I'd tend to go with "Wadi Al Arab." That ship name is also mentioned here and here ("Ship Guarded" from 2/28/03):

The Federal Government is guarding a foreign ship at the Port of Brownsville. The ship is registered in Egypt... Newschannel Five has learned the Egyptian vessel, the Wadi Al Arab, as been guarded by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies since it reached American waters. The ship is carrying iron ore from Brazil... Also aboard the Wadi Al Arab are 32 Egyptian nationals... I.N.S., Border Patrol, and the U.S. Coast says keeping an eye on the Wadi Al Arab is no different than guarding any other ship from a foreign country... The Wadi Al Arab will be unloading its cargo for 4 to 5 more days, under the watchful eye of federal agents.

This story has been UPDATED.

Posted by Lonewacko at April 28, 2003 04:15 PM | TrackBack

The dork probably thought it was cocaine, did a taste test and/or snort. What a shock!

Probably was given to him by an agent named Pandora... "Now, Ibrahim, don't open this box..."

"There is absolutely no criminal or terrorist threat to Canada," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Dan Tanner said from Halifax, Nova Scotia.... (because it was headed to the USA to replenish stocks used earlier?)

Posted by: MaxDarkside at April 28, 2003 04:41 PM

OK so we fail to find the Iraqis' anthrax in Iraq, and then just a few days later here's a shipment on its way into North America, bound presumably for the US...

Here by the way is Victor Davis Hanson in an interview in Naval Institute Proceedings (March 2003):

Proceedings: "In light of the 11 September attacks and anthrax and threats of weapons of mass destruction, what scares you most?"

Hanson: "I suppose it would be two or three vaccinated terrorists with 300 or 400 pounds of anthrax, driving around Washington, D.C., throwing baggies of it out the door. It's a type of biological weapon I think we underestimate. We know Saddam Hussein literally has tons of it in machine-grade, dried, aerosol form. And he has terrorists who want to use it. The only thing saving us now is that, so far, no one has quite figured out the logistics of it all. But I'm very scared about that."

The whole thing is at:

Posted by: NF at April 28, 2003 05:55 PM

I haven't seen any news reports that state who has the material now. I hope it is the USA, and I hope that it is *not* the same FBI idiots who have been trying to tie the earlier anthrax attacks to a US citizen.

What I am curious about is just now much this material resembles the earlier anthrax...

Posted by: Jack William Bell at April 28, 2003 11:31 PM

You don't suppose this guy was on a mission, do you? Like a member of the Salt Lake City Gestapo with suicide on his mind? How is it this guy makes it to Brazil, when the ship is in port in TX? Something about this story doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Are you sure he wasn't wearing a vest with lots of pockets??? You know, like sprinkling the stuff like pixie dust in every port of call...

Posted by: Dave Dube at April 28, 2003 11:35 PM

The report from Brownsville is from two months ago. Aren't shipping schedules available on the web? Maybe someone could construct an itinerary of the Wadi al Arab. But, note that it appears to me that he flew into Brazil from Egypt in preparation of joining the crew.

Posted by: Lonewacko at April 29, 2003 01:21 AM

Ditto on Jack William Bell: How fast does it take to construct a profile of the strain? The idea that the guy would be 'given' a suitcase w/o knowing contents seems really odd to me as well. Knowing country of origin makes me suspicious of his innocence. Curiousity kills just as easily as stupidity, and if his ultimate goal was 6 dozen virgins and nirvana, he failed miserably.

Posted by: Dave Dube at April 29, 2003 09:34 AM

Ok ABC picked this up via reuters so you gotta start to think there's something to it.

So the question is, why is this still below the radar screen? This should be front page stuff. Remember how a half dozen envelopes of this stuff shut down half the government plus the mail? How much can fit in a suitcase??!
And here's an encouraging quote from Canada's law enforcement:

'"There is absolutely no criminal or terrorist threat to Canada," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Insp. Dan Tanner said from Halifax.'

Kinda makes ya feel all warm and fuzzy inside doent it? Shut the border down before it too late. Canada has no interest in aiding the war on terrorists.

Posted by: mark buehner at April 29, 2003 12:16 PM

"There is absolutely no criminal or terrorist threat to Canada,"

How the fuck does he know that? It seems to me that the fact that this stuff was supposed to be heading into Canada, even for transshipment somewhere else, is by definition a criminal threat to Canada. What a tool. What an ass-coveriung bureuacratic simpleton tool.

Something is very fishy here. It defies belief that anyone would give a suitcase full of ANTHRAX to a total stranger to drop off in another country. Most people wouldn't send a shipment of shampoo that casually.

Posted by: T. Hartin at April 29, 2003 12:53 PM

David Dube,

Nice comment. It takes a special kind of bigot to equate a mission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with strangers to a terrorist hell-bent on wiping out as many infidels as possible.

Posted by: iagofest at April 29, 2003 02:58 PM

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