- According to a story published by the Pakistan News Service
on the 1st of December, documents referring to US anthrax vaccine-maker
BioPort Inc. were found in the possession of the al-Qaeda in Kabul, Afghanistan.
- The documents came from the US Department of Defence,
but were not classified and contained highlighted items and stars scribbled
across the top of one page. A BioPort spokeswoman Kim Brennen Root commented:
"The discovery supports the notion that the al-Qaeda and the Taliban
have been studying biological warfare and protecting against weapons of
mass destruction. The document was a report on the environmental impact
of renovations to our Lansing, Michigan plant, not a "how-to"
manual on making the vaccine."
- So, exactly what is BioPort Inc. and who runs the company?
Well, BioPort is the only corporation in the United States with a license
to make the Anthrax vaccine. Except that BioPort doesn't actually make
the vaccine, BioPort simply bought the laboratory that does make the vaccine,
Michigan Biologic Products Institute, from the State of Michigan in 1998.
Less than a month after it took over the business from the state-owned
Michigan Biologic Products Institute in September 1998, along with the
actual Anthrax vaccine, BioPort acquired Michigan Biologic Products Institute's
sole and exclusive customer for the vaccine, the US Department of Defence,
and an exclusive $29 million contract with the Department of Defence to
"manufacture, test, bottle and store the anthrax vaccine."
- According to former Central Intelligence Agency military
analyst Patrick Eddington, the estimated $60 million worth of anthrax vaccine
Bioport is expected to produce for the Defence Department over the next
five years could just be the beginning.
- ìThe Pentagon has a $322 million, 10-year program
to develop at least three, and perhaps as many as a dozen additional biological
warfare vaccines,î Eddington told ABCNEWS. However, since acquiring
Michigan Biologic Products Institute, BioPort has only delivered a small
amount of the anthrax vaccine to the US Defence department. In fact, just
4% of the vaccine contracted for has so far been delivered because Federal
Drug Administration (FDA) audits have uncovered suspicious record keeping
as well as security and contamination problems at BioPort's North Lansing
laboratory, causing the FDA to ban delivery of the product. Tim Watson
of The Lansing State Journal says:
- "BioPort finished renovating its North Lansing laboratories
in 1999, but so far does not have FDA approval to sell vaccine made there."
- Despite this ban, the US Government has given BioPort
$126 million to keep the operation going. Given the situation that now
exists in the US, it is likely that FDA concerns for the product will soon
be set aside and the vaccine delivered, US administration officials having
been told that it would take too long to set up a new vaccine manufacturing
operation in the present circumstances.
- So, now lets look at who owns and runs BioPort Corporation.
Let's begin with Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. former Head of the US Joint
Chiefs of Staff and a former US ambassador to Great Britain. It seems that
back when President George H. W. Bush was setting up Osama Bin Laden as
a "freedom fighter" (Afghanistan's "freedom fighters"
were credited with shooting down more than 270 Soviet aircraft using American
made Stinger missiles in the 1980's) the good Admiral and his associates
on the Joint Chiefs of Staff were, according to some reports, selling American
made weapons-grade Anthrax to Saddam Hussein in the hopes that he would
use it against Iran.
- But that was then and this is now. Admiral Crowe is retired,
he is also a wealthy person, far beyond what one might expect on even an
Admiral's salary. In fact, Admiral Crowe sits on the Board of Directors
and owns 13% of BioPort. According to ABC News reporter Howard L. Rosenberg:
"Bioport Corp. was created solely to take over the assets of Michigan
Biologic Products Institute by Admiral Crowe, his partners in a company
called Intervac L.L.C. and a group of former managers of the Michigan-
- It is Intervac that has the most interesting history.
According to Croweís associate and spokesman, Jay Coupe, Crowe owns
22.5 percent of Intervac shares, though he hasnít ìinvested
a pennyî in the venture.
- Another 30 percent of Intervac shares are owned by Nancy
El-Hibri, a mother and homemaker in suburban Maryland and the rest of the
company is in the hands of "I&F Holdings," a company directed
by Nancy El-Hibri's father-in-law, Ibrahim El-Hibri, a Venezuelan citizen,
and her husband, Fuad El-Hibri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent. Fuad
El-Hibri appears to be the real day-to-day director of Intervac and is
listed by Dun & Bradstreet as the ìchief executiveî of
- According to Coupe, when Crowe returned from England
in 1997, he was approached by Fuad El-Hibriís father, Ibrahim El-Hibri.
The elder El- Hibri, whom the admiral had met a decade before, invited
Crowe to serve on the board of Intervac.
- So, it seems that Admiral Crowe and his fellow investors
in BioPort are set to make a nice profit from the Anthrax scare, especially
when market demand pushes the price of the product above the contracted
price. And who are those fellow investors? Rumours, denied by BioPort,
have suggested that one investor in the company is the Carlyle Group, one
of America's most successful investment companies, well known for generating
"extraordinary returns" for its customers through investments
in the US defence industry.
- Because the Carlyle Group remains privately held, it
is not required to disclose details of its investments or business activities,
it has, however, an impressive array of board members. Former President
George Bush Sr. and former British Prime Minister John Major are directors
of The Carlyle Group and, according to reports, until October this year
another major investor with The Carlyle Group was (and you had better sit
down before you read this) the Bin Laden family! The story behind the Carlyle
Group and the links between George Bush Sr. and the bin Ladens is interesting
to say the least.
- Let's start at the beginning. In the 1970's, Salem Bin
Laden, the eldest of Osama Bin Laden's 55 brothers and sisters, invested
heavily in George H. W. Bush's first business venture, Arbusto Energy.
Salem became Bush's business partner through James Bath, a close friend
of the future American president. Salem appointed Bath as his representative
in Houston, Texas. It was Bath who invested $50,000 in Bush's company Arbusto
and also bought Houston Gulf Airport on behalf of Osama's elder brother.
- Since then business links between Bush Sr. and the Bin
Laden family have flourished, particularly since Bush Sr. joined the Carlyle
Group. On September 27th. The Wall Street Journal reported that: "George
H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family
business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, an international investment
consulting firm. The senior Bush has met with the bin Laden family at least
twice. Other top Republicans are also associated with the Carlyle Group,
including former Secretary of State James A. Baker, and former Defence
Secretary and deputy CIA Director Frank Carlucci."
- Osama bin Laden has supposedly been "disowned"
by his family, which runs the Saudi Bin Laden Group, a multi-billion dollar
construction business in Saudi Arabia. However, Osama's sister-in-law,
in a recent interview with America's ABC News, said that she believed that
members of her family still supported bin Laden.
- If the rumours are correct about the Carlyle Group's
investment in BioPort, then it's quite possible the Bin Laden family is
an investor in the only company able to make an Anthrax vaccine in the
United States, and because their beloved Osama might have some of the stuff,
the family will make a fortune.
- In fact, the shortage of vaccine created by the FDA bans
will make all the players extremely wealthy, as market forces drive the
price of the vaccine up. A very cosy arrangement. The Bushes and Bin Ladens
(and the occasional complicit Admiral) could all be making vast amounts
of money off the fear and death of Americans. Is it any wonder then that
documents relating to BioPort have been found in the possession of bin
Laden's al-Qaeda network in Kabul? ___
- Ian Gurney is the author of "The Cassandra Prophecy-Armageddon