Remains in al-Qaida camp include chemistry, flying texts

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

TORNAK FARMS, Afghan-istan -- A chemistry text, an issue of Aviation Week magazine and a copy of Chemical Weekly were found Tuesday strewn about an abandoned training camp of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.

The publications were picked up in the ruins of this camp 12 miles south of Kandahar as a group of journalists joined American and British special forces troops inspecting the desert camp, abandoned after heavy U.S. airstrikes.

The camp was clearly an important part of bin Laden's worldwide terror network. One of the Americans, who would not give his name, said an al-Qaida training video was filmed at the camp, which even had a swimming pool.

Camp buildings were destroyed except for an area where an obstacle course had been constructed. Poles with the barbed wire on top -- used for recruits to crawl under -- were intact. A damaged tractor sat in the compound.

The main courtyard, gutted by a large bomb crater, was littered with papers, all of them photocopies. They included copies of Aviation Week -- which bore the mailing address of a business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chemical Weekly, addressed to the Kansas City, Mo., public library.

Other materials included literature on the political situation in the Persian Gulf, Iran, Latin America and Mexico.

Inside the compound, there were chemical suits and chemical containers with what appeared to be oxidizing agents and hydrogen peroxide.

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