Wikileaks confirmed? A plan to kill American geologist with poison beer
The Wikileaks documents contain a claim that Pakistan and Afghanistan insurgents were working to poison alcoholic drinks in Afghanistan. While that's unproven, one US adviser in Afghanistan tells the Monitor he was almost poisoned that way in 2007.
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“There’s a need for a greater examination and categorization of these 90,000 reports. I’m sure a lot of these reports are of low reliability,” says B. Raman, former head of counterintelligence for India’s spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing.Skip to next paragraph
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Yeager says he doesn’t know who was behind the poisoning attempt. He’s glad no one got hurt, but ultimately he treats the incident lightly.
“I work internationally a lot and it’s just one of those things... It’s entertaining. You just go on,” he says with a laugh. He says at the time he thought, “Who cares I’m going home.”
Yeager served as an adviser to the Ministry of Mines during the international bidding for rights to mine Afghanistan’s Aynak copper deposit. The Chinese eventually won the $2.9 billion contract.
Before leaving in 2007, Yeager urged the Karzai administration to reexamine the bids. Two years later, he released a report criticizing the tender process, saying that the ministry did not operate transparently and that Chinese firms do not have to play by the same anti-bribery rules as American firms.
Alcohol is officially banned in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it can be distributed in foreigners-only venues and is easily obtained on the black market.
Pakistani security analyst Rifaat Hussein notes that food and drink tampering plots are not unheard of in the region. He referenced a recent case where the US Embassy in Pakistan warned American citizens against using a catering company due to an alleged association with Faizal Shahzad, the New York Times Square bomber.
“I think we should not dismiss [the Wikileaks report] just because it is emanating from Afghan sources who may have a vested interest in trying to discredit the Pakistani intelligence services,” says Dr. Hussein.
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