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Terror Polytech

  • Khalid Shaikh Mohammed: Engineer
  • Mohamed Atta: Engineer
  • Ramzi Ahmed Yousef: Engineer

Terrorist organizations are looking, with some success, to universities for sympathetic students and faculty to assist them in perfecting their deadly craft. From an excellent article appearing in today's Los Angeles Times, Terrorists Seen Turning to Campuses for Skills:

With Chraibi, a computer engineering major, allegedly in a lead role, the students plunged into the clandestine world of the Algeria-based Salafist Group for Call and Combat. At the urging of Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden, investigators say, the network has broadened across North Africa and concentrated on sending fighters to Iraq and plotting strikes on Europe.

The students allegedly planned their course work to gather information and materials for the network. Expertise in electronics and telecommunications helped them develop sophisticated long-range detonators for bomb attacks, police say. In addition, they landed one-month paid internships with companies that gave them access to labs and the opportunity to order components in the name of their employers, investigators say.

"They had completed at least one device and were building others," the French anti-terrorism official said. "There was travel to training facilities in the south of Algeria to share their knowledge and to receive instruction."

The students have confessed to preparing detonators for networks based in Algeria, where the government has fought a bloody war with militants. But investigators think there may have been targets in Europe, the official said. Arrests in France last year and in Italy last month indicated that the network was developing plans for attacks in Bologna and Paris, French and Italian authorities say.

During the psychotic celebration in Fallujah after the murder and mutilation of the four Blackwater security personel, a Fallujah cell leader phoned Chraibi's terrorist recruiter, Moroccan Hamza Safi, near the French university campus. This call led to troubling but not unexpected discoveries of GSPC and al-Qaeda cooperative recruiting of technical ability. al-Qaeda R&D via Terror Polytech.