Congress is in a an uproar after learning that a Pakistani fertilizer company known for sending chemicals for improvised explosive devices across the border to Afghanistan, is seeking funding to build a plant in Indiana. It’s estimated that the chemicals are responsible for 80 percent of IEDs that have killed American troops.
Calcium ammonium nitrate, or CAN, has been passing across the Pakistani border for years, but the Pentagon has been stymied by the Pakistani government to try to stop it. The Fatima Group, producer of the material, is said to have been less than cooperative in the efforts, according to the director of military Joint IED Defeat Organization, Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero
“Despite making minor packaging, tracking and marketing changes, they have not implemented any effective product security or stewardship efforts,” Barbero told a congressional committee late last year. “Pakistani-based CAN producers can and must do more. Frustratingly, all direct communication and engagement with the leaders of Fatima Group was halted by the government of Pakistan.”
While the Pentagon called on the State Department for help, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, said in a Fox interview that those efforts failed.
“Not only was this company Fatima able to still ship calcium ammonium nitrate to make bombs across the border into Afghanistan, but they were almost getting ready to take advantage of taxpayer-subsidized loans to set up shop in Indiana to make more fertilizer while they were sending bomb making material across the border from Pakistan to Afghanistan,” Hunter said.
Fatima Group is said to be opening up the lines of communication now, but that may be due to Indiana’s state officials halting Fatima’s request due to further investigation. In addition, the Fatima Group says they are working on fertilizers that are less explosive, but it may be too little, too late.
See the entire Fox News report here: