Pakistani fertilizer firm to expand in U.S., but balks on controlling bomb materials


The Pakistani corporation that has refused the Pentagon’s urgent appeals to control the flow of explosive materials to bomb-makers who kill U.S. troops is expanding its fertilizer manufacturing into the United States.
And it is being done with the help of U.S. taxpayers through the municipal bond market.
The Indiana Finance Authority has approved $1.27 billion in tax-exempt bonds for Midwest Fertilizer Corp. to build a nitrogenous fertilizer manufacturing plant in Posey County. Midwest is a new startup company of the Fatima Group, a conglomerate headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan.
Fatima’s fertilizer components are used by terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan to build homemade bombs — the No. 1 killer of American service members in Afghanistan.
Fatima’s corporate leaders know this is happening, based on communications with Obama administration officials and military leaders, but they have refused pleas to control the flow, according to an Army general.
Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who heads the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), bluntly criticized Fatima in testimony last month before a Senate panel.
He called Fatima “less than cooperative” in even instituting minimal controls on calcium ammonium nitrate, or CAN, a fertilizing compound that has been used in 70 percent of the homemade explosives deployed against U.S. troops.
Fatima is the only Pakistani producer of CAN, which is illegal to import into in Afghanistan.
Gen. Barbero said that nearly 1,900 Americans in Afghanistan had been killed or wounded by homemade bombs in 2012 at the time of his Dec. 13 testimony. He said the only sources for CAN are two Fatima Group plants in Pakistan.

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