A Pakistani fertilizer manufacturer whose product was used to build up to 80% of the IED’s, i.e. roadside bombs, in Afghanistan is seeking a United States government subsidy to build a plant in Indiana according to Fox News. The Fatima Group, based in Lahore Pakistan has been producing fertilizer that is used by terrorists to build bombs which kill and wound American and coalition forces.
According to Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, Director of the military Joint IED Defeat Organization the companies in Pakistan are blowing off American requests for them to take action:
“The producers within Pakistan have been less than cooperative,” Barbero told a congressional committee late last year. “Despite making minor packaging, tracking and marketing changes, they have not implemented any effective product security or stewardship efforts. 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.”
Congressman Duncan Hunter has gone to bat for Americans:
“The Fatima organization was willing to work with our U.S. military to curtail the cross-border transaction of calcium ammonium nitrate until (the) Pakistani government told them ‘no, you aren’t going to curtail it, stop talking with Americans, we are going to keep shipping across the border the way that we have been’,” he said.
What’s worse, Hunter said, is that now this same fertilizer group wants to open a factory in Indiana, taking advantage of U.S. taxpayer subsidies meant to help Indiana recover after recent flooding.
“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.
As usual the Pakistani government has been less than useful:
The Pentagon enlisted help from the State Department to intervene and pressure the Lahore-based Fatima Group to change their formula. In an interview with Fox News, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., said those efforts by the State Department “completely failed,” and he blames the Pakistani government in large part.
Meanwhile Fatima Group Chairman, Fawad Ahmed Muhktar, claims that, “we are committed to nourishing soils and enriching lives nationally.” Their website goes on to claim that, “We take a proactive approach towards health, safety and environment management in order to achieve zero harm.”
The zero harm claimed by Fatima Group has resulted in over 1,900 IED casualties over the last 12 years.