Scores dead in anthrax attack
01.03.22: A BITTER ROW has broken out between London and Washington over the handling of last week's anthrax attack on the top-secret US spy base at Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire.
Although 23 of the staff at the base remain in hospital, none has died, yet the death toll among people living near the base has reached 85, with another 360 in a critical condition in the Leeds General Infirmary.
More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from the towns of Harrogate and Knaresborough and the surrounding areas.
Late last night, a group representing the Saudi Islamic Front (SIF) claimed responsibility for the attack, citing retaliation for last year's devastating US space-based laser attack on SIF facilities in the Gulf.
According to a statement broadcast on FreeNet and other channels intercepted by the SIF, Menwith Hill was attacked because it was the intelligence centre for the space-based laser raids on the SIF last year which killed 600 members.
The SIF says further attacks are planned. The US government has warned that any further attacks will result in immediate retaliation against the SIF seat of power at Dhahran, eastern Saudi Arabia.
The prime minister is said to be furious that US authorities delayed telling their English counterparts for 24 hours in the hope that the anthrax attack would not spread beyond the vicinity of the base.
Only after surveying the base did US biological warfare teams pick up wide areas of anthrax contamination several kilometres downwind.
By that time, hundreds of local people had already inhaled the deadly spores. Immediate use of new antibiogens could have prevented infection.
The families of base personnel living in the Harrogate area were treated within three hours of the attack, 24 hours before Whitehall was told. It emerged last night that advanced bio-agent detectors installed around the base perimeter alerted security police to the attack within seconds of the anthrax spores being released from a van last Friday night.
Armed marines gave chase and caught up with the van 7km from the base, but attempts to stop it forced it to crash into Fewston Reservoir. Both terrorists were drowned.
The Pentagon has now admitted that water samples taken from the reservoir yielded traces of anthrax, although Northern Water was not notified for at least 48 hours.
Early indications a