Made In the USA, Part III: US Company Listings A-M | News | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Made In the USA, Part III: US Company Listings A-M 

Thursday, Apr 24 2003


(New York City, New York)

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2000 — Contracted with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to "optimize" Huawei’s products. Between 2000 and 2001, Huawei outfitted Iraq’s air-defense system with fiber-optic equipment, in violation of a U.N. trade embargo.

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(Formerly based in Nashville, Tennessee — defunct)

1984 to 1985 — Company sold 60 tons of DMMP, a material used to make sarin gas, to Iraq. Also provided chemical-production equipment to Iraq. In 1984, customs officials at Kennedy International Airport seized another Al Haddad shipment of 1,100 pounds of potassium fluoride, a chemical used in nerve-gas production. Al Haddad was not charged in this attempted transfer of chemicals, which were destined for Iraq’s Ministry of Pesticides. This firm also received letters of credit from BNL (an Italian bank) totaling $134,988 to sell knives and rubber blankets to Technical Corp. for Special Projects, an Iraqi front company. (Note: See Banca Nazionale del Lavoro entry for information about BNL’s Iraqi loans and letters of credit.)

The firm was owned by Sahib Abd al-Amir al-Haddad, an Iraqi-born, naturalized American citizen. According to corporate records from Tennessee’s Department of State, Al Haddad operated a number of registered firms, which are all inactive, dissolved or merged out. These firms included Al Haddad Enterprises, Inc.; A. Saleh & S. Al-Haddad, Inc.; and Al-Haddad Bros. Enterprises, Inc. Recent stories in The New York Times and The Tennessean reported that al-Haddad was arrested in Bulgaria in November 2002 while trying to arrange an arms sale to Iraq. At last report, Al-Haddad, 59, was awaiting extradition to Germany, where he is charged with conspiring in the late 1990s to purchase equipment for the manufacture of a giant Iraqi cannon.

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(Formerly located in Baltimore, Maryland. Company was restructured as Alcolac, Inc., and it’s currently listed as an active Georgia corporation. Company’s assets now owned by French-based firm Rhodia, Inc., with U.S. operations based in Cranberry, New Jersey.)

1988 — Allegedly sold more than 300 tons of thiodiglycol (precursor material used to make mustard gas) via Nu Kraft Mercantile Corporation, which, according to congressional testimony and media reports, shipped the material to Jordan and then on to Iraq, through Iraq’s Industrial Procurement Company. In the same period, Alcolac also shipped thiodiglycol to Iran and pleaded guilty in 1988 to one count of export violations for its Iranian shipments. Alcolac is currently one of the corporate defendants in a Texas civil suit filed on behalf of some 3,500 Gulf War vets allegedly suffering from Gulf War syndrome. The suit initially named 64 American and international companies that allegedly provided Iraq with materials used to develop chemical and biological weapons. However, a number of those companies will likely be sued in European courts, and the current number of defendants is in flux. Ronald Welsh, the attorney representing Alcolac in that suit, denied any company wrongdoing in connection with Iraq and added that he had no "personal knowledge" of any Alcolac shipments of thiodiglycol to Saddam Hussein’s regime. But U.N. weapons-inspector reports, included in a 1992 Senate Banking Committee hearing on U.S. export policy toward Iraq, identified shipments of thiodiglycol that were sent to Iraq by Alcolac.

A spokesman for the company that now owns Alcolac emphasized that the "alleged illegal infractions" occurred before Alcolac was obtained by the current ownership.

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(Manassas, Virginia)

1985 to 1989 — ATCC is a nonprofit that provides biological products, technical services and educational programs to private industry, government and academia. It sent to Iraq some 70 shipments of deadly germs, which included anthrax bacteria, E. coli bacteria, salmonella bacteria, bacillus megaterium (which causes meningitis), bacillus subtilus and bacillus cereus (which are strains of anthrax), brucella abortus (which causes influenza), brucella melitensis (a bacteria that attacks major organs), clostridum botulinum (a source of botulism), clostridium perfringens (which causes lung failure), clostridium tetani (which causes muscle rigidity), and Francisella tularensis (which causes tularemia).

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(Formerly based in Norcross, Georgia)

Date unknown — Sold $12,161,502 worth of carbide cutting tools to Iraq’s State Machinery Trading Co., a procurement front for military materials and supplies, according to records introduced at a 1992 Senate Banking Committee hearing. The transaction was financed by a letter of credit from BNL (an Italian bank).

In 1992, company president Nash Rehmann told the Atlanta Constitution that the order was destined for the Huteen Establishment, a weapons factory outside of Baghdad. Rehmann elaborated on the transaction in an interview with the Weekly. "I got approval from the Commerce Department for the sale," he said. Rehmann also noted that he’d testified before a federal grand jury investigating the BNL loan scandal. (See listing for Banca Nazionale del Lavoro.) "I told them about my sale. They investigated me to see if I was involved in anything illegal, and I was cleared of any wrongdoing by government investigators," he added. "I have nothing to hide, because I did nothing wrong." Rehmann said he closed the company around the time of the first Gulf War.

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