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Pakistani N Producer Eyes Indiana Greenfield -- Pentagon Raises Eyebrows

January 29, 2013
By: Davis Michaelsen, Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Editor

The Washington Times reported Sunday on a controversial new Nitrogen production facility planned by Pakistan's Fatima Group. The Indiana Finance Authority approved $1.27 billion in tax-exempt bonds for Fatima's Midwest Fertilizer Group to build a Posey County Nitrogen fertilizer complex.

Fatima's production facilities in Pakistan have come under criticism from military and civilian sources alike as the unique blend of Nitrogen fertilizer Fatima produces has been used in Afganistan and Pakistan to make bombs used against U.S. troops.

According to the Washington Post Article, "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.

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."

International and U.S. fertilizer associations have been working with JIEDDO to monitor and restrict CAN fertilizer use for bombmaking, but Fatima has refused to make any concessions. U.S. and International officials have urged Fatima to dye the substance for easier identification, but Fatima has made it clear they have no interest in cooperating.

Meanwhile, Fatima -- via Midwest Fertilizer Corp. -- plans to break ground in Posey County Indiana and expects to produce CAN and other Nitrates. To build the complex, Fatima and the Midwest Fertilizer Corp. will be privy to 2008 disaster relief law which gives the company access to Indiana's municipal bond market. Some citizens have expressed concern that a company such as Fatima, who so brazenly refuses to stem the flow of CAN to anti-American militants, should be allowed to take advantage of tax incentives here in the U.S., while freely producing products in Pakistan that are known killers of U.S. soliders.

Click here to read the full Washington Times article...



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