virus: The dossier against a dictator

Date: Thu Aug 29 2002 - 11:13:30 MDT

The dossier against a dictator

Nuclear weapons
1 President Bush™s father, when he was in the
White House, declared that the American
bombing of Iraq™s nuclear weapons sites had
put œSaddam Hussein out of the nuclear bomb-
building business for a long time to come.
That was 11 years ago. Today, despite the
systematic destruction by the International
Atomic Energy Agency of Iraq™s nuclear
infrastructure, including 50,000 square metres
of factory space, 2,000 pieces of equipment
and 600 tons of special alloys, the CIA believes
that Saddam has revived his programme and
that his priority is to acquire a sufficient source
of fissile material.
2 Before the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was reported
to be six months from making a crude nuclear
device, based on an implosion design similar to
the Nagasaki bomb. Two years ago the IAEA
said that if Saddam started work again on a
nuclear weapon, he could build one in about
two years.
3 In testimony before the Senate Intelligence
Committee in February, George Tenet,
Director of US Central Intelligence, said: œWe
believe Saddam never abandoned his nuclear
weapons programme. Iraq retains a sufficient
number of nuclear scientists, programme
documentation, and probably some dual-use
manufacturing infrastructure that could support
a reinvigorated nuclear weapons programme.
4 Intelligence agencies are monitoring any
attempts by Saddam™s agents to buy key
components for rebuilding Iraq™s uranium
enrichment machinery, necessary for creating
bomb-grade nuclear material. In June Western
intelligence agencies were warned that Iraq
had acquired parts for œflow-forming
machines, which are used for producing
components for uranium enrichment. However,
Mr Tenet told the Intelligence Committee:
œOur major near-term concern is the possibility
that Saddam might gain access to fissile
material (from a foreign country).
Chemical warfare
1 Since 1991 United Nations weapons
inspectors have overseen the destruction of
480,000 litres of chemical warfare agents and
precursors, and 38,000 chemical munitions.
However, according to intelligence
assessments, much of Iraq™s chemical warfare
capability remains intact.
2 A report by the Pentagon last year said that
Baghdad had rebuilt its industrial and chemical
production infrastructure after the Gulf War
bombing in 1991 and the joint
American/British Desert Fox raids in
December 1998.
3 In February this year George Tenet, the
Director of US Central Intelligence, told the
Senate: œBaghdad is expanding itscivilian
chemical industry in ways that could be
diverted quickly to CW (chemical weapons)
4 The UN Special Commission on Iraq
(Unscom) reported in 1998 that Iraq was
suspected of hiding about 6,000 chemical
munitions from its inspectors.
5 While some doubts have been raised about
Iraq™s ability to produce an effective weapon
system to deliver biological agents, there are
no such doubts about Baghdad™s ability to
mount chemical attacks.
6 In the 1980s, during the Iran/Iraq war,
Saddam™s forces launched chemical weapons
on at least ten occasions against Iranian or
Kurdish targets, mostly using mustard gas,
causing tens of thousands of casualties.
Biological weapons
1 Saddam is believed to have a substantial
stock of biological warfare agents and is
researching different ways of œweaponising
2 Following revelations of Saddam™s secret
weapons of mass destruction programme made
by Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel, a son-
in-law of the Iraqi leader who defected to the
United States in 1995, Baghdad admitted for
the first time that it had produced 30,000 litres
of biological agents, including anthrax and
botulinum toxins. Iraq claimed to have
destroyed the agents.
3 Before the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq produced
four tons of VX nerve agent, 19,000 litres of
botulinum toxin, 8,400 litres of anthrax spores
and an unknown amount of sarin. However, the
UN weapons inspectors believe that Iraq had
failed to account for more than 7,000lb of
growth media, obtained from European firms,
which would be sufficient to produce huge
quantities of bacteriological weapons.
4 After the 1991 Gulf War, the inspectors
found traces of anthrax in several warheads
from long-range al-Hussein ballistic missiles.
About 200 air-launched biological bombs were
also discovered.
5 Iraq had carried out trials of a helicopter-
borne insecticide sprayer which could have
been used for biological attacks. Anthony
Cordesman, of the Centre for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington, wrote in a
report in June that Iraq had continued to
convert its Czech-built L29 Delphin jet trainer
aircraft into unpiloted drones, possibly for
delivering biological warfare agents.
6 There are also fears that Iraq has developed
large quantities of smallpox, Ebola virus,
bubonic and pneumonic plague bacteria and
the toxin, ricin.
1 Washington has strengthened its case for
attacking Saddam by claiming links between
Baghdad and al-Qaeda, the terrorist
2 Despite continued scepticism from British
intelligence services, it has been claimed that
Muhammad Atta, one of the principal leaders
of the September 11 attacks, met a senior Iraqi
intelligence officer in Prague in April last year,
five months before the attacks. Although the
meeting has never been confirmed, what is
undisputed are the longstanding links between
Saddam Hussein™s security and intelligence
apparatus and terrorist organisations
3 One of the fears expressed in the Whitehall
dossier is that Saddam might use a proxy
terrorist group, such as an extremist Palestinian
organisation, to launch an attack against
American or Israeli targets, using biological or
radiological devices. Saddam has for years
acted as the champion of the Palestinian cause,
paying $25,000 (£16,500) to the families of
suicide bombers and $10,000 to the families of
other Palestinian intifada casualties.
4 There is also intelligence evidence that
international terrorist groups have carried out
training at a centre at Salman Pak, outside
Baghdad. Salman Pak was one of the main
biological weapons sites uncovered by the
Unscom inspectors.
5 Prior to the 1991 Gulf War, there were fears
in Britain that Saddam might send intelligence
agents to London to launch a terror attack
using anthrax or other biological agents, and
special training exercises were carried out to
meet the threat.

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