the Iraqi regime of chemical and biological weapons; and on the concealment of evidence of prohibited programmes from United Nations inspectors. One main source reported only on the mobile biological agent production facilities. Reporting from SIS’s main sources represented in total some three-quarters of all SIS intelligence reports on those subjects circulated during 2002.
Two of the main sources were dominant, in terms of both the number of reports and influence on JIC assessments. During 2002, they provided some two-thirds of all intelligence reports that were circulated; and from summer 2002 onwards their reporting had a significant influence on intelligence assessments on Iraqi use of chemical and biological weapons. As noted in Chapter 1, however, volume is not necessarily a measure of influence; even single intelligence reports can have a significant impact. That was certainly the case with one report from one of these sources which had a major effect on the certainty of statements in the Government’s dossier of September 2002 that Iraq possessed and was producing chemical and biological weapons. (This report was subsequently withdrawn.)
SIS MAIN SOURCES
Of the two dominant sources, the first reported accurately and authoritatively on some key issues. On production and stocks of chemical and biological weapons and agents, he could only report what he learned from others in his circle of high-level contacts in Baghdad.
The second dominant source remains the subject of continuing SIS validation. In 2002, SIS considered him to be an established and reliable source. His intelligence on other subjects had previously been corroborated. We therefore understand why SIS decided that it should issue a number of reports from him quoting a new sub-source on Iraqi chemical and biological programmes and intentions. Even then, they properly included a caution about the sub-source’s links to opposition groups and the possibility that his reports would be affected by that. We have been told that post-war validation by SIS has raised serious doubts about the reliability of reporting from this new sub-source. We conclude that this stream of reporting that underpinned JIC assessments on Iraqi production and possession of chemical and biological weapons must be open to serious doubt.
In addition to these two dominant sources, SIS’s post-war validation has led them to conclude that two further main sources should continue to be regarded as reliable. We have, however, noted that reports from those sources tended to present a less worrying view of Iraqi chemical and biological weapons capability than that from the sources whose reporting is now subject to doubt.
Finally, in mid-September 2002 SIS issued a report, described as being from ‘a new source on trial’, on Iraqi production of chemical and biological agent. Although this report was received too late for inclusion in the JIC assessment of 9 September, it did provide significant assurance to those drafting the Government’s dossier that active, current production of chemical and biological agent was taking place. A second report from the