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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 115 / 216





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new source, about the production of a particular chemical agent, was received later in September 2002. In July 2003, however, SIS withdrew the two reports because the sourcing chain had by then been discredited. SIS also interviewed the alleged sub-source for the intelligence after the war, who denied ever having provided the information in the reports. We note, therefore, that the two reports from this source, including one which was important in the closing stages of production of the Government’s September dossier, must now be treated as unsafe.


  • 406.

    As noted above, one source provided the vast majority of the intelligence that suggested that Iraq had developed mobile facilities for the production of biological agent. In oral evidence to our Review in May, the Chief of SIS said that this source’s reports had been received through a liaison service and that he had not therefore been under the control of SIS. SIS had been able to verify that he had worked in an area which would have meant that he would have had access to the sort of information he claimed to have. But they had not been able to question him directly until after the war.

  • 407.

    Following this initial post-war debrief of the source, SIS told us that: It has become apparent that significant detail did not appear in the original liaison reports . . . But based on the information derived from the limited access to [the source] to date we continue to judge that it is premature to conclude . . . that all the intelligence from the source must be discounted.

  • 408.

    SIS also noted, however, that their own debriefing of the source had led them to conclude that the product from the mobile facilities would have been in slurry form, which would have had a shorter life than would dried agent. As a result, SIS concluded that: This indicates that the concept for use of the [mobile facilities] was not to produce material to stockpile . . . Whilst further work needs to be done,at the momen t it appears that the most likely function of the trailers was to provide a breakout production capability and not the continued production of material for stockpiling.

  • 409.

    SIS have informed us that they will continue to debrief the source. But, for the purposes of our Review, we conclude that there must be some doubts about the reliability of all the reports received from this source via the liaison service. We also conclude that intelligence reports received in 2000 which suggested that Iraq had recently-produced biological agent were seriously flawed. We therefore also conclude that the grounds for the JIC assessments drawing on those reports that Iraq had recently-produced stocks of biological agent no longer exist.


  • 410.

    The overall picture therefore is that, of the main human intelligence sources described above:

    • a.

      One SIS main source reported authoritatively on some issues, but on others was passing on what he had heard within his circle.


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