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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 170 / 216

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significant – if any – stocks of chemical or biological weapons in a state fit for deployment, or developed plans for using them. (Paragraph 474)

CHAPTER 6 – IRAQ: SPECIFIC ISSUES

LINKS BETWEEN AL QAIDA AND THE IRAQI REGIME

  • 42.

    The JIC made it clear that the Al Qaida-linked facilities in the Kurdish Ansar al Islam area were involved in the production of chemical and biological agents, but that they were beyond the control of the Iraqi regime. (Paragraph 479)

  • 43.

    The JIC made clear that, although there were contacts between the Iraqi regime and Al Qaida, there was no evidence of co-operation. (Paragraph 484)

OPERATION MASS APPEAL

44.

There were two meetings between British Government officials and UNSCOM representatives, including Mr Ritter, in May and June 1998 at which there were discussions about how to make public the discovery of traces of the nerve agent VX on missile warheads after this fact had been reported to the United Nations Security Council. (Iraq had previously denied weaponising VX.) Operation Mass Appeal was set up for this specific purpose and did not exist before May 1998. In the event, before Operation Mass Appeal could proceed, the UNSCOM report was leaked to the press in Washington. Because of this, Operation Mass Appeal was abandoned. (Paragraph 489)

URANIUM FROM AFRICA

  • 45.

    From our examination of the intelligence and other material on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa, we have concluded that:

    • a.

      It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.

    • b.

      The British Government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.

  • c.

    The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium and the British Government did not claim this.

  • d.

    The forged documents were not available to the British Government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine it. (Paragraph 503)

THE ‘45 MINUTE’ CLAIM

46.

The JIC should not have included the ‘45 minute’ report in its assessment and in the Government’s dossier without stating what it was believed to refer to. The fact that the

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