24 September 2002
24 September 2002
9 September 2002
21 August 2002
15 March 2002
time in the last 11 years, but he did not. Why?
The dossier that we publish gives the answer. The reason is that his chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programme is not an historic left-over from 1998. The inspectors are not needed to clean up the old remains. His weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down; it is up and running now.
The dossier is based on the work of the British Joint Intelligence Committee. For over 60 years, beginning just before world war two, the JIC has provided intelligence assessments to British Prime Ministers. Normally, its work is obviously secret. Unusually, because it is important that we explain our concerns about Saddam to the British people, we have decided to disclose its assessments.
I am aware, of course, that people will have to take elements of this on the good faith of our intelligence services, but this is what they are telling me, the British Prime Minister, and my senior colleagues. The intelligence picture that they paint is one accumulated over the last four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative. It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population, and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear
foreign assistance, and are probably fully operational or ready for production. These include the Ibn Sina Company at Tarmiyah, which is a chemical research centre. It undertakes research, development and production of chemicals previously imported but not now available and which are needed for Iraq's civil industry. The Director General of the research centre is Hikmat Na'im al-Jalu who prior to the Gulf W ar worked in Iraq's nuclear weapons programme and after the war was responsible for preserving Iraq's chemical expertise.
10. Parts of the al-Qa'qa' chemical complex damaged in the Gulf War have also been repaired and are operational. Of particular concern are elements of the phosgene production plant at al-Qa'qa'. These were severely damaged during the Gulf War, and dismantled under UNSCOM supervision, but have since been rebuilt. While phosgene does have industrial uses it can also be used by itself as a chemical agent or as a precursor for nerve agent.
11. Iraq has retained the expertise for chemical warfare research, agent production and weaponisation. Most of the personnel previously involved in the programme remain in country. While UNSCOM found a number of technical manuals (so called ‘cook books’) for the production of chemical agents and critical precursors, Iraq’s claim to have unilaterally destroyed the bulk of the documentation cannot be confirmed and is almost certainly untrue. Recent intelligence indicates that Iraq is still discussing methods of concealing such documentation in order to ensure that it is not discovered by any future UN inspections.
The Problem of Dual-Use Facilities
Almost all components and supplies used in weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes are dual-use. For example, any major petrochemical or biotech industry, as well as public health organisations, will have legitimate need for most materials and equipment required to manufacture chemical and biological weapons. Without UN weapons inspectors it is very difficult therefore to be sure about the true nature of many of Iraq’s facilities.
For example, Iraq has built a large new chemical complex, Project Baiji, in the desert in north west Iraq at al-Sharquat. This site is a former uranium enrichment facility which was damaged during the Gulf War and rendered harmless under supervision of the IAEA. Part of the site has been rebuilt, with work starting in 1992, as a chemical production complex. Despite the site being far away from populated areas it is surrounded by a high wall with watch towers and guarded by armed guards. Intelligence reports indicate that it will produce nitric acid which can be used in explosives, missile fuel and in the purification of uranium.
war the specific conditions in which unit commanders should use these weapons e.g. once coalition forces have crossed a particular geographical line; the reliability of the units in question. Late in any military campaign commanders may not be prepared to use CBW weapons if they judge that Saddam is about to fall.
Possible scenarios: pre- emptive use before a conflict begins The aim of a pre-emptive strike would be to incapacitate or kill Coalition troops in their concentration areas. Intelligence indicates that Saddam has identified Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Israel and Kuwait as targets. Turkey could also be at risk. Both chemical and biological weapons could be used; biological agents could be particularly effective against such force concentrations. But the use of CBW weapons carries serious risks and Saddam will weigh up their military utility against the political costs. Use of CBW weapons would expose the lies and deception about Iraq’s WMD capabilities, undermining Iraqi diplomatic efforts and helping build support for rapid and effective US action. Saddam might also consider using non-lethal agents in a deniable manner; whilst it would be difficult to quickly establish a clear attribution of responsibility,
developed mobile production facilities. A liaison source reports that:
the transportable production programme began in 1995;
6 road based facilities, on trailers, and 1 rail based facility, on railway carriages, were constructed and by March 1999; three were operational;
the facilities were capable of making 5 different (unspecified/unknown) biological agents. Between November 1998 and March 1999 20-30 tons of BW agent was produced.
Though not corroborated, we judge the reporting is technically credible.
We do not know which types of agents are produced by these facilities, but judge that Iraq currently has available, either from pre Gulf War stocks or more recent production, anthrax spores, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and possibly plague. The continued operation of the castor oil extraction plant at the former Habbaniyah chemical weapons site may provide the base for producing ricin, although there is no evidence that Iraq is currently doing so. Iraq’s declarations to UNSCOM acknowledged that it worked on a number of other BW agents including agents which would incapacitate, rather than kill, humans and on anti- crop and anti-livestock agents. Iraq almost certainly retains the capability to produce such agents. Iraq is judged to be self-sufficient in the production of biological weapons.
Iraq has a variety of delivery means available for both chemical and biological weapons, some of which are
NOTE: Redactions are not indicated