24 September 2002 weapons capability.
On chemical weapons, the dossier shows that Iraq continues to produce chemical agents for chemical weapons; has rebuilt previously destroyed production plants across Iraq; has bought dual-use chemical facilities; has retained the key personnel formerly engaged in the chemical weapons programme; and has a serious ongoing research programme into weapons production, all of it well funded.
In respect of biological weapons, again, production of biological agents has continued; facilities formerly used for biological weapons have been rebuilt; equipment has been purchased for such a programme; and again, Saddam has retained the personnel who worked on it prior to 1991. In particular, the UN inspection regime discovered that Iraq was trying to acquire mobile biological weapons facilities, which of course are easier to conceal. Present intelligence confirms that it has now got such facilities. The biological agents that we believe Iraq can produce include anthrax, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin—all eventually result in excruciatingly painful death.
As for nuclear weapons, Saddam’s previous nuclear weapons programme was shut down by the inspectors, following disclosure by defectors of the full, but hidden, nature of it. The programme was based on gas centrifuge uranium enrichment. The known remaining stocks of uranium are now held under supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
But we now know the following: since
24 September 2002 Biological agent: production capabilities
12. We know from intelligence that Iraq has continued to produce biological warfare agents. As with some chemical equipment, UNSCOM only destroyed equipment that could be directly linked to biological weapons production. Iraq also has its own engineering capability to design and construct biological agent associated fermenters, centrifuges, sprayer dryers and other equipment and is judged to be self- sufficient in the technology required to produce biological weapons. The experienced personnel who were active in the programme have largely remained in the country. Some dual-use equipment has also been purchased, but without monitoring by UN inspectors Iraq could have diverted it to their biological weapons programme. This newly purchased equipment and other equipment previously subject to monitoring could be used in a resurgent biological warfare programme. Facilities of concern include:
the Castor Oil Production Plant at Fallujah: this was damaged in UK/US air attacks in 1998 (Operation Desert Fox) but has been rebuilt. The residue from the castor bean pulp can be used in the production of the biological agent ricin;
the al-Dawrah Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Institute: which was involved in biological agent production and research before the Gulf War;
the Amariyah Sera and Vaccine Plant at Abu Ghraib: UNSCOM established that this facility was used to store biological agents, seed stocks and conduct biological warfare associated genetic research prior to the Gulf War. It has now expanded its storage capacity.
13. UNSCOM established that Iraq considered the use of mobile biological agent production facilities. In the past two years evidence from defectors has indicated the existence of such facilities. Recent intelligence confirms that the Iraqi military have developed mobile facilities. These would help Iraq conceal and protect biological agent production from military attack or UN inspection.
Chemical and biological agents: delivery means
14. Iraq has a variety of delivery means available for both chemical and biological agents. These include:
free-fall bombs: Iraq acknowledged to UNSCOM the deployment to two sites of free-fall bombs filled with biological agent during 1990– 91. These bombs were filled with anthrax, botulinum toxin and aflatoxin. Iraq also acknowledged possession of four types of aerial bomb with various chemical agent fills including sulphur mustard, tabun, sarin and cyclosarin;
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Saddam could not be sure of the US reaction to an outbreak of a non-lethal disease.
The early, widespread use of CBW or non-lethal agents would affect Coalition military planning; disruption of the build-up of personnel and material could delay operations. On balance however we judge that the political cost of using CBW weapons would outweigh the military advantages and that Saddam would probably not use CBW weapons pre- emptively.
Possible scenarios: use during the ground phase of a conflict There is no intelligence on specific Iraqi plans for how CBW would be used in a conflict. Large numbers of chemical munitions would need to be used to make a major battlefield impact. BW could also be used although it is less effective as a tactical weapon against Coalition units than CW. But the use of even small quantities of chemical weapons would cause significant degradation in Coalition progress and might contribute to redressing Coalition conventional superiority on the battlefield. Iraq could make effective use of persistent chemical agents to shape the battlefield to Iraq’s advantage by denying space and territory to Coalition forces. Booby-traps and improvised explosive devices could be used as
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very basic. These include, free fall bombs, artillery shells, helicopter and aircraft borne sprayers and ballistic missile warheads, although the exact numbers are unknown. Iraq is also continuing with the L-29 remotely piloted vehicle programme, which could have chemical and biological weapons delivery applications. Covert delivery also remains an option. Because of the shortage of some platforms, such as aircraft and helicopters, we judge that Iraq would not be able to conduct a sustained CBW campaign in the manner of the Iran-Iraq War, even if Iraq could produce enough CBW agents to do so. But a single major attack or a number of small attacks would be feasible.
Nuclear Weapons Programme We judge that Iraq does not possess a nuclear weapons capability. We previously assessed that Iraq was within three years of producing a weapon when the Gulf War intervened. Its programme was effectively dismantled by the IAEA and subject to the monitoring process subsequently installed. Although there is very little intelligence we continue to judge that Iraq is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. We assess the programme to be based on gas centrifuge uranium enrichment, which was the route Iraq was following for producing fissile material prior to the Gulf War. Recent intelligence indicates that nuclear scientists were recalled to work on a nuclear programme in the autumn of 1998, but we do not know if large scale development work has yet recommenced. Procurement of dual- use items over the last few years could be used in a uranium enrichment programme. There have been determined efforts to purchase high strength aluminium alloy, prohibited under the Nuclear Suppliers Group
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