The various strands of intelligence on Libya’s nuclear programme were precise, detailed and collectively strong. The intelligence on the AQ Khan network was extremely important, but it was backed up by other multi-agency reporting. Likewise, different strands of reporting combined to fill out the picture of Libyan ballistic missile and chemical weapons programmes. Most of the JIC’s assessments were later borne out by validation of Libya’s declarations of its nuclear, chemical and ballistic missile holdings and capabilities.
USE OF THE INTELLIGENCE
One use of intelligence in the Libyan case has been to stimulate interceptions of goods destined for Libya’s programmes. This has involved activity by HM Customs and Excise, co-operation with European partners and actions by other Governments.
A particularly notable example is that of the interception of the BBC China referred to above. The discoveries made enabled the UK and US Governments to confront Libyan officials with this evidence of their nuclear-related procurement at a time when Libya was still considering whether to proceed to full admission of its programmes.
Since Libyan Foreign Minister Shalgam’s public statement, also on 19 December 2003, on his country’s decision to eliminate:
. . . the materials,equipments and programmes which lead to the production of internationally proscribed weapons . . .
. . . to restrict itself to missiles with a range in line with the standards agreed in the MTCR [Missile Technology Control Regime] . . .
much progress has been made in validating Libya’s declarations of its holdings of nuclear and chemical materiel, ballistic missiles and associated facilities. The inspection process for validation has been carried out by the relevant international organisations and by UK and US experts working closely with the Libyans. This in turn has helped to confirm the validity of many of the original intelligence concerns. The same intelligence that uncovered the Libyan programmes was helpful to the inspectors for another reason:it demonstrated to the Libyans how much was known about their programmes and helped to persuade them to be fully co-operative. As the 2003–04 Annual Report of the Intelligence and Security Committee1 said in June 2004:
The detailed intelligence on Libya and its procurement activities,colle cted by the UK and USA from all sources over a significant period of time,enabled the UK and USA to demonstrate to the Libyan authorities that they knew about their WMD
Cm 6240. June 2004.
programmes. Consequently,when the inspectors authorities,while they tried,were not able to hide disclosure was eventually achieved.
went to Libya the Libyan