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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 72 / 216

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231.

The JIC went on to say:

We believe that Iraq retains some production equipment,stocks of CW precu rsors, agent and weapons,. . .

[JIC, 10 May 2001]

232.

It also noted that:

. . . intelligence of other related CW activity,including possible weapon isation,is less clear.

[JIC, 10 May 2001]

  • 233.

    As well as the prior intelligence, described above, these judgements appear to have been based on three main pieces of evidence:

    • a.

      A single report from a new source who reported details of a project three years earlier to integrate the nerve agent VX into rocket artillery warheads and the subsequent filling of 60 warheads.

    • b.

      A further single report from a new source, passing on the comments of a sub- source that he had been part of a project to produce the nerve agent VX in the period to 1998, again three years earlier.

    • c.

      Intelligence pointing to the restoration of a facility formerly used for the productionof chemicalagentprecursors andon shipmentstothe plant,although there was no positive evidence that precursors had been produced.

  • 234.

    A further report from a liaison service on the establishment of a group of chemical experts to work on the production of chemical agent using mobile facilities appears to have been discounted by the JIC.

  • 235.

    We conclude that the JIC reflected these reports fairly in its assessments of the status of Iraq’s chemical weapons programme, especially those on the production and weaponisation of the nerve agent VX. The intelligence applied mainly to historical (as opposed to current) activity and, even so, was by no means conclusive.

IRAQ’S BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMME

236.

In an assessment of January 1999, in the immediate aftermath of Operation Desert Fox, the JIC reached somewhat firmer judgements than in 1997 on Iraq’s biological weapons capabilities. On Iraqi possession of biological agents, the JIC concluded that:

Following the 1991 Gulf War,Iraq concealed BW production equipment,stoc ks of agents and perhaps even BW weapons; . . .

and on Iraqi production capabilities, that:

. . . Iraq has sufficient expertise,equipment,and materials to produce BW a gents within weeks.

[JIC, 7 January 1999]

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