used (albeit with little accuracy) against targets in Kuwait,Saudi Arabi a and even Israel; . . .
[JIC, 1 December 2000]
On Iraq’s indigenous capabilities, the JIC noted that: Iraq has increased the pace and scope of its missile research and development programmes. Series production of the 150 km range Al Samoud could begin within months. A longer range version (up to 200 km) is being worked on. We have no evidence of a revival in the 650 km range Al Hussein missile programme. But according to intelligence,preliminary work is under way on another missi le with a possible range of over 700 km; . . . [JIC, 1 December 2000]
Intelligence supporting the JIC’s judgements on Iraqi research and development programmes came from a range of sources, and was in our view substantial.
The JIC produced further assessments of Iraq’s ballistic missile programme in February 2001 and May 2001. That in February 2001 put for the first time an actual number to the size of the residual Iraqi stockpile of Al Hussein missiles: We know that Iraq has retained key components of disassembled 650 km range Al Hussein missiles. Recent intelligence suggests that they may have assembled up to 20 of these missiles.
[JIC, 9 February 2001]
The JIC appears to have based this judgement on its long-standing view, going as far back as the mid-1990s, that Iraq had concealed missile components; and three pieces of human intelligence from three separate sources on Iraqi possession of Al Hussein missiles. One of those sources provided the actual number of “up to 20” missiles being concealed, which was subsequently reflected in all future JIC assessments (and Government statements). That source was in our view in a position to comment authoritatively; and we have established that he reported reliably both before and after that report. But we note that he was passing on the comments of a sub-source, who reported only once. SIS had not, by the time we finished our Review, been able to contact the sub-source to validate the reliability of his reporting.
The same assessment also commented further on Iraqi research and development activities, as did the JIC’s further assessment in May 2001 on the status of Iraq’s nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes. Of those, the JIC clearly felt most confident about the intelligence on Iraq’s ballistic missile programmes, leading it to say in a Key Judgement to the assessment that: We know most about Iraq’s ballistic missile programme. Over the past two years, there has been a step change in progress. In addition to its permitted programmes for missile up to 150 km range,we know that Iraq is developing longer range systems possibly up to 2000km. We have good intelligence on research and development facilities but we do not know where the longer range missiles will be built.
[JIC, 10 May 2001]