production and weaponisation of chemical agent, although we believe the position is best described by a DIS commentary at the time:
Since 1998,there have been numerous claims that Iraq has continued to weap onise agent,but much of the reporting has come from dubious sources and that wort h closer examination has lacked collateral and remains unsubstantiated.
On Iraq’s biological weapons programme, the JIC sustained its prior judgement that:
Iraq currently has available,either from pre Gulf War stocks or more recen t production,a number of biological agents. Iraq could produce more of thes e biological agents within days.
[JIC, 15 March 2002]
Underpinning this judgement, the JIC reported that: BW work continued throughout the period of UNSCOM inspections and intelligence indicates that this programme continues. Key figures from the pre-Gulf War programme are reported to be involved. Research and development is assessed to continue under cover of a number of legitimate institutes and possibly in a number of covert facilities . . . There is no intelligence on any BW agent production facilities but one source indicates that Iraq may have developed mobile production facilities. [JIC, 15 March 2002]
On Iraq’s ballistic missile capabilities, the JIC sustained its previous judgement that: Iraq retains up to 20 Al Hussein ballistic missiles . . . noting that:
The location and condition of these is unknown,but there is sufficient engi neering expertise to make them operational.
[JIC, 15 March 2002]
The JIC also commented on the programme to extend the range of the Al Samoud missile beyond limits set by the United Nations: Iraq has reportedly succeeded in developing a number of 200km range variants of Al Samoud,although it is unclear if these are for operational use or resear ch and development for longer-range systems. [JIC, 15 March 2002]
On the longer-range systems themselves, and Iraq’s indigenous capabilities, the JIC said that:
Iraq has rebuilt much of the military production infrastructure associated with the missile programme damaged in the Gulf War and the few high profile sites targeted in Operation Desert Fox in 1998. New infrastructure is being built,with a p articular focus on improving the support to the solid propellant missile programme.