Iraq's CAB Weapons:
Moving Targets
Another Reason Airstrikes Will Fail To Eliminate Them
By Alan Cooperman
From U.S. News
From Dan S
Iraq has secretly built chemical weapons plants in Sudan, transferred nuclear materials to Algeria, and sent a dozen of its top scientists to develop a biological warfare complex in Libya.
U.S. airstrikes cannot eliminate Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction for the simple reason that Iraq has smuggled many of them to other Arab countries for safekeeping.
That is the conclusion of a draft report by the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare which was obtained by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
The report -- based on American, German, and Israeli intelligence -- says that Iraq has secretly built chemical weapons plants in Sudan, transferred nuclear materials to Algeria, and sent a dozen of its top scientists to develop a biological warfare complex in Libya.
The Clinton administration has dispatched three aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf and is now building international support for a military strike to punish Saddam Hussein for defying United Nations weapons inspectors.
But "no bombing campaign against Iraq, and even an occupation of that country for that matter, is capable of destroying the hard core of Saddam Hussein's primary WMD [weapons of mass destruction] development and production programs,'' the congressional report states. "The reason is that under current conditions these programs are run outside of Iraq -- mainly in Sudan and Libya, as well as Algeria (storage of some hot nuclear stuff).''
The transfer of Iraq's nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons technology began even before the Gulf War. As Saddam Hussein realized that the coalition led by the United States was going to bomb his country in 1991, he hastily smuggled know-how, equipment, and key materials to his close allies. And the smuggling has continued right up to the present.
In March/April 1991, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz got permission from Sudan's president, Umar al-Bashir, to move about 400 Scud missiles and chemical weapons to Sudan for "safekeeping.'' At the same time, Iraq smuggled nuclear materials, documents, and weapons parts -- including 27.5 pounds of highly-enriched uranium-235 -- to Sudan via Jordan using diplomatic mail privileges. For example, barrels of uranium were hidden in a truck marked "furniture'' that went from the Sudanese Embassy in Iraq to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in January 1992.
Since Sudan has no nuclear facilities, most of the nuclear materials were later shipped to a Chinese-built research reactor in the Algerian town of Ain Oussera, where they are still being stored, according to the report.
In 1995, Iraq and Sudan jointly built a plant to produce choking mustard gas near Wau in southwestern Sudan. The chemical weapons plant is located in a former fruit factory staffed by Iraqi technicians. The gas has been used at least twice by the Sudanese government against the rebel Sudanese People's Liberation Army in southern Sudan.
In May 1996, the Iraqis and Sudanese tested chemical agents in the desert, and residents got sick when winds shifted suddenly and carried residues into the city of Omdurman.
Last year, Sudan and Iraq completed a far more sophisticated chemical weapons plant along the Blue Nile in the Kafuri region north of Khartoum. The plant is believed to have begun test runs of nerve agents and is producing 122mm and 152mm artillery shells as well as rocket and tactical missile warheads. Iraqi intelligence agents recruited experts from Egypt, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Russia to help with the plant according to the report.
The Iraqis also built a chemical weapons plant at the Yarmook Industrial Complex in the Mayu area south of Khartoum using German-made machines acquired by Iraqi intelligence and smuggled via Bulgaria. Computers were purchased in France. The site includes a mosque, medical clinic, and guest houses for foreign experts from Iraq and Iran. It even has a special farm to keep the "guests'' well fed on fresh milk, vegetables, and dates.
In 1995, the congressional report says, Iraq signed a secret agreement to provide Libyan leader Muammer Qadhafi with experts on ballistic missiles. Iraq also sent nuclear fuel and specialists to work on nuclear weapons development at a secret site in Sidi Abu Zurayq, in the desert about 240 miles southwest of Tripoli.
Since the mid-1990s, Iraqi agents have been buying sensitive technology in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, then diverting it to Libya. Late last year, Iraq sent some of its top experts in chemical weapons to the Libyan chemical weapons facility inside a mountain at Tarhunah, 40 milies southeast of Tripoli.
About a dozen Iraqi scientists involved in biological weapons research arrived in Libya at the beginning of this year. They are helping the Libyans develop a new biological warfare complex under the guise of a medical facility called General Health Laboratories. This secret program, codenamed Ibn Hayan, is aimed at producing bombs and missile warheads filled with deadly anthrax and botulism agents, according to the report.

Email Homepage
Secret Weapons