'); //--> Back to Boston.com homepage Arts | Entertainment Boston Globe Online Cars.com BostonWorks Real Estate Boston.com Sports digitalMass Travel
Back home
Today's date
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

'A deliberate campaign to prevent meaningful inspection work'
— Colin L. Powell, US Secretary of State

Colin L. Powell presented material to the UN Security Council yesterday as evidence that Iraq was guilty of a material breach of Resolution 1441 and 16 previous resolutions spanning 12 years.

Biological and chemical weaponry | Nuclear capabilities | Conventional weapons | Links to terrorism

Weapons munitions facility
The Taji facility shown here is one of 65 such facilities in Iraq. UN inspectors found a 122mm chemical weapons shell in Taji early this month, and the Iraqis found four additional shells three days later.

Nov. 10, 2002
15 munitions bunkers shown in yellow and red outlines. The four in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers. One of these bunkers is enlarged in the next image.
    Nov. 10, 2002
Close-up of a chemical bunker
• Security and decontamination vehicle: Signature items for chemical bunkers.
• Inside: Guards and equipment to monitor leakage from the bunker.
    Dec. 22, 2002
Sanitized chemical bunker
• Security and decontamination vehicles are gone.
• Bunkers are “clean” when the inspectors arrive.

Mobile biological agent production facilities
Four sources, including three Iraqis, confirm the existence of these movable facilities comprising trucks and train cars that can be easily moved to evade detection by weapons inspectors. The United States says that Iraq has at least seven mobile facilities with a minimum of 18 trucks.

Sources quoted by Powell
• According to one source, an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised a mobile facility, production runs began on Thursdays at midnight because Iraq thought UNSCOM would not inspect on Friday, the Muslim holy day.
• Truck-mounted facilities have at least two or three trucks and can produce enough anthrax or botulinum toxin in a month to kill thousands. UN specialists agree that Iraqi scientists can dry the toxins, making them better weapons.
    Truck labs

Artist renderings based on eyewitness interviews


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
Iraq is said to have been working on a variety of UAVs for more than a decade. UAVs are well suited for dispensing biological and chemical weapons.

An Iraqi UAV with a wingspan of a few meters      

On Dec. 7, 2002, Iraq declared that its UAVs have a range of only 80 km (50 miles). US intelligence detected a UAV test flight that went around a circuit several times, reaching 500 km (311 miles) nonstop on autopilot. The distance is well over the 150 km (93 miles) allowed by the United Nations.
Human experiments
• The US has sources that say Saddam Hussein’s regime has been experimenting on human beings to perfect its chemical and biological weapons.
• The source says that 1,600 death-row prisoners were transferred in 1995 to a special unit so experiments could be conducted on them.
    Biological agents
• Iraq declared 8,500 liters, but UNSCOM estimates Iraq could have 25,000 liters.

• Iraq admitted to having 4 tons of VX after Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law defected and led inspectors to collect documents.

• UNSCOM also has forensic evidence that Iraq produced and weaponized VX, but Iraq denies ever weaponizing the agent.

Chemical agents
Iraq has failed to account for:
• 550 artillery shells of mustard gas
• 30,000 empty munitions
• Enough precursors to increase chemical agent stockpile to 500 tons
• 6,500 bombs from Iran-Iraq war, estimated by UNMOVIC to contain 1,000 tons of chemical agent

Iraq has continually denied having a nuclear weapons program, but information from defectors proves otherwise. Iraq has two of three key components to build a nuclear bomb — a cadre of nuclear scientists and a bomb design. Since 1998, Saddam Hussein has been trying to acquire the final component, fissile material, to create a nuclear explosion.

• To create fissile material, Iraq has to develop ways to enrich uranium and is alleged to be acquiring techniques such as electromagnetic isotope separation, gas centrifuge, and gas diffusion.
• Iraq has tried repeatedly to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 countries, even after inspections resumed. The aluminum tubes are banned for Iraq.
Experts who have examined the aluminum tubes (above) that were seized before they reached Baghdad agree that the tubes were intended to serve as rotors in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium.   Other experts and the Iraqis argue that they are for producing rocket bodies for a conventional weapon, although the specifications exceed US requirements for comparable rockets.   Between 1999 and 2002, Iraqi officials have tried to buy a magnet production plant and machines for balancing gas centrifuge rotors.

UN regulations state that Iraq’s missiles may not have a range of more than 150 km (93 miles). It is thought by the United States that Iraq still possesses “a few dozen” SCUD variant ballistic missiles. These missiles have ranges of 650-900 km (404-559 miles). UNMOVIC has reported the importing of 380 SA-2 rocket engines that Powell says could extend the range of Iraq’s missiles to 1,200 km (746 miles).

Ballistic missile ranges
------ = Permitted range
------ = Current missiles
- - - - = Current missiles
    Larger test stand
According to Powell, "The exhaust on the right test stand is five-times longer than the one on the left. The one on the left was used for short-range missiles. The one on the right is clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers." Below, Al-Rafa’h liquid engine test facility:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
This suspected terrorist was living in Baghdad and received medical treatment there. Powell says that the US asked for his extradition through a friendly government, but Iraqi officials claimed that they could not find him.

Iraqi connections to Al Qaeda
Iraqi agents allegedly assisted al-Zarqawi in Afghan training camps. Powell says, "Saddam became more interested as he saw Al Qaeda's appalling attacks. A detained Al Qaeda member tells us that Saddam was more willing to assist Al Qaeda after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by Al Qaeda’s attacks on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000."


SOURCE: Secretary of State Colin Powell speech to the United Nations

PHOTOS: Associated Press

GLOBE STAFF GRAPHIC: Hwei Wen Foo, Christopher Melchiondo

 Search the Globe:      
Today (Free) Yesterday (Free) Past month Past year   Advanced search

© Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

| Advertise | Contact us | Privacy policy |