Salman Pak / Al Salman
Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility at Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations.
The Salman Pak biological warfare facility was located on a peninsula caused by a bend in the Tigris river, approximately five kilometers (km) from the arch located in the town of Salman Pak. The facility area comprised more than 20 square km, and might have been known as a farmers (or agricultural) experimentation center. The peninsula was fenced off and patrolled by a large guard force. Immediately inside and to the east of the fence line were two opulent villas: the larger built for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the other for his half-brother, Barazan al-Tikriti. A main paved road ran through the center of the Salman Pak facility/peninsula. [GulfLINK]
Plans were made in the mid-1980's to develop the Salman Pak site into a secure biological warfare research facility. Dr Rihab Taha, head of a small biological weapons research team, continued to work with her team at al-Muthanna until 1987 when it moved to Salman Pak, which was under the control of the Directorate of General Intelligence.
Located at the facility are several buildings. The probable main research building at the site is a modern building, composed of twenty four rooms, housing a major BW research facility. Using current technology the research area alone had sufficient floor space to accommodate several continuous-flow or batch fermenters that could produce daily sufficient anthrax bacteria to lethally assault hundreds of square kilometers. Adjacent to the research building is a storage area which contains four munitions type storage bunkers with lightning arrestors. Two of these bunkers have facilities for storage of temperature sensitive biological material. Approximately a mile down the road from the research area is a complex US intelligence believed to be an engineering area. One building in this complex was thought to contain a fermentation pilot plant capable of scale up production of BW agents. A construction project comprising several buildings was begun in early 1989 adjacent to the engineering area, and was near completion in 1990. This new complex was assessed as a pharmaceutical production plant. As such, this facility would have an extensive capability for biological agent production. [GulfLINK]
Salman Pak, located 30-40 km SE of Baghdad, engaged in laboratory scale research on Anthrax, Botulinum toxin, Clostridium, perfringens (gas gangrene), mycotoxins, aflatoxins, and Ricin. Researchers at this site carried out toxicity evaluations of these agents and examined their growth characteristics and survivability.
Equipment-moving trucks and refrigerated trucks were observed at the Salman Pak BW facility prior to the onset of bombing, suggesting that Iraq was moving equipment or material into or out of the facility. Information obtained after the conflict revealed that Iraq had moved BW agent production equipment from Salman Pak to the Al Hakam suspect BW facility.
The Qadisiya State Establishment [aka Al-Qadsia], involved in the program to produce Al Hussein class missiles, is apparently located nearby, along with the Al-Yarmouk facility which according to some reports was associated with the chemical munitions program [and which other reports place at Yusufiyah.
Iraq told UN inspectors that Salman Pak was an anti-terror training camp for Iraqi special forces. However, two defectors from Iraqi intelligence stated that they had worked for several years at the secret Iraqi government camp, which had trained Islamic terrorists in rotations of five or six months since 1995. Training activities including simulated hijackings carried out in an airplane fuselage [said to be a Boeing 707] at the camp. The camp is divided into distinct sections. On one side of the camp young, Iraqis who were members of Fedayeen Saddam are trained in espionage, assassination techniques and sabotage. The Islamic militants trained on the other side of the camp, in an area separated by a small lake, trees and barbed wire. The militants reportedly spent time training, usually in groups of five or six, around the fuselage of the airplane. There were rarely more than 40 or 50 Islamic radicals in the camp at one time.
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