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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Tuwaitha Nuclear Center

Some of the buildings at Tuwaitha that were associated with Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons program at the time of the Gulf War in 1991 have been destroyed and not reconstructed. Other buildings that were associated with the pre-Gulf War nuclear weapons program remain in active use, though the current activities at these buildings cannot be verified with satellite imagery.

A 1999 report issued by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), identifies several buildings that were suspected clandestine facilities at that time of the 1991 Gulf War. The report was authored by Dr. David Albright, Corey Hinderstein, and Khidhir Hamza, the former Iraqi weapons scientist.

Hamza worked as a consultant for the Institute of Science and International Security between 1997-1999. According to David Albright [the president of the Institute for Science and International Security] Iraqi defector Khadir Hamza's "statements are often inaccurate, they're inconsistent. ... [Hamza] was an important nuclear official for six months in 1987 - he headed what we called the 'weaponisation program', the program to actually make the bomb itself. He never headed the program to make the highly enriched uranium, which is where most of the money was. ... his information after 1990 was really second hand and gained from talking to colleagues. So I think he's distorted his title dramatically. ["Nuclear weapons expert warns of Hamza evidence" Australian Broadcasting Corporation 25/9/2002] "I must apologise that we no longer can in any way recommend Dr Hamza. I unfortunately now believe he is deliberately distorting both his past credentials and his statements about Iraqi nuclear capabilities then and now." ["Iraqi nuclear scientist's eveidence questioned" Australian Broadcasting Corporation 25/9/2002]

Some of the buildings identified in the report have been damaged since 1991.

Satellite imagery taken between 1998 and 2001 would demostrate whether there had been any changes since the UNSCOM inspectors left.

The head of the UN inspection team banned by Baghdad said that satellite photos of Iraq show unexplained construction at sites the team used to visit in its search for any evidence that Saddam Hussein was trying to develop nuclear arms. Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency emphasized that no conclusions on whether Iraq had restarted nuclear weapons programs could be deduced from the images. ["U.N. inspectors say satellite photos of Iraq show unexplained construction"]



Ikonos Imagery of the Tuwaitha Nuclear Center
Credit: spaceimaging.com. Copyright (c) Space Imaging. All RIGHTS RESERVED. Online and news media distribution or publishing requires permission from Space Imaging.
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Ikonos imagery of the Tuwaitha Nuclear Center as of 7 October, 2001

Buildings annotated as "dedicated clandestine facilities" as of 1991, in a report by the Institute for Science and International Security. Red boxes indentify buildings that have been destroyed.

The building in the red box appears to be larger than the building 60 in the Figure 7 of the ISIS report.

A close-up.

New Imagery of Tuwaitha

New imagery from DigitalGlobe taken on 18 August, 2002, shows evidence of new construction under way at Tuwaitha. Two unidentified structures 12,000 and 16,800 square feet in size are being built. While not intrinsically sinister, the construction raises more questions than answers. Why would the Iraqis undertake new construction at a facility known by the U.S. Intelligence Community, UNSCOM, and the IAEA to be associated with a clandestine nuclear program?


DigitalGlobe Imagery of the Tuwaitha Nuclear Center
For more Public Eye satellite imagery, see the Picture of the Week Gallery of satellite and other imagery of places in the news.
For more Public Eye satellite imagery, see the Picture of the Week Gallery of satellite and other imagery of places in the news.

Tuwaitha

Satellite Imagery

Credit: DigitalGlobe.com. Copyright (c) DigitalGlobe. All RIGHTS RESERVED. Online and news media may distribute or publish with permission
Click on the small image to view a larger version

New construction is apparent in this DigitalGlobe image from August 18, 2002.

Foundation footings are visible at these two construction sites.

The walls of a 12,000 square foot building are visible in this DigitalGlobe image from August 18, 2002.

Foundation footings have been poured at this 16,800 foot building. Its intended purpose is unidentified.


 




 



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