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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Inspections: 14 January 2003

A team of five International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors went to the Al-Qa'qa State Company, some 50 kilometers south of Baghdad to weigh, sample, inspect, and seal warehouses containing HMX. A second group of three inspectors went to the Dhu Al-Faqar Plant belonging to Al-Rashid State Company, some 35 kilometers north of Baghdad, where they inventoried aluminum tubes. The UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) stated that this site is a mechanical manufacturing engineering plant. Inspectors then proceeded to the nearby Al-Nasr State Company to inspect aluminum materials there and verify the number against their figures. Inspectors did the same at the Al-Sumud State Company and examined the furnace where aluminum is melted as well. UNMOVIC noted that Al-Nasr and Al-Sumud both operate foundries.

A team of four missile inspectors toured a missile fuel site in Al-Za'faraniyah in order to verify that it is still an abandoned site.

A second group of five missile inspectors went to the Al-Mutasim Factory of the Al-Rashid State Company located 60 kilometers south of Baghdad (or 90 according to UNMOVIC) to tag Al-Fatah missiles and remove tags from some Ababil-50 missiles.

Another team of four missile inspectors went to the Hittin State Company -- owned by Iraq's Military Industrial Organization (MIO) -- located some 55 kilometers south of Baghdad, where they checked three buildings against an aerial photo "which turned out to be for [the] Al-Nu'man Factory at the site." The ministry noted that the factory specializes in mechanical operation. Inspectors also visited the adjacent Al-Quds Company and compared it to the aerial photo before visiting the mechanical center to ask about operations there. UNMOVIC noted that the team "inspected the Iskandariyah Explosives Research and Development Facility, which is now split into the Al-Quds Company and the Al-Nu'man Company."

A team of three biological inspectors went to the Air Force's Technical Depot, in Al-Taji, some 30 kilometers north of Baghdad to inspect an aircraft's damaged fuel tanks and compare them to undamaged tanks, the ministry noted. UNMOVIC did not elaborate on this inspection.

A team of nine biological inspectors went to the Al-Rab'ia Center of the State Authority for Industrial Research and Development, owned by the Ministry of Industry and Metals, located in the Al-Jadiriyah area's Scientific Complex in Baghdad. The center "deals" with agricultural research, plants, and industrial crops, according to the Foreign Ministry. Inspectors questioned the director about the center's research projects in microbiology and oil extraction from industrial crops, as well as the names of department heads and the center's external consultants, the Foreign Ministry noted. UNMOVIC stated that the center "conducts research on seeds, plants and plant by-products for specific agricultural or industrial applications."

A joint UNMOVIC team of eight inspectors based in Mosul went to the Technical Institute in Al-Namrud (in Mosul). Inspectors questioned the deputy dean about the degrees and specialization of the staff as well as ongoing research before checking tagged equipment against the declaration and touring the agricultural department, according to the ministry.

A joint UNMOVIC inspection team searched a site belonging to the Iranian terrorist opposition group Mujahedin Khalq Organization, according to a statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. A team of 33 inspectors searched the site, while "two cars from the team" went to the Al-Azim Munitions Depot where inspectors checked a number of warehouses. Reuters reported on 16 January that a team flew helicopters over the site during the ground inspection. UNMOVIC did not provide any details on the inspection.

Copyright (c) 2003. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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