The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

061896_cia_63940_63940_01.txt
Subject: IRAQI CW
Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence
TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN
REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN
TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF
THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON
REQUEST.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
WARNING: INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE
DIST:            JANUARY 1991
 COUNTRY: IRAQ/KUWAIT
SUBJ:  1.          IRAQ'S
ASMIDA FERTILIZER PLANT NEAR KHOR-AL-ZUBAIR
2. RAILROAD-CAR TANKS OF POISON GAS AT ASMIDA
DOI:          1990
SUMMARY:          AT IRAQ'S ASMIDA FERTILIZER PLANT
NEAR ZUBAIR OBSERVED SEVERAL UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES DURING
-          1990          E.G. SHIPMENTS OF CYLINDRICAL PLASTIC
CAPS (POSSIBILY FOR STORAGE OF ARTILLERY SHELLS): ARTILLERY TEST
FIRING IN THE VICINITY OF THE PLANT; AND THE PRESENCE OF AT LEAST SIX
RAILROAD TANKERS MARKED "POISON GAS" ON THE COMPOUND. GUARDS AT THE
COMPOUND DID NOT UNDERGO CHEMICAL WARFARE DRILLS AND DID NOT CARRY
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING OR EQUIPMENT WITH THEM.
OBSERVED A LARGE NUMBER OF GOODS WHICH HAD BEEN LOOTED FROM-KUWAIT,
INCLUDING CARS, CRANES, OFFICE FURNITURE, AND COMMERCIAL KITCHEN
EQUIPMENT. NEW CONSTRUCTION AT THE SITE WAS LIMITED, AND APPEARED TO
BE USING MOSTLY SCAVENGED MATERIALS. THERE WAS NO PERCEPTIBLE CHANGE
IN THE PLANT'S 24-HOUR PRODUCTION OPERATION
A DESCRIPTION OF THE ASMIDA COMPOUND IS PROVIDED.
TEXT:  1           
THE ASMIDA FERTILIZER
FACTORY IN IRAQ. THE FACTORY IS LOCATED ON THE ROAD LEADING FROM THE
VILLAGE OF KHOR-AL-ZUBAI (ABOUT 24 KILOMETERS (KM) SOUTH OF BASRAH)
TO THE PORT OF UMM QASR ON THE ARABIAN GULF. THE ASMIDA FACILITY
PRODUCES UREA FERTILIZER.
2. GENERAL DESCRIPTION: THE ASMIDA COMPOUND SEEMED TO BE
ROUGHLY SQUARE IN SHAPE, MEASURING AN ESTIMATED TWO KILOMETERS ON
EACH SIDE. IN ADDITION TO NUMEROUS ADMINISTRATIVE AND MAINTENANCE
BUILDINGS, THE FACILITY HAD TWO REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER PURIFICATION
BUILDINGS PLUS TANKS; A LARGE WHITE BUILDING, WITH ANTENNAS ON TOP
AND NO WINDOWS; AT LEAST SIX RAILROAD TANKER CARS MARKED "POISON
GAS"; A LARGE (BUNKERED) AMMONIA STORAGE TANK; TWO LARGE CONCRETE
SILOS; TWO BAGGING AND ASSEMBLY BUILDINGS; AND THE PRODUCTION LINES
-- OR "TRAINS" -- WITH FOUR CRACKING TOWERS. ASMIDA RECEIVED ITS
MAIN POWER SUPPLY FROM THE ELECTRIC POWER PLANT AT KARABAH.
3. OBSERVATION OF UNUSUAL ACTIVITY: THREE ITEMS/OCCURRENCES
AT THE ASMIDA FACILITY
A. A NUMBER OF "UNUSUAL" OBJECTS          ON THE
RAILROAD TRANSPORT CARS OUTSIDE THE COMPOUND'S EASTERN FENCE. THE
OBJECTS APPEARED TO BE CYLINDRICAL PLASTIC "CAPS" ABOUT SIX INCHES IN
DIAMETER, WITH ROUNDED HANDLES ON TOP.
IDENTIFIED THE ITEMS AS HOLDERS (OR RESTS) FOR ARTILLERY SHELLS.
B. THE PRESENCE OF AT LEAST SIX, LARGE METAL RAILROAD-
CAR TANKS MARKED "POISON GAS". THE TANKS WERE LOCATED IN THE
SOUTHEAST CORNER OF THE FACILITY, NEXT TO THE AMMONIA STORAGE TANK,
AND WERE SURROUNDED BY A FENCE. THE SIX TANKS WERE PAINTED WHILTE
WITH RED LETTERS, AND DISPLAYED THE INTERNATIONAL SYMBOL FOR
"POISON".            THE NEWNESS OF THE TANKS CONTRASTED
MARKEDLY WITH THE REST OF THE ASMIDA FACILITY, AND THE TANKS SEEMED
TO HAVE ARRIVED FAIRLY RECENTLY (NFI). IT WAS NOT KNOWN IF THE TANKS
CONTAINED SOME FEEDSTOCK FOR THE FERTILIZER PRODUCTION PROCESS.)
C. SOUNDS OF LOUD FIRING AND EXPLOSIVES WERE
FREQUENTLY HEARD TO THE SOUTH OF THE FACILITY.
4. ABSENCE OF CHEMICAL PROTECTIVE GEAR: THE ASMIDA GUARDS
WERE NOT OBSERVED RECEIVING CHEMICAL WEAPONS (CW) PREPARATIVE
TRAINING, AND THEY DID NOT CARRY ANY SPECIAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING OR
EQUIPMENT WITH THEM. THERE WERE NO DECONTAMINIATION FACILITIES
OBSERVED AT THE SITE. WESTERN HOSTAGES AT THE SITE WERE GIVEN
SPECIAL PROTECTIVE GAS MASKS, AND TOLD TO USE THEM IN THE EVENT OF A
CHEMICAL ATTACK.
5. NEW CONSTRUCTION: THERE WAS SOME LIMITED NEW CONSTRUCTION
UNDERWAY AT ASMIDA          THE IRAQI'S
APPEARED TO BE MAKING STRUCTURES TO HOUSE LARGE EQUIPMENT, SUCH AS
CRANES. THEY WERE USING SCAVENGED MATERIALS TO BUILD THE UNITS,
APPARENTLY OBTAINED FROM THE EXTENSIVE SCRAP METAL AND JUNK HEAPS
WHICH SURROUND THE ASMIDA FACILITY. NEW CONSTRUCTION WAS UNDERWAY
NEAR THE MAIN GATE AND MOTOR POOL.
6. PRESENCE OF LOOTED KUWAITI GOODS: ON VARIOUS OCCASIONS
OF A WIDE VARIETY OF VEHICLES AND PROPERTY          HAD
BEEN LOOTED FROM KUWAIT. MANY OF THE VEHICLES HAD KUWAITI MARKINGS
AND WIRTING ON THEM. THE ITEMS OBSERVED INCLUDED KUWAITI CARS,
GARBAGE TRUCKS, CRANES, FACTORY EQUIPMENT, OFFICE FURNITURE, AND
COMMERCIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT. THE EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES WERE PARKED
ALONG THE MAIN ROAD INTO THE ASMIDA COMPOUND, IN PLAIN VIEW.
7. COMPOUND LAYOUT, DESCRIPTION:
A. THE MOST PROMINENT BUILDINGS ON THE COMPOUND WERE TWO
ENORMOUS SILOS, EACH ABOUT 250 FEET HIGH AND 75 FEET IN DIAMETER,
LOCATED AT THE CENTER OF THE COMPOUND. THE SILOS WERE MADE OF
UNPAINTED CONCRETE AND LOOKED LIKE FARM STORAGE SILOS. 
THE SILOS WERE PART OF THE FERTILIZER PRODUCTION PROCESS: AFTER
FORMULATING A TYPE OF POWDER FROM NATURAL GAS, THE POWDER WOULD BE
DROPPED INTO THE SILO. AS THE POWDER FELL. IT GREW IN SIZE. LIKE A
HAILSTONE.
B. IN THE SOUTHERN CORNER OF THE COMPOUND WAS A LARGE
WHITE BUILDING WITH NO WINDOWS, MEASURING ABOUT 200 FEET ON EACH
SIDE, AND TWO TO THREE FLOORS HIGH. THERE WERE DEVICES ON TOP OF THE
BUILDING WHICH APPEARED TO BE EITHER ANTENNAS OR POSSIBLY LIGHTNING
RODS. NO DOORS WERE EVER OPEN IN THIS BUILDING.
THE WHITE BUILDING CONTAINED A GENERATOR.
C. BESIDE THE WHITE BUILDING, TOWARD THE MAIN GATE, WERE
TWO LARGE REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER PURIFICATION CENTERS. THERE WERE AT
LEAST SIX LARGE WATER STORAGE TANKS ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE WHITE
BUILDING. THE WATER PURIFICATION BUILDINGS SOMETIMES EMITTED A MIST
OVER THE COMPOUND.
D. AT THE EASTERN CORNER OF THE COMPOUND, NEAR THE REAR
ENTRANCE, WAS THE AMONIA STORAGE TANK. IT MEASURED ABOUT 30-40 FEET
HIGH, AND ABOUT 100 FEET DIAMETER. THE TANK WAS BUNKERED BY A WALL
OF REINFORCED CONCRETE.          SPECULATED THAT A
LARGE CRATER BEHIND THE EXISTING AMMONIA TANK HAD CONTAINED ANOTHER
AMMONIA TANK WHICH WAS DESTROYED, POSSIBLY DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR.
E. NEXT TO THE AMMONIA TANK WERE SIX POISON GAS STORAGE
TANKS, IN METAL RAILROAD-CAR SIZE TANKS. THE TANKS WERE FENCED IN.
F. NORTH OF THE STORAGE TANKS ALONG THE COMPOUND PERIMETER
WERE TWO LARGE BUILDINGS WHERE BAGGING AND ASSEMBLY APPARENTLY TOOK
PLACE. THE BUILDINGS MEASURED 300 C FEET BY 700-800 FEET, AND WERE
BETWEEN TWO AND FOUR FLOORS HIGH. WHEN THE DOORS WERE OPEN, MASSIVE
PILES OF UNBAGGED FERTILIZER COULD BE SEEN ON THE FLOOR. THERE WERE
CONVEYOR BELTS LEADING INTO AND OUT OF THE BUILDINGS. THE BUILDING
CLOSEST TO THE FENCE ALSO HAD A COVERED CONVEYOR BELT WHICH EXTENDED
OVER THE FENCE TO THE RAILROAD LOADING PLATFORM, FOR LOADING BAGGED
FERTILIZER ONTO THE TRAINS.
I. THE TWO PRIMARY ASSEMBLY LINES AND FERTILIZER
FABRICATION AREA WERE IN THE COUMPOUND INTERIOR.
THE TWO ASSEMBLY LINES, OR "TRAINS," WERE
IDENTICAL. EACH TRAIN HAD TWO CRACKING TOWERS AND ITS OWN TWO-FLOOR
CONTROL BUILDING. A SERIES OF DUCTS AND PIPES LED FROM THE CRACKING
TOWERS TO THE CENTRAL SILOS.
J. THERE WAS A LABORATORY BUILDING NEAR THE MAIN GATE.
DEVOTED TO QUALITY CONTROL TESTING,
END OF MESSAGE
1.5 (c)
63940-63940
First Page |Prev Page |Next Page |Src Image




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list