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070296_cia_73887_73887_01.txt
Subject: POSSIBLE IRAQI RADIOLOGICAL WEAP
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.
THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20505
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COUNCIL
          JANUARY 1991
MEMORANDUM FOR:  DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
FROM:  NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER FOR WARNING
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER FOR SCIENCE,
TECHNOLOGY, AND PROLIFERATION
SUBJECT:  POSSIBLE IRAQI RADIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
1. ACCORDING TO WESTERN PRESS REPORTS ON 14 JANUARY, IRAQ
CLAIMS TO HAVE SECRET WEAPONS THAT WOULD CAUSE TENS OF THOUSANDS
OF ITS FOES TO DIE BEFORE THEY COULD REACH IRAQI DEFENSES. THE
IRAQI DEFENSE MINISTRY NEWSPAPER AL-QADISIYA ASSERTED THAT,
"IRAQ'S ARSENAL CONTAINS SURPRISES WHICH WILL ASTONISH OUR
ENEMIES AND FASCINATE OUR FRIENDS." OTHER PRESS REPORTS HAVE
REFERRED TO "UNUSUAL" WEAPONS.
2.          INTELLIGENCE AND IRAQ'S ACCESS TO RADIOACTIVE
MATERIAL INDICATE IT WOULD BE FEASIBLE FOR THE IRAQIS TO BUILD A
FUNCTIONING RADIOLOGICAL WEAPON.
IRAQ DOES
NOT POSSESS A NUCLEAR BOMB BUT THAT THE IRAQIS COULD HAVE
OBTAINED RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL FROM OPERATION OF THEIR RESEARCH
REACTORS AND MAY PLAN TO DISPERSE THIS MATERIAL USING A
CONVENTIONAL EXPLOSIVE CHARGE.
4. SUCH AN IRAQI EXPLOSIVE RADIOLOGICAL DEVICE WOULD NOT BE A
MILITARILY SIGNIFICANT WEAPON. IT WOULD CREATE NO SPECIAL BLAST
EFFECT, AND IT COULD NOT CAUSE WIDESPREAD RADIATION SICKNESS.
THAT WOULD BE TRUE EVEN IN THE WORST CASE, WHICH WOULD PROBABLY
BE IF SUCH WEAPONS WERE USED AGAINST UNPREPARED AND UNPROTECTED
CIVILIANS IN A CITY.
5. THERE WOULD, HOWEVER, BE A SUBSTANTIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL
IMPACT, NOT ONLY ON THE TARGETS BUT ON THEIR LEADERS. IN THE FOG
OF WAR, MOREOVER, THE RADIOACTIVITY CAUSED BY THE DETONATION OF A
RADIOLOGICAL DEVICE COULD LEAD TO A CONCLUSION THAT IRAQ HAD USED
A NUCLEAR DEVICE. THAT MIGHT TRIGGER ESCALATORY MOVES AMONG
COALITION MEMBERS.
6. IF IRAQ HAS EXPLOSIVE RADIOLOGICAL DEVICES, WE BELIEVE
SADDAM WOULD TRY TO USE THEM IN A WAY THAT WOULD MAXIMIZE THEIR
POLITICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT. ALTERNATIVELY, IN VIEW OF
THE POTENTIAL FOR OVERREACTION, SADDAN MIGHT CONSIDER THEM TO BE
WEAPONS OF LAST RESORT.
1.5 (C)
73887:73887
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