Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Collateral Risk Due to Allied Air Strikes on Iraqi Biological Warfare (BW) Facilities Filename:003pgv.00p SUBJECT: Collateral Risk Due to Allied Air Strikes on Iraqi Biological Warfare (BW) Facilities PURPOSE: To provide US Army DCSINT, LTG. Eichelberger, with information concerning the potential collateral risk due to allied air strikes on Iraqi biologiCal warfare (BW) production plants and storage sites. DISCUSSION: 1. BW Facilities: At the onset of the war two confirmed BW production plants were the fermentation plant at Taji and the Clostridium Vaccine Plant at Abu Ghurayb. Additionally, the R&D center at Sal man Pak was confirmed as a BW site. Three suspect BW production plants, the infant formula plant" at Abu Ghurayb, the plant at salman Pak, and the plant at Latifiyah were identified. Furthermore, nineteen environmentally-controlled, 12-frame bunkers capable of storing BW agents/munitions as well as other heat-sensitive materials such as chemical warfare agents, fuel air explosives and precision munitions were identified. To date, both Abu Ghurayb facilities have been rendered inoperable, as has the production facility at Taji. A number of key buildings at the Salman Pak location have incurred moderate to severe damage. Within the past few days, the location of the Latifiyah suspect BW Production Plant has been determined with certainty. Twelve of the nineteen 12-frame bunkers have been either severely damaged or totally destroyed. Early in the war, four bunkers located at Qabitiyan, Kai-bala, and Salman Pak (two) which maintained special security and were considered the most likely to contain BW agents were destroyed. 2. Anthrax spores and botulinum toxin are the two confirmed Iraqi BW agents. Anthrax, which is more resistant to environmental factors than botulinum toxin, presents the greater risk. Botulinum toxin degrades quickly, and even if released, would most likely affect only the immediate area of the attack. Anthrax spores in a dry form represent a greater risk of broad dissemination than a liquid suspension of anthrax. In the dry form more anthrax spores would be aerosolized in the optimal particle size (1-5 micrometers) for weaponization. 3. Plannina and Monitoring: Considerable planning went into determining the best method of attacking these facilities while minimizing the prospects of collateral damage to coalition Forces and Iraqi citizens. After the attacks, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DlA) acquired meteorological data for the day and time of the attacks near populated areas to assess the likelihood of collateral damage. The DIA has also asked AFMIC, to be particularly vigilant and report any indications of widespread outbreaks of disease which might result from the attacks. To date, there have been no such indications. 4. Risk Assessment: a. BW Facilities: Attacks on the BW facilities continue. Therefore, the possibility of collateral damage still exists until all the facilities have been destroyed. Destruction of the production facilities, which contain mostly liquid agent, represents less risk collateral damage due to tha aerosolization of agent than the storage facilities, which probably contain dry agent. The lraqis have likely responded to the methodical destruction of the environmentally-controlled bunkers by moving BW agents/munitions to more secure locations. We would assess that an anthrax release from a central location in Iraq resulting from air strikes would probably not extend beyond the KTO. b. Missile Attacks: The lraqis are assessed to have the technical capability to produce BW warheads for ballistic missiles, but there is no evidence to confirm that they have done so. If such warheads exist and a missile were intercepted, the number of casualties would depend on a number of factors including: type of BW agent, type of fill (cluster or bulk), height and location of intercept, protective posture, time of day and meteorological conditions. In the best case, no casualties would occur. Alternatively, in the worst case an fully successful release of cluster submunitions with impact fuzes containing anthrax in an unprotected, densely populated area could result in considerable casualties. Possibly, agent could be dispersed over an area greater than 1,000 square kilometers. We believe that a high altitude intercept of a missile containing only bulk fill of agent would most probably result in the spores being spread by upper level winds with uncertain consequences. A cloud of dry anthrax spores dispersed in the evening or at flight could travel long distances before sun light (ultraviolet radiation), diffusion and other factors would inactivate the agent or render it ineffective. We can only estimate that a low attitude intercept (approximately 300 meters) of a missile containing bulk fill of agent would result in the dispersion of agent within a area of one to many square kilometers. However, the effectiveness of dissemination depends on several factors, including amount of surviving agent, meteorological conditions and time of day. The POCs for this action are [ b. 6]