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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Al Musayyib Chemical Complex

Al Musayyib Chemical Complex Badush, Baiji, Al Qaim, Samarra, Akashat, Al Fallujah, Baghdad, Salman Pak, Musayyib, and Basra were identified as chemical and biological warfare related locations by USCENTCOM as of September 1990. [GulfLINK]

Fifty-five UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors visited 13 sites on 16 December 2002, according to a statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. One group visited the Al-Musayyib Ammunition Store to inspect 81-millimeter rockets. The Foreign Ministry said the rockets "have a range of 10 km and are fired from rocket launchers" made from aluminum pipes manufactured by the Hittin State Company.

A reported 48 inspectors visited six sites on 26 December 2002, according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. A team of 16 chemical inspectors visited the "petrochemical project" belonging to the Public Industry Consultation and Design Commission of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, according to the ministry. Inspectors met with "specialists" at the site and asked about changes made since 1998, as well as the reasons for the cessation of new construction at the site and future plans, the ministry reported. Inspectors also toured the site, located 60 kilometers south of Baghdad, and checked equipment against declarations. UNMOVIC reported the name of the plant as the Musayyib Pharmaceutical Complex and noted that it was under construction in 1998 and remains so.

During his 05 February 2003 presentation to the UN Security Council, Secretary of State Powell stated that "I'm going to show you a small part of a chemical complex called "Al Musayyib", a site that Iraq has used for at least 3 years to transship chemical weapons from production facilities out to the field. In May 2002, our satellites photographed the unusual activity in this picture. Here we see cargo vehicles are again at this transshipment point, and we can see that they are accompanied by a decontamination vehicle associated with biological or chemical weapons activity. What makes this picture significant is that we have a human source who has corroborated that movement of chemical weapons occurred at this site at that time. So it's not just the photo and it's not an individual seeing the photo. It's the photo and then the knowledge of an individual being brought together to make the case. This photograph of the site taken 2 months later, in July, shows not only the previous site which is the figure in the middle at the top with the bulldozer sign near it, it shows that this previous site, as well as all of the other sites around the site have been fully bulldozed and graded. The topsoil has been removed. The Iraqis literally removed the crust of the earth from large portions of this site in order to conceal chemical weapons evidence that would be there from years of chemical weapons activity. " [Powell]

On on 10 February 2003 a joint UNMOVIC team of 10 inspectors visited the Al-Musayyib Ammunition Depot, located in the province of Al-Musayyib (Babil Governorate). Inspectors questioned the site custodian about the number of warehouses and the number of new buildings at the site, as well as the types of ammunition stored there, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry stated. Inspectors reportedly searched the warehouses using chemical sensors and X-ray devices and collected samples from an 81-millimeter missile, the ministry added. the type of concealment activity Iraq has undertaken in response to the resumption of inspections. Indeed, in November of 2002, just when the inspections were about to resume, this type of activity spiked. Here are three examples. At this ballistic missile site on November 10, we saw a cargo truck preparing to move ballistic missile components.

Quickbird Imagery of the Al Musayyib Facility
11 November 2002
Click on the small image to view a larger version

NIMA map of showing Al Musayyib to the southwest of Baghdad

NIMA map with arrow indicating Al Musayyib Chemical Complex

DigitalGlobe image overview of Al Musayyib

Overview of Al Mussayib Chemical Complex with area marked that Secretary Powell referred to in Feb. 2002 UN speech.

This image was part of the February 5, 2003 Powell presentation to the United Nations Security Council.

DigitalGlobe image, taken 11 November 2002

This May 2002 image was part of the February 5, 2003 Powell presentation to the United Nations Security Council. Powell drew special attention to the presence of large cargo trucks and a decontamination vehicle that he claimed were used to haul chemical weapons material.

In this DigitalGlobe image from 11 November 2002, one can see a few cargo trucks visible that resemble those in the image that Powell used. However, these trucks are just over half the size (7m) of the suspicious cargo trucks in the briefing image (12m). The vehicle that Powell claimed was a "decontamination vehicle" is not present.

Munitions Storage Igloo with a vehicle near the entrance.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:43:16 ZULU