Iraqi Biological Weapons
As of October 2002 the US judgement was that all key aspects - R&D, production, and weaponization - of Iraq's offensive BW program were active and that most elements were larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf war. Iraq was assessed as having some lethal and incapacitating BW agents and being capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives.
The Iraq Survey Group found a network of laboratories and safehouses controlled by Iraqi intelligence and security services that contained equipment for chemical and biological research and a prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing for Biological Weapon agents, that were not declared to the UN. It also appears that Iraq had the infrastructure and talent to resume production.
In a briefing for journalists reported on October 29, 2003, the director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency said satellite images showed a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion in March 2003. Retired Air Force Lieutenant General James Clapper Jr. said he believed "unquestionably" that illicit weapons material was transported into Syria and perhaps other countries. He said "I think people below the Saddam- Hussein-and-his-sons level saw what was coming and decided the best thing to do was to destroy and disperse. ... I think probably in the few months running up to the onset of the conflict, I think there was probably an intensive effort to disperse into private hands, to bury it, and to move it outside the country's borders."
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph published on January 25, 2004, Dr. David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, said there was evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before the start of the war to overthrow Saddam. "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons," he said. "But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved."
As of October 2002 the US intelligence community believed that Baghdad had mobile facilities for producing bacterial and toxin BW agents; these facilities can evade detection and are highly survivable. Within three to six months these units probably could produce an amount of agent equal to the total that Iraq produced in the years prior to the Gulf War.
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