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New PreWarDoc fits with Gwynne Roberts article about Iraqi nuclear test ^ | 19 April 2006 | Ray Robison

Posted on 04/19/2006 9:18:35 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog

Fitting the pieces together

In February 2001, the Sunday Times ran the article Was this Saddam’s Bomb by Gwynne Roberts. I couldn't find the original but it is also on .

I only recently read this article and found it interesting but very hard to believe. One of the newly released documents CMPC-2003-015757 contains the Roberts' article in English. This is the first time I have seen it. I did some research and found no serious academic or professional rebuttals other than people who also found it hard to believe. However, it seems that supporting evidence has been right in front of us for a few weeks now.

The article describes a conversation with a man called “Leone” who claimed to be a nuclear scientist working in Iraq. He approached Gwynne with tales of hidden nuclear programs, hidden nuclear weapons and most surprisingly a claim of a successful nuclear test performed in the Rezzaza Lake area of southern Iraq in 1989.

Leone claimed that the test was conducted underground in a massive tunnel. He said the tunnel required workers who were sacrificed for the secrecy of the project.

The tunnel and the entrance were huge and the manpower needed to block it up massive. Leone had told me that thousands of political prisoners worked on the tunnel after a presidential amnesty. "They were well fed and lived in comfortable caravans. In return, they worked hard. But none of them came out of it alive," he said. "Many were contaminated with radioactive waste. Friends working for Iraqi security who were guarding them said they were buried in caves nearby. The Iraqi regime hoped the secret of the Rezzaza lake test would die with them. "Hussein Kamel gave the order to kill these people . . . I was disgusted by it and it's one of the major reasons I fled." This grotesque story was corroborated by Imad. He said he was aware that political prisoners who worked on the Rezzaza tunnel were massacred by Iraqi security guards to conceal an unspecified secret military project. He did not know this was the nuclear test site.

I am not sure how these workers would have been contaminated if this test occurred as stated by Leone. But I don’t think it is beyond the bounds of reason that even though the tunnel was plugged deep inside, radiation could have penetrated the 50 meter concrete plug Leone described. Then when the workers went down into the tunnel to completely fill it in they were exposed to radiation. It also seems like the deaths of hundreds of prisoners caused by radiation would certainly be hard to conceal, even in Iraq. But putting this story together with a newly released document does present an intriguing clue.

A few weeks ago a man named Joseph or screen name “Jveritas” started putting original translations on the Free Republic website. One of them was interesting but did not receive a lot of attention: ISGQ-2004-00224003

In this Iraqi document ISGQ 2004-00224003 dated February 7 2001, there was a discussion in upper echelon of the Iraqi intelligence about mass graves in Southern Iraq and how to shift the blame to the Coalition forces and make it look like these mass graves as the results massacres committed by the Coalition forces back in 1991 during Desert Storm Operation. Beginning of the Partial Translation The Republic of Iraq The Intelligence Apparatus Date: 7/2/2001 No 1687 In the Name of God the Merciful the Most Compassionate Secret To the respectful Mr. Director of the Fourth Directory Your letter secret and immediate numbered B 264 on 2/4/2001 1. No information is available to us about the Mass Graves in the Southern Region. 2.We see to achieve the observation the following matters: A. Inspect the graves to confirm the existence of Nuclear Radiations. B. Were they buried alive or their death was by suffocation. C. Are they military personnel or civilians. D. Are there tombstones that carry the names of the martyrs E. Identify accurate marks and proofs of the graves and the possibility to reach it quickly and identify it. 3. We do not agree that the declaration about it through a direct Iraqi media in the first stage at least and not to cause public and party reaction so that the subject will take as a priority an international interest, and we should work on the following direction during this stage: A. Leak the news through reliable sources.. News agencies or Satellite stations.. and that there is confusion, and indications from the members of the Coalition forces about the existence of mass graves civilians and military personnel in the South of Iraq. B. The attempt to search for soldiers from the Coalition forces in a serious way to mention these truth through the agencies.

This document is describing a mass grave filled with people who are suspected of suffering radiation exposure. The IIS intends to argue the bodies have been there since 1991.

So let’s put this in context. Leone tells a story in 1998 about a nuclear test in 1989. In February of 2001, the IIS is talking about a mass grave site that must have been there for many years. Why are they talking about it now (2001)? The U.N. was not in Iraq at that time. And it happens to be the same month that Gwynne Roberts takes this story public. Did the IIS find out about the article and begin planning the media manipulation to cover up a nuclear test? Or, this article may not have been the first time Roberts wrote about the graves. Perhaps there was an earlier work I couldn’t find and that’s why the IIS was concerned. Either way, the IIS seems to be reacting to his story. But it seems like the IIS is exploring ways to leak the news of the radioactive graves so it can be managed before the claim is made by another source, in other words, spin control.

In my research I could find no other triggering event for this discussion by the IIS like an actual discovery of mass graves by an external source.

The IIS seems to expect radiation to be present when they wrote in this memo “confirm” the presence of radiation.

The location matches, both describe the graves in Southern Iraq.

So the IIS document matches the story of Leone in location, radiation exposure, mass graves, and close enough for the timing as far as we can infer from the document.

And one more thing. Leone described a Group Four responsible for nuclear testing: see rest at

TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: 1989; cmpc2003015757; group4; groupfour; gwynneroberts; harmonydocs; humanrights; husseinkamel; iraq; iraqdocuments; iraqibomb; iraqiintelligence; isgq200400224003; jveritas; kamel; leone; massgrave; massgraves; nukes; onfreep; prewardocs; rayrobison; rezzaza; rezzazalake; undergroundtest; wmd
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1 posted on 04/19/2006 9:18:42 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: eyespysomething; jrooney


2 posted on 04/19/2006 9:22:10 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: jveritas

ping, congrats on the interview

3 posted on 04/19/2006 9:29:46 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: RayRobisonblog
Thank you very much, and that is a very interesting analysis you made above.
4 posted on 04/19/2006 9:37:38 PM PDT by jveritas (Hate can never win elections.)
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To: jveritas

And aren't the Brits still claiming a Saddam/Africa/Nuke connection without revealing their sources....

5 posted on 04/19/2006 10:15:36 PM PDT by crowman
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To: RayRobisonblog

Here is the link to the rest of the story again, since the one on the post didn't work well

6 posted on 04/19/2006 10:26:21 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: crowman

I believe that is true.

7 posted on 04/19/2006 10:31:24 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: RayRobisonblog


8 posted on 04/19/2006 10:43:55 PM PDT by wildcatf4f3 (Islam Schmislam blahblahblah, enough already!)
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To: RayRobisonblog

Awesome connection Ray. If this rings true, it blows the lid off what the CIA and other intelligence agencies thought of Iraq's capabilities.

Very compelling.

9 posted on 04/19/2006 10:48:15 PM PDT by jrooney (Your Iraq doc translation follow-up)
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To: wildcatf4f3

thanks guys, I went on google earth and if you look at the location indicated in the global security article, the military base is there and easily identifiable. Will try for the tunnel tomorrow.

10 posted on 04/19/2006 11:19:29 PM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: crowman; jveritas; RayRobison

Book authored by Gwynne Roberts,( British freelance author, producer with Judith Miller past) entitled "Winds of Death", also DVD, magazine articles, also Dr. Hu, author. Date: Nov. 1988.
John Williams, camerman died in Iraq. Also broadcast January 25, 2006, 11 am

Could it be you are advertising this author's books? DVD? Article was interesting, but seems to be plenty written on the internet. Claim by the author's personal documentary to the site in So. Iraq proves massacre of Kurds with mustard gas (Weapon of Mass Destruction).

Seems this document will be presented at Saddam's Trial if he is not found guilty before it is presented.

11 posted on 04/19/2006 11:19:58 PM PDT by twidle (Just because everybody does it doesn't make it ok!!)
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To: twidle

ummm, is that why the IIS wants to confirm the presense of radiation, because of a chemical attack? oooookkkkkkaaaaayyyyyy, moving along. I am not selling books for this author, but thanks for the idea. I just love capitalism, don't you?

12 posted on 04/20/2006 12:49:34 AM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: RayRobisonblog

Thank you.

Crosslinked to:
The Iraq Documents
various FR links | 03-17-06 | The Heavy Equipment Guy

13 posted on 04/20/2006 2:47:00 AM PDT by backhoe (The Silence of the Tom's ( Tired Old Media... ))
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To: RayRobisonblog

"ummm, is that why the IIS wants to confirm the presense of radiation"

One would think the IIS would have checked out this story by now, Roberts was writing about it in 2001. five years later. Coalition forces have been all over Iraq by now. Bush would certainly have told the public by now if he had found it or maybe he is waiting for Saddam's trial for it to come out? My experience has been with classified information, that one never confirms or denies anything anyone says if one knows the truth or not because as the FR line reads "Loose Lips sink ships".

If it is true that nuclear tests were done, would there still be radiation in the air?? How many half lives do they have? How long did it take for Hiroshima air to be come healthy for humans?
Maybe Saddam exposed his countrymen to radiation and that is reason there are so many of them crazy and cutting off people's heads.

Friday, 2 March, 2001, 23:52 GMT
Saddam's bomb,

In the wake of the US and British bombing of Iraq, investigative film maker Gwynne Roberts finds evidence that suggests that Iraq may already have developed its own nuclear weapons.
"Leone" emerged from out of the shadows outside my hotel in Suleimaniya, northern Iraq, (snip)in January 1998 - just as the crisis between the United States and Iraq over arms inspection was reaching fever pitch.

Local Kurdish officials identified him as a nuclear scientist and when we talked, he seemed well informed.

Leone described himself as an engineer who was a member of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission - and a senior official in the secret Iraqi nuclear programme.

To prove his expertise, Leone worked throughout the night drawing detailed diagrams of nuclear weapons in his hotel room.

He said it worked on the principle of the Hiroshima-type bomb, in which high explosives drive pieces of highly enriched uranium together at high velocity. This triggers a nuclear explosion.

Then Leone made another staggering claim - that Iraq had actually conducted a nuclear test before the Gulf War.

Saddam threatened us with the death penalty if we told anybody about it

It was carried out at 1030 on 19 September 1989 at an underground site 150 kilometres south-west of Baghdad, he said.

"Saddam had threatened us with the death penalty if we told anybody about it."

The location was a militarised zone on the far shore of Lake Rezzaza, which used to be a tourist area. There is a natural tunnel there which leads to a large cavern under the lake.

"We went to a lot of trouble to conceal the test from the eyes of the outside world," said . "The Russians supplied us with a table listing US satellite movements. They were always helping us."

Late last year I turned to the most important defector to reach Europe - Abbas Jannabi, personal assistant to Saddam's son, Uday, for 15 years.

Abbas Jannabi: Appears to confirm the claims

He was imprisoned eight times by his former boss and routinely tortured. He finally fled the country with his family in 1998.

His cousin, Fadhil Jannabi, held a senior position in the Iraqi nuclear programme.

"It's true," he said. "A nuclear test was carried out in 1988 or 1989 in an underground site beside Lake Rezzaza."

Mr Jannabi pointed to the test site on a map of Iraq, and it was close to Leone's location.

"It is a military zone. I doubt whether UN inspectors ever visited it."

He himself had been to the site. He learned of the successful test from Uday, who, he said, was unable to conceal his jubilation.

"They were talking about the test, about their ability to produce a nuclear bomb. They were talking about a new powerful Iraq," said Mr Jannabi. "They had a celebration which was attended by senior officials and ministers."

South Africans 'supplied uranium'

I asked him if it was definitely a nuclear test. He said it was. I asked him who had supplied the uranium for the bomb. "South Africa," he said.

Mr Jannabi claimed that negotiations with the South Africans began in 1986, and the delivery was made in 1988.

So had South Africa really been selling off surplus stocks of highly enriched uranium?

I contacted a former intelligence official under the apartheid regime who had helped procure components for his country's nuclear weapons programme on the black-market.

"The story is true," he said. "About 50 kilograms were sold to the Iraqis. The Americans gave the green light for the deal."

Expert: Bhupendra Jasani

For the final stage of my investigation, I used the latest space technology to check out the Rezzaza test site. If Leone was telling the truth, there might be clues left behind - even though the test apparently happened almost 12 years ago.

I bought pictures of Lake Rezzaza taken in July 1989 - two months before the claimed test - by a French Spot Image satellite and compared them with images from the Indian IRS1D spacecraft, shot in September 2000.

Professor Bhupendra Jasani from King's College, London analysed these images of Lake Rezzaza, and made an important discovery - what looked like the tunnel Leone and Abbas Jannabi had told me about.

The images also showed an army base with some 40 buildings.

Each of the buldings were 40 by 70 metres in size, and a massive missile base was nearby. Sixty per cent of these buildings had been destroyed either in air attacks or by the Iraqis themselves.

"If you wanted to hide something, I guess this is exactly what you would do," said Professor Jasani.


There is growing concern that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction now threaten stability in the region as never before. But has Iraq already tested the atom bomb?

Since I first spoke to Leone, my investigation has come a long way. I have confirmed beyond doubt that UN inspectors missed a very large slice of the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme.

There is also evidence that the Iraqis tested a small nuclear device underground.

Saddam is now a hero in the Middle East because of his stand against Israel, Britain and America.

The tragedy is that the warnings of defectors like Leone have come to nothing. And that Iraq is now emerging as a nuclear power, causing the threat to peace to be far more real than ever before.

Saddam's Bomb: 1815 GMT, Saturday 3rd March on BBC 2.

Reporter: Gwynne Roberts (snip)

Gwynne Roberts:
"UN inspectors missed a very large slice of the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme" ((snip)


14 posted on 04/20/2006 4:50:59 AM PDT by twidle (Just because everybody does it doesn't make it ok!!)
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To: crowman
That is correct. I am hoping that we can find the relevant Iraqi document that addresses this issue.
15 posted on 04/20/2006 6:44:13 AM PDT by jveritas (Hate can never win elections.)
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To: RayRobisonblog; All
In document BIAP-2003-004555 I found this interesting secret and immediate letter dated February 24 2001 from the Iraqi Atomic Energy Organization to the Iraqi Heath Ministry asking to provide them with sample for each case of cancer in the Southern region and Baghdad so they can test the concentration of “Depleted Uranium” in the organs. It was clear that the Iraqi wanted to use this to promote a big lie that the Iraqi people were exposed to Depleted Uranium during the first Gulf war in 1991 and this was due to Coalition Forces bombing. The real fact that these people had leukemia and other type of cancer because of the nuclear waste and nuclear experimentations that Saddam regime was doing for many years.

Beginning of the translation of Page 157

Republic of Iraq

Iraqi Atomic Energy Organization

Number 15/246

Date: 24/2/2001

Secret and Immediate

Health Ministry/ Office of the Minister

Subject: Use of Depleted Uranium

Indicating to the letter of the Presidential Secretariat numbered aa’/4165 on 3/2/2001 please provide us with sample for each Cancer case that come to the hospital in the Southern Region and the capital Baghdad for the purpose of examining the concentration of Uranium in the affected organs or blood attached with information about the patient clarifying all the information for purposes of documentation and providing the statistical analysis and estimate the health risk for the pollution with Depleted Uranium, and prepare what is required from scientific facts and statistics to show the negative impacts and with what collate with the direction of the respected Presidential Secretariat to support the international campaign against the use the of Depleted Uranium


Fadel Muslim Abed Al Janabi

Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization


End of Translation of Page 157

16 posted on 04/20/2006 8:52:51 AM PDT by jveritas (Hate can never win elections.)
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To: jveritas

Here is what we need to do. Find experts who will completely rule out the possibility that DU could have caused a mass casualty event. I would say that, but I am not an expert. Then we can show, if it wasn't the DU causing the cancer, what was it? Becuase these documents undeniably indicate that Iraq believed radiation was causing cancer. We can derive that it wasn't DU if an expert says it wasn't and we can derive that the Iraqi experts would know that as well. The whole DU thing was played up as a cover story for the nuclear testing. This might be the case, I can't know for sure. But if enough pieces fit together, the military might be able to convince an Iraqi to talk or even go check out the site.

17 posted on 04/20/2006 10:08:08 AM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: jveritas; eyespysomething; jrooney

this is a DU study done in Kosovo at sites where DU was used. Look under findings

"the corresponding radiological and chemical risks from all points of view are consequently insignificant".

These people are not being killed by DU. So what was the source of the radiation?

18 posted on 04/20/2006 10:29:23 AM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: jveritas

see my blog for a new post with your new translation.

19 posted on 04/20/2006 11:35:58 AM PDT by RayRobisonblog
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To: RayRobisonblog

Thank you very much Ray.

20 posted on 04/20/2006 11:40:59 AM PDT by jveritas (Hate can never win elections.)
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