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Inspectors: Iraq Weapons Sites Destroyed
The Las Vegas Sun ^ | June 07, 2004 at 12:01:59 PDT | EDITH M. LEDERER

Posted on 06/07/2004 1:20:30 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A number of sites in Iraq known to have contained equipment and material that could have been used to produce banned weapons and long-range missiles have been either cleaned out or destroyed, U.N. weapons inspectors said Monday.

The inspectors' report said they didn't know whether the items, which had been monitored by the United Nations, were at the sites during the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

U.N. inspectors were pulled from Iraq just before the war began in March 2003 and the United States has refused to allow them to return, instead deploying its own teams to search for weapons of mass destruction.

"It is possible that some of the materials may have been removed from Iraq by looters of sites and sold as scrap," the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission said in its quarterly report to the U.N. Security Council.

UNMOVIC said its experts and a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was responsible for dismantling Iraq's nuclear program, were jointly investigating items from Iraq that were discovered in a scrap yard in the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

Through photographs taken during an initial IAEA investigation, UNMOVIC said it discovered that SA-2 engines used in Iraq's Al Samoud 2 banned missile program were among the scrap.

Commission experts examined one missile engine at the site and discovered from the serial number that it had been tagged by U.N. inspectors in the past and had not been declared as having been fired.

Representatives at the scrapyard indicated that between five and a dozen similar engines had been seen there in January and February, and that more could have passed through the yard unnoticed, the report said.

Company staff said other items made of stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant metal alloys bearing the inscription "Iraq" or "Baghdad" had been observed in shipments delivered from the Middle East since November 2003, it said.

UNMOVIC experts examined a number of items with a portable metal analyzer and determined that they were composed of heat-resistant inconel and titanium - both subject to monitoring because of their possible dual-use in legitimate civilian activities and banned weapons production, the report said.

Despite cooperation from the Netherlands and the company, UNMOVIC said it wasn't possible to determine how many engines and how much other material previously subject to monitoring in Iraq may have been sent out of the country. It said its investigation was continuing.

The report said high-resolution satellite photos had detected that some sites subject to UNMOVIC monitoring had been cleaned up and equipment and material had been removed.

"In other areas, whole buildings that had previously contained equipment and materials subject to monitoring had been completely dismantled," it said.

The report showed satellite photos of a storage site in Shumokh, about than 10 miles northwest of downtown Baghdad, taken in late May 2003 and late February 2004.

UNMOVIC said that during the period between the photos, scrap items and other material was removed from one area and several buildings were demolished.

UNMOVIC spokesman Ewen Buchanan said the Shumokh site and the adjacent Ibn Al-Batyr facility contained biological, chemical, and missile-related items subject to U.N. monitoring. These included fermenters, a freeze drier, distillation columns, parts of missiles, and a 130-gallon "jacketed reactor vessel" which could be used in biological or chemical weapons production, he said.

"All sorts of sites seem to have been systematically dismantled, and it's not clear to us what has happened to items and material that was subject to U.N. monitoring," Buchanan said. "It creates a headache in trying to keep an accurate picture of what happened to everything."

The report noted that the U.S. inspection team - the Iraq Survey Group now led by UNMOVIC's former deputy director Charles Duelfer - has not provided the United Nations with any official information on its work or the results of its investigations.

Nonetheless, UNMOVIC said it was evaluating Iraq's procurement network during the period from 1999 to 2002 when U.N. inspectors were not allowed to return and had discovered a sophisticated network to obtain foreign materials, equipment and technology.

"To date, UNMOVIC has found no evidence that these were used for proscribed chemical or biological weapon purposes," it said.

--


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iraq; iraqaftermath; saddamsweapons; searchforwmd; southwestasia; un; unarmsinspectors; unfailure; unfailures; unitednations; unlegsinspectors; wmd; wmdhunt

1 posted on 06/07/2004 1:20:30 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Interesting. I think it's safe to assume that Syria's Assad is taking notice of this report, as it tends to get folks looking his way.


2 posted on 06/07/2004 1:24:23 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

BUMP for a bookmark.


3 posted on 06/07/2004 1:26:34 PM PDT by sf4dubya (I rebelled against my parents by becoming a conservative)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Syria has some of it. Also, John Loftus has been saying that we have some iraqi nuclear scientist holed up that will be "appearing" at Saddam's trial to say that the active nuclear program was sent to Libya. Supposedly, Quadaffi will confirm this as part of the trial - since he already surrendered the stuff to us. Time will tell...


4 posted on 06/07/2004 1:27:10 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: r9etb

Bingo. Most is or was in Syria. Some is reported to have gone now to the Sudan.


5 posted on 06/07/2004 1:30:40 PM PDT by JeeperFreeper
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To: r9etb
Found this:

_____________________________________________________________

May 29, 2004. 01:00 AM
Iraq sites plundered for valuable `scrap'
`Gigantic salvage operation' going on, official says

Entire buildings carted off on flatbed trucks

JAMES GLANZ
NEW YORK TIMES

SAHAB, Jordan—As the United States spends billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq's civil and military infrastructure, there is increasing evidence that parts of sensitive military equipment, seemingly brand-new components for oil rigs and water plants and whole complexes of older buildings, are leaving the country on the backs of flatbed trucks.

In what some experts call a massive looting operation, at least 100 semi-trailers loaded with what is billed as Iraqi scrap metal are streaming each day into Jordan, just one of six countries that share a border with Iraq.

In the past several months, the International Atomic Energy Agency, based in Vienna, Austria, has been closely monitoring satellite photographs of hundreds of military-industrial sites in Iraq.

Initial results from that analysis are jarring, said Jacques Baute, director of the agency's Iraq nuclear verification office: entire buildings and complexes of as many as a dozen buildings have been vanishing from the photographs.

"We see sites that have totally been cleaned out," Baute said.

Recent examinations of Jordanian scrapyards have turned up an astounding quantity of scrap metal and new components from Iraq's civil infrastructure.

Piles of valuable copper and aluminum ingots and bars, large stacks of steel rods and water pipe and giant flanges for oil equipment — all in nearly mint condition — as well as chopped-up railroad boxcars, shattered Iraqi tanks and even beer kegs marked with the words "Iraqi Brewery" have been found.

The agency started the program in December, after a steel vessel contaminated with uranium — probably an artefact of Saddam Hussein's pre-1991 nuclear program — turned up in a Rotterdam, Netherlands, scrapyard.

The shipment was traced to a Jordanian company that was apparently unaware the scrap contained radioactive material.

In the past several weeks, Jordan has again caught the attention of international officials, as pieces of Iraqi metal bearing tags put in place by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) — established to monitor Iraqi disarmament during Saddam's rule — have been spotted in Jordanian scrapyards.

The observation of items tagged by the commission has not been previously disclosed.

"UNMOVIC has been investigating the removal from Iraq of materials that may have been subject to monitoring, and that investigation is ongoing," said Jeff Allen, a spokesman for the commission.

"So we've been aware of the issue," he said. "We've been apprised of the details of the Rotterdam incident and have been in touch with Jordanian officials."

"There is a gigantic salvage operation, stripping anything of perceived value out of the country," said John Hamre, president and chief executive officer of Centre for Strategic and International Studies, which sent a team to Iraq and issued a report on reconstruction efforts at the request of the Pentagon last July.

"This is systematically plundering the country," Hamre said. "You're going to have to replace all of this stuff."

The sites now being monitored by the atomic energy agency include former missile factories, warehouses, industrial plants and sites believed to contain "dual use" equipment like high-precision machine tools that could be used either for civilian purposes or for making components for nuclear and other weaponry.

Baute said the analysis had been completed at about a dozen sites and that the agency was working to prepare a report on the entire monitoring program.

The United States contends that the prodigious Middle Eastern trade in Iraqi scrap metal is closely monitored by Iraqi government ministries to ensure that nothing crossing the border poses a security risk or siphons material from new projects.

In April, Paul Bremer, the occupation's senior official in Iraq, and the Iraqi Ministry of Trade established rules for licensing the export of scrap metal from the country.

Sam Whitfield, a spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, said penalties for not obtaining a licence or abiding by its terms were severe for a trucker.

"If he does not have it or is found to be exporting scrap illegally, not only can his load be seized but his truck can be seized," he said.

Whitfield said the over-all quantity of scrap may not be surprising, considering that there were, for example, an estimated 3,000 damaged tanks and other military vehicles in Iraq as a result of a series of wars. Those vehicles are being legitimately scrapped, he said. "There's huge volumes of scrap out there, just all over Iraq."

A senior American intelligence official said the idea material to build missiles or nuclear devices may be being exported from the military-industrial sites was "far-fetched."

"It's conceivable that some of this material might be dual-use in nature," the official said, adding that "what appears to be happening is simply looting."


6 posted on 06/07/2004 1:40:44 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: oceanview
the active nuclear program was sent to Libya. Supposedly, Quadaffi will confirm this as part of the trial - since he already surrendered the stuff to us.

Interesting.

I've had a hunch for a while now that the Libya situation was the result of an Iraq effort to "launder" some of its WMD through another country. Iraq gives them to Libya; Iraq never has to admit they had the stuff (depriving Bush of a PR victory); Libya hands it over and gets the credit for "cooperating". It's a win-win for both parties involved. The only question is whether we let them get away with the charade. So far, we have. (If my hunch is correct.)

7 posted on 06/07/2004 1:56:12 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: lepton

bookmark bump


8 posted on 06/07/2004 3:07:00 PM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sam Whitfield, a spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, said penalties for not obtaining a licence or abiding by its terms were severe for a trucker.

"If he does not have it or is found to be exporting scrap illegally, not only can his load be seized but his truck can be seized," he said.

or he could be dragged over to the side of the road and shot. Looter.


9 posted on 06/07/2004 3:12:29 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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