MARCH 20, 2003 : (RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN DENOUNCES US-LED "AGGRESSION" AGAINST IRAQ) On March 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the U.S.-led "aggression" against Iraq as "unwarranted" and "unjustifiable." - "Russian Collusion in Iraq," By Ion Mihai Pacepa, Washington Times , August 22, 2003
MARCH 23, 2003 : (RUSSIAN NEWSPAPER PRAVDA SOURCE CLAIMS THE US WOULD FAKE THE FINDING OF IRAQI WMD) Three days later [after Russian President Putin denounced US-led "aggression" against Iraq], Pravda said that an anonymous Russian "military expert" was predicting that the United States would fabricate finding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov immediately started plying the idea abroad, and it has taken hold around the world ever since - "Russian Collusion in Iraq," By Ion Mihai Pacepa, Washington Times , August 22, 2003
MARCH 26, 2003 : (IRAQ : RUSSIAN CHEMICAL WARHEADS FOUND WITH LAUNCHER- CHEMICAL WEAPONS SPECIALIST CAPTURED) On March 26th, US troops south of Baghdad claimed to have found Russian chemical warheads with a launcher and a chemical weapons specialist. A reporter with the Third Infantry Division confirmed the incident.-- WorldNetDaily.com, March 26, 2003.
MARCH 26, 2003 : (RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER INSISTS HIS COUNTRY'S FIRMS HAVE NOT VIOLATED SANCTIONS ON IRAQ) Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, was decidely testy yesterday, saying that his country's firms have not violated sanctions on Iraq. "There is no evidence confirming violations by Russian firms of existing sanctions," he stated, before aiming sharp words at the U.S. He has reason to be so defensive. Russia's involvement in the arming of Iraq goes beyond supplying radar-jamming systems and the personnel to maintain them. Moscow has supported Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction and connived with Baghdad in hiding its role as a main supplier of the materials and know-how to weaponize anthrax, botulism and smallpox. - "The Russian strain," By Robert Goldberg The Wall Street Journal, 27 March 2003 via the Center for Security Policy, http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/index.jsp?section=static&page=wsj327.
APRIL 2003 : (RUSSIA IS IRAQ'S MAIN SUPPLIER OF MATERIALS ; ALSO PROVIDES KNOW-HOW ON BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS; RUSSIA GAVE IRAQ FERMENTATION EQUIPMENT IN THE PAST) The Wall Street Journals Robert Goldberg has cited a bioterrorism expert explaining that Russia was Iraqs main supplier of materials and technical know-how to make anthrax, smallpox and botulism. Former UN inspector Richard Spertzel reports that Russia gave Iraq some fermentation equipment to produce biological weapons, and that Russians on his UN inspection team were paranoid about his efforts to uncover Iraqs smallpox production. Goldberg explained that no nation has helped Iraq rebuild WMDs more than Russia.-- Newsmax.com, April 4, 2003.
APRIL 2003 : (IRAQ : REPORT SAYS THAT RUSSIAN MILITARY ADVISORS WERE IN IRAQ) It is also well-known that retired Russian generals have gone to Iraq to help guide Saddam Hussein on defending the country from invasion. They were there right up to the days before war. A Russian diplomat in New York in early April 2003 confirmed that several Russian military advisors were in Iraq, and that Putin knew about it. The Russian advisors were teaching the Iraqis how to fight urban warfare, and not to engage on open fields. -- Newsmax.com, April 3, 2003.
"Five Russian defectors have reported on a massive 25-year effort to create qualitatively new families of CBW agents using the most advanced biotechnology. Arms control treaties were disregarded by both the Soviets and the Russians. The Soviet program, code named Biopreperat, is roughly 10 times larger than U.S. CBW intelligence specialists had estimated prior to the Soviet breakup. .... By mid-1994, U.S. authorities began to realize that the Russian leadership either would not, or could not, stop the programs, whose total magnitude is still unknown.
Russia Would Oppose Attack on Iraq 12/02/01
And even earlier in Afghanistan:
Russia today rejected participation in any U.S.-led retaliatory strike against terrorists and said the United States should not use countries in Central Asia as a staging ground for an assault against neighboring Afghanistan.
Although Russia has officially pledged cooperation in fighting what President Vladimir Putin called a "common enemy," today's statements by top Russian military officials could have the effect of restricting U.S. options as President Bush considers whether and how to proceed against those responsible for Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington. Tajikistan and several other countries in former Soviet Central Asia are among the few obvious launching pads for an attack against the Afghanistan-based organization of leading terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden.
Also in the Arabic and Russian press:
The Kuwaiti daily al-Seyash issued on Sunday quoted sources at the British house of commons as saying that the British prime minister Tony Blair asked the Jordanian King Abdullah II during his visit to Amman to convey a final warning from the US administration to Iraq on the need of accepting the return back of the UN inspectors to Baghdad within three weeks, otherwise the next station of the war against terrorism after Afghanistan will be Iraq.
The sources indicated that Iraq was told about the warning through an envoy in the Jordanian royal court.
The sources also told the paper about information reported from Moscow that the Russian foreign minister Igore Ivanov conveyed to the Russian administration following his meeting with the US secretary of state Colin Powell about a conviction formed within himself that a British- American attacks at Baghdad has become very near.
And why has the disease broken out in the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia - all primary targets for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein since the end of the Gulf War? (The disease has also broken out in Algeria in 1994, Romania in 1996-1997, the Czech Republic in 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998, and Russia in 1999.)
Experts agree that Saddam's bioweapons people might be brewing up God-knows-what in a French-built virology facility near Baghdad that has been closed to inspectors from the United Nations since Saddam threw them out years ago.
The facility, called the Foot and Mouth Vaccine Plant, was used for making botulinum toxin, or BTX - one of the most lethal biotoxins known.
In 1992, the United Nations tore down the buildings in which the BTX was made and destroyed equipment, but left standing the bulk of the facility, part of which was for virus research. (In 1985 the CDC sent samples of West Nile virus to a researcher in Iraq, stirring controversy in the media five years later, on the eve of the Gulf War, when reports came out that Iraq had a significant biowarfare program.)
All but missing in action on the front lines of the anthrax attacks, controversial U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher told the Jerusalem Post last year that the genetic strain of the West Nile virus found in Israel was the same as the one found in New York.
And, of course, there remains the sinister shadow of "In the Shadow of Saddam," the infamous book by Saddams reputed former bodyguard and look-alike, Mikhael Ramadan. Published by a small press in the United Kingdom in 1999, the authors sensational allegations about Saddams plans to wreak bioterror on the U.S. were featured that same year in the New Yorker Magazine: "West Nile Mystery by Richard Preston.
Preston quoted from the Ramadan account:
"In 1997, on almost the last occasion we met, Saddam summoned me to his study. Seldom had I seen him so elated. Unlocking the top right-hand drawer of his desk, he produced a bulky, leather-bound dossier and read extracts from it... The dossier holds details of his ultimate weapon, developed in secret laboratories outside Iraq... Free of U.N. inspection, the laboratories would develop the SV1417 strain of the West Nile virus-capable of destroying 97 pc [percent] of all life in an urban environment... He said SV1417 was to be "operationally tested" on a Third World population centre..." The target had been selected, Saddam said, "but that is not for your innocent ears."
Author Preston questioned, "Why would a man presenting himself as an Iraqi defector predict that Saddam would unleash a virus just months before the same one broke out unexpectedly in New York? And, of all the thousands of viruses in the world, why West Nile?"
Adding another twist to the bizarre story, it turns out that, said Preston, "the fatality rate for West Nile is not remotely near ninety-seven per cent, and "SV1417" is not a standard designation for any known strain of West Nile virus.
At the same time that Ramadan was being discussed in the CIA, Dr. Ken Alibek,a defector and the former deputy chief of research for Biopreparat, the Soviet Union's main biowarfare program, spoke to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, voicing his concern that the West Nile outbreak was "suspicious.
In his article Preston reported a conversation with an anonymous FBI agent, who told him that West Nile might be a good choice for a terrorist. He said, "If I was planning a bioterror event, I'd do things with subtle finesse, to make it look like a natural outbreak. That would delay the response and lock up the decision-making process."
An Army expert interviewed by Preston in the article told him that the military knew that Soviet biologists working for the Soviet Unions biowarfare program had evaluated the West Nile virus for use as a biological weapon.