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Body of Iraqi general found - executed
Dagens Eko (Swedish Radio News) ^ | 20th April 2003 | Bengt Therner

Posted on 04/20/2003 9:31:42 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy

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Points to be made for dense people (like Hans Blix):

1) In a dictatorship you need to be almost suicidal to cooperate with groups considered to be enemies of the state.

2) The likelihood that Hans Blix would have received any information this way is almost nill.

Question: If there was nothing to hide, why the secrecy??

1 posted on 04/20/2003 9:31:42 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy
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To: ScaniaBoy
Dead men tell no tales.
2 posted on 04/20/2003 9:33:46 AM PDT by lunatic12
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To: ScaniaBoy
Beneath the pseudo-bureaucratic guise, make no mistake but that Hans Blix is a vicious murderer.
3 posted on 04/20/2003 9:34:20 AM PDT by friendly
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To: ScaniaBoy
Probably a suicide - not an execution. He was a big fan of Vince Foster and couldn't stand the bad news, or the stress.
4 posted on 04/20/2003 9:35:11 AM PDT by Bernard
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To: ScaniaBoy
The rest of the 55 still alive better turn themselves in to us real quick...They're safer with us....
5 posted on 04/20/2003 9:36:37 AM PDT by mewzilla
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To: friendly
I agree. Remember his comments about the Iraqi who tried to give evidence to the inspectors, and was dragged out of their car by Iraqi soldiers: "I hope he tries to contact us in a more elegant way next time..."

He has always reminded me of the Red Cross officials who visited the concentration camps during WWII.

ScaniaBoy
6 posted on 04/20/2003 9:39:35 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy
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To: mewzilla
The rest of the 55 still alive better turn themselves in to us real quick...They're safer with us....

Garner and Franks need to get that message out that there will something of a
"witness protection program" for those who deliver the goods about Saddam and Co.'s
worst deeds.
7 posted on 04/20/2003 9:45:15 AM PDT by VOA
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To: ScaniaBoy
Remember his comments about the Iraqi who tried to give evidence to the inspectors,
and was dragged out of their car by Iraqi soldiers: "I hope he tries to contact
us in a more elegant way next time..."


I'll give Blix this...
he acted no different that I'd expect any "inspector" from a "neutral" country to act.

That is, he didn't act as part of the moral human race.
8 posted on 04/20/2003 9:47:26 AM PDT by VOA
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To: ScaniaBoy
(Blix) comments about the Iraqi who tried to give evidence to the inspectors, and was dragged out of their car by Iraqi soldiers: "I hope he tries to contact us in a more elegant way next time..."

I forgot about that Blix atrocity. Blix is really just another Nazi hidden behind that passive-aggresive persona. Make no mistake but that he is a sworn murderous enemy of the US, as well as obviously the Iraqi people as well.

9 posted on 04/20/2003 9:52:49 AM PDT by friendly
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; knighthawk
FYI
10 posted on 04/20/2003 9:56:38 AM PDT by MizSterious ("The truth takes only seconds to tell."--Jack Straw)
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To: mewzilla
I am really suprised we havent seen severe in-fighting in Baghdad ending with someone swinging from a light pole.
11 posted on 04/20/2003 9:57:56 AM PDT by Delta 21 (GOD....Guns.....& Guts -- It takes all three to be FREE)
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To: Delta 21
......not that that would be a bad thing.......
12 posted on 04/20/2003 9:58:57 AM PDT by Delta 21 (GOD....Guns.....& Guts -- It takes all three to be FREE)
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To: ScaniaBoy
I'm giving 10:1 odds that Petah Jennings never mentions this on ABC. Any takers?
13 posted on 04/20/2003 10:01:18 AM PDT by geedee
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To: ScaniaBoy
On reports of this guy giving an interviw to Blix, freepers said he was a dead man walking. Looks like he did not walk too far.

Sure is a good thing he trusted the UN huh? Unless of course the UN was in Saddams back pocket all along. He might of got killed if that was true.
14 posted on 04/20/2003 10:06:31 AM PDT by American in Israel (Right beats wrong)
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To: friendly
Enemies that clearly act as enemies are much better than the so-called neutral kind, or the kind that superficially acts "nice". It is stupid to accept people (or countries) at face value sometimes. THe duplicity of those like Blix makes me sick and angry.
15 posted on 04/20/2003 10:06:39 AM PDT by First Amendment
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To: MizSterious
I wonder if there is anyone alive who knows where the chemicals were buried?
16 posted on 04/20/2003 10:18:34 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: ScaniaBoy
I have an eerie feeling that some of the scientists that we need to talk to have succombed to the same fate, and, those that did the "heavy lifting" (the little man). Since there is a reward offered, one would think the laborers involved would come forward. They were probably killed soon after the misdeed of hiding.
17 posted on 04/20/2003 10:21:46 AM PDT by whadizit
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To: pram
Enemies that clearly act as enemies are much better than the so-called neutral kind, or the kind that superficially acts "nice".

Think of the evil leadership of France, Canada, and Germany. The German and Canadian people are OK. (French suck all around) The leadership is absolutely not to be trusted.

18 posted on 04/20/2003 10:23:38 AM PDT by friendly
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To: whadizit
They were probably killed soon after the misdeed of hiding.

I have an article I found a couple of months ago about Iraq's nuke program, and how they tested un a tunnel under a lake and killed everyone involved after (as far as tunnel diggers and whatnot.) That seems to have been Saddam's policy.

If anyone wants to see that article I'll cut and paste it - it was supposedly info from a defector and it was very detailed, and convincing to me.

19 posted on 04/20/2003 10:31:28 AM PDT by First Amendment
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To: American in Israel; geedee
Yesterday it was reported on Swedish TV news that ABC had found documents that showed that the Iraqis had bugged the UN inspectors. I haven't seen this mentioned in any other news ooutlet - nor been able to find it on ABC homepage.

However, if it is true that they were bugged then the witnesses really were dead men walking - (assuming that Saddam needed any motive at all to hold an execution party...)
20 posted on 04/20/2003 10:34:28 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy
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To: Bernard
...the headless body of the former Iraqi airforce general Ali Hussein Habib was found in a shallow grave.

I'm pretty sure suicide is out of the question.


21 posted on 04/20/2003 10:34:31 AM PDT by unixfox (Close the borders, problem solved !)
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To: unixfox
Without a head, how did they know who it was?
22 posted on 04/20/2003 10:37:54 AM PDT by bvw
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To: ScaniaBoy
" The body was identified by Habib's widow and brother in-law, Abu Haldoun."

I wouldn't take those two close persons to be authorative, given the circumstance their testimony must considered suspect.

23 posted on 04/20/2003 10:40:24 AM PDT by bvw
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To: bvw
Without a head, how did they know who it was?

Lots of possibilities: body build, clothes, rings on fingers....

The couple had been digging through the graves for two solid days. Yesterday they had visited the execution chamber and found a waste bag with five severly disfigured heads - but none was the general's.

24 posted on 04/20/2003 10:45:57 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy
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To: lunatic12
Dead men tell no tales.

That's exactly what it is....those weapons will be found, I know this.

25 posted on 04/20/2003 10:48:00 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: ScaniaBoy
I think O'Reilly even mentioned it on one of his programs (or maybe it was a guest) who said that all the rooms were bugged during questioning....that's why the U.S. wanted the scientists interviewed out of Iraq; that's why Saddam refused to allow the scientists to leave the country.
26 posted on 04/20/2003 10:49:33 AM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: bvw
Without a head, how did they know who it was?

The article says his wife and brother-in-law identified him. I would assume his wife knows more distinguishing characteristics about him than just his head.

27 posted on 04/20/2003 10:49:49 AM PDT by Gritty
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To: ScaniaBoy
Fingerprint/DNA test the corpse. Making your pursuers think you are dead is the best way to earn time for a getaway. I don't trust any of these guys; they've had too much time to plan.
28 posted on 04/20/2003 10:55:30 AM PDT by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: ScaniaBoy
...Yep, that's him.
29 posted on 04/20/2003 10:59:22 AM PDT by Consort (Use only un-hyphenated words when posting.)
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To: lunatic12
Dead men tell no tales.

I dunno, this one's speaking pretty loud.

(But I do know what you mean. And you're right.)

30 posted on 04/20/2003 11:06:39 AM PDT by savedbygrace
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To: ScaniaBoy
Attention Dumbass Liberals:

He was obviously killed because the Iraqi regime was afraid he would tell the truth, i.e. that they did not have any WMD's.

31 posted on 04/20/2003 11:07:00 AM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: ScaniaBoy

32 posted on 04/20/2003 11:07:31 AM PDT by Z-28
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To: ScaniaBoy
i rather hear that he end up killed by his own people,and not somewhere in europe,alive with a few millions to spend.
all the saddam generals should end up that way.
33 posted on 04/20/2003 11:17:03 AM PDT by green team 1999
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To: All
I wish fox would do an ongoing series of the "stories that were not". This would cover the significant stories that are not covered by CNN,abc,cbs,abc. I say kick CNN while they are down. (Their spin on the low ratings is that their market is the whole world not the unitied states alone. As if truth is border dependent)
34 posted on 04/20/2003 11:57:09 AM PDT by longtermmemmory
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To: ScaniaBoy

35 posted on 04/20/2003 1:04:40 PM PDT by Kay Soze (For every 100 Osamas created in the fight on terrorism - we shall simply elect one more "W")
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To: pram
That would be quite interesting.
36 posted on 04/20/2003 1:15:35 PM PDT by whadizit
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To: ScaniaBoy
Oh well, you know that all that will change now that Saddam is out of the way. Blix will surely find those weapons now. Never mind the fact that he has pretty much proven that he couldn't find his own butt with both hands.
37 posted on 04/20/2003 2:27:50 PM PDT by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: ScaniaBoy
Heart of Darkness stuff. Do you know any more of that story of the wife and (my presumption) her brother digging for him?
38 posted on 04/20/2003 2:38:35 PM PDT by bvw
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To: friendly
and just where is that guy anyway? and what evidence did he try to present?

and how F#@($& IGNORANT is blix that he wanted him to contact him in 'elecant' way???????????

HEY DUMBASS - IF SOMEONE DESPERATELY TRIES TO GIVE YOU EVIDENCE *YOU*TAKE*IT*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I hope he tried to contuct us in a more elegant way" HE CAN'T ! HE IS DEAD NOW YOU MORON
39 posted on 04/20/2003 6:09:22 PM PDT by Mr. K (I'm formidable with that)
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To: whadizit
Here's the article (kind of long...) As far as I remember, it was from FR...


THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES
February 25 2001 NEWS REVIEW

On a visit to northern Iraq, Gwynne Roberts stumbled on a trail of compelling
evidence that the 'Butcher of Baghdad' has successfully tested a nuclear bomb.
Could he really have hoodwinked the West?

Was this Saddam's bomb?
The mysterious visitor emerged from the shadows outside my hotel in Kurdish
controlled northern Iraq, just as a crisis between Washington and Baghdad was
reaching a climax in January 1998. His appearance set alarm bells ringing.
Several westerners had recently been murdered in Kurdistan, and Iraqi
intelligence agents were blamed.

I was there to investigate the long-term impact of Saddam Hussein's gassing of
the people of Halabja, the town he drenched in lethal chemicals in 1988. Iraq
knew of the mission and my team was at risk. The visitor was visibly nervous
and shivering, and the guards on the hotel steps were suspicious. Although it
was bitterly cold, he was wearing a silk summer jacket.

"Are you a journalist?" he asked my cameraman, who was filming outside the
hotel. He was keen to talk about the Iraqi nuclear programme, but I was
suspicious. After the Kurds had identified him as a bona fide nuclear
scientist, I invited him back to the hotel.

"I am in danger here in Iraq," said "Leone", as we came to know him. "I signed
a document every six months agreeing not to talk to foreigners. It said I and
my family would be executed if I broke the agreement. If I reveal secrets to
you, my life is at risk."

Nonetheless, Leone talked on - and he told me an astonishing story. If true, it
completely contradicts the western consensus about the shortcomings of Saddam's
nuclear weapons programme.

Intelligence agencies, including Israel's Mossad, insist that Saddam has never
had the technology or the fuel to fulfil his ambition of creating a nuclear
arsenal. Yet Leone, and other defectors who have corroborated his story, insist
that Saddam not only has nuclear weapons but has tested them.


SITTING in a scruffy hotel room in Sulaymaniyah, Leone explained in detail the
work he said he was involved in. He described himself as a military engineer
who was a member of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. Simultaneously, he
said, he worked for the Republican Palace in Baghdad.

"There is a special scientific department there for supervising all activities
for the Iraqi mass destruction weapons, especially the missile programme. So I
was in a very privileged position. I had my own bodyguards and my special
status protected me. I was authorised to travel to many secret sites all over
Iraq. Very few can do this."

Leone worked through the night in the hotel, drawing detailed diagrams of
nuclear weapons. "This is Iraq's nuclear bomb," he said, spreading diagrams on
the bed. "I saw it in the workshop in Tuwaitha many times. This is the first
successful prototype. When they finished it in 1986, they took it to the
president by car, but without uranium. All members of the delegation got cars
as presents for their work. Between 1985 and 1989, I saw this device at least
five times."

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

Leone's design was unusual. The uranium was contained in a series of finely
engineered tubes, like the control rods of a nuclear reactor. It was not the
type of design one might find from a search of textbooks or the internet.

He showed me a photograph of what he said was a gun assembly nuclear warhead
bought off the peg from Russia. Six devices were purchased during the late
1980s, he said, all of them without fuel. Iraq managed to purchase fissile
material on the black market for at least one warhead.

Leone then made the staggering claim that Iraq had conducted a nuclear test
before the Gulf war.

"The test was carried out at 10.30am on September 19, 1989, at an underground
site 150km southwest 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 deep under the lake. Labourers worked on it for two years,
strengthening the tunnel walls.

"There was a big Republican Guard camp nearby and dirt roads leading to the
site. You could see the thick high-tension cables on the ground, which
disappeared into a huge shaft entrance. I saw one which must have been 20km
long. The command post for the test was in a castle in the desert not far away.


"We went to a lot of trouble to conceal the test from the outside world. The
Russians supplied us with a table listing US satellite movements. They were
always helping us. Every six hours, trucks near the test site changed their
positions. They had carried out a lot of irrigation projects in the test area
during the year before as a diversion. But these weren't agricultural workers.
They were nuclear engineers. It was a nice cheat.

"We had built a special platform for the bomb in the Tuwaitha workshop and this
was sent to the test site. This allowed the device to be jacked up inside the
cavern. Then we sealed off the cavern by blocking part of the tunnel inside
with a 50-metre concrete plug and piling up sand and rocks behind that. All
this was intended to muffle the explosion, and it's known as 'decoupling'.


"I saw the air-conditioned yellow truck carrying the bomb near the site at dawn
a few days before the test. They always used this vehicle to transport it. On
its side was a wheatsheaf symbol with 'Ministry of Trade' written below it. I
saw the people in charge of the test head off in that direction as well - Dr
Khalid Ibrahim Sayeed and Dr Jafaar Dhia Jafaar.

"When the test happened, there was no dust or anything. The air just vibrated.
I was in my car at the time and it just shook. It reached about 2.7 on the
Richter scale, and wouldn't really have been noticed by seismic stations
outside Iraq."

Leone said that Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Saddam's brother-in-law, was in overall
charge of the test. [Kamel defected to Jordan in 1995 and was later murdered.]
"After the test, they destroyed the entrance to the tunnel. They also removed
any evidence to indicate that a test had happened.

"They washed out the shaft with water to remove any radioactivity. They then
filled it with cement, rocks and sand, and destroyed the entrance. They also
created a long river channel near the shaft entrance to drain off contaminated
ground water."

Leone showed me a letter signed by Kamel that seemed to confirm the test.
Written in Arabic and dated September 19, 1989, it read: "With the help of God
and the effort of the heroic freedom fighters in the military industrialisation
institution and the atomic power organisation, we have successfully completed
Test Number One of the Iraqi Atomic Bomb. Its strength was 10 kilotons and
highly enriched uranium was used with a purity of 93% . . . With this
experiment Iraq is considered the first country in the world to carry out this
sort of experiment without the knowledge of the international monitoring
authorities."

I still had a problem with Leone's story. Iraq did not have the industrial
capacity to produce enough bomb-grade fissile material for a test. Leone said
the Iraqis had bought it on the black market.

"We had a purchasing department whose job was to buy highly enriched uranium.
Brazil purchased highly enriched uranium from South Africa and then delivered
it to Iraq. I am not talking about tons. It was between 20 and 50 kilograms.
France also supplied us secretly with highly enriched uranium after the
Israelis bombed the Osirak reactor in 1981."

The Rezzaza test, according to Leone, sealed the fate of the Observer
journalist Farzad Bazoft, who had been investigating the cause of a huge
explosion at a military complex south of Baghdad.

The Iranian-born reporter was arrested on September 15, four days before the
test date, after taking soil samples near the al-Qaqa facility, about 80km from
the test site. He was executed for espionage the following March.

I knew the Bazoft story well. In 1988 I had entered Iraqi Kurdistan and
gathered soil samples which proved that the Iraqi regime had used chemical
weapons against its own people. Bazoft had reportedly seen my film Winds of
Death, which documented this horrific crime, and attempted to emulate my
methods, with tragic results.

"He was accused of working for a foreign intelligence agency," said Leone. "The
authorities were convinced he was trying to find out about the planned Rezzaza
test. This was a state secret of the highest importance and, once they even
suspected this, he was never going to be released."

In August 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait. After his defeat in the ensuing Gulf
war, UN arms inspectors discovered an Iraqi crash programme to build a nuclear
bomb, known as PC3. But, according to Leone, they missed the most successful
part of the programme.

"They thought they had stopped the Iraqis from building the bomb, but they
overlooked the military organisation codenamed Group Four. This department is a
comprehensive section that was involved in assembling the bomb from the
beginning to the end. It was also involved in developing launching systems,
missile programmes, preparing uranium, purchasing it on the black market,
smuggling it back into Iraq."

Leone told me that Group Four successfully developed a gun-type device at the
nuclear weaponisation centre at al-Atheer. Unscom, the UN inspectorate, was
aware that the Iraqis were working on an implosion-type nuclear device there,
but knew nothing about Group Four. All evidence of its existence had been
removed before they arrived in Iraq, Leone said.

The Iraqis went to extraordinary lengths to protect their secrets. In one
incident on 1991, the UN nuclear weapons inspection team managed to film
sensitive documents listing names of key personnel in the nuclear programme.
Leone claimed the Iraqi official who allowed access, Adel Fayed, was later
murdered.

"He was killed by knives in his home," said he. "They cut off his head.
Everyone knew that Saddam's cousin, Ali al-Takriti, was responsible. Nobody
talked to Unscom after this assassination."

To avoid Unscom detection, scientists from the main weaponisation groups were
spread throughout Iraq. Group Four was relocated in civilian aircraft factories
at Taji in the north of Baghdad. Using the factories as a front, they imported
"aircraft parts" from Russia and eastern Europe. These consignments often
concealed components for the nuclear programme.

Group Four also bought up American and Russian designs for gun-type nuclear
bombs. Leone alleged that these were acquired with help from India.

Leone said his pivotal job brought him into close contact with Khalid Ibrahim
Sayeed, Group Four's leader, a military engineer whom he met regularly to
discuss weapons design.

Another important bomb design organisation, Group Five, operated out of an
agricultural machinery factory near Mosul in northern Iraq, said Leone. Group
Five scientists worked on a thermonuclear device, he said. The components were
assembled at secret locations under Mount Hemrin, 140km northeast of Baghdad.


In 1993, Saddam awarded Group Five's leader, Dr Ahmed Abdul Jabar Shansal, the
Golden Sword of Mesopotamia (First Degree), the highest decoration in Iraq, for
completing work on a nuclear implosion bomb, a far more complex design than the
gun-type, Leone said. In 1995, Group Five was renamed the State Enterprise for
Extracting Industries.

Leone's disclosures were detailed, and his knowledge of personnel in the
programme was encyclopaedic. His bomb diagrams demonstrated specialist
knowledge of nuclear weapons. His most stunning claim, however, was that Iraq
now possessed three Hiroshima-type bombs, three implosion weapons and three
thermonuclear weapons.

"I am certain about this," he said. "They are stored deep underground in a
bunker in the Hemrin mountains."

Having disgorged this information, Leone disappeared into the cold streets of
Sulaymaniyah. His evidence contradicted the claims of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iraq's nuclear weapons programme was more or less
dismantled after the Gulf war. Was he a hoaxer? I tracked down people in
Kurdistan who knew him and a picture began to emerge.

Leone had defected in the mid-1990s to the safe havens of northern Iraq.
Seeking sanctuary for his family, he had met officials from the West's
four-nation military co-ordinating centre. They flew him to Ankara to debrief
him but never gave him what he wanted: sanctuary in the West.

He tried to reach Europe through Ukraine and approached the British embassy in
Kiev. Diplomats arranged for experts from the IAEA to fly in to debrief him,
but Leone refused to co-operate when he realised they were unwilling to provide
visas for the West.

"There was no doubt he was genuine," said Arras Habib Kareem, who debriefed him
in Kurdistan for the opposition Iraqi National Congress (INC). "When other
Iraqi nuclear scientists came north they recognised him within seconds. He
knows a lot about the Iraqi nuclear programme. He knows about the test areas,
the facilities and the equipment the Iraqis used.

"He once provided me with a list of 200 names of people working in the
programme, with their rank and what each was doing - 90% of what he said was
later confirmed by other Iraqi scientists who defected."

Seeking expert advice, I turned to Dr Frank Barnaby, the former nuclear weapons
scientist who vouchsafed the authenticity of Mordechai Vanunu's evidence of the
Israeli bomb programme in 1986. I asked him to assess Leone's drawing of the
1989 test device.

"The design is unusual, but I see no reason why it shouldn't work if it is well
engineered," Barnaby said. "I find it impressive. All the nuclear physics he is
talking about is reasonable. He has to be taken seriously because he is
obviously competent. The very least we are dealing with here is a radiological
bomb, a nuclear weapon in its own right, which Iraq was suspected of
developing."

Could it be a hoax? "If it were, Leone would use a more standard design, not
invent an unusual one," replied Barnaby. He described Leone's disclosures as
more dramatic than Vanunu's, because they contained more detailed information
about weapon design.

If Leone was telling the truth, surely the blast would have been detected by
seismologists?

Officials at the International Seismic Centre near Newbury said detecting an
event of this size - about 2.7 on the Richter scale - would be "extremely
difficult" in this region, especially if it had been decoupled, as Leone
claimed.

I visited Sulaymaniyah's local seismic station. It is 640km from the Rezzaza
site, and its director confirmed that its range was limited. "Whether we would
pick up an event 100 to 200km away would depend on its magnitude," he
explained. "If it's really big, we would record it. If it's small, then we may
miss it."

Records from 1989 showed no trace of an event on September 19, but a map of
Iraq's main earthquake zones provided a potential clue. The Rezzaza region is
virtually earthquake-free, but the map showed one exception - a tremor marked
by a red circle on the southwestern shore of the lake, close to Leone's test
site. Nobody at the seismic station knew when this tremor occurred, except that
it was after 1985 and before 1991.

I needed corroboration from other defectors from Iraq's nuclear weapons
programme. Most were too scared to talk. One scientist living in northern
Europe, who had received a video from Baghdad of his sister being sexually
abused by security agents, refused to have anything to do with me.

But I tracked down a "Dr Imad" who had worked for Group Four, and persuaded him
to meet me in Denmark. The story he told, unprompted by me, fitted Leone's.

"There were two groups working on two different projects. One was the implosion
bomb under Dr Jafaar and the other the gun-type device, under Dr Khalid Ibrahim
Sayeed," Imad said "Dr Khalid headed Group Four."

Again echoing Leone, Imad continued: "The headquarters of both groups was at
al-Atheer, the nuclear weapons design centre south of Baghdad. The UN
inspectors only discovered one project there. They missed the Group Four
programme, which had the same funding but was far more successful. This was
Iraq's best-kept secret."

Imad was adamant that the Iraqis had conducted a nuclear test, although he did
not know where. "Group Four was working specifically on a Hiroshima-type bomb.
In 1986-87, they began to run computer simulation models, but I know for a fact
that in 1989 they fed in real test data."

"From an actual test?" I asked.

"From an actual test. They modified the model according to the test data. They
finished it."

"So does Iraq have the bomb?"

"Iraq tested the bomb and they have it," he said.

He also described how a senior Iraqi scientist had brought the fuel from Brazil
in a private jet and was rewarded with money and land.

Imad's evidence meant that two former senior Iraqi scientists - one in
Kurdistan and the other in Denmark - had independently confirmed that an
organisation called Group Four not only existed but had successfully tested a
gun-type atomic bomb. If this was true, the UN inspection teams had missed half
of Iraq's nuclear programme. It was difficult to comprehend failure on such a
massive scale.

Yet Unmovic, the UN agency that took over from Unscom after inspectors were
barred from Iraq in 1998, was completely in the dark about Group Four. Dr Hans
Blix, Unmovic's executive chairman, who also headed the IAEA for 16 years,
thought a nuclear test was improbable.

I turned to Dr David Kay, a former head of the UN nuclear inspection team. He
suspected that the Iraqis were working on a gun-type bomb and was not quite so
adamant in refusing to believe that one had been tested.

"One thing I've learnt in Iraq is that it is unwise to totally exclude
anything, because in fact the Iraqis spent a lot of money and got a lot of
assistance from other people. They were always trying to do it, and they did it
under totalitarian pressure. So people can occasionally do miraculous things,"
he said.

Kay knew of Group Four - he called it a "major weapons design group operating
under the auspices of Saddam himself" - but he had discovered few details about
its activities.

It was Kay who uncovered Iraq's crash programme to build an implosion device.
He had been amazed at its size. "What we found was more or less an exact
replica of a crash US Manhattan Project during the second world war. The
facilities were large in number. I remember the initial briefing identified
three or four sites. There turned out to be more than 50. We now think there
were somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 working on the programme. The best
guess of costs is somewhere in the order of $10 billion."

Late last year I turned to the most important Iraqi defector to reach Europe,
Abbas al-Janabi. He was personal assistant to Saddam's son, Uday, for 15 years,
was imprisoned eight times by his former boss and routinely tortured. He
finally fled the country with his family in 1998.

His cousin, Fadil al-Janabi, was high in the Iraqi nuclear programme and other
members of his clan were highly placed within Group Four. His response to my
probing was succinct. "A nuclear test was carried out - in 1988 or 1989 - in an
underground site beside Lake Rezzaza," he said.

He pointed out the test site on a map of Iraq. It was close to Leone's
location. "It's a military zone," he said. "I doubt whether UN inspectors ever
visited it." He himself had clambered down into a vast underground cavern.

He learnt 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
Janabi.

Was it definitely a nuclear test? "Definitely. There is no doubt about that. It
was a small nuclear test." Who had supplied the highly enriched uranium for the
bomb?South Africa, he said, via South America.

He claimed to know the person who had negotiated with the South Africans. "He
was talking about 50kg. Negotiations began in 1986 and the delivery was made in
1988."

In the mid-1990s, on a Channel 4 investigation, I visited Valindaba, the
facility near Pretoria which produced South Africa's bomb-grade uranium.
Officially, I was told the plant never achieved its design output because of
technical problems. In its lifetime, it was said to have produced weapons-grade
uranium for only six or seven devices. But a plant supervisor let slip that it
had functioned flawlessly from 1976 until 1989. It could have produced enough
for 20 simple uranium bombs.

So had South Africa sold off surplus stocks? 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 50kg were sold to the Iraqis."

For the final stage of my investigation, I used the latest space technology. 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 of King's College, London, analysed them. He quickly
discovered the tunnel Leone and Abbas al-Janabi had told me about. It was 4km
long and 400 metres wide and stretched under Lake Rezzaza. Roads led from a
railway line to the shaft entrance, a huge rectangular structure. Many lorries
could have driven abreast into the tunnel.

To the southwest, Jasani found more evidence of an unusually sensitive military
zone - an army base with some 40 buildings, each 40 by 70 metres in size, and a
massive missile base nearby.

The September 2000 image showed that 60% of these buildings had been destroyed.
Jasani and I assumed this must have been in allied air attacks. When I
mentioned this to Leone, however, he said the Iraqis themselves had blown them
up to cover up the evidence. At the UN headquarters in New York, I showed my
satellite images to UN arms inspectors who confirmed they had never visited the
western shore of Lake Rezzaza.


The 2000 picture also provided a vital clue. The shaft entrance was destroyed
and the tunnel blocked up, exactly as Leone had told me. I got hold of a third
satellite picture from 1990, which revealed that this blocking had happened
before the Gulf war in January 1991.

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

But was it consistent with this being a nuclear test site? "The infrastructure
is certainly consistent with test activity. You require storage sites, vehicle
activities, communications systems like the train, railway tracks and
roadworks. All of those things you can certainly see on the image," said
Jasani.

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.

Last year Leone and his family finally reached the West with the help of the UN
refugee programme. Although comparatively safe, he fears reprisals. Last week
his brother was arrested in Iraq after the Anglo-American air raids.

Leone no longer needs to draw attention to himself to get help, yet he
continues to give more details of the bomb programme, insisting that his story
is true.

Western intelligence sources, while recognising that he is well informed,
continue to insist that he and the other Iraqi sources I have spoken to are
wrong about the test. Personally, I think the evidence is compelling.

40 posted on 04/20/2003 8:20:13 PM PDT by First Amendment
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To: pram
How interesting! Thank you!
41 posted on 04/20/2003 9:59:11 PM PDT by whadizit
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To: pram
"Last week his brother was arrested in Iraq.."

It would be great to find out what has happened to him now that prisons are opened.
42 posted on 04/20/2003 10:01:18 PM PDT by whadizit
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To: pram
Thanks for a most interesting reply.

I had never heard of Gwynne Roberts before but thanks to the Internet all you have to do is a quick search. Apparently her report did create quite a stir a few years ago. However, the story was quickly debunked by those in the know - one person in special climbed out on a limb, and stated that it was completely impossible. Who?

Well, no other than the intrepid dr Hans Blix.

I'll post the rebuttal and then we will just have to wait and see. The US forces should know where to look at least.

http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2002/msg00961.html

* DID IRAQ CONDUCT A CLANDESTINE NUCLEAR TEST?
by Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters, 11th June [2001]) - The chief U.N. arms inspector and experts at a London think tank have concluded there was no evidence Iraq had carried out a successful nuclear test in 1989, as alleged in news reports
earlier this year.

Hans Blix, the executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, said he reported to the U.N. Security Council last week ``the information is totally wrong'' that Iraq conducted a nuclear test beneath Lake Rezazza, southwest of Baghdad on Sept. 19, 1989, before the Gulf War.

He told reporters his department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had evidence in its files, from overhead flights and previous ground inspections ``there had been no nuclear tests'' nor a tunnel under the lake.

Purported evidence of a test, from two defecting former scientists in Iraq and an interpretation of satellite photographs of the test area, was reported in London's Sunday Times newspaper in February and received fairly wide coverage.

Terry Wallace, a professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, says that while it is far easier to prove something did happen than to prove it did not there was no reason to believe the story is ``anything but a hoax.''

An examination of global earthquake catalogs, produced by the International Seismic Center and U.S. Geological Survey, revealed no significant seismic activity in Iraq the day the test was alleged to have taken place, Wallace said.

Such an explosion he said, in an article for the London-based think tank, the Verification, Training and Information Center, would have been easily detectable by international or by regional monitoring in Iran, Israel or Jordan, which keep records of earthquakes.

None of them reported any seismic events of the magnitude necessary for a nuclear test in the region around Lake Rezazza, Wallace said.

U.N. arms inspectors have not been permitted to track down Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction since mid-December 1998, when they were withdrawn shortly before the United States and Britain launched a four-day bombing campaign prompted by Iraq's failure to cooperate with the arms teams.

Blix's agency has now signed a contract with a private, satellite firm and is restarting overhead flights this month.

Earlier this year, Western intelligence agencies alleged that Iraq had reconstituted parts of its banned arms programs. The German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) in February told selected reporters Iraq could produce a nuclear device in three years and fire a missile as far as Europe by 2005.

U.S. and British officials alleged in January that Iraq had rebuilt three factories capable of producing chemical and biological weapons.

The IAEA, meanwhile, carried out its annual inspection of the Iraq's Tuwaitha nuclear power center in January and reported that low-grade nuclear material held there had not been moved since its last visit.

[I think you will note that several of the objections have already been addressed by Ms Roberts, for instance the seismic signals...]

ScaniaBoy

43 posted on 04/20/2003 11:36:12 PM PDT by ScaniaBoy
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To: bvw
Sorry for late reply...time zones are a bitch.

There was not that more information in the article.

It finsihed with a description of how the body was loaded into the back of a small truck, together with a shovle and some tires, and the wife and her brother drove away.

I will e-mail the reporter, commend him for an excellent article and ask if he has any further news about them or other families who were involved with the inspectors.

ScaniaBoy
44 posted on 04/20/2003 11:44:44 PM PDT by ScaniaBoy
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To: ScaniaBoy
ABC had found documents that showed that the Iraqis had bugged the UN inspectors

Sadaam bugged the UN inspectors? I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you!

45 posted on 04/20/2003 11:54:02 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: ScaniaBoy

"HA haaa..."

46 posted on 04/21/2003 12:12:12 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Bernard
Probably a suicide

Absolutely. He was so distraught he cut his head off.

47 posted on 04/21/2003 12:32:42 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: Delta 21
I am really suprised we havent seen severe in-fighting in Baghdad ending with someone swinging from a light pole.

Oli North reported once about a week ago that he had seen two corpses hanging from light poles, but then no more was heard. Looters are big news; but swingers aren't apparently.

48 posted on 04/21/2003 12:35:53 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I wonder if there is anyone alive who knows where the chemicals were buried?

One report I saw said that many places had been professionally housecleaned.

49 posted on 04/21/2003 12:37:34 AM PDT by patriciaruth
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To: ScaniaBoy
I agree. Remember his comments about the Iraqi who tried to give evidence to the inspectors, and was dragged out of their car by Iraqi soldiers: "I hope he tries to contact us in a more elegant way next time..."

Do you think that he is still alive? I doubt that he is still around to give anyone information.

50 posted on 04/21/2003 12:38:10 AM PDT by Irish Eyes
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