Sources: Terrorists Planning Iraq Attack
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
This is a partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, Jan. 13, that has been edited for clarity.
Watch Special Report With Brit Hume weeknights at 6 p.m. ET
BRIT HUME, HOST: The administration is not saying anything about this, and it is not even clear officials know anything about it. But some sources in
Iraq are talking about a development that could prove an important turn in the search for weapons of mass destruction. For more on this we turn to the
man who so often seems to know things before everybody else.
Fox News foreign affairs analyst Mansoor Ijaz, who joins us now from Berlin.
Mansoor, what's up?
MANSOOR IJAZ, FOX NEWS FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Well, Brit, what I have learned in the last 24 hours is that about three days ago in the northern part
of Iraq, a convoy of trucks and jeeps and cars was brought across from Iran where some of the Kurdish Peshmergah -- these are these Kurdish rebels
that are sort of like Mujahideen, if I may put it that way, from the old Afghan War.
They intercepted one of those trucks that were carrying a large warhead that had extremely sophisticated plastic -- C- 4 plastic explosives in it. And
when the driver of that truck was put under interrogation, he then admitted that as many -- there were a total of 30 warheads that apparently were
scheduled to come across.
One of them got caught, and 29 made it across somehow or the other. Of those 29, we are told now that somewhere between six and 12 of them may have,
in fact, been laden with chemical explosives that would be then attached to a rocket of some sort inside Iraq that's already there in a separate
convoy. And that those warheads would then be exploded over, for example, an encampment near the Coalition Provisional Authority (search) or something
Now, what alarmed me about this and the reason that I felt it was necessary to get this out as soon as possible, is because I have now heard three
times in the last week, from separate sources that I have been talking to that something big is being planned for Baghdad. In which the idea that is
being put forward is to kill as many as 3,000 to 5,000 people at one shot; something that would be similar to a World Trade Center (search) type of
attack. In that part of the world, the only way you could get that done is if you launched a massive chemical or biological attack.
HUME: Now, talk to me a little bit about the Kurdish forces who were involved in this event. Are these -- are they friendly to the United States and
the coalition? Are they not? And what -- you know, and how credible are they?
IJAZ: Yes. It's a good question. The strange thing here is that what I have been told is that the sources that got this information out, what they
saw on the ground physically going on is that the Kurdish leaders that had -- the Kurdish rebels that had caught this guy had taken the warhead and
were actually trying to sell it back to the Iranians along with their silence. Because there's something else going on here that's of a larger
We now know that during the past week, the reformists in Iran have been pummeled and stopped from allowing their candidates to be fielded for the
upcoming elections. We also know that there is, as we have said here before about a month and a half, two months ago, that there is a wintertime
offensive being prepared with the help of the Iranian and Revolutionary Guard in Afghanistan, maybe with the help of Al Qaeda, maybe even bin Laden,
al Zawahiri, and people like that who, as we've said here before, are in Iran right now.
And at the same time, they're trying to launch something in Iraq. The idea of which would be the wag the dog scenario, where if your domestic
politics, you can't fix it, and it's getting too much pressure under honor the mullahs in Iran right now. Better to start the fire and ratchet it up
a notch on both sides outside, both in Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time.
HUME: Now, how great a likelihood do you believe that you are finding this out or others finding this out, and it getting out, will have on it
IJAZ: Well, I think the first thing we've got to do is go and talk to those Kurdish rebels and find out where the heck those other convoy trucks
went. The second thing that we need to do, and I talked with General McInerney earlier this evening to determine what the range is, what type of
warheads would be used and how these things could be put together. He made a very strong recommendation, and I agree with that, that we need to get
Global Hawk One back in theater. Because if these things...
HUME: That thing out of there now?
IJAZ: ... these chemical warheads were attached -- they are out of there right now, and they're not in theater. And the trouble is that they're in
desolate areas in which these rockets could be launched from.
And remember, a chemical weapon, to have massive -- the most massive impact that it can have to have a midair burst. Which means that it needs to be
launched from, let's say, 100 kilometers away or 50 kilometers away or 200 kilometers away.
These are areas that our people are just not, you know, focused on right now because we've got so much work to do in and around the urban areas in
Iraq. So I think we need to get down to finding out where that convoy of 29 warheads are and do that immediately. And get our Kurdish friends to help
us rather than trying to sell them back to the Iranians. That doesn't make any sense.
HUME: Oh, we've got just a few seconds left. The credible of your sources, your assessment?
IJAZ: They're unimpeachable. Again, I think they've been right all along. We'll find out in the coming days in a print report about the bin Laden
story in great detail. Everything has been verified. We will see that.
HUME: Thank you Mansoor.
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