posted on Apr, 21 2003 @ 05:06 AM
A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq
destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began.
The scientist led Americans to a supply of material that proved to be the building blocks of illegal weapons, which he claimed to have buried as
evidence of Iraq's illicit weapons programs.
The scientist also told American weapons experts that Iraq had secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the
mid-1990's, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda, the military officials said.
An American military team hunting for unconventional weapons in Iraq, the Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, or MET Alpha, which found the scientist,
declined to identify him, saying they feared he might be subject to reprisals. But they said that they considered him credible and that the material
unearthed over the last three days at sites to which he led them had proved to be precursors for a toxic agent that is banned by chemical weapons
The officials' account of the scientist's assertions and the discovery of the buried material, which they described as the most important discovery
to date in the hunt for illegal weapons, supports the Bush administration's charges that Iraq continued to develop those weapons and lied to the
United Nations about it. Finding and destroying illegal weapons was a major justification for the war.
The officials' accounts also provided an explanation for why United States forces had not yet turned up banned weapons in Iraq. The failure to find
such weapons has become a political issue in Washington.
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NY Times Story Link