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IRAQIS HIDE BIO-ARMS IN HOMES, REPORT SAYS (NY POST) By ALY SUJO 11/29/02) Source: http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/51186.htm NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
November 29, 2002 -- Hundreds of Iraqi government officials are hiding chemical and biological weapons parts in their homes so U.N. inspectors won´t find them, London newspapers said today . The scheme is so blatant, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair may demand that Iraqis hiding weapons components let inspectors know what they´re up to, The Times of London says.

Iraqi farmers also have been asked to help by hiding chemicals among their insecticides, and some officials have been asked to safeguard laptop computers holding weapons data.

Anyone who refuses help faces severe penalties, the London papers report.

U.N. inspectors are aware that U.S. and other intelligence agencies believe weapons components are in officials´ homes.

But the inspectors don´t know which homes to search - although they do have the power to seek interviews with officials and scientists who may have the information.

Inspectors yesterday visited a high-tech machining operation that could be key to nuclear-bomb building, and a veterinary vaccine plant where deadly biological weapons were made a decade ago.

"It´s a good start," said team leader Jacques Baute, whose group of inspectors swabbed, took samples, and prepared to analyze materials left over from long-ago veterinary experiments.

Iraqi officials said they were pleased with the operation thus far. "It is very good cooperation," the director of the al-Dawrah vaccine plant said.

Arms monitors are returning to important facilities surveyed and "neutralized" by U.N. inspectors in the 1990s.

Under U.N. resolutions established after the 1991 Gulf War, inspectors destroyed tons of Iraqi chemical and biological weapons and the equipment to make them, and dismantled Iraq´s nuclear-weapons program.

But the monitoring collapsed in 1998, and experts believe Iraq could still have weapons, including tons of deadly botulinium toxin produced before the Gulf War.

Meanwhile, new intelligence says that in last month´s pro-Saddam Hussein referendum, only one in three Iraqi voters actually cast ballots - not the 100 percent turnout Baghdad claimed, The Times of London says.

Saddam is said to be so worried about his eroding support that he´s given away new cars to officials in Baghdad.With Post Wire Services (Copyright 2002 NYP Holdings, Inc. 11/29/02)


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