IRAQIS HIDE BIO-ARMS IN HOMES, REPORT SAYS (NY POST) By ALY SUJO 11/29/02)
NEW YORK POST
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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
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
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
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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