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[casi] Tracing the missile

Dear List

It seems that the US and UK government are still claiming that the 28 March
bombing of Shu'ala marketplace, which is being reported as having killed 62
peope, could have been the result of malfunctioning Iraqi air defence

(see, eg, Donald Rumsfeld's interview yesterday at:

Shards from the fuselage of the missile were recovered by a local resident,
and have been found contain a code number, MFR 96214 09.

This was reported by Robert Fisk, "In Baghdad, blood and bandages for the
innocent", 30 March 2003, at: :

"the missile was guided by computers and that vital shard of fuselage was
computer-coded. It can be easily verified and checked by the Americans - if
they choose to do so. It reads: 30003-704ASB 7492. The letter "B" is
scratched and could be an "H". This is believed to be the serial number. It
is followed by a further code which arms manufacturers usually refer to as
the weapon's "Lot" number. It reads: MFR 96214 09."

An analysis has been sent to me that points out to me that "MFR" is code in
defence contracts for "manufacturer".

96214 is a manufacturer identification number, a so-called "Cage Code".

Cage codes can be checked on the site:

96214 is the cage code for Raytheon Company, a Texas-based military
supplier that manufactures parts for Tomahawk missiles.

See for example their press release of 27 March 2003, "Raytheon Tactical
Tomahawk Penetrator Variant Successfully Completes Inaugural Test Flight":,+2003

There seem to be 4 possibilities:

- that the shard did not come from the missile that hit Shu'ala marketplace.

- that Robert Fisk is having us on.

- that the Iraqis successfully smuggled a missile in from Texas which they
then fired at the Baghdad market.

- that the missile that hit Shu'ala market place was made in Texas and
fired by US forces.

I hope this helps clarify the relevant likelihoods.


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