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[casi] News, 13-20/12/02 (1)

News, 13-20/12/02 (1)


*  Key Exiles Agree U.S. Should Not Run Postwar Iraq
*  US cash squads 'buy' Iraqi tribes
*  Differences of Opinion Surface Between Khalilzad and Iraqi Opposition
*  Saddam's foes share a history of tragedy
*  U.S. Army to Train 1,000 Iraqi Exiles
*  Hungary Agrees to Allow Military Training for Iraqi Exiles
*  Iraqi exiles name panel to rule after Saddam falls


*  Scientists Hold Key To Iraqi Arms Search
*  UN Teams Hit Access Snag
*  Analysis: Baring information on WMD carries risks
*  U.N. Inspectors Visit 4 Sites in Iraq
*  UN unease at taking Iraq's scientists away
*  List of sites visited by U.N. weapons inspectors, Nov 27-16 Dec
*  UN arms experts search academic facility in Iraq


by Peter Slevin and Daniel Williams
Washington Post, 15th December

LONDON, Dec. 14 -- Iraqi opposition leaders who disagree on fundamental
questions about the future of their homeland appeared united today in the
conviction that Iraqis, not Americans, should run the country immediately
after the fall of President Saddam Hussein.

Opening a conference dedicated to creating a conceptual framework for
post-Hussein Iraq, a variety of opposition leaders said they would press the
United States to grant power to Iraqis inside and outside the country if
Hussein's government collapses or is overthrown by U.S. military force.

The assertion poses a potential conflict with the Bush administration, which
expects Americans to be in primary decision-making roles in Iraq until the
country is stable and a credible government has been established. A U.S.
official at the conference said that no firm policy has been set but that
Iraqis now in exile could play a role "where appropriate."

"No gap in sovereignty" is the way Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi
National Congress, described his argument for the establishment of an Iraqi
authority as soon as any invasion begins. "I do not want any foreign
governor, whoever appoints him."

"Not an American military government," added Hamid Bayati, London
representative of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an
Iran-based organization that fears a political vacuum in Iraq would lead to
renewed military rule or foreign control.

The dispute is not only about many Iraqis' distaste at having U.S.
authorities dictate terms for months or years after Hussein's departure, but
also reflects political maneuvering among exiled leaders who believe their
best chance to establish themselves in power after Hussein's fall would come
before Iraqis in Iraq become organized.

After years of feuds and broken alliances, the exile groups are divided. It
took them months to put together the conference of several hundred
opposition members that began today, a process marked by disagreements about
which hotel would host the meetings, whose statement of principles would
rule and how a follow-up committee would be composed.

Finally assembled under one roof, they talked about liberation and the
possibilities of renewal, about replacing a punishing totalitarian regime
with an elected government grounded in fair elections and equal rights. They
spoke of "partnership," "sincerity" and "mutual respect." Effusive in their
declarations, they left no democratic principle unmentioned.

"We must place the first building blocks to build this democratic
structure," said Sayed Muhammad Bahr Ulum . "We must return to the body of
Iraq its spirit, its soul. We must tear a black page from our history."

As the leaders spoke, their supporters sometimes took sides, applauding
their own man while delegates in other parts of the ballroom remained quiet.
The most religious among them murmured responses to calls for God's
blessings. Later, a far smaller group applauded an appeal from Ann Clwyd, a
member of the British Parliament, to make room for more women in positions
of responsibility.

The conference, which several knowledgeable delegates said would not have
happened without U.S. pressure, was designed to suggest to Iraqis in Iraq
and neighboring countries that exile forces have a progressive vision that
is not to be feared.

U.S. officials offer no encouragement to opposition figures who want to
establish a government with a high proportion of exiles if Hussein falls,
though Chalabi reiterated today that such an authority should be created on
Iraqi soil as soon as any land is freed from Hussein's control in Iraq's
Arab-controlled regions.

The Bush administration, whose postwar plans remain fluid, sees the exiles
more as consultants and helpers in the early stages of a new Iraq, officials
report. Exactly how the country would be administered, and which Iraqi
figures and foreign institutions would take part, remains to be decided.

"I don't think they've addressed the issue in sufficient detail and depth,"
complained a senior Iraqi National Congress figure who said the presence of
U.S. troops in Iraq will give Washington the power to decide. "We will not
cross the United States, nor will we do anything to impede the United
States. We will try to persuade the United States."

White House emissary Zalmay Khalilzad has been holding court in London for
several days, encouraging and cajoling delegates who arrive by appointment
at his door. His principal ambition is to keep the rival groups on track. He
tells them, according to a source, "I'm here to make sure you don't fail."

The essential message is "Be prudent," said a U.S. official who described
Khalilzad as urging the opposition "to be generous, not to overreach, not to
monopolize." Khalilzad, according to Iraqis who have met with him, has
advised members of the opposition to make their own decisions, and to come
to him as mediator of last resort.,6903,860249,00.html

by Jason Burke, chief reporter
The Observer, 15th December

Dozens of teams of elite American soldiers and intelligence specialists have
been sent into Iraq with millions of dollars in cash to woo key tribal
leaders away from Saddam Hussein.

The secret campaign, based on tactics used successfully in Afghanistan last
year, has been under way for several weeks and is a critical part of the
military and political strategy being pursued by the US and its closest
ally, Britain, to strip Saddam of weapons of mass destruction and, if this
is not possible, to bring about a 'regime change'.

The tribal leaders command the allegiance of millions of Iraqis and have
historically supported the Iraqi dictator for pragmatic rather than
ideological reasons. US and British strategists hope they can now be
persuaded to revolt or to stop co-operating with Saddam, fatally weakening
his regime.

Similar tactics were used against the Taliban when teams from the CIA
carrying briefcases full of money bought off key power-brokers, accelerating
the hardline Islamic regime's collapse in the face of American bombing and
the advance of local opposition troops.

The specialist teams in Iraq are thought to be concentrating on the rural
areas of central Iraq around Baghdad, where Sunni Muslim tribal leaders are
strongest. The Shia Muslim tribal leaders in the south are worried by a
repeat of 1991 when, after being encouraged to rebel, they were abandoned by
Washington. Kurdish tribal leaders in the north have made it clear they
would back an American invasion of Iraq.

Last week American and British officials said that Baghdad's 'full and final
disclosure' of its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programme was
'incomplete'. Iraq was responding to a UN resolution demanding that Baghdad
end any production of weapons of mass destruction, declare its research and
re-admit UN inspectors. A failure to comply with the resolution could be
used by Washington to justify an invasion to oust Saddam and replace his

The bid to woo tribal leaders indicates that US and British planners believe
elements among the ruling groups will be retained even if Saddam is deposed.
The CIA and the US State Department are also known to be keen to encourage
defectors from the regime, possibly by offering key individuals in the army
or security establishment posts in a new administration.

'Tribal leaders have acted as a parallel authority in Iraq for many years,'
said Daniel Neep, of the Royal United Services Institute. 'Prising them away
from Saddam certainly has the potential seriously to weaken him.'

Saddam has showered many tribal 'sheikhs' with gifts and has played off
tribes against each other. Some sheikhs have been sidelined, some restored
to favour, others marginalised. There are reports of clashes between tribal
militias and security forces. Last year members of the Bani Hasan tribe
clashed with troops in the south of Iraq. In 1999 members of the al Dulaimi
tribe staged a rebellion in the north-west.

In recent years Saddam has given the tribal sheikhs a degree of autonomy,
allowing them to dispense justice among their own people. Loyal leaders are
rewarded by subsidies as well as roads and other public works built for
their followers. 'The logic is, if Saddam can buy them, then so can the
Americans,' said one tribal leader who fled to the UK. The CIA was recently
given more than $200m (£130m) to pay for covert operations in Iraq.

British officials and specialists, mainly from the Foreign Office, are
understood to be supporting the American initiative in a variety of roles.
The British, with a tradition of covert operations in the Middle East going
back to the days of Lawrence of Arabia and the First World War, have a
wealth of experience and expertise that the Americans have been anxious to
tap. British special forces units operated behind Iraqi lines, with mixed
results, during the Gulf war of 1991.

There is still no indication of whether or when there will be war. Though
one American aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, headed out of the
Middle East last week, another carrier and accompanying battle group is
still stationed in the region and two others are en route.

Exercises have been held at a mobile US military command and control base
set up in the Gulf state of Qatar, slated as a possible headquarters for any
attack on Iraq.

The return of the George Washington to the US East Coast makes a large-scale
attack on Iraq less likely in the near future, analysts say.

'That's an indication that a full-out invasion is less likely to occur in
the next several months,' said Stephen Baker, a navy chief of staff for
operations in the Gulf war.

Tehran Times, 16th December

TEHRAN -- A prominent Iraqi opposition, Seyed Majid Khuie, said yesterday
that the Iraqi opposition forces who met in London on Sunday failed to reach
an agreement with the U.S. special envoy for Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, on
transition and the future configuration of Iraqi political system.

The Chairman of Al-Khuie Foundation, Khuie said, a coordination council is
to be set up to represent the opposition groups and also the transitional

The differences occurred when the session was held behind the closed doors,
he said, adding the first difference occurred regarding the number of the
coordination council. At one stage the representatives of various Iraqi
opposition forces quit the hall of the meeting in protest to Khalilzad's
remarks, he said, adding even Jalal Talebani told Khalilzad: "If you are
looking for a lackey, please forget us and carry out the plan yourself."

The opposition forces agree with the establishment of a federal system, but
it must include all ethnic communities not only the Arabs but the Kurds as
the U.S. maintains, he said.

Khalilzad proposed that the Iraqi opposition introduce forty people for the
coordination council and then the Americans select ten from amongst them,
which was vociferously opposed by the Iraqi opposition, he said.

The representatives of six opposition groups have participated in the
meeting, he said, adding Ayatullah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim has two votes,
one representing the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq and
another representing the Islamic groups.

At the end of the session decision must be made about the fate of Saddam
Hussien's regime, he said, adding his regime will be toppled within the next
60 days.

by Daniel Williams and Peter Slevin
Gulf News, from Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service, 17th

Safia Al Suhail is an Iraqi who knows something about suffering in exile.
Her prominent family fled Saddam Hussain's regime in fear, moving between
safe havens in Beirut and Amman, Jordan, until her father sealed his own
fate when he helped plot a 1993 coup attempt. Iraqi security forces
uncovered the conspiracy and arrested the participants.

Talib Al Suhail remained outside the country, but less than a year later, he
was dead ­ assassinated in Lebanon by agents posing as Iraqi diplomats.

Now his daughter is seeking to avenge her father's death, not by force of
arms, but by lobbying for a democratic Iraq where prospective dictators need
not apply.

At an Iraqi opposition conference in London dominated by well-heeled leaders
and their seemingly endless rivalries, Al Suhail is one of dozens of
delegates working more quietly to challenge the Iraqi government and the
Iraqi exile leadership alike.

Often motivated by their own tragedies, many of the delegates can now taste
the possibility of redemption.

The long-delayed opposition gathering, designed to establish a modicum of
unity and a commitment to democracy, struggled with the creation of a
leadership committee sought by the Bush administration to speak for the
Iraqi diaspora. Inevitably, competing groups disagreed over the size of the
panel and who would be included.

Those who do not aspire to such heights nonetheless speak passionately about
the future of Iraq. Sitting on stone steps at the conference hotel, Safia Al
Suhail shed tears at the memory of her father. "Something is pushing me even
harder now," said Al Suhail.

"I was working for the liberation of Iraq, but I have something personal. He
was my father. He was thinking of seeing his country, and he never saw it
again. I want him to be buried in the soil of Iraq. Inshallah (God willing),
I will do it soon."

Mostafa Al Quzwini, born into a prominent Iraqi religious family 40 years
ago, said his grandfather, a Muslim cleric, was arrested in 1980 after many
members of his family had fled the country.

Security forces contacted the Al Quzwini family and said the grandfather was
in custody and would be released only if notable relatives returned to Iraq.

"It was a trap," Al Quzwini said in a conference hall corridor. No one ever
heard another word about his grandfather. In all, 15 members of his family
were arrested between 1980 and 1991, and two were executed in prison, he

Al Quzwini, an Islamic cleric, eventually settled in California, where he
helped establish four Islamic centres and a school for 200 children. At a
conference where Islamic factions were divided about the role religion
should play in a future Iraq, Al Quzwini delivered a speech in favour of
religious tolerance.

"We have to have it for all religious traditions, even for atheists," he
said. "We learned this from Americans and by living in the West. We can
influence Iraq. Iraq will be a gate to other neighbouring countries, to
Egypt and Saudi Arabia."

As for life after Saddam Hussain, Al Quzwini is torn. He wants to help
create civil society in Iraq. He sees it as a moral responsibility. But when
he asks his four children, all of them raised in the United States, if they
would go with him, they say, "No, Dad. You go. We are Americans."

The bloody past makes some delegates wary of U.S. pledges to oust the Iraqi
leader. Some paid a personal price when, at the end of the 1991 Gulf War,
President George H.W. Bush encouraged Iraqis to rise up but failed to
support the revolt.

by Daniel Williams
Washington Post, 18th December

LONDON, Dec. 17 -- The United States has accepted 1,000 Iraqi exiles for
military training as guides and go-betweens for U.S. forces in a war with
Iraq, a contingent that exile leaders hope will grow into the core of a new
Iraqi army after President Saddam Hussein is ousted, Iraqis familiar with
the training program said today.

The list of those picked for an initial round of training was delivered by
Pentagon officials who met with Iraqi opposition groups here on the
sidelines of a four-day conference for Democracy and Salvation of Iraq,
which concluded today. The roster came from among more than 4,000 names
submitted by one of the leading opposition organizations, the Iraqi National

Training is scheduled to begin soon, an Iraqi National Congress official
said, and will take place under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army's European
Command. The Bush administration has asked Hungary, a NATO ally, to host the
training at Taszar air base, 120 miles southwest of Budapest, where U.S.
forces were staged during peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.

"Enough names have been vetted to get the program underway," said an
opposition official familiar with the meeting.

"This is not meant to confront the Iraqi army or become an alternative to
it," he added. "It is supposed to be an Iraqi force which Iraqi soldiers
inside can join, instead of just surrendering to the Americans." Reports
from Washington have described the force's main mission as logistics,
guiding and translation for American invaders.

The endorsement of a group of Iraqi trainees was seen as another step in
military preparations for a possible U.S. offensive to destroy Hussein's
three-decade-old rule. U.S. military forces are building up in the Persian
Gulf. The U.S. Central Command, which would oversee an invasion, has set up
a headquarters in the tiny Gulf state of Qatar and today finished a command
exercise that amounted to a dress rehearsal for war. An aircraft carrier
battle group is on the way and will join three others already there.

While the London exile conference was highly public, the Pentagon held its
meeting with 11 Iraqi opposition officials in secret. Deputy Assistant
Defense Secretary William Luti presided along with Maj. Gen. David Barno,
who Iraqis said will be in charge of training.

The recruits come from the U.S.-protected zone in northern Iraq and from
among exiles in Iran and Europe, one exile said. The vetting was designed to
weed out Islamic extremists, possible Iraqi government agents and any
volunteers who may have human rights crimes in their pasts, he explained.

The process continues, he said, meaning the number of those accepted could
rise in the weeks ahead. Most of those picked so far are Arabs. That is,
they do not come from the Pesh Merga guerrilla forces organized by the two,
often rival Kurdish parties in the north.

Luti told the Iraqis that the new force must be the beginning of a national
army and not be controlled by such political factions. "No party militias
can join the force," said Nabil Moussawi, an Iraqi National Congress

One major opposition group, the Shiite Muslim Supreme Council for the
Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, ignored the call for volunteers. The
group has its own military units based in Iran and trained by the Iranian
military. Its officials have tried to keep their relations with the United
States distant, even though the State Department designated SCIRI one of six
approved opposition groups.

"The opposition has a lot of military forces. We can train all we need by
ourselves," said Abdul Aziz Hakim, a top SCIRI official.

The London exile conference, meanwhile, advanced what its participants hoped
would be political preparations for Hussein's removal.


by Stefan Bos
Palestine  Chronicle, 18th December

BUDAPEST - Hungary's socialist-led government has approved Wednesday an
American request to use a U.S. military base in Hungary for training up to
3,000 Iraqi exiles.

Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Gal said that the Iraqi exiles will be
allowed to receive training at a United States military base in the village
of Taszar, about 200 kilometers southwest of Budapest.

Under current plans, the Iraqis will arrive in two waves, starting in
January or February, for training programs that will last about three

According to the Hungarian defense ministry, the Iraqis will be accompanied
by about 2,000 U.S. military personnel. The ministry said that, at Hungary's
insistence, no combat training will take place at the base.

Hungarian officials say the Iraqis will serve as translators, interpreters
and guides for any military action against Iraq, and will also help to set
up a new civil administration if and when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is

Tibor Mercz, the acting mayor of Taszar, a village of over 2,000 people, has
expressed concern that having the Iraqis in the region could leave it
vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Hungarian defense officials, in an effort to allay those concerns, have said
the Iraqis will not be allowed to leave the U.S. base. In addition, they say
troops from both countries will guard the area and Hungarian and U.S.
intelligence services will closely cooperate to prevent any problems.

Government spokesman Gal has said that Hungary agreed to allow the Iraqis to
train in the country in an effort to contribute to what he describes as "the
international fight against terrorism."

Hungary in the past has been criticized by NATO for not meeting the military
obligations that were expected from the country when it joined the alliance
in 1999.

voanews ( Redistributed via Press International News Agency

International Herald Tribune, 18th December

LONDON:Iraqi exiles ended a conference here Tuesday with agreement on a
committee they hope could replace Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad and
plans to meet next in Kurdish controlled northern Iraq.

After a meeting following the official conclusion of the conference,
organizers released a list of the 65 members of the committee. Shiite
Muslims, largely denied political power under Saddam, held nearly half the
seats, 32, one fewer than delegates had said going into the last session.

The list included key leaders such as Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi
National Congress, Iyad Allawi, leader of the Iraqi National Accord and
Abdelaziz Hakim, whose brother, Ayatollah Baqir Hakim heads the Iran-based
Shiite group the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Chalabi said exiles would reconvene Jan. 15 in northern Iraq, which slipped
from Saddam's control after the 1991 Gulf War, to decide on the committee's
leadership. The meeting is expected to take place in Irbil.

The committee is to formulate unified policies and act as a conduit between
Iraqi dissidents and the international community until Saddam's possible
ouster and beyond. Many believe it could form the basis for a post-Saddam
transitional government.

Documents issued at the end of the conference suggested a three-man
Sovereign Council to lead the transitional period. No candidates for the
council were discussed publicly.

The closing session of the conference was marred by a walkout of delegates
representing five Shiite groups, who said they were opposed to the apparent
dominance of the largest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic
Revolution in Iraq. In the end, the council got only 8 of the 32 Shiite

But the dissident leader and the U.S. envoy to the exiles, Zalmay Khalilzad,
said the conference had offered new hope for Iraqis determined to change
Saddam's three-decade long rule of the embattled Arab country.

The White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, said: "The conference
represents a strong statement of the aspirations of Iraqis - inside Iraq and
throughout the world - for a better future. We support these aspirations and
look forward to working together with all Iraqis to help achieve them."

Conference delegates and U.S. congressmen have expressed concern that a
post-Saddam Iraq could descend into chaos. Chalabi said the London
conference was sending a strong message to Washington that the Iraqi exiles
could forge a united front.

The Shiite walkout indicates the sharp divides separating Iraqi Shiites, who
represent 60 percent of Iraq's 22 million population and are split along
conservative Islamic and liberal lines.

Massoud Barzani, head of the influential Kurdistan Democratic Party, said
during a news conference that the meeting was a success in that it
represented the majority of Iraqis. But he added: "There are some other
forces and people who have not joined us. These people have a long history
of struggle against the dictatorship and we will continue our discussions
with them."

He called for "tolerance, forgiveness" and putting Iraq's national interests
first. "We are for a new Iraq, an Iraq for all," Barzani said.

Intense lobbying over the form and membership of the committee forced the
three-day London conference to stretch out to five days.

UN arms inspectors hunting for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction widened
their search to the northern province of Mosul on Tuesday, Reuters reported
from Baghdad.

Biological and nuclear teams left for Mosul, nearly 400 kilometers (250
miles) north of Baghdad, at dawn.

Groups of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency visited two
previously declared sites in Baghdad, said Hiro Ueki, a spokesman.

Two missile inspection teams were in action, one at an oxidizer plant 50
kilometers northwest of Baghdad, and the other at Almeen factory 125
kilometers southwest of the capital.

Chemical experts returned to the Falluja site west of Baghdad, while a
biological team visited Baghdad University's biotechnology department.


by Joby Warrick
Washington Post, 15th December

If U.N. officials get the opportunity to question Iraq's scientists about
hidden weapons programs, near the top of the list will be a 47-year-old
mother with black hair streaked with gray and a talent for growing anthrax

Biologist Rihab Taha ran one of Iraq's largest biological weapons programs
for more than a decade, a job that earned her the nickname "Dr. Germ" among
weapons inspectors. She has at times displayed an explosive temper -- she
once smashed a chair during a meeting with U.N. inspectors -- and U.S.
officials believe she might eventually spill details about Iraqi plans to
wage biowarfare.

But only if Iraq agrees to let her talk.

Three weeks after the start of weapons inspections, the question of access
to Iraqi weapons scientists poses one of the biggest challenges yet to U.N.
efforts to disarm Iraq. The Bush administration last week repeated its
demand that President Saddam Hussein deliver top weapons scientists for
interviews outside Iraq. So far, Iraq has given no clear sign that it will
cooperate, despite U.S. threats that a refusal could lead to armed conflict.

Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, on Thursday asked Iraq in a
letter to turn over the names of all scientists involved in its previous
biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs, as required by a Security
Council resolution. Meanwhile, the White House is preparing its own list --
a who's who of top Iraqi scientists based on the assessments of U.S.
intelligence agencies, U.S. and U.N. officials said.

The identities of the scientists have not been disclosed, but intelligence
officials and weapons experts say many of the names are well known from
Iraqi documents and seven years of intensive weapons inspections in the
1990s. Collectively the lists represent the best hope of the United States
and the United Nations for uncovering the truth about Hussein's efforts to
acquire weapons of mass destruction, the officials said.

"The one thing that survived the Gulf War and sanctions was Iraq's brain
trust," said a Pentagon intelligence official who spoke on the condition of
anonymity. "It's one thing to go to Iraq and see a piece of equipment. But
the most important thing is to be able to talk to the guy who worked the

The scientists who will likely make up the U.S. list reflect nearly every
type of weapons specialty, from relatively crude chemical weapons such as
mustard gas to nuclear bombs. Many have earned degrees from prestigious U.S.
and British universities. Some received specialized training -- and, in the
case of Taha, live cultures of deadly bacteria -- directly from the United
States through legal academic or commercial connections.

Whether the scientists will talk -- or possibly defect -- is uncertain.
Hussein in the past retained the loyalty of his scientists through a
combination of privileges and threats, including an explicit threat of
imprisonment, torture and death for scientists and their family members. One
of Iraq's best-known nuclear scientists, Jaffar Dhia Jaffar, was persuaded
to head Hussein's nuclear program only after a stint in a Baghdad prison.

But if their safety can be guaranteed, at least some of the scientists would
almost certainly jump at the chance to defect, according to former weapons
inspectors and an Iraqi defector who worked with many of them. Exactly how
those guarantees would be made, and how and where the interviews would be
conducted, remain matters of intense debate.

"In my opinion, 80 to 90 percent will defect," said Khidhir Hamza, a former
Iraqi nuclear scientist who fled Iraq in 1994 and now lives in Virginia.
"Think about it: If you're an Iraqi scientist getting by on a few dollars a
month and you have a chance to live in freedom with your family for the rest
of your life -- why wouldn't you cooperate?"

Hamza, like several former Iraqi weapons officials interviewed for this
story, declined to talk about specific scientists for fear they would face
reprisals in Iraq. The experts were especially reluctant to talk about
lesser-known and mid-level scientists whose identities the Iraqis fought to
keep secret during the inspections of the 1990s.

But many of Iraq's top weapons scientists are profiled in U.N. and Iraqi
weapons reports as well as in books by Iraqi defectors, including Hamza's
autobiography, "Saddam's Bombmaker," published in 2000.

Because the group's collective knowledge of advanced weapons is so deep,
some weapons experts argue that they should be encouraged to defect,
regardless of whether they produce any helpful leads in the investigation of
Iraq's current weapons program. "Even if they tell you nothing," said David
Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the Washington-based
Institute of Strategic and International Studies, "at least they are no
longer building weapons."

Here, according to U.N. documents and weapons experts, is a sampling of some
of the better-known Iraqi weapons scientists who would likely be included on
any list of experts sought by U.N. officials for questioning.

Rihab Taha

Taha is perhaps the most colorful of Iraq's senior weapons scientists, and
arguably one of the most dangerous. Since assuming her first post in one of
Iraq's early bioweapons labs in 1984, she has been something of an oddity: a
rare female scientist and manager in a world dominated by men. A
British-trained microbiologist, Taha in 1987 was put in charge of Iraq's
top-secret biological research lab at Al Hakam, which explored the
weaponization of the pathogens that cause anthrax and plague, among others.
It was around this time that she ordered and received biological specimens
from U.S. companies that would later be used in the production of weapons.

Her reputation as "Dr. Germ" was well established when she met and married
the Iraqi oil minister, Lt. Gen. Amir Mohammad Rasheed, in 1993. Taha's
position ensured that she would be a frequent subject of U.N. interrogations
during weapons inspections in the 1990s. Under intense questioning, the
normally soft-spoken Taha often showed her famous temper, storming out of
the room and sometimes leaving overturned furniture in her wake.

The frustrations were apparently mutual. Richard Spertzel, a former head of
the U.N. inspectors' bioweapons teams, recalled his exasperation when Taha
clung to false accounts of her lab's activities even when confronted with
contradictory evidence. "It is not a lie," Spertzel recalled Taha saying,
"when you're being ordered to lie."

Jaffar Dhia Jaffar

The man some regard as the father of Iraq's nuclear weapons program never
aspired to the title, according to former colleagues now living in the West.
Hussein used imprisonment and torture to persuade the British-trained
physicist to help him in his quest to become the Arab world's first
nuclear-armed head of state.

Among his punishments: being forced to watch as guards broke the back of an
elderly man and left him to suffer in Jaffar's presence. "He recanted and
returned to work," Hamza, a former subordinate, wrote in "Saddam's

The deputy head of Iraq's atomic energy agency ultimately took command of
Iraq's secret "Petrochemical-3" unit, which ran clandestine programs to
enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. At its height, the unit employed more
than 20,000 people and cost an estimated $10 billion.

After his jailhouse conversion in the early 1980s, Jaffar promised to
deliver Hussein a nuclear weapon within 10 years. By Western estimates he
came very close -- perhaps as near as a few months -- when the program was
disrupted by the outbreak of war in 1991.

Hazem Ali

Of the many questions U.N. officials would likely pose to this Iraqi
virologist, the most urgent is this: Does Iraq possess the smallpox virus?

Ali's role in Iraq's secret viral research in the 1980s attracted the
attention of U.N. officials as they investigated whether Iraq may have tried
to weaponize smallpox. At the time, Ali headed Iraq's research into the
"camel pox" virus, a close cousin to the variola virus that causes smallpox.
Inspectors later found an industrial freeze-dryer in a viral vaccine factory
that bore the word "smallpox" on its label.

Spertzel, the former U.N. inspector, described Ali as a brilliant virologist
who earned his doctorate in Britain. He said inspectors never fully
questioned him because Iraqi authorities, sensing the increasing interest in
the scientist, put Ali out of reach.

"One day he announced to our team he was leaving to become director of a
college of veterinary medicine. But when we went to the college he wasn't
there," Spertzel said. "We kept on asking for him. The Iraqis clearly knew
where he was and what he was working on."

Mahdi Obeidi

When Iraqi leaders decided to try to master the difficult feat of enriching
uranium for nuclear weapons, they turned to well-respected Iraqi nuclear
scientist Mahdi Obeidi. For inspiration, Obeidi in turn looked to the
world's leading experts in enrichment technology: the United States and

Obeidi and Hamza, the nuclear scientist who later defected, learned about
emerging technologies for enriching uranium during a 1975 visit to the U.S.
Department of Energy's Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico. In the 1980s,
Obeidi led efforts to build gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment, using
designs and expertise bought from German businessmen.

Iraq ultimately used a combination of technologies to produce the fissile
material needed for nuclear weapons. Designs for the equipment were never
surrendered to U.N. inspectors after the Gulf War, and are believed to still
exist in Iraq, along with the practical know-how acquired by Obeidi through
years of trial and error.

Although Obeidi's current role in Iraqi weapons research is unknown, some
experts on Iraq's nuclear program believe his knowledge would be critical to
any current efforts to build an Iraqi bomb. "Iraq probably could not start a
centrifuge [enrichment] program without him," said Albright, the former
weapons inspector.

Abdul Nassir Hindawi

In 1988, Abdul Nassir Hindawi, a microbiologist, wrote a letter to a British
military laboratory asking for a sample of the common bacterium that causes
anthrax in cattle. The specific strain he requested was known as "Ames," a
variety that was little known outside microbiology at the time, but has
since become infamous: It is the same strain used in the deadly anthrax
attacks in Washington, Florida and New York in the fall of 2001.

Hindawi's request was turned down, and it is unclear whether the
U.S.-trained scientist succeeded in acquiring the strain elsewhere. But what
is clear is that Hindawi played a key role in helping create Iraq's
biological weapons program and shaping its direction.

After studying microbiology at Mississippi State University, Hindawi
returned to his native country in time to observe Hussein's use of chemical
weapons to counter superior numbers of enemy troops in the Iran-Iraq War. In
1983, U.N. documents say, Hindawi wrote a secret paper for Iraq's ruling
Baath party suggesting the possibility of mass-produced, inexpensive
biological weapons as an alternative to chemicals.

Within two years, Iraq established its biological weapons program at Al
Muthanna State Establishment, a project designated by officials as a
"presidential priority." Hindawi was appointed to help direct the program,
and he picked as one of his top aides a promising young female biologist who
had recently returned to Iraq after completing her studies in Britain.

Her name: Rihab Taha, Iraq's future "Dr. Germ."

Staff writer Walter Pincus contributed to this report.

Newsday, from Associated Press, 14th December

Baghdad - UN teams were held up for two hours on Friday at a newly declared
site - an infectious diseases center - forcing inspectors to use their
hotline to higher Iraqi authorities for the first time since returning to
the country last month.

The snag occurred as U.S. officials in Washington said Iraq's 12,000-page
weapons declaration doesn't account for missing chemical and biological

During the inspections in Baghdad, a UN team got access to the Communicable
Disease Control Center but found several rooms locked and no one with keys.
The Iraqis said the rooms were locked because Friday, the Muslim day of
prayer, was a day off for doctors and other workers and no one else had

Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, head of the National Monitoring Directorate,
arrived two hours after being summoned by the hotline call. He and the
inspectors agreed the rooms would be sealed for inspection later, perhaps on

Both Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the UN Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission in New York, and Amin sought to downplay the incident.

"We have sealed those rooms that the Iraqi officials could not provide keys
for and we'll go back to check on them," Buchanan said.

Amin told reporters that it was "a newly declared site" and said there was
"a need for tagging of some of its equipment. There is no problem."

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, meanwhile, said in an interview
broadcast Friday that the UN inspectors were doing a "normal" job, but
hinted Baghdad would act if they threaten Iraqi national security.

Inspection teams visited three other sites Friday. Details were not

by William Douglas
Gulf News, from Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service, 15th

Hoping to convince a sceptical world, the United States went before the
United Nations and dramatically presented indisputable evidence that a rogue
nation possessed weapons of mass destruction.

"Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the USSR has placed and is placing
medium- and intermediate-range missiles and sites in Cuba? Yes or no?" UN
Ambassador Adlai Stevenson asked his Soviet counterpart, Valerian Zorin.

Stevenson's October 1962 confrontation - along with enlarged surveillance
photos of the Russian missiles - helped convince the world of a potential

With Iraq daring the Bush administration in 2002 to prove that Baghdad
possesses weapons of mass destruction, several lawmakers and experts are
urging the White House to take a cue from the Cuban missile crisis and make
public whatever compelling evidence it has that Iraq lied in the declaration
it submitted to the United Nations this weekend.

Administration officials insisted even before the 12,000-page document
reached New York that there is sufficient evidence that Saddam Hussain is
hiding weapons.

"I think it's time now the United States bring forward the evidence that we
have," said former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., director of the Woodrow Wilson
International Centre for Scholars, a Washington-based think tank. "If we
don't bring evidence forward, the U.S. is damaged because our credibility
will be damaged. We have the burden of coming forward."

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Calif., said both Baghdad and Washington are engaged
in a game of international poker, and it's time for Bush to show his hand.

"This is a card game where people are saying, 'We really have great cards.'
Well, show us," said McDermott, who visited Iraq with a congressional
delegation in September.

"Ronald Reagan said, 'Trust but verify.' Okay, we trust you, now show us."

But Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Clinton,
said that going public with any evidence would play right into Saddam's

"The Adlai Stevenson approach of putting the evidence in front of the
Security Council has a very big downside," said Indyk, a fellow at
Washington's Brookings Institution, a think tank.

"If it is just a matter of pointing to a site where we believe the weapons
of mass destruction are hidden or being produced, the very big downside is
the Iraqis have cleaned it up, sanitised the place, and will say ... 'Come
visit, come have a look.' That option is a very dangerous, risky one for the

Indyk said the Clinton administration thought it had the goods on Saddam,
only to be disappointed.

"We used to go to bed at night in the late 1990s convinced that we had
intelligence on where Saddam was hiding stuff, knowing that the inspectors
were going to go there the next morning and we would wake up ... only to
discover it was not there," he said.

Showing evidence now, Indyk said, would play into Saddam's plan of "putting
the onus on U.S. to try to prove that he does by looking for that needle in
the haystack or that smoking gun that would somehow prove him wrong."

Kenneth Pollack, another Brookings fellow, said if the Bush administration
has solid proof of Iraq's weapons activities, it should quietly present it
to allies and not make it public.

"I certainly hope the administration has some smoking-gun evidence that they
are holding back on all of us that will allow them to prove things beyond a
shadow of a doubt," said Pollack, a former CIA and National Security Council
analyst. "But I know that the body language from the administration suggests

Like Indyk, Hamilton said the United States would face some risks in going
public with evidence against Iraq.

"The problem the administration will confront is revealing sources and
methods (of gaining information)," said Hamilton, a former member of the
House International Relations Committee.

"But the U.S. has to take that risk. We have the whole world looking at the
U.S. to present its case. The spotlight is on Iraq, but it's also on us."

by Nadia Abou El Magd

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP): U.N. inspectors hunting for banned weapons of mass
destruction that Iraq may be hiding visited four sites on Sunday, including
a missile plant south of Baghdad that had aroused U.S. suspicions, the
inspectors and Iraqi officials said.

With the arrival of 15 additional inspectors Saturday, the total now stands
at 113. The newly bolstered team visited a dozen sites on Saturday in what
spokesman Hiro Ueki described as the busiest day in terms of sites visited
since the teams returned to Iraq on Nov. 27 after a four-year hiatus.

The sites visited Sunday included al-Mutasim, a government missile plant
occupying the grounds of a former nuclear facility 45 miles south of
Baghdad, the inspectors said in a statement. As usual, they offered no
details about what they sought or found.

Al-Mutasim was cited in a CIA intelligence report released in October
detailing what U.S. officials said was evidence Iraq was producing chemical
and biological weapons and means to deliver them, as well as seeking nuclear
weapons. The CIA report said the scale of some of the work at al-Mutasim
suggested Iraq would work on prohibited weapons there.

Iraqi officials said the inspectors also revisited a large nuclear complex
just south of Baghdad. The site, al-Qa'qaa, which was involved in working on
the final design for a nuclear bomb, drew inspectors Saturday and last week,
and had been under U.N. scrutiny in the 1990s.

The United Nations offered no details about Sunday's inspections at
al-Qa'qaa. On Saturday, the inspectors said they discussed with the director
changes made since inspectors were last in Iraq, in 1998, and last week they
said they began inventorying explosive materials from Iraq's past nuclear
programs at the site.

Also Sunday, the inspectors returned to a missile complex 30 north of
Baghdad that they had examined a day earlier.

The complex, the government-owned al-Nasr company also houses sophisticated
machine tools that can, for example, help manufacture gas centrifuges. Such
centrifuges are used to enrich uranium to bomb-grade level - a method
favored by the Iraqis in their bomb program of the late 1980s.

Haithem Shihab, manager of a factory in al-Nasr, said the inspectors
compared the facility to site plans and checked machinery.

"Today's inspection went smoothly, and we provided the inspectors with all
the information they asked for. They entered all the places they wanted. We
answered all questions. They made sure that there are no prohibited
activities in this factory," Shihab said.

Shihab said his factory produced parts for missiles with a range no greater
than 43 miles. Under U.N. resolutions, Iraq cannot have missiles with a
range greater than 90 miles.

Meanwhile, International Atomic Energy Agency experts on the U.N. team
inspected Um-Al Maarek - Mother of Battles - a government facility 10 miles
south of Baghdad. Nuclear experts inspected the site the first time Nov. 30.
It is run by the government's Military Industrialization Commission, which
is in charge of developing weapons.

In the first round of inspections in the 1990s, after Iraq's defeat in the
1991 Gulf War, the United Nations destroyed tons of Iraqi chemical and
biological weapons and dismantled Iraq's nuclear weapons program - but
inspectors do not believe they got all Iraq's banned arsenal.

The inspectors are back under a tough U.N. resolution passed last month that
threatens serious consequences if Iraq fails to prove it has surrendered all
its banned weapons. The United States already has expressed skepticism at an
Iraqi weapons declaration released Dec. 8.

Separately, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri sent a letter to the United
Nations criticizing U.S. air strikes that hit three air-defense
installations south and east of Baghdad on Saturday.

The U.S. Central Command said the strikes were ordered after Iraqi military
jets violated the southern no-fly zone, but Sabri said they amounted to
"undeclared war."

Sabri also took a swipe at Kuwait, saying the neighboring country Iraq
invaded in 1990 - touching off the Gulf War - had approved the strikes.

"The United Nations is required to adopt the necessary measures according to
U.N. Charter, to stop the aggression and put the whole international
responsibility on the party that has committed it," he said in the letter.

Such air strikes have been routine since U.S. and coalition aircraft began
patrolling southern and northern Iraq after the end of the Gulf War, which
expelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The zones were established to prevent
Saddam Hussein from attacking the Kurdish minority in the north of the
country and the Shiites in the south.

by Mark Turner, United Nations Correspondent, in New York
Financial Times, 15th December

The UN's weapons inspection commission warned yesterday that any decision to
conduct interviews with Iraqi scientists outside their country required far
more analysis, and that its recent request for a list of Iraqi weapons
experts should not be interpreted as a move in that direction.

The statement came amid US pressure on the commission, Unmovic, to use
discretionary powers under November's Security Council Resolution 1441 to
take scientists and their families abroad, in the belief that they will talk
more candidly away from prying eyes.

Expert testimony is seen as the fastest route to discovering any omissions
or false statements in Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration, a key part of
declaring Iraq in further material breach of its obligations to the UN.

Hans Blix, the UN's chief weapons inspector, wrote a letter to Iraq's
presidential adviser Amir al-Saadi on Thursday demanding a list of key
personnel by the end of the month. But an Unmovic official stressed this did
"not mean the issue of dragging people outside of Iraq has been resolved".

According to the resolution, inspectors have the right to conduct interviews
with scientists outside Iraq, as well as facilitating the travel of their
family members.

But many questions remain unanswered, such as how to identify which
officials should be invited to leave, how many family members could come
with them, and their subsequent status. It is also unclear to what extent
Iraqi authorities will co-operate with such moves.

Mr Blix has already made it clear he does not intend to "abduct anybody" or
to serve as a "defection agency". But even in voluntary cases, the Unmovic
official said concerns remained. "Mr Blix has never said 'No, I will not do
it', but he has been consistent in saying he sees problems," he said. "What
if they intercept the car on the way to the airport? Where are we going to
put them - at the bottom of the UN garden? We are looking at our options."

He added that Unmovic had other ways of eliciting information, including the
right to interview officials privately in Iraq. Other Security Council
members agreed more thought was needed.

"As far as every other member of the Security Council is concerned, this
option is just that," said a Security Council diplomat. "They have made it
clear there are all sorts of problems with using this course. The Americans
obviously are pushing it, but it is not clear to me to what extent they have
tried to work through the practicalities. This is something that may not

Hikmet Jamil, the president of the International Society of Iraqi
Scientists, also urged caution, although accepting that interviews outside
the country were more likely to yield results. "If they have freedom outside
their country (and if they have something) they will be more honest," he

"They cannot talk in Iraq. But this is a very difficult question: if they
bring them out, and find they have nothing, how will they be handled?",2933,71607,00.html

- PB]
Fox News, 16th December

Following is a list of sites visited by U.N. weapons inspectors searching
for alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq:

Dec. 16, 2002:

Inspectors returned for a third day to the al-Tuwaitha nuclear facility and
to the Hatteen industrial complex south of Baghdad.  Other teams went to an
electronics and a heavy machinery factory in Baghdad, the Biological
Technologies Institute at Baghdad University, and what Iraqi officials
described as a small boat factory 20 miles north of Baghdad.

Dec. 15, 2002:

‹ U.N. inspectors visited four sites, including al-Mutasim, a government
missile plant occupying the grounds of a former nuclear facility south of
Baghdad. Iraqi officials said the inspectors also revisited a large nuclear
complex just south of Baghdad, al-Qa'qaa, which was involved in working on
the final design for a nuclear bomb. The inspectors returned to a missile
complex 30 miles north of Baghdad that they had examined a day earlier.
International Atomic Energy Agency experts on the U.N. team inspected Um-Al
Maarek ‹ Mother of Battles ‹ a government facility 10 miles south of

Dec. 14, 2002:

‹ U.N. inspectors returned to an infectious diseases center Saturday to
examine rooms they were locked out of a day before. A second team
re-examined the main Iraqi nuclear facility, al-Tuwaitha, about 15 miles
southeast of Baghdad, where nearly two tons of low-grade enriched uranium
are stored. Inspectors also went to a government-owned Scud missile facility
about 30 miles north of Baghdad that had been used to make bomb casings for
chemical weapons before the end of the Gulf War.

Dec. 13, 2002:

‹ The inspection team visited Iraq's Communicable Disease Control Center,
but was initially unable to enter several locked rooms. A team also visited
the Ibn Al-Haithem Company, which Iraqi officials would only describe as an
industrial facility for the military six miles north of Baghdad.

Dec. 12, 2002:

‹ One group of inspectors traveled to a missile test site west of Baghdad.
Nuclear inspectors continued searching al-Tuwaitha. The complex contains
more than 100 buildings, many of which were destroyed in U.S. bombing during
the 1991 Gulf War.

Dec. 11, 2002:

‹Inspectors paid unannounced visits to at least eight sites, including a
medical research center and a new missile factory. They also made return
visits to a large complex where Iraq once worked on a nuclear bomb. Deep in
the western Iraqi desert, near the Syrian border, another team was in the
second day of its inspection of a remote uranium-mining site. Other nuclear
inspectors again visited al-Tuwaitha. In the 1980s, Iraqi scientists at
al-Tuwaitha developed technology for enriching uranium to levels usable in

Dec. 10, 2002

‹ Weapons inspectors visited 13 sites. One team of nuclear inspectors headed
across 250 miles of desert to the Ashakat uranium mine near the Syrian
border. Another nuclear team returned for the third time in a week to the
al-Tuwaitha nuclear complex, while three chemical- and biological-weapons
teams went to the Amariyah Serum and Vaccine Institute at Abu Ghraib, a
military training center in Baghdad and an industrial facility at al-Furat,
just south of the Iraqi capital. More inspectors were expected to fly into
Baghdad to join the efforts.

Dec. 9, 2002

‹ Nuclear inspectors returned to the al-Tuwaitha nuclear complex, which they
had visited five days earlier, and said they would come back yet again.
Another team headed 30 miles west of Baghdad to the Falluja II chlorine
plant that intelligence analysts fear could mask chemical weapons-making.

Dec. 8, 2002

‹ Inspectors toured a mining and survey company in Baghdad and a pesticide
plant west of the capital. More inspectors, mostly from the nuclear agency,
were scheduled to join the team later that day.

Dec. 7, 2002

‹ Inspections resumed as the U.N. team visited uranium storage sites near
the major Iraqi nuclear research center at al-Tuwaitha, 15 miles southeast
of Baghdad. They also checked out the al-Quds General Company for Mechanical
Industries at Iskandariya, 25 miles south of Baghdad, which made munitions
for chemical or biological weapons.

Dec. 5 and 6, 2002

‹ No inspections during the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the holy
month of Ramadan.

Dec. 4, 2002

‹ U.N. inspectors entered the al-Muthanna State Establishment, which once
produced chemical and biological agents, and a team from the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which conducts the U.N.'s nuclear inspections,
went to the al-Tuwaitha nuclear complex, famous for once being attacked by
Israeli warplanes.

Dec. 3, 2002

‹ The sprawling, opulent Al-Sajoud presidential palace along the Tigris
River was inspected. The U.N. teams did not appear to find anything, but the
visit was an important test of the inspectors' new-found power to gain
immediate access to any location in Iraq. Baghdad obstructed entry to
"presidential" facilities in the previous round of inspections.

Dec. 2, 2002

‹ A factory that once manufactured guidance and control systems for "stretch
Scuds," Soviet-designed missiles that the Iraqis modified to fly longer
distances during the Gulf War, was inspected, presumably to make sure that
production had not resumed on the long-range missiles. Missiles with ranges
of longer than 400 miles are forbidden to Iraq.

‹ An alcohol factory was also inspected. The purpose of the inspection could
not be immediately determined, but alcohol is a component of many chemical

Dec. 1, 2002

‹ Weapons inspectors searched an airfield north of Baghdad for a "Zubaidy,"
a device that could spray deadly biological contaminants. Inspectors ignored
more than a dozen helicopters while they nosed around holding tanks that
could have been used for aviation fuel. Though the United Nations teams said
nothing publicly about their mission that day, it was clear they were
hunting for biological or chemical weapons.

Nov. 30, 2002

‹ The Balad military base, 50 miles north of Baghdad, was inspected for
three hours. According to an Iraqi escort, the base housed a unit equipped
to counter chemical attacks. The inspectors may have been looking for signs
of atropine, a civilian medication that can be used to fight the effects of
nerve agents, which Iraq has reportedly stockpiled.

Nov. 29, 2002

‹ No inspections take place on Friday, the Muslim sabbath.

Nov. 28, 2002

‹ Inspections took place at the al-Dawrah plant, ostensibly used for making
animal vaccines, which earlier U.N. inspections determined produced deadly
botulinum toxins in the 1980s. British intelligence suspected it of
developing anthrax. Iraq announced last year it would renovate the plant for
animal vaccines.

‹ The al-Nasr complex, 30 miles north of Baghdad, owned by the Ministry of
Industry, was also inspected. In the past, al-Nasr produced "special
munitions," particularly aerial bombs that were believed to hold chemical
agents. The complex also was used to extend the range of Scud missiles
imported from the former Soviet Union.

Nov. 27, 2002

‹ Iraq's state-run al-Tahadi factory, which Iraq says produces water pumps
and cement mixers, was the first site to be inspected. The factory, 6 miles
east of Baghdad, was scrutinized by U.N. weapons inspectors in the 1990s.

‹ Al-Rafah, a huge expanse behind 7-foot-high walls at the Graphite Rod
Factory, a sprawling military-run complex 25 miles southwest of Baghdad, was
also searched. The inspection lasted about five hours.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


BAGHDAD, Dec. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- UN arms inspectors Monday visited the
Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in Baghdad University,
their first visit to an Iraqi academic facility since resuming search for
weapons of mass destruction on Nov. 27.

A team of biological experts from the United Nations Monitoring,Verification
and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) completed full inspection of the
building with the assistance of the director of the institute and chiefs of
two departments, the experts' spokesman Hiro Ueki said in a statement.

The institute, engaged in training, teaching and research activities in
biotechnology and genetic engineering, is a new site included in recent
Iraqi declarations.

The team then paid a return visit to the Al Amiryah Serum and Vaccine
Institute in Baghdad to seek clarifications from the formerdirector of the

The biological experts "took physical inventory of the instituteand took
some samples," said the statement.

Another two UNMOVIC teams of missile inspectors visited the SaadGeneral
Company and the Taji fiberglass plant respectively, both ofwhich were
allegedly involved in missile activities.

The Saad facility, located in central Baghdad and owned by IraqiMilitary
Industrialization Commission, is an engineering firm specializing in
"engineering design, construction and commissioning of projects," Ueki said.

The facility "hires a number of personnel from the former nuclear weapons
program organization, Petrochemical Complex-3 (PC-3)," the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, two teams from the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA)
visited a total of seven sites, most of which were suspectedof engaging in
prohibited nuclear weapons projects.

On Monday, UN arms inspectors visited a total of 14 suspected sites in Iraq
searching for weapons of mass destruction.

Currently over 100 UN arms experts carried out their almost daily field
operations in Iraq. So far, no conflicts between the inspectors and their
Iraqi "minders" have been reported. The experts are expected to submit their
first report to the UN Security Council about Iraq's weapons programs on
Jan. 27.

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