Did Saddam outsource his nuclear research to Lybia?
There is much more. This puts into context some of the new information in the Saddam tapes indicating that they had moved the nuclear program out of the country.
Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS. Discussion and analysis of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs relating to the former Iraqi Administration of Pres. Saddam Hussein has seriously — and virtually from the beginning — missed the point. By focusing entirely on Iraqi WMD programs within the physical borders of Iraq, and by refusing to discuss contextual issues, the arguments missed the point that the bulk of the Iraqi WMD work since 1991 was conducted outside the borders of the country, this being a result of the lesson which Saddam derived from the 1991 Coalition war against him.
There is a very substantial, historical chain of intelligence — much of which has been cited and verified by Global Information System (GIS) HUMINT sources over the past 14 years and some of which has been verified by external sources — resoundingly confirming this position, which can be summarized as follows:
1. Documents Moved to Syria: In essence, documentation of that small portion of the WMD program which was administered directly in Iraq was moved, along with other sensitive material and resources, to the Hshishi Compound at al-Qamishli (Kamishli) in Syria, just near the Iraqi border, in August-September 2002. This was noted by GIS at that time.1
2. R&D Conducted in Libya: The great bulk of the work on WMD and on associated missile delivery systems, however, was conducted since 1991 in a partnership with Libya, and also with Egypt, at facilities in Libya, in order to keep the programs away from US and United Nations (UN) probes. That, too, was noted by GIS.2
Assuming that these two points can be demonstrated, does this, then, constitute a failure of US, British and other foreign intelligence? Or does it constitute a failure not just of intelligence, but also a failure of policymakers and policy-level managers of the intelligence communities in the West to allow or encourage an examination of the Iraq situation within a broader strategic context?
From 1991 onwards, Saddam was principally focused on the fact that the UN had a mandate — a search warrant — to inspect all of the physical territory of Iraq. That meant that maintaining any meaningful research and development (R&D) facilities or test capabilities on prohibited weapons within the borders of the country would be virtually impossible. But, given that the “search warrant” extended only within the confines of Iraq, it was logical and expedient that any WMD R&D should be conducted under Iraqi control, but outside the country’s borders.
Sir, where was the Nuclear material transported to? A number of them were transported outside of Iraq. *** Sir, about the Nuclear program, we say that we have uncovered everything. In addition, we have an unannounced problem with the Nuclear program, and I think they know about it. I mean, there is working teams that are working and some of these teams are not known to anyone.Could some of the other WMD turned over by Lybia also have come from Iraq? This looks like some interesting dots of information that may lead to answers on material that is still unaccounted for.
This theory could explain a lot of events that have continued to puzzle people such as the Iraqi inquiry in Niger about the purchase of yellow cake uranium. If they had an ongoing program in Lybia they would need the feed stock. It would also explain why intelligence indicated he was trying to reconstitute his nuclear program. One of the interesting coincidences to Lybia's timing in turning over the program was the capture of Saddam. If Lybia feared that Saddam would disclose their joint venture, he needed to get rid of the stuff most ricky-tick or share Saddam's fate.