Iraq reportedly used trucks for biological program

| Thursday, May 29, 2003

Two trucks found in northern Iraq filled with laboratory equipment are the strongest evidence yet that Saddam Hussein had a biological weapons program, the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency said in a May 28 report, The Associated Press reported.

No actual prohibited weapons were found in the trucks, but intelligence officials say the vehicles fit the description of a mobile biological weapons laboratory received from an Iraqi source. That source, a chemical engineer who claims to have managed one of the mobile labs, identified photographs of the captured trailers, the new intelligence report says.

While the new report describes the trailers ''as the strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare program,'' U.S. officials have not reported finding any proof that Iraq had such weapons ready for use.

The report says the first truck was captured by Kurdish allies in late April and turned over to U.S. forces. The second, though already looted, was found by U.S. forces in early May at the al-Kindi Research, Testing, Development and Engineering facility in Mosul.

''Examination of the trailers reveals that all of the equipment is permanently installed and interconnected, creating an ingeniously simple, self-contained bioprocessing system,'' the report says. ''The trailers probably are part of a two- or possibly three-trailer unit. Both trailers we have found probably are designed to produce (biological weapon) agent in unconcentrated liquid slurry.''

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