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Rats or Humans? Inside Saddam's Extermination Plant [Aug. 2002]
Originally in the Sydney Morning Herald (http://www.smh.com.au/ ) thru "The Iraqi Foundation" ^ | August 29, 2002

Posted on 06/05/2003 10:12:15 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl

Rats or Humans? Inside Saddam's Extermination Plant
(August 29, 2002)

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/

He was introduced as director of research and development at Falluja, one of the remote factories where the United States claims Saddam Hussein could be making chemical and biological weapons.

Asked if he had worked on any of Saddam's chemical weapons programs, Dr Mohammed Frah played a straight bat: "In the early 1980s I worked for five years on the chemical and biological programs at Al-Muthanna."

This is the name of a critical centre in Saddam's weapons program - a huge pesticide complex that produced thousands of tonnes of deadly chemical agents - including sarin, cyclosarin and mustard - for weapons of mass destruction.

The plant, 50 kilometres north of Falluja, was partly demolished by bombs during the 1991 Gulf War, but not before most of its stockpiles had been trucked out. United Nations inspection teams finished its demolition in 1994.

But yesterday it soon emerged that Dr Frah was not the only Al-Muthanna alumnus at Falluja. The manager of the Falluja plant, Dr Jamal Hider Hassan, said he had spent much of his career there, and when asked how many of his staff of 200 might also have served at Al-Muthanna, he said: "About 80 per cent."

That's the sort of morning it was at Falluja, a complex that some in the US intelligence establishment call "the devil's kitchen", believing it has become the pivotal plant in Saddam's attempt to recover his prowess in weapons of mass destruction.

The Herald was a guest of two of Saddam's most senior bureaucrats - the directors-general of information and weapons monitoring - and the purpose of driving 80km into the desert was to be shown that there was no weapons program at Falluja.

There would be access to all buildings and staff and no restrictions on questions. But that is not quite how it ended up.

There are three separate sets of buildings at Falluja. Access was allowed into only one set and the tour ended abruptly minutes after Dr Frah admitted to his years at Al-Muthanna. And although a visit to his laboratory was implied, it did not happen.

The experience gave an understanding of what Scott Ritter, the former chief UN weapons inspector, meant when he was asked a few weeks ago what Saddam might be up to in weapons development. Mr Ritter said: "I'd be the first to admit I have no idea what has gone on inside Iraq since 1998 [when we left the country]." If someone could demonstrate that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and continued to develop them, then Iraq was a rogue nation. "But no-one has made that case yet."

At the beginning of the tour, Dr Hassan pulled packets and bottles from cartons, declaring each a part of a legitimate range of agricultural and domestic pesticides.

"This is for rats," he said, holding up a plastic sachet of Chemoshan that had the black silhouette of a rodent on its yellow label. "And this is for termites," he said, brandishing a bottle labelled Chemoshan 48TC.

But there was also a stack of blue drums produced by Bayer AG and labelled "Coumatetralyl", described as a tracking powder.

The complex reeked of chemical odours, but nothing suggested high-tech equipment or sophistication science. The men wore soiled overalls, not white coats.

In a dusty work area with spare and decrepit looking production plant, Dr Hassan said: "This is where we formulate the pesticides - Malothine for general agriculture, Dorespan for termites and Somusadin for insects."

Dr Husan Mohammed Ameen, director-general of monitoring, said he could not understand the US attitude because it knew what had been happening at the plant.

The UN monitoring teams had made more than 250 inspection visits, and permanent cameras and sensors had daily relayed information to the UN bunker in Baghdad until the US bombing after inspectors left in 1998.

And there was some proof of this. Each of the big tanks on this production line had been bar-coded by the UN. The sticker on one read UNSCOM0003039.

Dr Ameen: "The US allegations about this plant are ridiculous. I want to reiterate that we have adhered to all the requirements of the UN Security Council."

Standing beside a tank on which a notice said "eye protection must be worn" and near another marked "wear hand protection", he said: "You are here to see that there is no prohibited activity and that none of the staff is taking special precautions - there are no face masks and none of the buildings is sealed in the way that they would have to be if this was a [weapons of mass destruction] plant."

He then cracked a chemo-political joke, which he insisted was an accident of translation. Searching for the English word "weed" to explain the purpose of a line of virulent herbicide, he said: "This is the plant for pesticides against the bush ... I mean undesirable plants."

At Falluja's castor oil plant, Dr Ameen explained that until UN inspectors left in 1998 there had been no complaints from them about this complex. But then it transpired that the UN teams had in fact destroyed some laboratory equipment at the plant in 1997.

Asked what it was, he again was disarmingly frank: "It was a small amount of laboratory equipment, the sort that you might find in a school laboratory. There was some larger equipment too and we accepted its destruction as well. It was equipment that we evacuated to this place from Al-Muthanna in 1991 ... because we wanted to get it away from the bombing."

In a new section of the factory, which Dr Ameen suspected was the reason for the renewed US interest in Falluja, he explained how a few months ago several big tanks had been trucked in for a pesticide plant. "Maybe their satellites saw the trucks coming in and the work being done."

Against a far wall dozens of drums were stacked, each bearing a skull-and-cross-bones symbol. The labels said they contained tetra ethyl lead BC, produced in France and imported under UN permit OC 830078. Dr Ameen said the drums were empty, and were there only as containers to distribute the new line of pesticide.

Near the vacant lot where the castor oil plant had stood was a restored packing shed. No-one could explain why it appeared to have a reinforced concrete roof. Dr Ameen said: "That depends on the philosophy of the building's designer. Maybe it's good for ventilation."

What was the castor oil plant for? To make brake fluid for cars and trucks. Why did the US insist on bombing such a humble venture? The castor oil seed husks could be treated to produce a biological toxin called ricin.

Dr Hassan: "But we have never produced ricin in Iraq. It's very difficult to do."

Soon after came the introduction to Dr Frah and his acknowledgement of his background in chemical weapons, and the tour was over.

The Herald was presented with a bottle of ice-cold Pepsi and pointed towards Baghdad.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 1991; 1994; 1997; 1998; 200208; almuthana; almuthanna; ameen; axisofweasels; bayer; bayerag; biologicalweapons; bioweapons; castorbeans; castoroil; chemicalweapons; chemoshan; chemoshan48tc; coumatetralyl; cyclosarin; devilskitchen; dorespan; drums; dualuse; dursban; falluja; fallujah; frah; france; gas; germany; hassan; herbicide; husanameen; husanmohammedameen; insecticide; insecticides; iraq; iraqiscientists; iraqiwmd; iraqwmd; irsqiwmd; jamalhassan; jamalhiderhassan; labequipment; laboratories; labs; libmyths; lies; malothine; malothion; massdestruction; mohammedfrah; mustard; mustardgas; muthana; muthanna; pesticide; pesticidecomplex; pesticidefactory; pesticideplant; pesticides; pests; poisonplots; poisons; rats; reconstitute; ricin; saddamhussein; sanctions; sarin; scientists; smuggling; somusadin; tanks; termites; tetraethyl; tetraethyllead; tetraethylleadbc; truckconvoy; trucks; unscom; wmd; wmds
Related link:

FAS (Fed Am Scientist) Report: Iraqi Precursor Chemicals Stored Separately for Weapon-side Mixing, "duel-use" (?), + WMD links.

1 posted on 06/05/2003 10:12:17 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
I did feel that most of the media dismissed the WMD claims as "pesticides" just a little too quickly - organic phosphates have a number of applications, and human beings are considered "pests" by quite a broad range of people.
2 posted on 06/05/2003 10:27:09 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Bump.
3 posted on 06/05/2003 10:28:48 AM PDT by k2blader (Haruspex, beware.)
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To: Billthedrill
Yes, those buried 55 gallon drums were suspicious...as were the missiles tipped with hoses and/or fitted w/ reservoirs - not to mention the factory covered with sand and disguised from satellite view...so many stories the press neglected to investigate further.
***Operation Infinite Freedom - Situation Room - 5 JUN 03/Day 78***
4 posted on 06/05/2003 10:34:06 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (.."the most basic thing about post-Saddam Iraq: for all the "anarchy", no one's fleeing.~ Mark Steyn)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Dr Hassan: "But we have never produced ricin in Iraq. It's very difficult to do."

Utter, total BS. You can do it in your kitchen witha Mister Coffee.

5 posted on 06/05/2003 11:13:40 AM PDT by Gorzaloon (Contents may have settled during shipping, but this tagline contains the stated product weight.)
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To: All
300 Sacks Castor Beans Found In Iraq By U.S.Troops[per MSNBC] ^
      ~ June 25, 2003

6 posted on 06/26/2003 5:03:11 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl (There has been a lot of action lately-a lot of it INSTIGATED by Coalition forces.-Gen Myers, Jun 24)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Near the vacant lot where the castor oil plant had stood was a restored packing shed. No-one could explain why it appeared to have a reinforced concrete roof. Dr Ameen said: "That depends on the philosophy of the building's designer. Maybe it's good for ventilation."

What was the castor oil plant for? To make brake fluid for cars and trucks. Why did the US insist on bombing such a humble venture? The castor oil seed husks could be treated to produce a biological toxin called ricin.

Dr Hassan: "But we have never produced ricin in Iraq. It's very difficult to do."


Oh??? How do you KNOW???
7 posted on 06/26/2003 5:58:06 AM PDT by Elsie (Any misspellings are caused by a sticky keyboard!! [that darn ol' Coke!])
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; Cindy
In a new section of the factory, which Dr Ameen suspected was the reason for the renewed US interest in Falluja, he explained how a few months ago several big tanks had been trucked in for a pesticide plant. "Maybe their satellites saw the trucks coming in and the work being done."

Interesting old article in light of the recent ricin mailings and in light of news that Syria used wmd in an attack...

8 posted on 04/27/2013 6:53:30 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
update of this old article you posted years ago... and the Iraqi scientist is claiming everything there is for civilian purposes, including the newly installed tanks the reporters can see right there.

Note that this is the place where the NY Times admits in 2014 still has chemical weapons and is now under the control of terrorists. And the Times tries to claim it's all from the 1980s.

9 posted on 10/17/2014 9:46:49 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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To: piasa

Same al Muthanna complex [which is vast] :

Dragons Egg : Marines Who Guarded Saddam’s Mysterious Bunker Fear Weapons Unleashed Oct 2014
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/10/17/dragon-egg-marines-who-guarded-saddam-mysterious-bunker-fear-weapons-unleashed/


10 posted on 10/17/2014 9:54:40 PM PDT by piasa (Attitude adjustments offered here free of charge)
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