Where are Iraqi WMDs? Try Syria

Geostrategy Intelligence

Week of July 29, 2003

Unlike its counterparts in the United States and Great Britain, Israeli intelligence hasn't gone on the defensive over the mystery of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Israeli intelligence chiefs questioned by a parliamentary committee say they are certain Iraq has biological and chemical weapons as well as a nuclear weapons infrastructure.

Over the past 18 months, they say, the Saddam regime has transferred components of Baghdad's WMD programs to Syria. The components included equipment, material and even scientists.

Saddam's goal was to deny the United States and the United Nations any evidence that could definitely prove that Iraq has WMD.

What Saddam did was to preserve all of the dual-use elements of WMD — which is considerable — and conceal all the military elements of the program.

The effort was designed to allow Saddam to quickly assemble WMD once the UN went home. Only a handful of the Iraqi WMD community knew all the components of the biological and chemical weapons. The rest knew only pieces of the picture.

Israeli intelligence believes that many of the components were also hidden in the desert in western Iraq as well as in the homes of Iraqis in the Sunni Triangle. With a country the size of Texas, the search for WMD would represent a jigsaw puzzle that could take years.