Iraqi party insists intelligence on WMD was accurate
The Iraqi Al Wifaq movement (Iraqi National Accord Party) has denied a report, published on Tuesday by the London-based Guardian newspaper, which said the movement provided the British government with "false" information about Iraq's WMD. The information, provided by Al Wifaq, argued the former Iraqi regime could launch these weapons within 45 minutes. Despite this press report, the Iraqi movement is insisting that the previous information given to the British intelligence was accurate.
The Guardian claimed that a man by the name of Nick Theros who represented the movement's leader - Iyad Allawi - in Washington "admitted" that the information provided by Al Wifaq to Britain's MI6 "might have been completely untrue."
Ibrahim Al Janabi, secretary of the Al Wifaq movement, declared that he is not familiar with anyone called Theros working as personal representative for Iyad Allawi in Washington.
Janabi, speaking to Al Bawaba, said “all the information given to the British government was true and the source of the information was a leader of an Iraqi air-defense battalion. The information was also confirmed by other sources in the Iraqi air force…and also that Iraq had WMDs that could be launched within 45 minutes.”
Janabi added that the information was given to the British government at the end of 2002.
“We received this information from an air defense officer called Shaher Al Dabagh, who is also a member in the Al Wifaq movement. Colonel Dabagh said that instructions were given to train the air force on the use of missiles carrying chemical warheads that can be launched within 45 minutes,” Janabi disclosed.
Janabi added that colonel Dabagh was interviewed by a London daily The Sunday Telegraph on the 7th of December where he gave the same information about Iraq's WMD program. The interview indicated that colonel Dabagh was head of an air defense unit that operated in the western parts of Iraq. He also claimed that his unit was able to launch missiles within 30 minutes; however, the colonel did not disclose whether these missiles were equipped with chemical or biological warheads.
British PM Tony Blair stressed recently that he still believes that Iraq possessed WMDs before the war, and has asked all inspectors to continue looking for them. Blair had provided the British parliament with a dossier about Iraq in September 2002 that strongly supported the existance of an advanced WMD program for the former regime.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)