It made some news when former British foreign secretary Robin Cook, who resigned from the Cabinet over the Iraq war, said: “There were no international terrorists in Iraq until we went in. It was we who gave the perfect conditions in which al Qaeda could thrive.”
Now, news organizations around the world are quoting the IAEA in saying:
Nearly 400 tons of conventional explosives that can be used in the kind of car bomb attacks that have targeted US-led coalition forces in Iraq for months have vanished from a former Iraqi military installation, the UN nuclear agency said Monday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said it fears the explosives may have fallen into insurgents’ hands. Diplomats questioned why the United States didn’t do more to secure the facility, which they say posed a well-known threat of being looted.
This was from The Jerusalem Post, it’s just one of many such stories tracked by Google News. For perspective “the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 used less than a pound of the material of the type stolen from Al Qaqaa.” Al Qaqaa, of course, is the Iraqi site that was supposed to be under US control.
Defense Tech got whiff of this story two weeks ago when it reported that the IAEA had “satellite imagery [that showed] that entire buildings in Iraq have been dismantled. They once housed high-precision equipment that could help a government or terror group make nuclear bombs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.” The followup yesterday, and added these details:
United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished after the American invasion last year…
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions they found throughout the country.
Of course, there’s a story about how the White House and DoD have been trying keep the story hushed, but…
This is one of several “missing deadly weapons” scandals to break in Iraq. In the middle of the month, we heard about the nuclear equipment buildings that simply disappeared from the world’s satellite screens. And in the summer of 2003, we learned that radioactive materials — good for a dirty bomb — had vanished from Iraq’s al-Tuwaitha facility.”
Finally, back to the quote from Robin Cook:
In terrorist-ridden Iraq, the possibility of serious weaponry falling into the hands of the enemy and being deployed against American troops and conceivably American citizens is unforgivable. The whole point of the invasion was to prevent this kind of transfer from taking place. Yet, thanks to this administration, it may have precipitated it.
So, now, terrorists have the people, the conditions, and the arms to really cause trouble like they never could have before.