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Sunday, October 10, 2004

A Safer Place, Part Whatever

From the LA Times:
Insurgent networks across Iraq are increasingly trying to acquire and use toxic nerve gases, blister agents and germ weapons against U.S. and coalition forces, according to a CIA report. Investigators said one group recruited scientists and sought to prepare poisons over seven months before it was dismantled in June.

U.S. officials say the threat is especially worrisome because leaders of the previously unknown group, which investigators dubbed the "Al Abud network," were based in the city of Fallouja near insurgents aligned with fugitive militant Abu Musab Zarqawi. The CIA says Zarqawi, who is blamed for numerous attacks on U.S. forces and beheadings of hostages, has long sought to use chemical and biological weapons against targets in Europe as well as Iraq.

An exhaustive report released last week by Charles A. Duelfer, the CIA's chief weapons investigator in Iraq, concluded that Saddam Hussein destroyed his stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s and never tried to rebuild them. But a little-noticed section of the 960-page report says the risk of a "devastating" attack with unconventional weapons has grown since the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq last year.
Which of course makes aerial bombardment of "safe houses" not only an incredibly immoral terrorist war crime, but obscenely stupid as well.