Former UNSCOM inspector believes Iraq already has nuclear weapons
Are there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Did they get smuggled out of Iraq or are they hidden, and if so, where? In the late 1990s, weapons inspector Bill Tierney was held at gunpoint and not allowed to inspect one particular facility he believes could be the motherlode of WMD. Yet, that very site is still not even on the list of sites visited by the Hans Blix inspectors. Why? Tierney also has Arabic documents showing that Saddam Hussein smuggled Weapons of Mass Destruction out of Iraq.
Tierney has been a guest on major talk show networks and on popular programs on CNN and Fox News, Sean Hannity, etc. (from www.special-guests.com - contact to book Bill Tierney).
I have seen enough to convince me that the Iraqis do have nukes, and I know exactly where they enriched the uranium to do so. For some time now, experts have said Iraq is moving towards a nuclear weapon. Secretary of State Powell emphasized Saddam's intense desire to obtain a nuclear weapon in his presentation before the Security Council.
Just how much time must pass before people are willing to say the Iraqis have arrived? Even the skeptics admit that the lingering obstacle has been accumulating enough enriched uranium for a weapon. Without unambiguous evidence, most commentators are unwilling to make the call that the Iraqis have nukes. As a former inspector and intelligence analyst involved with nominating inspection targets, allow me to lay out my case that the Iraqis have succeeded.
As groundwork, the Iraqis successfully ran a nuclear weapons development program during the eighties and hide it not only from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but Western intelligence agencies as well. We know and appreciate how skilled they are at concealment.
Shortly after the start of weapons inspections in 1991, the Iraqis went to extraordinary efforts to move uranium enrichment equipment, specifically electro-magnetic isotope separation (EMIS) using calutrons, away from inspectors. I will refer to this as the Kay Inspection, after David Kay, the chief inspector on the ground. The Iraqis claimed to have unilaterally destroyed this equipment, but Khidr Hamza, formerly a nuclear weapons designer, stated in his book "Saddam's Bombmaker," that Iraq has the machine tools to easily rebuild this uranium enrichment equipment.
In 1996, during an inspection of Tuwaitha Nuclear Weapon Research Facility, the Iraqis attempted to drive a vehicle past a checkpoint with a document from the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council. This document referred to mysterious coded projects. After we found the document, the Iraqis first tried to wrest it away in a tug of war, then managed to regain the document through another counter-inspection tactic. This is an incredible amount of effort to hide information from UNSCOM. Tuwaitha is the workshop for constructing the bomb.
In September 1997, I took part in an interview inspection regarding the movement and concealment of uranium enrichment equipment from the Kay Inspection. Scott Ritter had identified units and personnel involved with the concealment. Instead of providing these personnel, the Iraqis sent senior officers of the Special Republican Guards (SRG), along with intelligence officers and Jaffar Dhia Jaffar, head of the "atomic energy" program. These officers attempted to pass off a pathetic cover story, which was promptly shredded. Scott then explained what actually happened, and that he believed the Iraqis still had the nuclear enrichment equipment. The Iraqis attempted to hide their panic.
The 4th Special Republican Guard Battalion was the unit that moved the nuclear enrichment equipment away from the Kay Inspection. I inspected this unit with Scott Ritter in June of 1997. The Iraqis held us up for a long period before allowing entry, while their minder in the UNSCOM helicopter caused a diversion by lunging for the flight controls.
Amir Al-Saadi, our high level escort, removed any mention of the unit commander during the time of the Kay Inspection, knowing that we would request to interview him. After the inspection, I learned that the Iraqis were extremely concerned that we would attempt to inspection a nearby, unnamed, location. They would not allow us in under any circumstances.
From having been on the inspection, I knew this information was referring to Jabal Makhul Presidential Site. This is an extremely large site that takes up a swath of the Hamrin Mountain range. Its location makes it perfect for drilling deep tunnels into the side of the mountain. We inspected this site in September 1997. General Muhammad Amir Rashid, a senior advisor to Saddam, drove 140 miles from Baghdad to the site, got out of his car, stated "there will be no inspection of this facility," got back in his car and drive off - completely against protocol.
In 2001, the London Sunday Times published an article by Gwynne Roberts on an Iraqi defector who claimed the Iraqis had several nuclear weapons in a heavily guarded bunker under the Hamrin Mountains. Jabal Makhul Presidential Site is the most heavily guarded location in the Hamrin Mountains. From the additional detail provided by this source, I knew in my gut that this information was true. This explains why the Iraqis almost crashed the helicopter during the inspection at the 4th SRG Battalion - to keep it from going over the mountain to inspect the inside of Jabal Makhul Presidential Site. The Iraqis may still store the weapons there, although any sensitive items were probably moved out before the presidential site "inspection" of March 1998, then again before the latest round of inspections.
So if the Iraqis do have nukes, where did they enrich the uranium? I believe the answer lies beneath what appears to the World as a power generation station for a water treatment plant in the vicinity of 3337North04420East. A number of indicators point to this facility as a uranium enrichment processing plant. I do not have authority to discuss these indicators.
Further investigation of this facility with technical intelligence means revealed inconsistencies with a normal power generation plant. High-tension power lines lead to the plant, but if it is not producing electricity, then the wires could provide electricity needed for the uranium enrichment. Electro-magnetic isotope separation's major disadvantage is the large amount of electricity required.
A foreign contractor started to build this water treatment plant after the Gulf War, but halted half way through on the Iraqis' request. This allowed the Iraqis to document the "benign" intent of the facility, only later to finish it to the specifications required for a uranium enrichment plant.
In addition, this water treatment plant is only a few miles south and on the same side of the river at Tarmiya nuclear weapons research facility. Tarmiya was discovered to be the center for EMIS after the war. Workers could drive their cars to Tarmiya and then take a shuttle bus to where they really worked. U.S. satellites would see activity at Tarmiya, with only a car or two at the water treatment plant. In addition, it is in a very pro-Saddam and secure area of Iraq.
After the hue and cry of civilian suffering from damage to water treatment plants after the Gulf War, what better place than a water treatment plant to hide a nuclear weapons facility?
This facility was installed in approximately 1996. Did it run, or was it just being prepared for operations after the sanctions? I believe the Iraqis' steadfast refusal to allow random airborne radiation monitoring indicates that the facility has been active.
The water treatment plant was inspected three times in the early nineties, but never to check on an underground chamber under the power generation plant. On one inspection, the team examined a liquid nitrogen plant near the water treatment plant because they suspected a connection to Tarmiya Nuclear Research Facility. Nitrogen is used as an EMIS diffusion pump coolant. The inspectors' concern was a connection to Tarmiya, but the nitrogen was really intended for the nearby under-ground EMIS plant.
I brought this to the attention of WMD analysts within the U.S. government, but they were not interested, based on the no findings from the previous UNSCOM/IAEA inspections. I disagree with their assessment.
Why make this public? Won't the Iraqis just scramble and move everything before the inspectors arrive? They may get some or all of the machined parts out, but there is no way they can fit an underground chamber on the back of a truck. They probably won't be able to mask radiation either.
Furthermore, it is possible that if the inspections run their course without investigating these sites, and Saddam faces a military attack, he could announce then that he has nuclear weapons as a means to deter our invasion of Iraq.
Mr. Blix, Mr. Baradei, please inspect within the area circled on the accompanying map. Look for a chimney or the remnants thereof, follow the power lines, and check for a ramped entrance. The ramp will be concealed against overhead detection. Your ground-penetrating radar teams should be able to find it. If I am wrong, then it will only mean three hours and a few gallons of gasoline lost. Please inspect this site.
Tierney is a former UNSCOM inspector and intelligence analyst at Central
Command HQ. He currently works as an international background investigator
for Owens OnLine, Inc.
Background on Bill Tierney:
Tierney is available by special request to conduct media interviews on
the topics of:
In addition to his knowledge of Iraq, Mr. Tierney worked as interpreter/interrogator at Camp X-Ray Guantanamo Bay January, February 2002
The Wall Street Journal tentatively accepted an editorial by Mr. Tierney scheduled to run in the Friday, Feb. 14, 2003 edition, but made an eleventh hour decision not to run it.
Bill Tierney entered the Army in 1983 after studying classical guitar at the Hartt School of Music and the Royal Conservatory, Madrid Spain.
Trained in Arabic language and Iraqi dialect (honor graduate) and interrogation
Became warrant officer in 1990.
Participated in Gulf War as liaison officer to Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Egyptians. Was interrogator during ground offensive phase.
Obtained Master Degree in Middle East Studies - Arabic in 1993.
Led counterintelligence team at Haitian Refugee Camp, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba 1994.
Stationed at Central Command HQ 1995 as command interpreter, intelligence analyst, and targeting specialist.
Participated in nine UNSCOM inspections 1996 - 1998, most focused on the Iraqi concealment mechanism.
Left the Army in July 2000 .
Worked as linguist at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia August 2000 to Sept., 2001.
Worked as interpreter/interrogator at Camp X-Ray Guantanamo Bay January, Feb., 2002
Hired as international background investigator, compliance officer, sales and marketing, project officer with Owens Online, Inc. Tampa FL August 2002.
to Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq.