WWW Opinion Times

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

UN: Iraqi Nuclear-Related Materials Have Vanished

Alarming news from Iraq: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is reporting that it has reviewed satellite data and found evidence that Iraq's former nuclear testing facilities have been ransacked under the noses of the Coalition forces. No news yet from the Bush administration on whether they believe this is a validation of their claims that Iraq had functional capability to use weapons of mass destruction.

Here's a link to the story
"UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons are disappearing from Iraq but neither Baghdad nor Washington appears to have noticed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported on Monday."

Satellite imagery shows 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.

Equipment and materials helpful in making bombs also have been removed from open storage areas in Iraq and disappeared without a trace, according to the satellite pictures, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

Wasn't El-Baradei sitting with Hans Blix in the UN Security Council chiding the US for believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Didn't Hans Blix complain that the US and Britain and other governments weren't making intelligence available to them to back the claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction? What about the chiding of the international community who blamed the United States and Great Britain of falsifying intelligence reports of Iraq's nuclear weapons capabilities?

I agree with Andrew Sullivan that if these facilities have been looted by the Iraqi insurgents there could be serious problems with nuclear terrorism in Europe and the United States. It could even be envisioned that Al Queda, if they took possession of such materials, could explode one in some more remote area of, say, Africa and attempt to break the resolve of the West and its allies by laying itself out as a nuclear power on par with bona fide nations. This is truly a situation which should alarm the world community.

Sounds like a good reason to use pre-emptive means to thwart the spread of global terrorism.