Report: Mustard Gas Used in Baghdad

WorldNetDaily — 1st chemical attack by terrorists in Iraq: Sources report mustard gas inside Baghdad’s Green Zone

A day after the head of the CIA weapons inspection team warned that terrorists in Iraq are trying to get their hands on the Saddam Hussein regime’s chemical weapons of mass destruction, Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin reports the first attack with these weapons of mass destruction has been launched inside Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Few details are available, including any casualties associated with the attack using mustard gas. The sources say the munitions were old, but still potentially lethal. “I think it’s safe to say our little friends know where the cache is now,” said one source sardonically.

The Green Zone is the area of Baghdad where the U.S.-led coalition authority established its headquarters in the immediate aftermath of the invasion in April last year.

On Thursday, Charles Duelfer, the head of the CIA weapons inspection team, said terrorists in Iraq are seeking chemical arms and expertise left over from the Hussein regime for possible use against U.S. and allied troops. He added that his team has so far found as many as a dozen chemical-filled bombs – far more than previously reported. “What we are finding is that there are some networks that are seeking to tap into … this expertise, and try to use it against the United States,” Duelfer told Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume. “And we are very concerned about that. That is a problem.” Duelfer said that investigations into arms laboratories in Iraq and interviews with former Iraqi arms specialists revealed that “former experts in the country’s weapons of mass destruction program are being recruited by anti-coalition groups.” “They are being paid by anti-coalition groups,” he said. “We’re seeing interest in developing chemical munitions.”

Asked whether anything suggests that insurgents actually are getting the expertise or may be ready to use it, Duelfer said: “We want to follow that very, very closely.” Duelfer expressed special concern that al-Qaida associate Abu Musab Zarqawi will acquire and use chemical weapons. Zarqawi, he said, “is one bad actor, and if he gets his hands on it, he’ll use it.” The Jordanian-born Islamist, believed to be the leader of the foreign insurgents in Iraq, is known to be a specialist in bomb making. U.S. officials believe al-Zarqawi was behind the coordinated attacks earlier this week that killed at least 100 people and wounded about 320.

Duelfer said his inspection team has uncovered bombs filled with blistering mustard gas or the nerve agent sarin. “We’re not sure how many more are out there that haven’t been found, but we’ve found 10 or 12 sarin and mustard rounds,” he said. “I’m reluctant to judge what that means at this point, but there’s other aspects of the program which we still have to flush out.”

In May, U.S. military officials found a bomb containing chemicals to form sarin gas and another with a mustard agent – weapons Saddam was required to destroy under U.S. sanctions and terms of the cease-fire from the 1990-91 Gulf war.

The Washington Times reports military officials have uncovered about 8,700 weapons depots and continue to find new ones. They estimate the weapons depots in Iraq contain between 650,000 and 1 million tons of arms, which are believed to be a source for anti-coalition forces.

This is a report from an ideologically-motivated site which relies entirely on a subscription-only site owned by the same company, so the veracity of the report is suspect. One would think that news of this would have hit the mainstream press had it in fact occured.

Steven Taylor, Donald Sensing, and Jason Van Steenwyk are irritated that the Fox News report about the terrorist-WMD connection hasn’t been given wider coverage.

UPDATE: Bill Gertz has addition coverage of the weapons find story, although no word of actual use.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    The quote, from a different post, has nothing whatever to do with what we’re talking about.

  2. Mustard Gas Used in Baghdad?
    From WorldNetDaily via Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin: A day after the head of the CIA weapons inspection team warned that terrorists in Iraq are trying to get their hands on the Saddam Hussein regime’s chemical weapons of mass destruction, Joseph…

  3. IRAQI INSURGENTS SEEKING CHEMICAL WEAPONS
    You know, I do hate to say “I told you so.” But, well…Insurgents in Iraq are seeking chemical arms and expertise left over from the regime of Saddam Hussein for possible use against U.S. and allied troops, an intelligence official…