Dan Darling, as usual, has a superb Winds of War roundup of articles on the war that are mostly under the radar screen. Of particular interest is a transcript of a recent Fox Special Report appearance of the always-provocative Mansoor Ijaz.

Well, Brit, what I have learned in the last 24 hours is that about three days ago in the northern part of Iraq, a convoy of trucks and jeeps and cars was brought across from Iran where some of the Kurdish Peshmergah — these are these Kurdish rebels that are sort of like Mujahideen, if I may put it that way, from the old Afghan War.

They intercepted one of those trucks that were carrying a large warhead that had extremely sophisticated plastic — C- 4 plastic explosives in it. And when the driver of that truck was put under interrogation, he then admitted that as many — there were a total of 30 warheads that apparently were scheduled to come across.

One of them got caught, and 29 made it across somehow or the other. Of those 29, we are told now that somewhere between six and 12 of them may have, in fact, been laden with chemical explosives that would be then attached to a rocket of some sort inside Iraq that’s already there in a separate convoy. And that those warheads would then be exploded over, for example, an encampment near the Coalition Provisional Authority or something like that.

Now, what alarmed me about this and the reason that I felt it was necessary to get this out as soon as possible, is because I have now heard three times in the last week, from separate sources that I have been talking to that something big is being planned for Baghdad. In which the idea that is being put forward is to kill as many as 3,000 to 5,000 people at one shot; something that would be similar to a World Trade Center type of attack. In that part of the world, the only way you could get that done is if you launched a massive chemical or biological attack.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    hmmmm- History tell me that Mansoor Ijaz is right more often then he is wrong. But somehow I’m skeptical of this report.

    Let’s hope he’s wrong on this one.

  2. James Joyner says:

    He’s a pretty well-connected guy. But one hopes this is the type of thing where having the prognostication out there makes it less likely that the act happens. Presumably, our intel folks got the info, too–or at least watch Fox News–and can head this off.

  3. I put Mansoor in the category as Debka. Not ‘always wrong,’ but I can’t recall an instance where their scoops panned out.

  4. Jim Henley says:

    In that part of the world, the only way you could get that done is if you launched a massive chemical or biological attack.

    I dunno. If I had to kill a bunch of people at once, I’d rather have a fuel-air bomb, a small plane and a suicide pilot. Even a ground burst with a fuel-air bomb might be more effective.

    There’s no way a single chem/bio warhead – particularly one a bunch of guerrillas could put together – is going to kill 3,000+. 5,000 died at Halabja. Halabja was a natural fishbowl, subjected to all day bombardment by chemical shells and conventional artillery, and the roads out were also shelled, preventing escape. And 5,000 was a minority of the people there at the time, IIRC.

    Things that make BIG explosions continue to beat hell out of things that hiss or undergo mitosis for “mass destruction.”

  5. James Joyner says:

    Jim: A good point. Indeed, chem-bio weapons scare the hell out of people but generally aren’t the most destructive–let alone controllable–weapons out there.

  6. Mike Spenis says:

    Here’s a thought – do our soldiers in Iraq currently keep their personal chemical protective gear close at hand? My guess is that they have not been doing this lately.

    If we start seeing photos of GIs with gas mask bags over their shoulders, then we’ll know that somebody is taking this seriously…

  7. James Joyner says:

    MP: Our soldiers keep their chemical gear close at hand when they’re running around the woods at Ft. Bragg. I guarantee you they are doing it now.

  8. Tom says:

    and yet its possible-likely even-that more than a few have forgotten to lug it about at one time or another. and this is all it takes for anything to happen to the gear.