Online Special Reports:
Jan. 31, 2003:
ambassador to the U.N. Mohammed Aldouri responds to the accusations against
Jan. 30, 2003:
perspectives on the growing division in Europe over a possible U.S.-led war
Jan. 29, 2003:
to President Bush's warning that war may be inevitable
Two senators debate whether more
time is needed for U.N. inspectors in Iraq.
Secretary of State Colin Powell discusses
the U.S. position on Iraq.
Jan. 21, 2003:
Experts discuss France's suggestion it may veto
any new U.N. resolution authorizing military action against Iraq
of State Colin Powell discusses the U.N. negotiations with the Iraqis to readmit
Dec. 17, 2001:
U.S. Secretary of State comments on the Afghan war, and outlines steps for
peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
coverage of the White
House, the Middle
East and United
What I want you to know today is that Iraq has programs that are intended to produce
ballistic missiles that fly over a thousand kilometers. One program is pursuing
a liquid-fuel missile that would be able to fly more than 1,200 kilometers. And
you can see from this map as well as I can who will be in danger of these missiles.
As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence, Iraq has built
an engine test stand that is larger than anything it has ever had. Notice the
dramatic difference in size between the test stand on the left, the old one, and
the new one on the right. Note the large exhaust vent. This is where the flame
from the engine comes out.
The exhaust vent on the right test stand is
five times longer than the one on the left. The one on the left was used for short-range
missiles. The one on the right is clearly intended for long-range missiles that
can fly 1,200 kilometers.
This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since
then, the test stand has been finished and a roof has been put over it, so it
will be harder for satellites to see what's going on underneath the test stand.
Saddam Hussein's intentions have never changed. He is not developing the
missiles for self-defense. These are missiles that Iraq wants in order to project
power, to threaten, and to deliver chemical, biological and, if we let him, nuclear
Now, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs. Iraq has been working
on a variety of UAVs for more than a decade. This is just illustrative of what
an EAV -- UAV would look like.
This effort has included attempts to modify
for unmanned flight the MiG-21 and, with greater success, an aircraft called the
L-29. However, Iraq is now concentrating not on these airplanes but on developing
and testing smaller UAVs, such as this.
UAVs are well-suited for dispensing
chemical and biological weapons. There is ample evidence that Iraq has dedicated
much effort to developing and testing spray devices that -- being adapted for
UAVs. And in the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs, he has not told
One of these lies is graphically and indisputably demonstrated
by intelligence we collected on June 27th last year. According to Iraq's December
7th declaration, its UAVs have a range of only 80 kilometers.
But we detected
one of Iraq's newest UAVs in a test flight that went 500 kilometers, nonstop,
on autopilot in the racetrack pattern depicted here. Not only is this test well
in excess of the 150 kilometers that the United Nations permits, the test was
left out of Iraq's December 7th declaration. The UAV was flown around and around
and around in this circle, and so that its 80-kilometer limit really was 500 kilometers,
unrefueled and on autopilot, violative of all of its obligations under 1441.
The linkages over the past 10 years between Iraq's UAV program and biological
and chemical warfare agents are of deep concern to us.
Iraq could use
these small UAVs, which have a wingspan of only a few meters, to deliver biological
agents to its neighbors or, if transported, to other countries, including the
My friends, the information I have presented to you about
these terrible weapons and about Iraq's continued flaunting of its obligations
under Security Council Resolution 1441 links to a subject I now want to spend
a little bit of time on, and that has to do with terrorism.
Our concern is not just about these illicit weapons; it's the way that these
illicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terrorist organizations that
have no compunction about using such devices against innocent people around the
world. Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation
Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front
to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong
the intifada. And it's no secret that Saddam's own intelligence service was involved
in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.
I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister
nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic
terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly
terrorist network, headed by Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator
of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants.
Zarqawi, a Palestinian
born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan War more than a decade ago. Returning to
Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialties
and one of the specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted
the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive
training center camp, and this camp is located in Northeastern Iraq. You see a
picture of this camp.
The network is teaching its operative how to produce
ricin and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch
-- imagine a pinch of salt -- less than a pinch of ricin -- (gestures) -- eating
just this amount in your food would cause shock, followed by circulatory failure.
Death comes within 72 hours and there is no
antidote; there is no cure. It
Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating
in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein's controlled Iraq, but Baghdad
has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization Ansar al-Islam,
that controls this corner of Iraq.
In 2000, this agent offered al Qaeda
safe haven in the region. After we swept al Qaeda from Afghanistan, some of its
members accepted this safe haven. They remain there today.
activities are not confined to this small corner of northeast Iraq. He traveled
to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for
two months while he recuperated to fight another day. During this stay, nearly
two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations
These al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the
movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network,
and they've now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.
Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al Qaeda. These denials are
simply not credible. Last year, an al Qaeda associate bragged that the situation
in Iraq was, quote, "good"; that Baghdad could be transited quickly.
We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because they remain, even today,
in regular contact with his direct subordinates, including the poison cell plotters.
And they are involved in moving more than money and materiel. Last year, two suspected
al Qaeda operatives were arrested crossing from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were
linked to associates of theBaghdad cell, and one of them received training in
Afghanistan on how to use cyanide.
From his terrorist network in Iraq,
Zarqawi can direct his network in the Middle Eastand beyond. We in the United
States, all of us at the State Department, and the Agency for International Development,
we all lost a dear friend with the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Lawrence Foley in
Amman, Jordan last October. A despicable act was committed that day -- the assassination
of an individual whose sole mission was to assist the people of Jordan. The captured
assassin says his cell received money and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder.
After the attack, an associate of the assassin left Jordan to go to Iraq to obtain
weapons and explosives for further operations.
Iraqi officials protest
that they are not aware of the whereabouts of Zarqawi or of any of his associates.
Again, these protests are not credible. We know of Zarqawi's activities in
Baghdad. I described them earlier. And now, let me add one other fact. We asked
a friendly curity service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing
information bout him and his close associates. This service contacted Iraqi officials
twice, and we passed details that should have made it easy to find Zarqawi. The
network remains in Baghdad; Zarqawi still remains at large to come and go.
As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they represent in
Europe know, Zarqawi's terrorism is not confined to the Middle East. Zarqawi and
his network have plotted terrorist actions against countries including France,
Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia. According to detainees, Abu Atiyah
(ph), who graduated from Zarqawi's terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasked at least
nine North African extremists in 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison and
explosive attacks. Since last year, members of this network have be apprehended
in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives connected
to this global web have been arrested. The chart you are seeing shows the network
We know about this European network, and we know about it's links
to Zarqawi because he detainee who provided the information about the targets
also provided the names of members of the network. Three of those he identified
by name were arrested in France last December. In the apartments of the terrorists,
authorities found circuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to
make toxins. The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot also targeted
Britain. Later evidence again proved him right. When the British unearthed a cell
there just last month, one British police officer was murdered during the disruption
of the cell.
We also know that Zarqawi's colleagues have been active
in the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia, and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to which
they are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi's network say their goal
was to kill Russians with toxins.
We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring
Zarqawi and his subordinates. This understanding builds on decades-long experience
with respect to ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.
Going back to the early
and mid-1990s, when bin Laden was based in Sudan, an al Qaeda source tells us
that Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al Qaeda would no longer
support activities against Baghdad.
Early al Qaeda ties were forged by
secret high-level intelligence service contacts with al Qaeda -- secret Iraqi
intelligence high-level contacts with al Qaeda. We know members of both organizations
met repeatedly and have met at least eight times at very senior levels since the
early 1990s. In 1996, a foreign security service tells us that bin Laden met with
a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum and later met the director of
the Iraqi intelligence service.
Saddam became more interested as he saw
al Qaeda's appalling attacks. A detained al Qaeda member tells us that Saddam
was more willing to assist al Qaeda after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al Qaeda's attacks on the USS
Cole in Yemen in October 2000.
Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in
his new home in Afghanistan. A senior defector, one of Saddam's former intelligence
chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s
to provide training to al Qaeda members on document forgery. From the late 1990s
until 2001, the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan played the role of liaison to the al
Some believe, some claim these contacts do not amount
to much. They say Saddam Hussein's secular tyranny and al Qaeda's religious tyranny
do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition and hatred are enough
to bring Iraq and al Qaeda together, enough so al Qaeda could learn how to build
more sophisticated bombs and learn how to forge documents; and enough so that
al Qaeda could turn to Iraq for help in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass
And the record of Saddam Hussein's cooperation with other
Islamist terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, opened an office
in Baghdad in 1999, and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by Palestine Islamic
Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against
Al Qaeda continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons
of mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, I can trace
the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in
these weapons to al Qaeda.
Fortunately, this operative is now detained,
and he has told his story. I will relate it to you now as he himself described
This senior al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of al Qaeda's
training camps in Afghanistan. His information comes first-hand from his personal
involvement at senior levels of al Qaeda. He says bin Laden and his top deputy
in Afghanistan, deceased al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef, did not believe that al
Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or
biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else; they had to look outside
of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go,where did they look? They went to Iraq.
The support that Husseini describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological
weapons training for two al Qaeda associates, beginning in December 2000. He says
that a militant known as Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi had been sent to Iraq several times
between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdullah al- Iraqi
characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as "successful."
As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a surprise to any of
us. Terrorism has been a tool used by Saddam for decades. Saddam was a supporter
of terrorism long before these terrorist networks had a name, and this support
continues. The nexus of poisons and terror is new; the nexus of Iraq and terror
is old. The combination is lethal.
With this track record, Iraqi denials
of supporting terrorism take their place alongside the other Iraqi denials of
weapons of mass destruction. It is all a web of lies. When we confront a regime
that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction,
and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the
past, we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an
even more frightening future.
more than 20 years, by word and by deed, Saddam Hussein has pursued his ambition
to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle East using the only means he knows --
intimidation, coercion and annihilation of all those who might stand in his way.
For Saddam Hussein, possession of the world's most deadly weapons is the ultimate
trump card, the one he must hold to fulfill his ambition.
We know that
Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction. He's determined
to make more. Given Saddam Hussein's history of aggression, given what we know
of his grandiose plans, given what we know of his terrorist associations and given
his determination to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we take the
risk that he will not someday use these weapons at a time and a place and in a
manner of his choosing, at a time when the world is in a much weaker position
to respond? The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American
people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for
a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.
My colleagues, over three months ago, this council recognized that Iraq continued
to pose a threat to international peace and security, and that Iraq had been and
remained in material breach of its disarmament obligations. Today, Iraq still
poses a threat, and Iraq still remains in material breach. Indeed, by its failure
to seize on its one last opportunity to come clean and disarm, Iraq has put itself
in deeper material breach and closer to the day when it will face serious consequences
for its continued defiance of this council.
My colleagues, we have an
obligation to our citizens, we have an obligation to this body to see that our
resolutions are complied with. We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war; we wrote
1441 to try to preserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance.
Iraq is not, so far, taking that one last chance. We must not shrink from
whatever is ahead of us. We must not fail in our duty and our responsibility for
the citizens of the countries that are represented by this body.
you, Mr. President.