- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 5, 2003

The Bush administration will disclose new information to the United Nations today on Iraq's mobile biological weapons facilities, as well as evidence linking Baghdad to the al Qaeda terrorist group, U.S. officials said.
The intelligence will be provided to the world body by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell as part of the administration's effort to win support for military action to disarm Iraq of its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
"The vast majority of the intelligence focuses on the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] portion of the argument, and on Iraq's deception of Unmovic," a senior official said, referring to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.
Included in the presentation will be intelligence that shows how the Iraqi government has been discussing its hiding of banned weapons and related goods from the U.N. inspectors.
Also to be presented will be satellite photographs of Iraqi weapons facilities, including a suspected biological weapons plant at Taji.
In August, U.S. intelligence agencies spotted a convoy of up to 60 trucks at facilities near Taji. The trucks were photographed moving material or equipment in or out of the facility.
The details of Iraq's weapons programs will include information on and photographs of Iraq's mobile biological weapons laboratories, which include both road-mobile trailers and laboratories built inside railroad cars.
Much of the new information to be disclosed was provided by at least three Iraqi defectors. The defectors provided details on the mobile biological weapons laboratories, built as a way to avoid detection by U.S. intelligence or U.N. inspectors.
As for terrorism-related intelligence, the secretary of state is prepared to present the United Nations with new details of how a senior al Qaeda leader was given refuge in Baghdad after fleeing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday that Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programs "will be well-documented tomorrow by Secretary Powell."
Although "I don't want to overstate it, for the obvious reason," Mr. Powell will also show "some intersections with various and sundry terrorist groups, and that is our real fear with Iraq," Mr. Armitage said.
The information about Baghdad's links to terrorism is expected to make up only about 20 percent of Mr. Powell's briefing to the U.N. Security Council. The terrorist-related information is said to be limited.
The key intelligence report will provide details on Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian suspected of being one of Osama bin Laden's lieutenants. Zarqawi was granted safe haven in Iraq last summer and received medical treatment for wounds suffered in Afghanistan.
Ansar al-Islam, a group that operates from Kurdish-held northern Iraq, is also suspected of having ties to al Qaeda.
Nicholas Kralev contributed to this report.

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