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Lie 1 - Iraq has got nukes

Issue No. 1818

THE TIMES splashed a front page story on Monday claiming it had definitive evidence that Iraq was within months of acquiring nuclear weapons. Its source was Khidir Hamza, a defector who it claimed was 'at the heart of the Iraq regime'.

Scott Ritter was a former United Nations arms inspector in Iraq. He said about the Times story and Hamza on Monday, 'This man is a known fraud. He was an obscure member of the Iraqi nuclear teams who presented an $8 billion programme to the Iraqi government. 'It was rejected. He was fired.'

Lie 2

Link to Al Qaida

THE US is trying to link Iraq with the 11 September attacks.

There is no evidence for such a connection. Allegations that a few people in Iraq may be linked to Al Qaida do not mention that the part of Iraq they are supposed to come from is under Kurdish control. The US, not Saddam Hussein, has a much greater influence on what happens in that region.

Another key part of the US argument is an allegation that one of the 11 September hijackers, Mohamed Atta, met Iraqi intelligence officer Ahmad Khalil Al Ani.

The story first appeared last October. But on 1 May this year the Washington Post reported, 'There is no evidence that the alleged leader of the 11 September hijackers, Mohamed Atta, met with an Iraqi intelligence agent.' The paper reported that it had been told this by 'a senior US administration official'.

The New York Times reported, 'Czech officials say they do not believe that Mohamed Atta met with any Iraqi officials during a brief stop he made in Prague last year.'

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Sat 21 Sep 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1818
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