[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
Spanish
Brasil
Caribbean
Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Bush undeterred by Iraq report
US troops examine a suspected mobile biological weapons facility in Iraq (archive)
Evidence of weapons programmes was discovered
US President George W Bush has said an interim report into the search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction proves former leader Saddam Hussein "was a danger to the world".

The Iraq Survey Group's report said no WMD had been found, but inspectors found significant amounts of equipment and weapons-related activities - all of which were concealed from UN inspectors.

Mr Bush said the findings reinforced the US case for war, proving that Saddam Hussein "actively deceived the international community" and was "in clear violation" of a key UN Security Council resolution.

There has been mixed reaction around the world to the report, prepared by CIA official David Kay.

Has the so far fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq affected public opinion?

Hans Blix - the man who headed the United Nations weapons inspection team in Iraq before the war - said Mr Kay's report contained "no surprises".

The vice-president of the Senate Intelligence Committee - Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat - said America's armed forces had been put at risk, based on a threat that appeared not to have existed.

But UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has defended the report, saying its contents justified the removal of the Iraqi leader.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus says that while the report contains no smoking gun, its information, if correct, suggests that Iraq had embarked upon a systematic effort to keep its weapons programme going.

Mr Bush said: "[These] findings already make clear that Saddam Hussein actively deceived the international community, that Saddam Hussein, was in clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1441 and that Saddam Hussein was a danger to the world."

Secret labs

Iraq's WMD programme "spanned more than two decades, involved thousands of people, billions of dollars and was elaborately shielded by security and deception operations that continued even beyond the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom" Mr Bush said, quoting from the report.

IRAQ SURVEY GROUP
Set up in May
Kay appointed by CIA director George Tenet
1,200 experts from the US, Britain and Australia
Headquarters in Washington, offices in Baghdad and Qatar
Reported cost: $300m so far, another $600m needed

Teams found clandestine laboratories and found botulinum toxin - which could be used to make biological weapons - at an Iraqi scientist's home, the report said.

Plans were discovered for missiles capable of flying up to 1,000 kilometres (625 miles) - well beyond the 150-km range limit set by the United Nations, it added.

There were also alleged contacts with North Korea to obtain missile technology.

Mr Kay said additional information was beginning to corroborate reports of human testing activities using chemical and biological substances.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Saddam has proven to be the master of hiding things including himself
Margaret, USA

He told reporters that investigators had found evidence to suggest Saddam Hussein was trying to revive a nuclear weapons programme "at the most rudimentary level".

The ISG search is reported to have cost $300m so far, and the Bush administration is seeking an additional $600m for further searches, according to US officials quoted on Thursday in the New York Times newspaper.

The $600m are part of an $87bn funding package being requested by President George W Bush to Congress for spending on Iraq and Afghanistan.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Matt Frei
"What the White House needs is to find things, like Saddam Hussein or some weapons"


Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix
"Perhaps they didn't mind the world suspecting they had these weapons"



SEE ALSO:
Conflict of visions over Iraq
03 Oct 03  |  Middle East



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific