Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, November 18, 1998 Published at 22:08 GMT


Iraqi defector tells BBC of hidden weapons

Iraqi defector Abbas al-Janabi speaking to Hardtalk

Click here to watch the interview

An Iraqi defector has alleged that the Iraqi regime is continuing to hide weapons and move them between locations to keep them from UN weapons inspectors.


James Robbins: Testimony can't be verified but is supported by recent reports
Abbas al-Janabi defected in February this year after working for 15 years as an aide to Saddam Hussein's feared son Uday.

Mr Janabi said in an exclusive television interview for the BBC programme Hardtalk that biological and chemical weapons and rocket launchers were constantly being moved between sites.

"Whenever there is a crisis between Iraq and the United Nations that means there is a shift operation," he said. "They are moving always."

He said there was an army brigade dedicated to moving weapons from site to site but there was no point in mentioning where these sites were located as the Iraqi leadership would just change them.


Abbas al-Janabi: The weapons "are moving always"
And Mr Janabi warned the Iraqi leader had said he would be prepared to use weapons of mass destruction if cornered.

"When you put him in a cage he will be very dangerous. He may use chemical or biological [weapons] or what he has."

BBC Diplomatic Correspondent James Robbins said it was impossible to verify the testimony, but it is supported by news of more recent massacres of the Iraqi president's opponents in Iraq.

Sanctions busting

Mr Janabi also said the army was being equipped through the Russian black market.

He said he had seen helicopter spare parts being smuggled in.

"It is from Russia but not official. By mediators, you know those who work in the black market. The army black market.

'The richest man in Iraq'

Mr Janabi said he had been tortured on the orders of Uday Hussein before defecting.

He said he had personally seen his former boss kill four people.

He alleged there was a thriving sanctions-busting smuggling operation through Turkey and Iran with Uday playing a key role.
[ image: The Iraqi president's son Uday]
The Iraqi president's son Uday
"Uday for example pays the Iranian side 100 dollars for each ton of beef went across the Iranian border.

"They take the barges from Basra to a port in Iran and there they change the flag from the Iraqi flag to the Iranian."

He said Uday was the richest man in Iraq and keeps his money in Swiss banks.

"You can ask the Swiss banks. And also in Iraq - he has cash money. He has rooms of money - believe me."


The interview can be seen on TV at the following times (all GMT):

BBC News 24
Thursday November 19, at 2030
Friday November 20, at 0330 (also shown on BBC One at this time)

BBC World
Thursday November 19, at 1530 and 1930
Friday November 20, at 0730 and 0930





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




LATEST NEWS

ROAD TO THE BRINK

FORCES AND FIREPOWER

DECISION MAKERS AND DIPLOMACY

TEXTS AND TRANSCRIPTS

HAVE YOUR SAY

INTERNET LINKS





Internet Links


Iraq net


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.