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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 12:48 GMT
Saddam 'predicted US terror raid'
Saddam Hussein in 1995
Saddam pictured in 1995: "This story is coming but not from Iraq"
Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein predicted in the mid-1990s the US could suffer a terror attack with weapons of mass destruction, tapes allegedly show.

But he insisted it would not be Iraq that carried out the attack.

Saddam Hussein's comments with his cabinet were recorded and the tapes later found by the CIA. They were given to the US ABC network by a translator.

A Saddam aide also explains how Iraq hid its biological weapons programme from UN inspectors at the time.

ABC News, which ran the story on Wednesday, said it had obtained the 12 hours of tapes from Bill Tierney, an ex-UN inspection team member translating them for the FBI.

It said Mr Tierney had handed them because he thought it wrong that the US government should keep the tapes secret.

The network said US officials had confirmed their authenticity, although the state department has not commented.

'Told the Americans'

In the tapes, Saddam Hussein says: "Terrorism is coming. I told the Americans... and told the British as well... that in the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction.

Tariq Aziz
Any biologist can make a germ bottle and drop it into a septic tank and kill 100,000... This is not done by a state... an individual can do it
Tariq Aziz

"In the future, what would prevent that we see a booby-trapped car causing a nuclear explosion in Washington or a germ or a chemical one?

"This is coming, this story is coming but not from Iraq."

When the US did suffer the major attack it was from four hijacked planes on 11 September, 2001. Almost 3,000 people died in the attack by Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

Saddam Hussein was talking to Tariq Aziz, his deputy prime minister and others, although the exact date could not be confirmed.

Tariq Aziz responds by saying that biological weapons are easy to make.

"It's so simple that any biologist can make a germ bottle and drop it into a septic tank and kill 100,000," he says.

Hidden programme

ABC said the tapes were recorded in "Baghdad's version of the Oval Office" and were among hundreds of hours found.

One tape dated April or May 1995, covers the finding by UN inspectors of evidence of Iraq's biological weapons programme - a programme it had denied existed but was then forced to admit.

Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, says: "We did not reveal all that we have. Not the type of weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use. None of this was correct."

But there is no evidence from these tapes that Iraq was still hiding programmes ahead of the US-led invasion in 2003 - one of the major reasons for military action.

Charles Duelfer, a US inspector who helped look for weapons of mass destruction after the war, said the tapes "support the conclusion we made... that the regime had the intention of building and rebuilding weapons of mass destruction, when circumstances permitted".

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