Paper: Iraqi defector fabricated WMD intelligence to topple govt
Updated: 2011-02-17 13:36
An Iraqi defector made up claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction to help topple his government, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The defector, Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, said in an interview with the Guardian that he had fabricated claims of mobile biological weapons and clandestine factories made to German intelligence officials throughout 2000.
Former US president George W. Bush and other high US officials cited the threat posed by Iraqi biological weapons as justification for the US-led invasion in 2003.
No such weapons were found and years of political and sectarian bloodshed followed in Iraq, resulting in more than 100,000 mostly civilian deaths.
"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," Janabi, codenamed "Curveball" by US and German intelligence officials, told the newspaper.
"I had a problem with the Saddam regime," he said. "I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance."
The information from Janabi formed the basis of a 2003 speech by former US secretary of state Colin Powell before the United Nations Security Council.
During the speech, Powell described Janabi as "an Iraqi chemical engineer" who "supervised one of these facilities".
"He actually was present during biological agent production runs and was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998," Powell told the UN.
Janabi told The Guardian he was "shocked" by Powell's speech but played down his role in the conflict.
"Powell didn't say I was the only reason for war, he talked about three things: Uranium, al-Qaida in Iraq and my story (biological weapons)," he said.
The Guardian said Janabi had told a German official about mobile bioweapons trucks during 2000.
1. What was the name of the former Iraqi leader?
2. What was the name of the defector/
3. When did the US invade Iraq?
1. Saddam Hussein.
2. Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.
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