Did Saddam Have WMDs After All: ISIS Overruns Iraq Chemical Weapons 'Mega-Facility'

Tyler Durden's picture

With all eyes firmly focused on what really matters (the oil refineries), The Telegraph reports that ISIS has over-run a Saddam Hussein-era chemical weapons (CW) complex. The al-Muhanna 'mega-facility', about 60 miles south of Baghdad, gives the jihadists access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin. The US state department is 'concerned' but "do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value." However, as a former commander of Britain's chemical weapons regiment warned, "we have seen that ISIS has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria." This is likely great for ISIS 2014 Annual Report; but, of course, the other awkward question is: does this mean Saddam did have WMDs (and ISIS found them) after all?

As The Telegraph reports, the jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday...

Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.


The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme.


During its peak in the late 1980s to early 1990s, Iraq produced bunkers full of chemical munitions.


A CIA report on the facility said that 150 tons of mustard were produced each year at the peak from 1983 and pilot-scale production of Sarin began in 1984.


Its most recent description of al-Muthanna in 2007 paints a disturbing picture of chemicals strewn throughout the area.


“Two wars, sanctions and UN oversight reduced Iraqi’s premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities,” it said.


“Some of the bunkers contained large quantities of unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment and other hazardous industrial chemicals.”


Britain has previously acknowledgeded that the nature of the material contained in the two bunkers would make the destruction process difficult and technically challenging.

Should we be worried?

US officials revealed that the group had occupied the sprawling site which has two bunkers encased in a concrete seal. Much of the sarin is believed to be redundant.
“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the [Isis],” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.


Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores.

It is doubtful that Isis have the expertise to use a fully functioning chemical munition but there are materials on site that could be used in an improvised explosive device,” he told the Telegraph.


“We have seen that Isis has used chemicals in explosions in Iraq before and has carried out experiments in Syria.”

One US official told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that Isis fighters could be contaminated by the chemicals at the site.

“The only people who would likely be harmed by these chemical materials would be the people who tried to use or move them,” the military officer said.

This asset growth is likely great for ISIS 2014 Annual Report...

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Yen Cross's picture

  That must-A-been one hell of a "spider hole"? <sarc/>

90&#039;s Child's picture

Considering we gave them chemical weapons to go war with Iran... Yes

cifo's picture

It seems that ISIS is friends with Bush & Blair and trying to clear their names.

graneros's picture

After all the bullshit we've been through about Iraqi WMD's and now ISIS finds them? This is just too much. I feel sorry for those who will be on the recieving end of these.  That being said my first response was an explosion of laughter. The irony of this is too much for me too bear.  Surely others broke out in an involutary fit of laughter?

Sofa King's picture

Kind of makes you wonder "What the fuck were we doing there for 10 Years?"

I say the US defaults on its debt and screws the rest of the world into the ground.


john39's picture

so what happens next here... ISIS uses chem weapons in Syria and the US has to bomb syria to save it?

Chupacabra-322's picture

It's "Humanitarian" bombing.

Pinto Currency's picture


Poison gas is not a WMD nor is it a strategic weapon.

It is a tactical weapon and a very poor tactical weapon at that.

max2205's picture

McGiever please pick up line 1

Pinto Currency's picture


Rumors of phosgene gas stockpiled for later use:



But chemical weapons are technically not WMD (although it is a scary name and you shouldn't let a scary name go to waste):




boogerbently's picture

ISIS didn't need to file a "route plan" weeks in advance, as, I'm sure the United Nations did.

Gaius Frakkin&#039; Baltar's picture

As some eluded to above, it seems like this may be a great cover for the CIA who gave ISIS the chemical weapons in Syria. Now they can blame it on Saddam when ISIS uses them in Baghdad AND have their excuse for Iraq 3.0! Fan-fucking-tastic!!!

fuu's picture

So let me get this straight. No one in the US or Britain ever took credit for finding the WMD. But now we have  a British Commander stating that "large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores." 60 miles south of Baghdad? The CIA knew the address in the 80's and the output?




jesus fucking wept

Gaius Frakkin&#039; Baltar's picture

These were already accounted for by UN inspectors... ...but yes, you would think someone in the US or British government would have been smart enough to extract these and use them as "evidence" for the supposed hidden weapons. Instead they were more concerned with getting the oil wells and refineries up and running.

pods's picture

Sounds like this is recycling the news of old weapons.

Concrete seal?  Probably a pit filled with munitions/weapons that had concrete poured over it.

No way this shit was just laying around.  Just propaganda.

If it is, our government is even MORE criminal that even I could imagine, which is pretty fucking criminal.

Stuff was probably in such bad shape they couldn't even move it to burn it.  Probably unmarked drums of crap and reaction vessels, which might be bad stuff, it is certainly not an effective weapon.

Hazmat jockey's nightmare come true.


jeff montanye's picture

this story will be repeated in its least accurate iterations until it will be "it took an al qaeda splinter group to find the wmd chemical weapons that bush invaded to stop and overlooked even though occupying iraq for a decade", even though this stuff was known to and "disabled"by the u.n. inspectors.

wonder how effective the "disabling" was?  got to believe the shiites hope it was more effective than the dollar sanctions obama put on putin, etc.


Son of Loki's picture

<<  Kind of makes you wonder "What the fuck were we doing there for 10 Years?" >>


Building chemical plants maybe? We do no tknow when these 'mega plants' were built or proof they even exist yet.

DaddyO's picture

After listening to Joel Skousen tonight, here...

I'm more convinced than ever that WWIII will be the means through which the NWO is ushered in with its militarized global government.

I think he laid out a pretty convincing argument against an economic collapse bringing in the global government.

Moar woar is in the offing for all of us who are already weary from the last decade.



falconflight's picture

Yeah, his senario is pretty effing scary.  He wrote a decent book on how to prepare.  Very interesting analysis about where to go and where to get the hell out of.

trader1's picture

whether or not he's qualified, skousen will say what he needs to say in order to get paid...

Nexus789's picture

After WW3 there will be no one around for the NWO to govern.

Slewburger's picture

Are you guys fucking kidding me?

Fool me once shame on you.

Fool me twice.. Shame on.... cant fool me twice.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~“We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials."~

Safely remove the materials? Do you really think that "safely removing materials" is an issue for people who are more than willing to blow themselvs up for their cause? And once they do get their hands on some sarin or mustard gas they'd have any compunction against using it against Shiites? All of this does though leave me with one question.

Do vicious chemical burns affect your performance with the 72 virgins once you get to them?

DaveyJones's picture

no, jesus fucking christ

like 911, I'm kinda past being shocked by all this amazing bullshit.

don't you ever feel like it's some sort of taste test to see how much we'll swallow 

Lore's picture

This one smells like another lie, resembling the repeated misattribution of chemical weapons usage to Assad in Syria. Whoever has the stuff should destroy it pronto to pre-empt ANOTHER FALSE FLAG IN THE MAKING, something along the lines of:  "They" "found" this stuff (that the USA supplied), "They" recovered it, "They" are preparing to use it, thus obliging the Forces of Freedom to Return to the Scene of the Crime in order to Dispense More Liberty.  Rah Rah, USA USA, media distraction from scandals at home, et cetera.  Am I on the right track?

LostandFound's picture

Controlling the flow of spice? Getting rid of Saddam who was preparing to accept Euros for oil? Installing a new puppet to do the Washingtons bidding? Creating muslim terrorists due to a failed foreigh policy? Creating growth in the economy by rebuilding the infrastructure using players like Haliburton and Bechtel?


DavidC's picture

The word is 'alluded' - if you're going to use long words then find out what they mean and how they are spelt.


Paveway IV's picture

Really? I have to debunk a Telegraph artilce on ZH?? For cryin' out loud...

"...Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility... ...in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern."

They forgot to add: "A deserted CW facility abandoned by Iraq 25 years ago - after it was bombed to hell in the first Gulf War and after the UNSCOM team destroyed (1992-94) anything useable."

Mega? Sure, like 5 sq. km or so in the desert. Our shopping malls are bigger than that.

Invaded - in a rapid takeover? They just drove there. Anyone with a pickup truck driving down Hwy. 23 over the last two decades could 'invade and rapidly takeover' the al-Muthanna ruins. Sheesh...

I'm not seeing a bee-hive of chemical weapon production in the satellite image. The only thing left standing is the fake bunkers and decoy buildings. Good job, ISIS!

Matter of concern? Yeah... for the copper and brass thieves. They 'invaded and rapidly took over' anything valuble after UNSCOM left in 1994. If there were any useable CWs to be recovered after the Gulf War, Saddam dug them out twenty years ago. They're useless by now. 

"...Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of Britain’s chemical weapons regiment, said that al-Muthanna has large stores of weaponized and bulk mustard gas and sarin, most of which has been put beyond ready use in concrete stores."

Had - twenty-five years ago. It was nearly all destroyed by UNSCOM. In fact, they used al-Muthanna for the central CW destruction site for Iraq. The only thing they couldn't move and destroy were the contents of two storage bunkers damaged by American bombs. They poked around inside, found a lot of unexploded bombs and containers,  and decided to just seal the bunker up. That generally means 'fill with concrete', not something stuipd like this. If ISIS has a decent compressor, a lot of jack hammers and a few months, they might get lucky and find a rusty tonne cylinder of 25+ year old almost completely degraded bulk mustard agent. Iraqi Sarin was low quality and degraded quickly. If the snackbars manage to find any after this long, it could still be hazardous - if they DRANK it right out of the warhead.

"...One US official told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that Isis fighters could be contaminated by the chemicals at the site..."

Great. Thanks for tipping them off, blabber-mouth.


Urban Redneck's picture

He would be more believable if not for his convenient errors in fact, such as the sight being 5km x 5km (as opposed to "5 sq. km") and such utter nonsense as the "The only thing left standing is the fake bunkers and decoy buildings", when in fact: the real bunkers are standing a lot better than what is left of the dummy bunkers.

The other facts are more accurate, but I won't speak to the characterizations.

Those are rather difficult factual errors to accidentally make, even when using hyperpole, absent advancing an agenda.

Paveway IV's picture

The 'site' is mostly level sand with little patches of ruined buildings.

But technically, you're right, Iraq originally claimed the mega-facility was 5x5km, not 5 sq. km. Ignore the REALITY of the satellite image and draw some little dashed lines in a five by five km square. Gosh, that sure changes things - better mask up and pop a few autoinjectors right this minute just to be safe!


"...the real bunkers are standing a lot better than what is left of the dummy bunkers..."

Sure. No need to look at them satellite image. If you go to the top right, you can see the edge of the 1x1 km complex of cross-shaped storage bunkers. Guess which ones are the six decoy bunkers and which ones are the real ones. Hint: the decoys don't have access driveways because there are no doors because they're just piles of dirt. That would be the outside ones. The bomb-damaged ones that held CWs look like they have been leveled. The five remaining real bunkers are either empty, looted or filled with old (empty) CW containers and empty shells. 


"...Those are rather difficult factual errors to accidentally make..."

Really? I'm some random idiot on ZH. What's the Telegraph's excuse? What was Colin Powell's excuse?


"...absent advancing an agenda."

Yeah - obviously I'm a shill for the fake ISIS. You should listen to the Telegraph, tremble in fear and demand Obama Tomahawk the crap out of someone, somewhere. You know... it's for the kids!


Urban Redneck's picture

Your approach to the "value" of what is in the toxic waste dump appears to be from the perspective of loading shells into artillery and having them function as designed, or being into able to kluge an effective alternate delivery and dispersion mechanism.

What you are ignoring is a marauding horde adversary who employs 1) classical terrorism in conjunction with 2) 21st century PR & psyops and 3) is (or was) already in possession of chemical weapons.

If all that was actually in the sarcophagus was Colin Powell's washing soda - it wouldn't make a difference. And if they load up a pickup with that washing soda (or whatever may be left of their existing CW inventory) and assault the Hussain ibn Ali Shrine, no one is going to stop to perform chemical analysis.

BTW, while the Telegraph is staffed with shill assclowns who use inexcusably used Google to mislocate a chemical weapons dump, it isn't an excuse for lowering the bar.

trader1's picture

i think ZH knew what they were doing here.  

that's why the comments section is usually entertaining.  


sushi's picture

So ISIS uses new found WMD against Malaki's government which causes it to collapse and this is seen as a positive development by the USSA who then goes ahead and bombs Syria cause Assad is a real bad dude?

Just trying to stay on top of the play by play here.


Pinto Currency's picture


Everybody gets their turn to be bombed and their countires shattered.

The US/NATO and Israel then get to tag-team to dominate the region - a defacto greater (and well oiled) Israel perhaps is the hope.

But then the best laid plans of mice (Bilderbergers) and men

Lore's picture

..."Gang aft agley."

I don't think the USA and Israel are friends like they used to be, maybe not for much longer. There are too many conflicting statements coming out, and too many conflicting interests, and too many psychopaths setting each other up to take blame for things.  Ultimately, what matters most to regional powers is who your closest neighbors are, what currency they trade in, and how much reserves they have for export.   He who supplies most and runs out last laughs best.

XenoFrog's picture

Chemical weapons (including the various poison gasses) are classified as WMDs.

Ignatius's picture

The lies and propaganda (hidden Chem weapon mfg) are coming fast and furious these days.

marathonman's picture

I smell a truck load of bullshit in this story.

tony wilson's picture

fella you do not know what you are talking about.

i have seen the intel so best leave it to the pros.

those truck loads of bullshit are mobile and as colon powell said at the un have the active capacity to spread liquid and hardened bull crap beyond iraqs borders.

arriving in london or paris or munich in a matter of 8-14 days depending on stop offs for food and drink.

only a matter of time before these hot turds hit the usa homelands.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Where you been yo!?

Already biological warfare happening in the south with many illegals carrying a whole laundry list of diseases.

Biowarfare and demographic warfare right in 'murika's back yard.

DaddyO's picture

All with the Commander in Chiefs blessing...

Hell's Bells, he's even paying to have them bussed into the neighborhood.


Pinto Currency's picture


Chemical weapons have been reclassified as WMDs recently to provide justification for invading and destroying countries.  It is a political reclassification.  Technically they are not WMDs.

And never mind that Saddam was given the equipment and chemicals by the US and Germany to create the gas.

The WMD label was a wonderful 'go bomb Baghdad free' card.

But then after Iraq, Gadaffi didn't have WMDs.  But he did have oil and was proposing a pan-African gold dinar.

Bomb that bastard as well! He's gettng ahead of the Chinese.


Saddam was a CIA operative:

"...While many have thought that Saddam first became involved with U.S. intelligence agencies at the start of the September 1980 Iran-Iraq war, his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim. ..."



Then there's Cheney:


Overfed's picture

Fuuuuck. Setting off a large firecracker in the US will get you charged with using a WMD.

Gregor Samsa's picture

At this current time, 6 people have absolutely no sense of humor.

DeadFred's picture

Well said. Despite the oft repeated (and brain-dead) claim that there were no WMDs and Bush just made them up there are thousands of Iranian and Kurdish victims that can testify that Saddam had and used chemical weapons at one point in time. What happened to them and why the US couldn't find them is another question. One rumor says they were sent to Syria for safe keeping and the Syrians said "thank you for the gift". Maybe Saddam was telling the truth when he said he destroyed all of them as ordered after Gulf War I. Anyone who thinks they never existed is probably disconnected enough from reality to think the holocaust didn't happen either.

Squid Viscous's picture

If you keep watching Fox news, you never know where "one rumor says" those pesky WMD's might have ended up, keep us posted!! maybe Yemen? or in your mom's basement?