There’s actually a good deal more in <$NoAd$>this AFP article we noted earlier about the missing explosives, and information that puts some concrete detail behind the Science Ministry official’s claim that the explosives were not spirited before the demise of the old regime.
I’m reprinting selected portions of the piece. But by all means read the whole thing …
“The officials that were inside this facility (Al-Qaqaa) beforehand confirm that not even a shred of paper left it before the fall and I spoke to them about it and they even issued certified statements to this effect which the US-led coalition was aware of.”
He said officials at Al-Qaqaa, including its general director, whom he refused to name, made contact with US troops before the fall in an effort to get them to provide security for the site.
The regime’s fall triggered a wave of looting of government and private property, which US-led troops struggled to contain as they were busy securing their own positions.
Science Minister Omar Rashad sent a letter on October 10 to the International Atomic Energy Agency sounding the alarm about the explosives in Al-Qaqaa.
Sharaa said the letter was sent after repeated warnings and inquiries by the IAEA over the disappearance of so-called duel-use nuclear material, which could be used for either conventional or nuclear means.
“Normally we should be overseeing all sites but these responsibilities were stripped away from us under the coalition authority,” he said.
The ministry was only handed oversight responsiblities of two site — Al-Tuwaitha and Al-Wardiya — after authority was transferred from the coalition to the interim government in June.
There is no need to simply take these assertions at face value. Certainly there may be a variety of motives in play. But these are very concrete and specific claims, ones that reporters might easily use to follow up on with administration and CPA officials. And the motive for members of the interim government to be making trouble for the president at just this moment is not immediately clear.