East German Stasis reportedly taught Iraqis to use chemical arms on civilians WAR IN THE GULF

January 31, 1991|By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite | Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,London Bureau of The Sun

LONDON -- Iraqi agents were trained by the former East German secret police to use chemical and biological weapons against civilian targets and are now positioned to launch a terror campaign in the West, according to a usually reliable television documentary shown in Britain last night.

The documentary, compiled after a six-month investigation into Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities, suggested that targets could include water supplies or crowded public areas such as metro stations and airports.

A former agent of the East German secret police, the Stasis, said

the Iraqis were trained "in the use of chemical and biological weapons and also the effects were explained in detail."

He told the makers of the Channel 4 program, "Dispatches": "In particular, they studied plans for terrorist attacks where people congregate, such as airports, railway stations and large public gatherings."

The Iraqis were also taught how to poison drinking-water sources such as wells and rivers, how to use bacteria such as anthrax and yellow fever and how to disperse the nerve agents Yperit and Sarin.

The unnamed Stasi officer continued: "The importance of this was to achieve a demoralizing effect of terrorizing the population, throwing them off balance and throwing into confusion the entire structure of the security forces in the individual countries."

The training for Iraqis reportedly took place at the Stasi school at Massow, near Berlin, until 1985. After that, Stasi training of agents from the Middle East took place in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, the program said.

Saddam Hussein's agents usually attended in groups of 15 to 20 and were kept apart from other personnel. They were trained in urban fighting and explosive technology as well as chemical and biological warfare, according to the program. They were also instructed on methods of smuggling terror devices into the target countries.

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