Saddam To Be Target of Britain's 'E-bomb'

(Telegraph - UK) - The Pentagon is planning to use a British weapon that can disable electronic and electrical systems without killing anyone to attack Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons sites. The E-Bomb sends out a high-intensity radio wave with similar effects to the electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear blast. It is also able to penetrate the underground bunkers where Saddam's chemical and biological weapons are stored. Although the weapon is still in the final stages of development, American defence sources said they were interested in acquiring it for immediate deployment in any attack on Iraqi chemical and biological weapons sites. The weapon can also bring civil infrastructure to a standstill, closing national electricity grids, stopping telephone, radio and television systems. MI6 has told ministers that Iraq may still possess tons of chemical warfare agents, the necessary materials to produce thousands of litres of biological agents and as many as 10 Scud missiles with which to deliver them. Iraq has admitted that before the Gulf war it manufactured 100 botulinum bombs, 50 anthrax bombs, and seven aflatoxin bombs. Five missile warheads were filled with anthrax, 16 with botulinum, and four with aflatoxin. The Iraqi chemical warfare arsenal is known to include: - The nerve agents Sarin and VX. Colourless and tasteless, they cause death by respiratory arrest in one to 15 minutes. - Blister agents such as mustard gas. Severely incapacitating, they damage tissue, causing extensive large blisters. - Psychoactive agents such as Agent 15. Symptoms include dizziness, vomiting and hallucinations lasting for days. Biological warfare agents produced by Iraq include: - Anthrax. Symptoms initially resemble that of a common cold and are only identifiable in the fatal phase. Once this begins, vomiting, severe head and joint pain, and respiratory distress will lead to death in one to three days. - Botulinum. Causes botulism. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, paralysis of the throat and convulsions, followed by death due to respiratory arrest. - Aflotoxins. Poisons produced by fungi and mould, they have the capacity to cause liver cancer. - Ricin. Inhalation leads to weakness, fever and pulmonary oedema within 24 hours followed by death. - Clostridium perfringens. A bacterium which causes gangrene.

2002-08-27 00:00:00

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