Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Further supplementary memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

  1.  The FAC asked whether the JIC was represented in the CIC. No JIC Assessments staff worked in the CIC. As Alastair Campbell has noted in his supplementary memorandum to the Committee, the JIC chairman did attend some meetings of the Iraq Communication Group.

  2.  The Committee also requested comments on the question raised by Dr Tom Inch as to whether there was any evidence that the attempts at procurement (of dual use chemicals and materials) were successful. We have no evidence of whether Iraqi attempts at procurement were successful.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 July 2003

Further supplementary memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


  1.  You asked for additional information on Dr Glen Rangwala's memorandum.

  2.  The Foreign Secretary and Alastair Campbell both dealt with several of the issues raised by Dr Glen Rangwala during their oral evidence sessions.

  3.  In addition, Alastair Campbell's memorandum (Tuesday 24 June 2003) has explained how a mistake was made in the preparation of the February 2003 briefing paper entitled, "Iraq—Its infrastructure of concealment deception and intimidation". The Government has acknowledged and apologised for that mistake.

  4.  In relation to the specifics on changes to the text of Dr AI-Marashi's work, we have made it clear that those officials submitting changes to the briefing paper were not aware that they were commenting on material which included parts of Dr AI-Marashi's work. They had assumed it was government-sourced material.

  5.  Some changes were made to reflect current intelligence material. Alastair Campbell has already submitted additional information to the Committee on intelligence material contained in the February briefing paper.

  6.  The Foreign Secretary and Alastair Campbell responded to the Committee's questions on the change made in the dossier from aiding opposition groups in hostile regimes" to "supporting terrorist organisations in hostile regimes This reflected information at the time that the Iraqi regime was supporting terrorist organisations including the MEK, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

  7.  Other changes were made to the briefing paper because the officials believed that they rendered the account more accurate. For example, numerical changes were made to the membership of the various organisations in section 2 of the briefing paper. This was on the basis of work prepared in the FCO and submitted to the CIC during the preparation of the February briefing paper.

  8.  This led to several occasions where the numbers were reduced. For example, the Directorate of General Intelligence (AI-Mukhabarat) in Dr AI-Marashi's article said it had 8,000 members whereas the February briefing paper said it had 4,000. The Special Security Organisation (AI-Amn al-Khas) similarly went down from 5,000 to 2,000.

  9.  Dr Al-Marashi's own evidence to the Committee addressed the currency and accuracy of his own work. Dr AI-Marashi said: "It was as accurate as I could possibly make it as of September 2002 using open source materials". Dr Al-Marashi also confirmed to the Chairman that his work was updated from beyond 1991 to 2002.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

July 2003

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