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Intelligence Related to Possible Sources of Biological Agent Exposure During the Persian Gulf War, August 2000

During the past several years, much attention has been focused on chemical warfare agents--and to a lesser extent biological warfare (BW) agents--as a potential cause of, or contributor to, Gulf war illnesses (GWI). In the spring of 1995, the CIA initiated a comprehensive study of intelligence and other information to determine if US troops were exposed to any chemical, biological, or radiological agents and to examine intelligence for any potential causative factors of GWI. In February 1997, the Intelligence Community (IC) formed the Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force to study releases of nerve agents at the Khamisiyah Storage Depot and to continue research on agent exposure.

This report provides the IC's conclusions about biological agent exposure. In addition, this report provides a historical perspective on Iraq's BW program--what we knew prior to the Gulf war and what was learned subsequently through intelligence reports, United Nations Special Commission inspections, and Iraqi declarations--and whether possible links to GWI might exist. Efforts have been made to address and clarify potentially misleading statements or actions concerning the disposition of Iraq's BW facilities and weapons. Chemical and radiological agents will be addressed in separate reports.

Robert D. Walpole
Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence
for Persian Gulf War Illnesses


Key Findings


Iraq's Biological Warfare Program


Iraq's Biological Warfare Agents


Potential Sources of Release


Appendix A: Biological Warfare Agents Declared by Iraq


Appendix B: Fermentation Facilities Declared by Iraq in 1991


Appendix C: Iraqi-Declared Biological Warfare Production Facilities


Appendix D: Biological Weapons


Appendix E: Destruction of Bulk Biological Warfare Agents Remaining After the Gulf War



Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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