Washington, 3 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The chief U.S. inspector hunting for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq says no such banned arms have been found yet, but says his team's search is far from over and will continue. David Kay, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), told reporters after privately briefing U.S. Congress members in Washington that while no actual banned weapons have been found, searchers have uncovered numerous Iraqi weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and equipment.
"We have not found at this point actual weapons. That does not mean we have concluded there are no actual weapons, it means at this point in time -- and it's a huge country with a lot to do -- that we have not yet found weapons.... [W]e have found a large body of continuing activities and equipment that were not declared to the UN inspectors when they returned in November of last year. This includes substantial equipment and activities in the chemical and biological area, a much more substantial activity in the missile area," Kay said.
On the issue of whether Saddam Hussein's regime had been trying to renew efforts to develop a nuclear weapons program, Kay said investigators had found no evidence beyond a possible tentative and primitive restart.
U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair justified their decision to invade Iraq last March largely based on what they said was the threat posed by Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programs and a program to develop nuclear weapons.
Critics have questioned whether the two allied governments exaggerated the threat to muster support for war.