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Pentagon Says Insurgents Had Chemicals Lab

December 3, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A chemical weapons laboratory that U.S. forces found last week in Fallujah as they chased out insurgents had chemicals and other paraphernalia to make deadly hydrogen cyanide, Pentagon officials said Friday.

The Americans also found what Army Brig. Gen. David Rodriquez called ``a mujahedeen chemical and biological book″ outlining instructions and formulas for anthrax, chemical blood agents and explosive materials.

Iraq’s national security adviser, Qassem Dawoud, reported the find Nov. 25. He said in Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, that the laboratory was discovered in the southwestern sector of Fallujah, where pockets of insurgents were holding out against Marines who entered the rebellious city on Nov. 8.

Rodriquez told reporters Friday that the lab’s chemicals, including sodium cyanide and hydrochloric acid, which if combined could be used to make hydrogen cyanide. That is a potentially lethal chemical agent.

Other officials said later the significance of the discoveries was not yet clear.

Rodriquez said other materials and documents found in Fallujah over the past few weeks, including insurgents’ lists of telephone numbers, will aid U.S. and Iraqi forces in their pursuit of the insurgents elsewhere in Iraq.

``All that information that we gained out there we believe will help us in the future,″ he said. He said information might show ``what is happening with the insurgency and how they operate.″

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