Source of Faulty Iraq Weapons Claims Revealed
Posted on Nov 3, 2007
Meet Rafid Ahmed Alwan, otherwise known as “Curve Ball” in intelligence circles. He’s an Iraqi defector who apparently won himself a green card with his fabricated claims about Saddam Hussein’s regime harboring biological weapons, which became the CIA’s (and Colin Powell’s) key justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
However, as this BBC report points out, the CIA was tipped off by German intelligence officials well before the Iraq war began that Alwan might not be a reliable source.
60 Minutes has learned that Alwan’s university records indicate he did study chemical engineering but earned nearly all low marks, mostly 50s. Simon’s investigation also uncovered an arrest warrant for theft from the Babel television production company in Baghdad where he once worked.
Also appearing in Sunday’s segment is video that 60 Minutes obtained of Alwan at a Baghdad wedding in 1993.
He eventually wound up in the care of German intelligence officials to whom he continued to spin his tale of biological weapons. His plan succeeded partially because he had worked briefly at the plant outside Baghdad and his descriptions of it were mostly accurate. He embellished his account by saying 12 workers had been killed by biological agents in an accident at the plant.
Unreliable source: CBS’ “60 Minutes” investigates the identity of “Curve Ball” on the news magazine’s Nov. 4 broadcast.