Saturday, June 21, 2003

U.S. forces broke into an abandoned community hall early Saturday and found piles of intelligence equipment and top secret documents bearing the seal of the former Iraqi secret service.

Upstairs above the hall, which also was used as a funeral parlor, the troops found two large rooms stacked with cryptograph machines, secure transmission devices and binders of documents, with more papers strewn on the floor.

Some of the documents made reference to Iraq's nuclear program, including manifests for the delivery of communications equipment to the Iraqi nuclear agency. One letter, dated Feb. 7, 1998, from the National Security Council of Iraq was addressed to the Iraqi Nuclear Organization, with a carbon to the Mukhabarat, the secret intelligence service.

Most of the equipment appeared to be old models, but some were still in their original boxes and had apparently never been used. They included equipment made by prominent U.S. and European companies like Motorola and Thompson...

About 50 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division, belonging to a unit nicknamed "the Gunners," sealed off part of Baghdad's Azamiya district with seven armored vehicles and stormed the building around 1 a.m.

After trying to break through the door with a sledgehammer, the troops were surprised when a squatter opened the lock from the inside and welcomed them in.

Read it all here.

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