Sat, Jan 10, 2004 - Page 7 News List

We had no Saddam, al-Qaeda link: Powell

EVIDENCE The US secretary of state admitted he had had no `smoking gun' proof to back up his claims when he was making a case for war before the UN


"Anything that we did not feel was solid and multi-sourced, we did not use in that speech," he said on Thursday.

He noted that Saddam had used prohibited weapons in the past -- including nerve gas attacks against Iran and against Iraqi Kurds -- and said that even if there were no actual weapons at hand, there was every indication he would reconstitute them once the international community lost interest.

The administration has quietly withdrawn a 400-member team of US weapons inspectors who were charged with finding chemical or biological weapons stockpiles or laboratories, officials said this week.

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