The question as to whether or not Iraq actually used chemical weapon-loaded Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War is still an open one. Further to this, there still remain outstanding questions about the claims that Iraq possessed illegally-retained Scud Missiles in the period prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. There is no complete record to draw upon and no one organisation has ever been seen to have compiled an exhaustive and comprehensive analysis.

- A review by a former member of the Dhahran Scud Watchers Club


#1 - Ministry of Defence FOIA Request
Date - 17 June 2007



Sunday June 17 2007 at approximately 21.00 (Submitted via the MoD online FOIA request facility):


http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/ContactUs/ FreedomOfInformationInformationRequest.htm


1/. Please advise me of the approximate numerical quantity of pages which form the Headquarters British Forces Middle East diary/diaries record/s which are referred to in the MoD publication 'A REVIEW OF UK FORCES CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENT ALERTS DURING THE 1990/1991 GULF CONFLICT', published on 20 July 2000, as found at:

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DEE46F5D-E6CE-411D-AD0C-149C5542AEF9/0/Jul_00_Third_CW_Paper.pdf

(Extract for reference, paragraph 67 - page 20)

"However, the HQ BFME diaries record some 102 launches with a further 36 false alarms and 2 misfires."

2/. Please supply me with extracts from the above mentioned diary/diaries record/s indicating dates, times and recording unit locations for each of the 140 events indicated above categorized by type of event, i.e. launch, false alarm or misfire.


First Ministry of Defence FOIA Response - 16 July 2007

A FOIA response has been received from the Ministry of Defence. It states that the requested information cannot be supplied as the cost of complying with this request would exceed the £600 limit, which is the maximum permitted. The response suggests reducing or refining the request to bring the cost of compliance to below the limit. Another request will be made in an effort to achieve this.


Further correspondence relating to FOIA request #1


To the MoD's Veterans Policy Unit - Legacy Health Issues - 22 July 2007

XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

For the attention of:

XXX XXXXX
Veterans Policy Unit - Legacy Health Issues
Ministry of Defence
Zone H
7th Floor
Main Building
London
SW1A 2HB

22 July 2007

Your Reference: SP/05.10.01.10.01

Dear Mr XXXXX

I am in receipt of your response to me dated 16 July 2007 advising me that my Freedom of Information Act request (Case 18-06-2007-074128-004) for information concerning Iraq's 1991 use of SS-1 SCUD type missiles cannot be complied with on the grounds of excessive cost.

Could you please inform me of the following:

1/. Whether or not I can continue to seek the requested information by means of this and future similar e-mails directly to yourself, rather than by using the MoD's online FOI facility as was previously used by myself for my initial request.

2/. If the answer to the above is in the affirmative, could you please provide me with a description of the nature and the approximate numerical page quantity of the 1991 Gulf War HQ BFME diary records as held by the MoD.

(Please note that I am taking the liberty of posting all correspondence relating to my FOIA requests at www.scudwatch.org.)

Yours sincerely

Andrew XXXXX

Telephone: 01934 4136XX

E-mail: scudwatch@btinternet.com


Second Ministry of Defence FOIA Response - 23 August 2007

A further FOIA response has been received from the Ministry of Defence. It states in part:

"You have the option of sending e-mails directly to me or other desk officers but you should be aware that e-mail accounts may not be monitored if a desk officer is away on annual leave or is sick. I would suggest that any new requests should be sent directly to the MOD's central online FOI facility as this is monitored continuously. Once you have been contacted by a desk officer it is more straightforward to deal directly with this individual rather than the central FOI contact point unless you have a complaint"

"You should note that Operation GRANBY was the largest UK overseas military deployment for 45 years, running from approximately September 1990 and to June 1991. Researching your question about the numerical page quantity and the nature of the records requires a search of the MOD archives and is resource expensive. As I explained in my letter of 16 July, to bring your request under the £600 limit, you should reduce or refine your request to bring the cost of compliance under the limit. Please contact me on the telephone number at the top of this letter if you require any advice."


Telephone conversation with MoD's Veterans Policy Unit - Legacy Health Issues - 28 August 2007

As suggested, a telephone conversation has now taken place. Further refinement of the original request is now under consideration.


To the MoD's Veterans Policy Unit - Legacy Health Issues - 03 September 2007

XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

For the attention of:

XXX XXXXX
Veterans Policy Unit - Legacy Health Issues
Ministry of Defence
Zone H
7th Floor
Main Building
London
SW1A 2HB

03 September 2007

Your Reference: SP/05.10.01.10.01

Dear Mr XXXXX

I am writing to you following on from your responses to me dated 16 July 2007 and 23 August 2007 and our subsequent telephone conversation advising me that my Freedom of Information Act request (Case 18-06-2007-074128-004) for information concerning Iraq's 1991 use of SS-1 SCUD type missiles cannot be complied with on the grounds of excessive cost.

Could you please inform me of the following:

1/. Whether or not the information I requested (further pertinent details of the 140 Scud missile events as noted in the 20 July 2000 MoD publication 'A REVIEW OF UK FORCES CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENT ALERTS DURING THE 1990/1991 GULF CONFLICT') was previously extracted and retained by any department or unit within the MoD in any form prior to, during or after the production of the abovementioned document by the researcher(s), drafter(s) and writer(s) of the document itself, or by any other parties at any other time.

(Extract for reference, paragraph 67 - page 20)

"However, the HQ BFME diaries record some 102 launches with a further 36 false alarms and 2 misfires."

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DEE46F5D-E6CE-411D-AD0C-149C5542AEF9/0/Jul_00_Third_CW_Paper.pdf

2/. If the answer to the above is in the affirmative, could you please provide me with any further details, papers or notes (etc) that the MoD holds which relate to the production of the above document and/or the aforementioned Scud missile attacks.

I am taking the liberty of attaching my own paper in its present form 'ACCOUNTING FOR IRAQ'S MISSING SCUD MISSILES' for your own interest. Please feel free to circulate it to any interested parties, up to ministerial level, within the MoD.

Yours sincerely

Andrew XXXXX

Telephone: 01934 4136XX

E-mail: scudwatch@btinternet.com


Third Ministry of Defence FOIA Response - 29 October 2007

A further FOIA response has been received from XXXXXX XXXXXX of the Gulf War Illnesses Veterans Policy Unit at the Ministry of Defence (instead of XXX XXXXX of the Legacy Health Issues Veterans Policy Unit, to whom the request was sent). It states in part:

"The primary source for Para 67 was the HQ BFME War Diaries. We believe that we still hold these documents but unfortunately, despite extensive efforts we have been unable to ascertain their current location. If they come to light we will examine them to see if they contain the information you have requested."


To the MoD's Veterans Policy Unit - Gulf Veterans Illnesses - 15 November 2007

XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

Ms XXXXXX XXXXXX
Veterans Policy Unit Gulf Veterans' Illnesses
Ministry of Defence
Zone H
7th Floor
Main Building
LONDON
SW1A 2HB

15 November 2007

Re: FOIA Request 18-06-2007-074128-004

Dear Ms XXXXXX

I am writing to you following your letter to me dated 29 October 2007 and our subsequent telephone conversation informing me that current location of the 1991 Gulf War HQ BFME War Diaries cannot be ascertained.

I would like to state that I am disappointed and dissatisfied with this answer in so far as the overall response did not address the core issues of my refined question, which was:

"Whether or not the information I requested (further pertinent details of the 140 Scud missile events as noted in the 20 July 2000 MoD publication 'A REVIEW OF UK FORCES CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENT ALERTS DURING THE 1990/1991 GULF CONFLICT') was previously extracted and retained by any department or unit within the MoD in any form prior to, during or after production of the abovementioned document by the researcher(s), drafter(s) and writer(s) of the document itself, or by any other parties at any other time."

Your responses to me did not address this question at all, instead they only informed me about the currently unknown location of the HQ BFME War Diaries, which plainly must have been available during the production of the abovementioned document.

To reiterate, what I am asking is whether or not any department or unit within the MoD ever compiled any documentation in or of any form concerning the 140 Scud missile events based on the information contained in the HQ BFME War Diaries, or from any other sources that may be (or had been) available to the MoD.

I would therefore like to ask you to please reconsider your response to me in light of this letter, and to then inform me accordingly.

Yours sincerely

Andrew XXXXX

Scudwatch.Org


Fourth Ministry of Defence FOIA Response - 20 November 2007

A further FOIA response has been received from XXXXXX XXXXXX of the Gulf War Illnesses Veterans Policy Unit at the Ministry of Defence. It states:

"Thank you for your letter of 15 November about your FOI request. I am sorry that you feel dissatisfied with my reply, however the situation remains unchanged. As I said during our recent telephone conversation we have been unable to locate the diaries since they were transferred to our new custodian of records. Neither could we find anything concerning which documents were used to produce this paper, nor if any other departments held the information that you requested.

This particular paper was published in July 2000, some seven years ago, and the individuals who conducted the research to produce the paper are no longer working in VPU. Without their input it is very difficult to answer your query.

I am sorry that I cannot be more helpful."