By Mustafa Amara
Azzaman, 2004-10-30 — More than 310 Iraqi scientists are thought to have perished at the hands of Israeli secret agents in Iraq since fall of Baghdad to US troops in April 2003, a seminar has found.
The seminar, held in Cairo, was attended by politicians, journalists and experts with an interest in current Iraqi affairs.
The experts said they had detected an organized campaign aimed at “liquidating Iraqi scientists” in the past 18 months and most of them pointed the finger at the Israeli secret police service, the Mossad. The organizers said their aim was to highlight the plight of Iraqi scientists particularly those who were engaged in the weapons programs under the former regime.
“There is a joint American and Israeli plan to kill as many Iraqi scientists as possible,” said Abdel Raoof al-Raidi, an ambassador and assistant foreign minister.
The Iraqi ambassador in Cairo, Ahmad al-Iraqi, accused Israel of sending to Iraq immediately after the US invasion “a commando unit” charged with the killing of Iraqi scientists.
“Israel has played a prominent role in liquidating Iraqi scientists … The campaign is part of a Zionist plan to kill Arab and Muslim scientists working in applied research which Israel sees as threatening its interests,” al-Iraqi said.
DR. Imad Jad, an Israeli affairs expert at the Al-Ahram Studies Center, said the US had already airlifted 70 Iraqi scientists out of the country and placed them in areas to make it difficult for them to “transfer information to anti-US quarters.”
He said more than 310 Iraqi scientists have been killed so far and most of them at the hands of Mossad agents working in Iraq.
He said the Ahram Center estimated that nearly 17,000 Iraqi scientists working in various fields of knowledge have fled the country since the US-led invasion.
In Baghdad, interim government officials refused to comment on the deliberations that took place in the Cairo conference.
However, the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology said their own figures tally with those mentioned at the seminar, particularly regarding the number of Iraqi scientist been killed so far.
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