Death From Above

Death From Above
Vol: 17 Issue: 25 Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Unamanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are just what they sound like. They are small aircraft that are piloted remotely. The pilot flies the plane like he was flying a flight simulator video game. Flying one isn’t all that different than flying a virtual aircraft on your home computer.

UAV’s fly low and are virtually invisible to radar due to their small size.

These drone planes can make formidable weapons — especially if equipped with spray tanks containing chemical or biological weapons.

But their small size limits their effectiveness as well. They would have to fly over densely populated areas if they want to achieve maximum casualties.

Cities like Washington and New York are well protected, with radar but there are lots of cities in America that are wide open.

And that is what Secretary of State Colin Powell says Saddam Hussein has in mind for his fleet. Saddam is known to have at least 79 Czech-made L-29’s and 91 of the upgraded L39 s small flight trainers that have modified to operate as UAV s.

According to the Czech Air Force web site, the L29 is 10.8 meters long, reaches 3.1 meters high, has a maximum speed of 231 kilometers per hour, has a practical flight ceiling of 10,900 meters and can, at most, range 1350 kilometers. But these aren’t the ones really worrying US intelligence.

Powell showed a picture of a small drone plane during his presentation to the U.N. Security Council earlier this month.

“UAVs outfitted with spray tanks constitute an ideal method for launching a terrorist attack using biological weapons,” Powell said during his speech. “Iraq could use these small UAVs, which have a wingspan of only a few meters, to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or, if transported, to other countries, including the United States.”

US intelligence reports that Iraq could be planning a chemical or biological attack on American cities through the use of remote-controlled “drone” planes equipped with GPS tracking maps.

The information about Iraq’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program has caused a “real concern” among defense personnel. They believe that these vehicles have already been, or could be, transported inside the United States to be used in such an attack.

Powell said there is “ample evidence” that Iraq has dedicated much time and effort to developing and testing spray devices that could be adapted for UAVs. “And of the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs, he has not told the truth,” Powell said.

In the arms declaration Iraq submitted to the U.N. Security Council in December, the country said its UAVs have a range of only 50 miles. But Powell said U.S. intelligence sources found that one of Iraq’s newest UAVs went 310 miles nonstop on autopilot in a test run. That distance is over the 155 miles that the United Nations permits.

And the test was left out of Iraq’s arms declaration.

US intelligence has been tracking this threat for some time. On Dec. 17, 1998, during the end of Operation Desert Fox, a British missile blew open a hangar to expose at least 12 UAVs to US satellites. These aircraft had spray nozzles and wing-mounted tanks that feasibly could be used to distribute chemical or biological agents.

Not all had been destroyed in the bombing.

Two years later, surveillance photos caught L-29 modified UAV’s undergoing flight tests.

Back in October, President Bush mentioned it during a speech in Cincinnati.

“We’ve also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical and biological weapons across broad areas,” Bush said in preparation for a congressional vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq. “We’re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.”

You’ll remember that not too long after Sept. 11, there was a report made public about Usama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network being trained to conduct air raids through air vehicles outfitted with spray tanks. Some terror network members had looked into the possibility of training on the aerial UAVs.

This report was the catalyst for investigations into U.S. flight schools that led to all kinds of intelligence about the threat of chemical and biological attacks against the homeland.


As a weapon of war against the United States, using UAVs to deliver CBW to targets in the US is not very effective. It is very difficult to control the dispersal rate and would have to fly over densely populated (and densely protected) areas to achieve a high casualty rate.

But as a weapon of terror, it is profoundly effective.

By the Gulf War, Iraq had produced sufficient quantities of chemical precursors for almost 500 metric tons of the nerve agent VX and hundreds of metric tons of tabun, sarin, and mustard gas. Iraq had weaponized mortal shells, artillery shells, grenades, aerial bombs and rockets for chemical use and deployed 50 missiles equipped with potent chemical warheads.

After the Gulf War, UNSCOM destroyed more than 480,000 liters of chemical agents and 1.8 million liters of chemical precursors in Iraq.

Rough estimates conclude that Iraq may have retained up to 600 metric tons of agents, including VX, mustard gas and sarin. There are thousands of possible chemical munitions still unaccounted for.

Saddam s bioweapons arsenal is just as terrifying. Pathogens produced included both lethal agents (e.g., anthrax, botulinum toxin and ricin) and incapacitating agents (e.g., aflatoxin, mycotoxins, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis virus and rotavirus).

UNSCOM reports indicated that Iraq had produced 8,500 liters of anthrax, 20,000 liters of botulinum, 2,200 liters of aflatoxin, and the biological agent ricin.

The Iraqi BW program explored and developed a broad range of weapon delivery systems, including aerial bombs, rockets, missiles and spray tanks.

While the prospect of such an attack on American cities is indeed terrifying, it is also eerily reminiscent of the battlefield scene described by the prophet Zechariah during the final battle in the war of Armageddon.

Zechariah 14:12 describes it thusly: And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

I am NOT saying that the war with Iraq is part of the war of Armageddon, or that this is the fulfillment of that prophecy.

Instead, I am saying this. We are straining our eyes to look for flying drones containing weapons that can do EXACTLY what Zechariah foresaw 2500 years before the fact.

Add this to the list. What list? The list of things that are BEGINNING to come to pass.

The wars, rumors of wars, the rebirth of Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the turmoil in the UN, NATO and the EU, the fear of biological and chemical war, the potential for a nuclear war taken together, what you have is a whole lot of Bible prophecy that is BEGINNING to come to pass.

And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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