The New York Times > International > Middle East > Looting at Iraqi Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Official Says: “The Iraqi official, Sami al-Araji, the deputy minister of industry, said it appeared that a highly organized operation had pinpointed specific plants in search of valuable equipment, some of which could be used for both military and civilian applications, and carted the machinery away.

Dr. Araji said his account was based largely on observations by government employees and officials who either worked at the sites or lived near them.

‘They came in with the cranes and the lorries, and they depleted the whole sites,’ Dr. Araji said. ‘They knew what they were doing; they knew what they want. This was sophisticated looting.’ “

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