When reviewing the circumstances of this case, the investigator analyzed three key issues:
What was the origin of the sample? Since the Missile and Space Intelligence Centers metallurgical tests on a portion of the metal fragment determined that it possessed characteristics aligned with the properties of Scud missiles, we accept that the metal fragment is a piece of a Scud missile.
What was the chain of custody for the sample? During a meeting on September 18, 1995, the Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) received a small metal fragment from someone in the audience. This person stated that the fragment came from a soldier stationed at King Fahd Military Airport on January 19, 1991. The soldier told him that this was a Scud fragment. He also stated that the soldier had stored it in a plastic bag and forgotten about it, until he rediscovered it in August 1994. He then gave it to the person who provided it to the PAC. Since (reportedly) the soldier who initially found the fragment in 1991 cannot account for it from the time he stored it in a plastic bag until its rediscovery in August 1994, we cannot establish the chain of custody prior to its presentation to the PAC.
Did the sample contain elements indicating the presence of chemical warfare agents? The US Army Edgewood Research and Development Engineering Centers nuclear magnetic resonance and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry tests for the presence of chemical warfare agents on the sample were negative. The sample did not contain any indication of chemical warfare agents.  Although the tests yielded no chemical warfare agents, the report does not preclude the possibility of other toxic substances on the Scud piece. For example, Iraq's Scuds were propelled by a combination of kerosene and a toxic oxidizer, inhibited red fuming nitric acid (IRFNA), which was reported to have caused iritations and injuries during the Gulf War. However, the veteran did not report symptoms that indicated IRFNA presence, and the lab did not test for possible contamination by IRFNA or its by-products, so we can make no assessments about IRFNA presence.
Since the chemical analysis has shown no evidence of the presence of chemical warfare agents, we assess that it is unlikely that a chemical warfare agent existed on the Scud sample. Because we cannot attest to the chain of custody before the Presidential Advisory Committee received the sample nor can we confirm the reported symptoms due to exposure to the sample, the assessment is unlikely rather than definitely not.
VI. LESSONS LEARNED
The key lesson expressed throughout this investigation is that soldiers should not pick up battlefield souvenirs or artifacts. Items on the battlefield may contain contaminants or present other safety hazards that are not immediately obvious.
This is a final report. However, if you believe you have information which may change this case narrative, please contact my office by calling 1-800-497-6261.
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