How to Catch A Cheat

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READY, SET: The U.N.'s Hans Blix arrives in Baghdad

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The inspection teams will employ an array of new detection gadgets. They include a machine nicknamed Alex that can identify hardened metals used to make nuclear weapons, an ultra-sensitive detector known as the Ranger that can pick up gamma rays even through half-inch steel plating, and about a dozen shoebox-size, $30,000 digital cameras that, once installed in a facility, can alert the inspectors to any movement of stored materials. The cameras, known as the auroral large imaging system, are coated in a special powderized paint to deter tampering. And while previous U.N. inspectors had to rely on U.N. member states to provide satellite photos of Iraq, the current inspectors have access to commercial satellites that can spot a 5-foot-tall person from 500 miles out in space.

UNMOVIC also has wider latitude than the U.N. Special Commission had when it conducted its searches: the current Security Council resolution, for instance, gives inspectors broad authority to search Saddam's presidential palaces, restoring prerogatives that the U.N. agreed to give up in 1998. In addition, UNMOVIC has the authority to interview Iraqi government scientists without having an official Iraqi minder present and, as a last resort, can fly the scientists and their families out of the country for questioning. It can also order the "freezing" of suspect facilities, which would prohibit any movement to or from a site during an inspection. "There were times when we came to a building and the Iraqis were running out the back door," says Melissa Fleming, an IAEA spokeswoman. "That should not happen now." The best news for the inspectors may be that this time the U.S. is prepared to punish Saddam if it does.

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