Did MI6 seriously get some of their Iraq intel from a Nicholas Cage movie?

Did MI6 seriously get some of their Iraq intel from a Nicholas Cage movie?

One of the more intriguing news items to emerge from the Chilcot report involves the 1996 action thriller film The Rock starring Nicholas Cage as Dr. Stanley Goodspeed.

The report has been critical of MI6's collection of information and subsequent use of the material they gained from sources about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

In September 2002, as the BBC has reported, a source told MI6 agents that Iraq had accelerated its chemical weapon programme and promised further information.

However, by February 2003, the source had failed to produce further confirmation. By 18 February, MI6 notes described the source as having been false.

From September the source had been describing spherical containers which MI6 had noted were:

remarkably similar to the fictional chemical weapon portrayed in the film The Rock.

MI6 later concluded, having met the agent (who denied providing the material attributed to him) "that its source was a fabricator who had lied from the outset".

By July 2003, the reports were officially withdrawn, having been issued initially to Number 10 in September 2002 and reissued in April.

When Tony Blair later gave evidence to the Hutton Inquiry, he appeared under the impression that the information was currently being validated, but it was already withdrawn - he seems to have only become aware of this by the time of the Butler Review in 2004.

Here's the opening scene, in which weapons are depicted:

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