AP sources: Intelligence on weapons no ‘slam dunk’

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 file citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a member of a UN investigation team takes samples of sands near a part of a missile is likely to be one of the chemical rockets according to activists, in the Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria. The intelligence linking the Syrian regime and President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 Syrians is no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say. (AP Photo/United Media Office of Arbeen, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 file citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a member of a UN investigation team takes samples of sands near a part of a missile is likely to be one of the chemical rockets according to activists, in the Damascus countryside of Ain Terma, Syria. The intelligence linking the Syrian regime and President Bashar Assad to the alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 Syrians is no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria's chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say. (AP Photo/United Media Office of Arbeen, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the intelligence linking the Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to the alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no “slam dunk.”

The officials say questions remain about who controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores, and there are doubts about whether Assad himself ordered such a strike.

President Barack Obama has declared unequivocally that the Syrian government is responsible and has been laying the groundwork for an expected U.S. military strike.

A report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence builds a case that Assad’s forces are most likely responsible but also points to gaps in the U.S. intelligence picture.

The intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

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