A.Q. Khan Ring May have Shared Bomb Designs

Rick Moran
A group of smugglers connected to selling bomb parts to Libya, Iran, and North Korea, may have acquired blueprints to build a bomb and shared it with other countries and rogue groups says a former UN arms inspector:

The drawings, discovered in 2006 on computers owned by Swiss businessmen, included essential details for building a compact nuclear device that could be fitted on a type of ballistic missile used by Iran and more than a dozen developing countries, the report states.

The computer contents -- among more than 1,000 gigabytes of data seized -- were recently destroyed by Swiss authorities under the supervision of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, which is investigating the now-defunct smuggling ring previously led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

But U.N. officials cannot rule out the possibility that the blueprints were shared with others before their discovery, said the report's author, David Albright, a prominent nuclear weapons expert who spent four years researching the smuggling network.

"These advanced nuclear weapons designs may have long ago been sold off to some of the most treacherous regimes in the world," Albright wrote in a draft report about the blueprint's discovery. A copy of the report, expected to be published later this week, was provided to The Washington Post.

The new Pakistani government is considering whether to allow Khan to go free after he said that his confession was "coerced." What that government does will go a long way to determining which side they are on in the war on terror.

While the design of the weapon may be compact, the good news is that developing a warhead to carry it is extremely difficult. But its small size presents other, obvious threats such as a greater ease in smuggling it into the US or some other country.

At this point, we must assume the worst; that Iran, North Korea, and perhaps even al-Qaeda have  plans to build a small, workable nuclear device.
A group of smugglers connected to selling bomb parts to Libya, Iran, and North Korea, may have acquired blueprints to build a bomb and shared it with other countries and rogue groups says a former UN arms inspector:

The drawings, discovered in 2006 on computers owned by Swiss businessmen, included essential details for building a compact nuclear device that could be fitted on a type of ballistic missile used by Iran and more than a dozen developing countries, the report states.

The computer contents -- among more than 1,000 gigabytes of data seized -- were recently destroyed by Swiss authorities under the supervision of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, which is investigating the now-defunct smuggling ring previously led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

But U.N. officials cannot rule out the possibility that the blueprints were shared with others before their discovery, said the report's author, David Albright, a prominent nuclear weapons expert who spent four years researching the smuggling network.

"These advanced nuclear weapons designs may have long ago been sold off to some of the most treacherous regimes in the world," Albright wrote in a draft report about the blueprint's discovery. A copy of the report, expected to be published later this week, was provided to The Washington Post.

The new Pakistani government is considering whether to allow Khan to go free after he said that his confession was "coerced." What that government does will go a long way to determining which side they are on in the war on terror.

While the design of the weapon may be compact, the good news is that developing a warhead to carry it is extremely difficult. But its small size presents other, obvious threats such as a greater ease in smuggling it into the US or some other country.

At this point, we must assume the worst; that Iran, North Korea, and perhaps even al-Qaeda have  plans to build a small, workable nuclear device.