Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pakistan nuclear thefts foiled

Pakistan ’s secret nuclear-storage sites are known to Islamist extremists and have been attacked at least three times over the last two years , according to two recent reputable reports.
The Baltimore-based Maldon Institute , whose worldwide staff consists mostly of retired intelligence officers , and the Times of India’s Washington-based foreign editor Chidanand Rajghatta both report attempted nuclear thefts that have been tracked by Shaun Gregory , a professor at Bradford University in Britain .
The first such attack against the nuclear-missile-storage facility was on Nov. 1 , 2007 , at Sargodha; the second , by a suicide bomber , occurred Dec. 10 , 2007 , against Pakistan’s nuclear air base at Kamra; and the third , Aug. 20 , 2008 , and most alarming , was launched by several suicide bombers who blew up key entry points to a nuclear-weapons complex at the Wah Cantonment , long believed to be one of Pakistan’s main nuclear-weapons assembly points , where warheads and launchers come together in a national emergency.
Mr. Gregory’s research paper was first published in West Point ’s Counter Terrorism Center Sentinel , and elicited no attention or reaction. Renowned terrorist expert Peter Bergen , one of the very few journalists to interview al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden before Sept. 11 , 2001 , reviewed Mr. Gregory’s paper and was baffled by the lack of reaction from the rest of the media.
While not denying the three incidents , Pakistan has said repeatedly that its nuclear weapons are fully secured and there is no chance of them falling into the hands of Islamist extremists , who have attracted a limited number of officers.

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