for advanced nukes possibly sold: Report
June 15: A report compiled by a former UN arms inspector warns
that an international smuggling ring that sold bomb-related
parts to Libya, Iran and North Korea also managed to acquire
blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon, The Washington
Post reported Sunday.
newspaper said a copy of the draft it had obtained suggests
the plans could have been shared secretly with a number of
countries or rogue groups.
study focuses on drawings discovered in 2006 on computers
owned by Swiss businessmen, according to the paper.
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
computer contents - among more than 1,000 gigabytes of data
seized - were recently destroyed by Swiss authorities under
the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,
which is investigating the now-defunct smuggling ring previously
led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
UN officials cannot rule out the possibility that the blueprints
were shared with others before their discovery, the report's
author, David Albright, a prominent nuclear weapons expert,
told The Post.
advanced nuclear weapons designs may have long ago been sold
off to some of the most treacherous regimes in the world,"
the paper quotes Albright as saying in his report.
copy of the report, expected to be published later this week,
was provided to The Post.
A.Q. Khan smuggling ring was previously known to have provided
Libya with design information for a nuclear bomb.
the blueprints found in 2006 are far more troubling, Albright
said, because they offered instructions for building a compact
lethality of such a bomb would not be significantly enhanced,
but its smaller size might allow for delivery by ballistic
missile, the paper said.