Smuggling Network Had Blueprint for Advanced Nuclear Weapon
Sunday, June 15, 2008
A draft report released by a former U.N. weapons inspector found that the international smuggling ring that supplied nuclear designs to Iran, Libya, and North Korea also obtained the blueprints for an advanced nuclear warhead, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
David Albright, a well-known nuclear weapons expert, said that designs for a nuclear device small enough to fit on a ballistic missile were found on computers belonging to the now-defunct smuggling ring of rouge Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Khan — who remains under house arrest in Pakistan for selling nuclear technologies — supplied secret nuclear blueprints to Libya, North Korea and Iran, according the Post. The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been conducting an on-going investigation into what other secrets may have sold by A.Q. Khan.
Albright's report said what is troubling about these electronic blueprints — discovered in 2006 on the computer of a Swiss businessman — is that it shows the existence of another, more sophisticated design than the one sold to Libya — better suited the missile capabilities of countries such as Iran.
Swiss authorities, under the direction of the IAEA reportedly destroyed the computer contents, said the Post.