Mystery Over Nuclear Blueprints Grows
The revelation that blueprints to build a smaller, easily transportable nuclear weapon were discovered on computers in a handful of foreign nations has set off a worldwide search to see if any rogue nations or groups got ahold of the plans.
The A.Q. Khan smuggling ring, which is accused of sharing the plans for an advanced nuclear weapon with a Swiss family, also sold bomb-making material to Libya, Iran and North Korea. And it's unclear whether Khan, the 72-year-old father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, sold the nuclear bomb blueprints to anyone else.
The fallout from the public acknowledgement of the plans, which were discovered in 2006 on computers owned by the Tinner family in Switzerland, sent U.S. officials scrambling over the past week and prompted a not-too-subtle warning to Pakistani officials regarding the potential release of Khan, who is currently under house arrest, The New York Times reported.
Khan, who admitted in a televised broadcast in 2004 that he sold bomb-making plans and know-how to foreign governments, said he was coerced into confessing to that crime. In a June interview with The Post's Candace Rondeaux, Khan said he only did what Pakistani officials asked of him and denied any role in a smuggling operation. "I didn't want to leave behind the stigma for my family that their father or husband is a traitor or a bad man," he said.
Still, the mystery continues.
United Nations officials, who supervised the destruction of the drawings by Swiss authorities recently, could not rule out the possibility that the blueprints were shared with others before their discovery, the report's author, prominent nuclear weapons expert David Albright, told The Post.
And U.S. officials have been unable to determine if the plans were shared with other countries, The New York Times reported.
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