Saturday, March 10, 2007

Top Pakistan nuclear scientists in Taliban Custody

Zee News Exclusive:

New Delhi, March 07: Two top nuclear scientists of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) are currently in Taliban custody. The two were working at PAEC’s facility in North West Frontier Province. Zee News investigations reveal that the two scientists were kidnapped about six months ago.

To avoid international embarrassment Pakistan Government has kept this information under wraps.

According to information available with Zee News, nuclear scientists have been kidnapped by Taliban at the behest of Al-Qaeda. Further investigations reveal that Al-Qaeda may be using the expertise of the scientists to produce nuclear bombs. The two scientists are reportedly being held somewhere in Waziristan, near Afghanistan border.

In January this year Pakistan security agencies had foiled another attempt by Taliban militia to kidnap nuclear scientists. Earlier, incidents of Taliban militia stealing uranium in NWFP have already been reported. PAEC also has a uranium mining facility in NWFP.

With repeated Al Qaeda threats to the US, news of kidnapping of nuclear scientists will increase pressure on Pakistan to attack terrorist camps.

I have to wonder just how much help these scientist would be able to give to the Taliban. Knowledge is one thing, but gaining access to the technology needed to build a nuclear device is an entirely different thing. Still, why didn't Pakistan acknowledge the kidnappings immediately?

The biggest threat I see is if these two scientist somehow collaborate with Iran.

What might be of much more importance is the defection of an Iranian general to the West.
Reports said the general was also briefing Western intelligence on Iran's links to groups in Iraq. These include the Mehdi Army of the radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Badr organization.

Other reports also say that Milliyet, the 63-year-old had information on Iran's nuclear plans. But the Iranian government has denied that he was part of its nuclear programme.

Iran has claimed that the General was most likely kidnapped by Western (US or Israeli) forces. Evidence showing that the General had removed his family from Iran before leaving shows that he intended to defect.

10 Comments:

At 8:10 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

The question is a tad more complex given the Pakistani Government has no control of its borders. A dirty bomb is more probable than a full blown nuclear weapon.

The prine target NYC as a dirty bomb in Jerusalem flatens Dome of the Rock.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

What are the Taliban going to do with a nuclear scientist?

Ransom him, maybe but they are already making plenty from their dope operations. Kharzai announced a record opium harvest.

Are they going to build enrichment centrifuges in Afghanistan or tribal Pakistan? Areas that don't host a single factory or power station.
Remember that power to a centrifuge array must be absolutely reliable because a power drop doesn't just delay the enrichment but makes you start from the beginning.

I don't know why this is important. Much more likely that they'll just use the drug money to pay the Chechens to hijack some material in Russia for a dirty bomb.

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Lawman said...

I hate to admit it, but I think Mr. Ducky might be right on this one.

I don't think the threat of a full blown nuke (pardon the pun) is as great as the threat of a "dirty" bomb being built.

In some ways a dirty bomb being detonated could be much worse than an actual NUDET.

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

I honestly don't know what to think, AC. All I can say is that things seem to be heating up, and it doesn't take a psychic to know that sooner or later all hell is going to break loose. :(

 
At 6:19 PM, Blogger Obob said...

I posted this at query at Hellenic, who was in on the snatch and grab? We know there are those in the military and goverment in Pakistan who are not thrilled with our valued friendship.

 
At 8:31 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Obob is right too........and AC..collaberation with Iran?,,Lord help us then!

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

I think Ducky has hit the nail on the head here... The Taliban will ransom them either to back to PAEC, or to the nation that wishes to purchase them for their knowledge... Think North Korea, or someone similar.

 
At 3:51 PM, Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Ducky raised the same question I did. The Taliban are backward and primitive.

 
At 3:22 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Assumption 1

That the weapon has to be a full blown Nuclear bomb.

A dirty bomb in a key spot would be suficient to cause damage.

Assumption 2

The materials can not be aquired elswhere and assembled.

Russia, China, North Korea and Pakistan itself are probable sources of finnished product

 
At 4:15 AM, Blogger FreeCyprus said...

Good work AC.

I don't know why people are calling this the new "Cold War"

From where I'm sitting...it's pretty hot.

 

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