a q khan

Goddamn it Jim, I'm a patriot, not a scummy smuggler

Did you know we have a NSOI? Neither did I. But thanks to this September 30 US State Department press release, I do now.


Evidently Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ednan Karabayev signed the Program of Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on Combating the Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials.

When you absolutely, positively have to fight proliferation... Send a lawyer

Now I'm sure you agree that when asked to name the first person who comes to mind when it comes to combating illegal nuclear black market traffickers Alberto Gonzalez is not on the tip of your tongue. In fact, now that he is no longer US Attorney General, you probably don't think of him at all.

But actually when he spoke at the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism Law Enforcement Summit on June 11 in Miami, Florida (and where better than Miami to talk about criminal behavior?) he actually a few some interesting things to say.

Germany: Keeping the tradition

You have to hand it to Germany: at least it is consistent. During Dr Khan’s day, some of his best suppliers were Germany companies. Firms like Leybold Heraeus helped with a uranium hexafluoride handling plant as well as other items. And a Leybold employee, Gotthard Lerch (who was on trial earlier this year, which I’ll post on in the future), remained in touch with the doctor long after he left Leybold to set up his own company.

Other unknown smuggling networks evidently exist

A National Defense University report released earlier this month makes a connection between Khan-like networks and nuclear terrorism.

The report from the NDU's Center for Technology and National Security Policy found that global cooperation between law enforcement agencies and a coordinated nuclear detection network is needed if the world hopes to prevent terrorists from acquiring WMD material.

AQ Khan's nuclear Wal-Mart

For those of you who were away on vacation in the summer, I'd like to remind you about this hearing that took place on June 27. It took place shortly after IISS rolled out its Nuclear Black Markets strategic dossier edited by Mark Fitzpatrick.

Specifically, it was joint hearing of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia and Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, House Foreign Affairs Committee. The subject was 'AQ Khan's Nuclear Wal-Mart: Out of Business or Under New Management?'

Dr Khan 1: Benazir Bhutto 0

If Benazir Bhutto was floating a trial balloon when she talked about allowing IAEA inspectors to question Dr Khan I think it safe to say the results are in. And it appears, to paraphrase Franklin D Roosevelt, the only thing Dr Khan has to fear is not Benazir Bhutto. Consider some of the subsequent reaction, courtesy of BBC Monitoring International Reports, September 27, 2007:

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