How Al Qaeda Got Nukes
"American Hiroshima: Old News"
"America Has Still Not Been Punished For the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki"
-Mohamed Haydar-Zamar, a co-planner of 9-11.
By Ryan Mauro, Analyst
This week, the mainstream media seemed shocked when a number of news sources, including WorldNetDaily.com released a report about an "American
Hiroshima" plot against the United States by Al-Qaeda The plot calls for Al-Qaeda to detonate nuclear weapons on American soil, having arrived over
the Mexican border with the assistance of MS-13 gang members. The report claims Al-Qaeda has already obtained a large number of nuclear weapons
currently being maintained by Pakistani and Russian scientists.
Why the shock? In November 2002, this author provided similar and nearly identical information to the American public and intelligence agencies
compiled from private and open-sources. The result was a research project of an enormous size, summarily published on this site with the entire
version published on WorldThreats.com. Thus, we were quite surprised when this report rocked and shocked the mainstream media over two years after we
had already published the same information.
Our original report, entitled "Exposing the Next Wave of Spectacular Terrorism: Terrorist Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction" seems
antiquated as it had been tailored to the address the concerns at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, including the possibility of retaliatory
terrorist attacks. Although there were several subsequent updates, we have re-compiled our information, now over two years old, to illustrate we
sounded this alarm bell in 2002.
There is a significant amount of intelligence and open-source documentation suggesting that al-Qaeda has obtained and is in possession of nuclear
weapons. There is, unfortunately, no way to know for certain the status of these weapons. Have they been destroyed? Do the terrorists lack the
expertise to use them? Are the weapons simply old and useless, or are they being kept hidden somewhere for later use? These are the questions the
intelligence community needs to be asking, and should have been asking over the last few years.
There is much speculation over the reasons security and intelligence agencies are going to such great lengths to guard against chemical, biological,
radiological, and nuclear terrorism. One of the most recent ones today is that President Bush and Tony Blair were personally advised that al-Qaeda had
obtained nuclear weapons through their contact with former KGB agents. Reportedly, during the last week of October 2001, CIA director George Tenet met
with the president to discuss fresh intelligence about the nuclear threat. It is said that Bush was startled by the discussion and immediately
proceeded to make preparation for nuclear terrorism a top priority despite its expenses. Perhaps this is the meeting that Paul L. Williams refers to
in his new book when he says our leadership was informed of the terrorists' nuclear capabilities and "went through the roof."
Testimony About the Threat
Stanislav Lunev, the highest-ranking defector from Russia's GRU intelligence service has testified that al-Qaeda possesses nuclear weapons from the
Soviet arsenal. "They [Al-Qaeda] hatched their plan over years and trained well for it. They used 'cheap' weapons not because they did not have
'expensive' weapons of mass destruction; all evidence indicates they have such weapons." He has said that the Israeli Mossad concluded in the 1990s
that Bin Laden had obtained nuclear warheads, artillery shells, and torpedoes from the former Soviet Union.
Representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, became a leading voice after September 11, 2001
and warned about our vulnerability to nuclear terrorism. He repeatedly warned that up to 60 briefcase-sized nuclear weapons (1-3 kilotons each) may
have been stolen from the former Soviet Union. Shays cites the testimony of an advisor to Russian President Putin for that figure. The weapons have
been "missing" for a long time, in fact as far back as 1997 when Boris Yeltsin was still the President of Russia, General Aleksandr Lebed (the
former National Security Advisor) warned that around 100 "suitcase-sized" nuclear weapons were unaccounted for.
Representative Curt Weldon (R-PA) stated that a former top aide to Yeltsin confirmed the same thing to him, saying "scores" were missing. The aide
said that high-ranking military figures were selling off the technology, with explosive power ranging from one to 10 kilotons.
John Colarusso, an expert on the Caucasus at McMaster University in Ontario (and an advisor to President Clinton on Chechnya) has said: "I am
reasonably certain that they have or had at least three warheads," referring to Chechen militant groups. He said warheads were found in an abandoned
ballistic missile silo in Bamut. The missiles were destroyed in the mid-1970s by a propellant fire which left two warheads at the bottom of the
shafts. The third weapon he said the Chechens possessed was a nuclear-tipped air-to-surface missile.
Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, founder of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, said in 1999 to the State Department that a coalition of terrorist
organizations including Osama Bin Laden had received over 20 "suitcase-sized" nuclear weapons from criminals in the former Soviet Union. He was
warning them about the growth of Islamic radicalism in Muslim mosques and organizations.
>The first major Western paper to report that Osama Bin Laden had obtained nuclear weapons was the London Times. In October 1998, they reported that
he had purchased nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union, as did the London-based paper, Al-Hayat. Al-Watan al-Arabi, Al-Quds al-Arabi, Al-Wasat,
Al-Majalllah, Izvestiya (Russia), Yossef Bodansky (former director of the US Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare) and
Paul L. Williams (a former terrorism consultant to the FBI) have all described virtually the same account: Al-Qaeda has purchased up to 20 nuclear
weapons through the Chechens and Russian Mafia from the former Soviet Union, most reports saying it was done for around $30 million and two tons of
opium (worth at least $700 million if sold in the West).
Al-Watan al-Arabi's report dated November. 13, 1998, said the weapons obtained from Russia reached Afghanistan via Uzbekistan, and that former Soviet
scientists had removed the active uranium so it could be processed and put into backpack-sized bombs. On October 28, 2002, the Washington Times in an
article titled "Al-Qaeda Nukes For Real, Intelligence Says," appears to give additional confirmation to this story, saying "reliable sources"
reported that the nukes were smuggled into central Asia by the Russian Mafia and technicians had been hired to maintain them.
There is additional confirmation that Al-Qaeda obtained nuclear weapons through Chechen sources from Geostrategy-Direct.com, a weekly intelligence
digest edited by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times and Robert Morton of WorldTribune.com. The publication reported on July 28, 2001 that their
sources confirmed Al-Qaeda had nuclear weapons, but the estimated number varied between intelligence services. Russian intelligence believes they
obtained "a handful," while the Arabs (specifically the Saudis), indicated it could be 20 or more. WorldTribune.com published a similar report back
on August 9, 1999.
Yossef Bodansky's claims in "Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America" and Paul L. Williams in his books tell a story that is almost
identical to these Arab press reports. The reports state that all the way back in 1988, Bin Laden hired five nuclear scientists from Turkmenistan to
work at Khost, Afghanistan. Their leader worked at the Iraqi nuclear reactor before it was destroyed. Here the scientists began working to remove the
fissionable material to be moved into smaller backpack-sized packages. Reportedly, it is possible hundreds of scientists and technicians were hired.
Williams has written that Al-Qaeda has figured out how to detonate the weapons. Bodansky has been silent, except for saying there was also
intelligence indicating Russian experts had been hired for that purpose.
Using ties to the Chechen mafia and militant groups, at a cost of $30 million and two tons of opium, he bought up many nuclear weapons (possibly over
20) from Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and began trying to hire former Spetsnaz operatives who were trained in maintaining and
using the nukes. The Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi, citing "moderate Arab sources," also reported that approximately 20
nukes had been obtained and hidden around Khost and Kandahar, as reported by Chris Todd (in Web Today, August 19, 2000).
The El Mundo paper, often called France's version of the New York Times, issued a report dated September 16, 2001 as well, saying Al-Qaeda had
obtained nuclear weapons, writing: "The latest information out of the U.S. is that the leader's emissaries succeeded in purchasing out of the
Ukraine 3 mini-nukes known as RA115 and RA116. These can be carried in a suitcase, and 700 of them were manufactured in the Soviet Union. Russian
sources admit they have lost at least 100 of these."
Paul L. Williams in his book, Al-Qaeda reveals that his sources are reportedly two criminals involved with the deal. Williams says the crime ring
involved and was operated by a former KGB officer who sold weapons from Chechnya, and then expanded his activity into New York. Two of his criminals
told the FBI that the deal that made the crime ring rich was with "Afghan Arabs" looking for nuclear weapons. Williams says that the Taliban's
heroin sales to the Sicilian Mafia and other organizations helped pay for the weapons.
So, what is the bottom line on this? Either our own intelligence sources have been hoodwinked by "bad" intelligence, numerous open sources have also
been fooled en masse, or it means there is indeed credible information al-Qaeda currently possesses nuclear weapons. The private consensus among
intelligence insiders for the last few years is indeed that al Qaeda has nuclear weapons in their possession.
Separate but Related Report
On November 10, 2001, Pakistan's The Frontier Post reported that Al-Qaeda had obtained nuclear weapons, providing information very similar to the
recent information offered by WorldNetDaily's and Paul Williams. That report said there was a Pakistani-American investigation into the subject and
it was concluded that at least two briefcase-sized nukes had reached US soil. At least one was traced back to central Asian groups and Al-Qaeda. It
reportedly is a small bomb around 8 kg, with at least 2 kg of fissionable uranium and plutonium. The Russian device has a serial number of 9999 and a
manufacturing date of October 1998. The uranium and plutonium are contained in separate compartments, each with a separate charging mechanism.
Warnings From Al-Qaeda
In November of 2001, Osama bin Laden admitted to Hamid Mir, a major Pakistani journalist that he had nuclear weapons. "They're not difficult to
obtain if you have contacts in Russia with other Islamist groups. They are available for $10 million and $20 million." He said they were a deterrent
force, to be used in retaliation. It should be noted that back in late 1998, when the weapons were reportedly received, Bin Laden gave an interview
saying that he had nuclear weapons, and that it was justified because the West had them and had used them.
This point is interesting by its very nature because ALL of Osama's grievances against the West are related to crimes against the Muslim people,
EXCEPT for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He and other Al-Qaeda operatives have said this is something we need to be punished for, and
has cited it as one of our atrocities. Why throw in this grievance with all the others that are strictly related to our treatment of Muslims? There
can only be one logical answer: Bin Laden needs to justify some sort of attack with nuclear weapons.
Ahmed Salama Mabruk, head of Egyptian Islamic Jihad's operations in Cairo (the group merged with Al-Qaeda) and thus, a top aide to Ayman al-Zawahiri,
told Mohamed Salah of al-Hayat that Al-Qaeda obtained nuclear weapons from several countries. Mabruk said there were strict instructions for them not
to be used unless Osama gave his direct orders.
Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl worked for Al-Qaeda in the early 1990s. He explained how he was sent to check out a three foot high cylinder full of enriched
uranium from South Africa while he was in Sudan for $1.5 million. Although he was unsure if the deal was consummated, he confirmed that the leadership
of Bin Laden's organization was negotiating the purchase of "nuclear suitcases" from the Russian Mafia in Chechnya.
The origin of the latest "American Hiroshima" story citing the death of 4 million U.S. citizens stems from Abu Ghaith, al-Qaeda's top spokesperson.
He said in 2003 that Islam had the right to use chemical and biological weapons since the USA has used them; kill four million Americans including one
million children; leave eight million homeless; and cripple hundreds of thousands of Americans. It is unclear whether Ghaith meant this would be done
all in one attack.
An interesting claim being investigated by our intelligence agencies but something so far ignored by the Western media is a claims by a well known
radical Islamic web site claiming to be affiliated with Bin Laden's organization. In late 2002, a "nuclear fatwa" was reportedly issued and was
accompanied by a disturbing photo-shopped picture of a nuclear explosion in New York City with Bin Laden in the background. That image, pictured
below, was first published on this web site in 2002 along with references to al Qaeda's nuclear capabilities as outlined by this analyst as well as
others within this organization. In 2002, we were considered pariahs and alarmists by the major media and others while the NEST aircraft were busy
conducting their searches across the U.S.. Now, those same individuals are engaged in collective hand-wringing over this "new, earth-shaking news"
that we outlined years ago.
1 Worldnetdaily.com, Dec. 14 2002 reported that London Sunday Express claimed the two leaders were informed that Bin Laden's organization
had purchased approximately 20 nuclear weapons from the ex-KGB.
2 Fox News, August 2, 2002.
3 Newsmax.com, October 16, 2001.
4 Newsmax.com, September 25, 2001, "Shays Warns of Suitcase Nuke Terror Threat."
5 Newsmax.com, March 5, 2002.
6 Boston Globe, December 2, 2002, David Filipov.