Heh Heh. The shipments that landed in Tennessee from Libya include bomb Xerox copies from who less - Dr.Xerox himself.
, and they wave aside recent accusations by Mr. Khan's allies that President Pervez Musharraf was himself aware of the transactions.
But some experts inside and outside the government say it is difficult to believe that Pakistan's nuclear secrets could have been exported without the knowledge of some in the military and the Pakistani intelligence service, the I.S.I., especially since some shipments were made on Pakistani military aircraft. [/b]
Whoever was responsible, the warhead design appears now to have been a sought-after prize of the network of nuclear middlemen and parts producers that American officials say is being broken up, from Germany to Malaysia, and from Dubai to the Netherlands.
"Ever since the Libya revelations last month, there have been a lot of detentions, and some arrests," one American official said Tuesday.
The documents were hurried out of Libya on the first flight that could be arranged — a Jan. 22 charter that had arrived in Libya with equipment for the C.I.A. and others dismantling the Libyan nuclear complex. The documents are being held by the Department of Energy, which oversees America's nuclear arsenal. A second flight, a few days later, took thousands of parts for centrifuges to a location Tennessee.
Inside the White House and across the Potomac at the Central Intelligence Agency, the documents from Libya have raised as many urgent questions as they have answered.
American intelligence officials say they are uncertain who else possesses copies of the design, but they assume there are others. Obtaining the enriched uranium or the plutonium to make a bomb is more difficult than getting a workable bomb design, but their fear is that the network they are uncovering sold both.
Investigators are also trying to determine whether the network of suppliers and experts sold a similar weapons design to North Korea. American and South Korean officials say that North Korea traded its missile technology to Pakistan in return for nuclear weapons technology in the late 1990's. That is during the same period when Libya paid to obtain the design and the centrifuge parts, investigators say.
<u>The last shipment of those parts to Libya was intercepted in October, which was several years after Washington began pressuring Mr. Musharraf's government to shut down the scientists at the Khan lab.</u>
According to American and European investigators, the network that supplied Libya was enormously complex, and not all the paths led directly back to the Khan laboratory. Centrifuge parts were made in Malaysia, and other parts were obtained in Germany and Japan. The Japanese last year seized critical equipment headed for North Korea, though they never announced it.
But both the centrifuge designs and the bomb designs seized in Libya appear to have come from the same country, according to experts who have reviewed them. "My understanding is that it did come from Pakistan," said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Institute for Science and International Security here.
The I.A.E.A. has not publicly said where the designs came from. But Mr. ElBaradei said publicly two weeks ago that weapons designs had been found and secured — apparently a reference to the documents flown to the United States. He did not say how Libya had obtained the blueprints or the origin of the bomb designs.
Mr. Khan was convicted in the Netherlands of stealing a centrifuge design in the 1970's. His conviction was overturned on a technicality, and American officials say it is possible that he or his associates also stole the warhead design in Pakistan without the government's knowledge. Mr. Khan had access to almost every aspect of Pakistan's nuclear program.
Mr. Khan has not spoken publicly since he was relieved of his post as an adviser to President Musharraf and accused — but not arrested — by Pakistani government officials of having supplied nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
Bush adminstration officials said today that they are waiting to see if Mr. Musharraf is willing to order his arrest, and face the wrath of Pakistani nationalists who regard Mr. Khan as a hero.
Statements by Mr. Khan's supporters already leave little doubt about the scientist's strategy: If arrested, he appears ready to argue that the Pakistani leadership knew about his transaction at the highest levels. That would put the White House in a difficult position, because President Bush is attempting to support Mr. Musharraf, a critical ally in tracking down members of Al Qaeda, while forcing him to shut down what officials say was a widespread source of nuclear proliferation. The discoveries in Tripoli are causing intelligence agencies and investigators to revisit some older cases, including one involving Iraq — which documents suggest was offered nuclear technology before the start of the Persian Gulf war of 1991.
Mr. Albright and his associate, Corey Hinderstein, who have reviewed documents found at the farm of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein's son in law, after he defected from Iraq in 1995. Mr. Kamel told the C.I.A. that many of Mr. Hussein's weapons had been destroyed — a statement that appears to be correct, in light of the findings of David A. Kay, the former chief American weapons inspector in Iraq.
A memorandum he turned over, dated June 10, 1990, appeared to be a proposal from an unidentified middleman referring to offers "from the Pakistani scientist Dr. Abd-el-Qadeer Khard regarding the possibility of helping Iraq establish a project ot enrich Uranium and manufacture a nuclear weapon."
The I.A.E.A. later concluded that that the Iraqis never took up the offer they already had sophisticated enrichment technology, and they suspected a sting operation or a scam
The I.A.E.A. reviewed the memorandum and informed the United Nations Security Council four years ago, but said its study of the memo, and whether it represented a genuine offer, was inconclusive. But American officials say that details in the memorandum match up with what they are now learning. [/quote]