“Father of Islamic Bomb” Freed From House Arrest

Friday, February 06, 2009

Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the “Father of the Islamic Bomb,” has been freed from house arrest in Pakistan after five years. Khan became notorious for having shared nuclear technology with the dictatorships of North Korea, Iran and Libya.

Khan worked for the Dutch lab URENCO, which had perfected the technology for building gas centrifuges, an important method for enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons. Khan stole blueprints and returned to Pakistan in 1976, where he began to work at the Kahuta nuclear facility, later renamed the A.Q. Khan Research Lab, for two decades to enrich enough fuel to make dozens of atomic bombs. On May 28, 1998, Khan watched as Pakistan detonated its first nuclear weapon in a desert in Balochistan.
Kahn was also a part of a widespread underground network trading in nuclear materials and technology, involving shell companies and various middlemen to exchange sensitive parts and materials for nuclear programs. Khan orchestrated the nukes-for-missiles trade with North Korea in which Pakistan gave Kim Jong-il’s regime plans to build gas centrifuges in exchange for 600-mile capability Nodong missiles, which were reworked and renamed Ghauri missiles. Khan was also suspected of sharing centrifuge technology with other dictatorships, most notably Iran and Libya, in exchange for raw uranium and military technology. After the story of Khan’s network broke, there was an international outcry and Pakistan’s dictator, Pervez Musharraf, pardoned Khan, but placed him under house arrest. 
The Wrath of Khan (by William Langewiesche, The Atlantic)


Leave a comment