Find a Security Clearance Job!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

A.Q. Khan & Libya

By April 2000, the UK Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) was noting that there was an evolving, and as yet incomplete, picture of the supply of uranium enrichment equipment to at least one customer in the Middle East, thought to be Libya, and evidence linking this activity to Khan. By September 2000, it was pointing out that the network was expanding to mass-produce components for large-scale centrifuge cascades. The U.S. Intelligence Community came to the same conclusion in 2000, which subsequent inspections have confirmed. During 2001,the JIC continued to track AQ Khan 's activities. An assessment by the UK in March 2002 pulled together all the strands of intelligence on AQ Khan then available. The conclusions showed the wide spread of Khan's network and that he had moved his base outside Pakistan and was now controlling it through his associates in Dubai. At the same time, intelligence showed that he had now established his own production facilities, in Malaysia. He was being helped in his activities by a network of associates and suppliers, including BSA Tahir (a Sri Lankan businessman operating out of Dubai). By July 2002,the JIC had concluded that AQ Khan 's network was central to all aspects of the Libyan nuclear weapons program.

Evidence uncovered as part of Libya's decision to 'come clean' on its weapons of mass destruction programs show further implication on the part of A.Q. Khan and, possibly, Pakistan. Indeed, Libya's uranium enrichment program appeared reliant on both G-1 and G-2 (P-1 and P-2) centrifuge designs; material for which it reportedly paid substantial sums for.

Started in the early 1990s, Libya's disclosed uranium enrichment program appears based on both Pakistan's G-1 and G-2 centrifuge designs, with some of the centrifuges having been flown there from Pakistan.

A.Q. Khan has confessed to meeting with Libyans in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1990.

Libya was also reportedly provided by the Pakistanis with additional information on how and where to acquire additional components for this program. Using at first the G-1 design, it later upgraded to the G-2 model, which Libya is reported to have had set up a small number of. These were being manufactured at a facility in Malaysia arranged through Khan's netowrk. Components from that plant which were intercepted by the United States aboard a German-registered ship on their way to Libya in October 2003 after having been spotted whilst going through the Suez Canal.

Schematics for both G-2 centrifuges and bombs were reported to be among documentation given to both the United States and the IAEA by Libya.

The supply chain for Libya's program relied on Libyans contacting Pakistanis who would in turn contact middlemn. These would contact suppliers for the desired components which, once completed would then be shipped to the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, from where they would be delivered to Libya. Items thus procured ranges from high-strength metals and vaccuum systems to electronics.

Join the mailing list