Saturday, June 17, 2006

AQ Khan Network: Case Closed?

From Koch's testimony (pdf) to the "AQ Khan Network: Case Closed?”" hearings in the House

Although the arrests of AQ Khan, Tahir and several other top members of their nuclear smuggling network have eliminated a major source of atomic goods to would-be proliferators, it has not ended the trade in nuclear wares. In fact, evidence suggests the Khan network was run as more of a decentralized white-collar criminal group than a topdown organization, with the implication that participants in the network could remain undiscovered and fully able to operate again. As one senior international investigator recently told me about what is know to date: “there is no reason to believe this is the whole story”.

One theory gaining credence and support among the investigators is that the parts of the network yet to be uncovered are more senior than previously believed. The simplicity in which the current predominant view explains how the Khan network easily shuffled closely guarded nuclear goods to Libya, Iran and North Korea is not reasonable, proponents of this alternate theory say, leading them to believe that more powerful forces were at work behind the scenes.
Finally, one positive development that has begun to take shape in the past few months is the cooperation several Khan associates have provided investigators, possibly including future testimony against their fellow culprits. Cooperation from these insiders may, ultimately, help reveal yet to be discovered treads of the network and untangle the maze of what happened to the missing centrifuge equipment.
let's hope that is true.

No comments: