Editor’s note: Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is an online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com – a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for almost 30 years.
WASHINGTON – There’s a 50-50 chance al-Qaida already has nuclear weapons, says a top intelligence analyst based on an analysis of the findings and the methodology of the U.S. WMD Commission.
Lt. Col. Joseph C. Myers, an infantry and foreign area officer who has served at U.S. Southern Command and as the chief of the South America Division at the Defense Intelligence Agency, writes in the current issue of Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin that he was alarmed after analyzing the final report of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Myers writes that the report “not only indicates that the state of our knowledge is worse than previously understood; but reading the commission’s own evaluation of the intelligence analysis, information and circumstances in Afghanistan pre- and post invasion actually leads me to raise the probability that al-Qaida has a nuclear weapon from low to a moderate probability – 50-50. Far from allaying my fears, it heightened them.”
Myers, who is a recipient of the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, says the intelligence community’s assessment downplaying the probability that al-Qaida has nuclear weapons is no more than a “best guess.”
While U.S. intelligence agencies were encouraged that they did not find fissionable material, actual nuclear weapons or radiological materials in Afghanistan, they did find what Myers believes were training materials in the care and use of them.
“Documents found at sites used by al-Qaida operatives indicated that the group was interested in nuclear device design,” said the report. “In addition, al-Qaida had established contact with Pakistani scientists who discussed development of nuclear devices that would require hard-to-obtain materials like uranium to create a nuclear explosion. … In May 2002, technical experts from CIA and the Department of Energy judged that there remained no credible information that al-Qaida had obtained fissile material or acquired a nuclear weapon.”
The report adds: “Analysts noted that collection efforts in Afghanistan had not yielded any radioactive material suitable for weapons, and that there were no credible reports of nuclear weapons missing from vulnerable countries.”
“These are the most controversial lines in this chapter and where the commission report flounders,” explains Myers.
He believes an alternative, equally valid, but less rosy conclusion based on the same data would be that “a select group of al-Qaida members, with support from nuclear weapons experts from somewhere were being trained on how to store, handle, transport, employ and detonate finished nuclear devices.”
“Under this theory there would be no weapon development materials or radioactive traces found anywhere in Afghanistan,” he writes. “These guys aren’t physicists; they’re operatives who needed only to know enough about the weapon to safely handle, employ and detonate it. The ‘radiological material’ – in the nuclear warhead – is of course, somewhere else.”
While the commission concluded that the war in Afghanistan “confirmed two key intelligence judgments made before the September attacks: al-Qaida did not have a nuclear device, nor did it have large-scale chemical and biological weapons capabilities,” Myers strenuously disagrees.
“Al-Qaida may not have had a nuclear weapon stored in Afghanistan,” he explains. “But it does not confirm that they do not have access to a nuclear weapon stored elsewhere – for which their operatives inside Afghanistan were undergoing basic training for its use, being supported by outside experts.”
Myers illustrates his alternative theory that al-Qaida operative may have been training for use of an already existing nuclear device with an analogy.
“If I were to take you to Fort Benning, Ga., the Home of the Infantry, and we go into a classroom, and in the room is a mock-up of an M-16 rifle, on the walls are ‘exploded picture diagrams’ of an M-16, charts on the firing and recoil cycle, how a bullet works, the explosive physics of gunpowder, sighting techniques – do you conclude that the people in this classroom have a research and development program to design and build an M-16 rifle?” he asks rhetorically. “Depending on other evidentiary factors, the presence of machine shops, metal-stamping facility and a production line you might. Or do you conclude that maybe the people are there to learn how to store, handle, employ and fire an M-16 rifle?”
As WorldNetDaily previously reported, an al-Qaida memo discovered by Pakistani authorities said if suicide bombers come to America, they are likely to be carrying biological, chemical or nuclear weapons with them.
In October 2002, WND first broke the story of al-Qaida’s purchase of suitcase nukes. Paul Williams, an FBI consultant on international terrorism said then bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network purchased 20 suitcase nuclear weapons from former KGB agents in 1998 for $30 million.
His book, “Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror,” also says this deal was one of at least three in the last decade in which al-Qaida purchased small nuclear weapons or weapons-grade nuclear uranium.
Williams says bin Laden’s search for nuclear weapons began in 1988 when he hired a team of five nuclear scientists from Turkmenistan. These were former employees at the atomic reactor in Iraq before it was destroyed by Israel, Williams says. The team’s project was the development of a nuclear reactor that could be used “to transform a very small amount of material that could be placed in a package smaller than a backpack.”
“By 1990 bin Laden had hired hundreds of atomic scientists from the former Soviet Union for $2,000 a month – an amount far greater than their wages in the former Soviet republics,” Williams writes. “They worked in a highly sophisticated and well-fortified laboratory in Kandahar, Afghanistan.”
Yossef Bodansky, author of “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America” and the U.S. Congress’ top terrorism expert, concurs that bin Laden has already succeeded in purchasing suitcase nukes. Former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed also testified to Congress that 40 nuclear suitcases disappeared from the Russian arsenal after the collapse of the Soviet Union.