Let us consider serendipity, the aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. As I’ve previously noted, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia and the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade held a hearing on June 27 titled, ‘AQ Khan’s Nuclear Wal-Mart: Out of Business or Under New Management?’ Click here to watch the hearing.
One of the witnesses, David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), submitted written testimony where he wrote this:
Despite his arrest, shutting down the Khan network has by no means brought a halt to nuclear smuggling, even by Pakistan. A key European corporate official said that after Khan’s arrest in 2004 he saw no change in the pace of Pakistan’s illicit orders for its own nuclear weapons program. Mohammed El-Baradei, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has warned that the Khan network is just thetip of the iceberg.There is no reason to believe that illicit nuclear trade and the threat it poses have diminished significantly.
Talk about understatement. Let us turn to this brief, unheralded news item, barely a week later.
Pakistani national Iqtidar Mahmood Dara was extradited from Heathrow Airport.
The 44-year-old is accused of ordering the equipment from a German chemist with the aim of developing nuclear weapons in Pakistan.
Mr Dara was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on behalf of the German authorities when he entered Britain on 4 April.
It is alleged that, between 14 August 2002 and 24 November 2003, Dara ordered a liquid waste monitor, two detection systems and an alpha-gamma spectrometry system.
His extradition was ordered by Bow Street Magistrates’ Court on 8 May and took place after he lost subsequent appeals.