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November 15, 2001
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Al Qaeda's nuke plans unearthed: Report

H S Rao in London

Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network had stored detailed plans for nuclear bombs and other terrorist devices in one of its cells in Kabul, media reports said.

The Times daily on Thursday said that it had discovered partially burnt documents in a hastily abandoned safe house in the Karta Parwan quarter of Kabul. The notes, written in Arabic, German, Urdu and English, had graphic designs for missiles, bombs and nuclear weapons.

There are descriptions of how the detonation of TNT compresses plutonium to a critical mass, sparking a chain reaction, and ultimately a thermonuclear reaction.

Laden had recently claimed that he was in possession of chemical and biological weapons.

Earlier this month, US President George W Bush had said that the Al Qaeda was seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

The design suggested Laden might be working on a fission device, similar to Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, experts said. However, they emphasised that it was extremely difficult to build a viable warhead.

One set of notes, written on a headed notepaper from Hotel Grand in Peshawar and dated April 26, 1998, said: "Naturally, the explosive liquid has a very high mechanical energy, which is translated into destructive force. But it can be tamed, controlled and can be used as a useful propulsive fuel if certain methods are applied to it."

"A supersonic moving missile has a shock wave. That shock wave can be used to contain an external combustion behind the missile..."

The document was one of the many found in two of the four Al Qaeda houses, which had been used by Arabs and Pakistanis and, reportedly, by Laden himself. The houses -- two in the Karta Parwan district and the others further to the east -- were abandoned on Monday as Taleban units and their allies fled the city, the report said.

Attempts had been made to burn the evidence, but many documents still remained. They included studies into the development of a kinetic energy supergun capable of firing chemical or nuclear warheads, external propulsion missiles, preliminary research on the creation of a thermonuclear device, as well as a multitude of instructions for making smaller bombs, the report added.

There were also studies into Western special forces' hostage rescue techniques, phone numbers for industrial chemical and synthetic producers, flight manuals, aerodynamic research, and advanced physics and chemistry manuals

PTI

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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