This particular reporter tends to be drastically over the top, but still:
>THURSDAY NOVEMBER 15 2001
>Bin Laden's nuclear secrets found
>FROM ANTHONY LOYD IN KABUL
>Times reporter finds blueprint for 'Nagasaki bomb'
>Singed files left by fleeing terrorists
>OSAMA BIN LADEN'S al-Qaeda network held detailed plans for nuclear devices
>and other terrorist bombs in one of its Kabul headquarters.
>The Times discovered the partly burnt documents in a hastily abandoned safe
>house in the Karta Parwan quarter of the city. Written in Arabic, German,
>Urdu and English, the notes give detailed designs for missiles, bombs and
>nuclear weapons. There are descriptions of how the detonation of TNT
>compresses plutonium into a critical mass, sparking a chain reaction, and
>ultimately a thermonuclear reaction.
>Both President Bush and British ministers are convinced that bin Laden has
>access to nuclear material and Mr Bush said earlier this month that al-Qaeda
>was "seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons".
>The discovery of the detailed bomb-making instructions, along with studies
>into chemical and nuclear devices, confirms the West's worst fears and
>raises the spectre of plans for an attack that would far exceed the
>September 11 atrocities in scale and gravity.
>Nuclear experts say the design suggests that bin Laden may be working on a
>fission device, similar to Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. However,
>they emphasised that it was extremely difficult to build a viable warhead.
>While the terrorists may not yet have the capability to build such weapons,
>their hopes of doing so are clear. One set of notes, written on headed
>notepaper from the Hotel Grand in Peshawar and dated April 26, 1998, says:
>"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 c
>ontain an external combustion behind the missile . . ."
>The document was one of many found in two of four al-Qaeda houses which had
>been used by Arabs and Pakistanis and even reportedly by bin 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
>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.
>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
>The houses were identified by local people. Looters had concentrated on more
>appetising objects, ignoring foreign language documents that were of no use
>Bin Laden sees it as his "religious duty" to obtain a nuclear bomb. In an
>interview with a Pakistani journalist last week, he threatened: "If America
>used chemical or nuclear weapons against us then we may retort with chemical
>and nuclear weapons as deterrent."
>Intelligence agencies already have indirect evidence from defectors,
>middlemen and scientists of bin Laden's obsession with obtaining or
>producing a nuclear device.
>Al-Qaeda agents are known to have spent more than £1 million trying to
>obtain enough fissile material to make a "dirty bomb" that, if detonated
>with TNT in a populous area, could kill thousands and contaminate it for
>Intelligence sources told The Times last month that bin Laden and al-Qaeda
>had acquired nuclear materials illegally from Pakistan. And at least ten
>Pakistani nuclear scientists have been contacted by agents for the Taleban
>and al-Qaeda in the past two years, according to reports.
>Fears that bin Laden has components for a nuclear weapon is believed to lie
>behind the warnings from President Bush and Tony Blair that he would commit
>worse atrocities than the suicide assaults in America if he could.The Prime
>Minister's spokesman said: "Bin Laden would have killed 600,000 people on
>September 11 if he could have done. This underlines again why he has to be
Posted on Nov 15, 2001, 1:21 PM from IP address 184.108.40.206