Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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The Atomization of Terrorist Efforts
An interesting report by ABC News talks about the myriad ways terrorists are now trying to build explosives so they will be undetectable.

It reminds me of two thing. The first is that, like the drug cartels, these folks are infinitely resourceful and have an infinite amount of time and energy to focus on building these devises and perfecting them.

The cartel went from huge loads on private planes to multiple small shipments hidden in ingenious fashion as enforcement got better. It was a far less efficient way to move drugs, but one that was still profitable enough to make it worthwhile. Which brings me to my second point:

This is a sign of progress. Using a watch with an explosive devise inside is dangerous, but far less damaging than larger explosive attacks. But it is, technologically, far superior to Richard Reid's attempted shoe bombing. This is a far less efficient method than killing hundreds or thousands of people at one time.

Finally, while it is certainly true that there is a focus on smaller explosive items to inflict harm, those are largely the work of smaller al Qaeda-affiliated groups or wannabes, not the old guard.

The old guard or al Qaeda Central, has made it amply clear they want to surpass, in scope and sophistication, what they did on 9/11. Just as the cartels never abandoned their efforts, over time, to return to the large shipments that were much more efficient and lucrative.

Which is why it is interesting to me that Mr. A.Q. Khan is now virtually a free man.

“No country has reacted to the foreign minister’s statement or has demanded an opportunity to question him, as internationally the AQ Khan issue is a closed chapter,” FO spokesman Muhammad Sadiq said during a weekly briefing.

The godfather of the Islamic nuclear bomb, who has never been allowed to be questioned by anyone other than his ISI friends in Pakistan, not only knows how the nuclear network operates, but where all of the unaccounted for goods that he has hidden away, are.

The above statement by a government official is simply not true. Lots of people have asked to speak to him over the course of several years, to no avail.

Khan, while aging and ill, is bitter at his treatment and has never shied away from dealing either with radical Islamists or other rogue states. His primary clients, in the good old days, were Libya and North Korean. Hardly confidence-inspiring track record.

Osama bin Laden and others are in Pakistan, in easy range of acquiring whatever Mr. Khan may want to sell.

But what is even more worrisome is the whereabouts of the multiple copies of the nuclear bomb making plans that Khan had and which remain unaccounted for.

Will he give them away, sell them to the highest bidder, destroy them or use them as life insurance? We don't know. But we do know he has the knowledge, wherewithal and disposition to help those who want to hurt us.

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