'US training crack unit to seal off Pak N-facilities'


The US army is training the crack unit so that it could seal off and snatch back Pakistani nuclear weapons in the event of militants, “possibly from inside the country’s security apparatus,” getting their hands on a nuclear device or materials that could make one, “The Sunday Times” reported.

It said the specialised unit would be charged with recovering the nuclear materials and securing them.

Terror attacks

“The move follows a series of attacks on sensitive military instalations over the past two years, several of which housed nuclear facilities, and rising tension that has seen a series of official complaints by the US authorities to Islamabad in the past fortnight,” the newspaper report said.

Citing Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA officer who used to run the US energy department’s intelligence unit, the report said: “What you have in Pakistan is nuclear weapons mixed with the highest density of extremists in the world, so we have a right to be concerned.”

“There have been attacks on army bases which stored nuclear weapons and there have been breaches and infiltrations by terrorists into military facilities.” Pakistan is thought to possess about 80 nuclear warheads.

Although the weapons are well guarded, the fear is that materials or processes to enrich uranium could fall into the wrong hands.

“All it needs is someone in Pakistan within the nuclear establishment and in a position of key access to become radicalised,” said Mowatt-Larssen. “This is not just theoretical. It did happen — Pakistan has had inside problems before,” he added.

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