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A.Q. Khan Nuclear Smuggling Network

A.Q. Khan Nuclear Smuggling Network


Abdul Qadeer Khan, widely viewed as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, was arrested on January 31, 2004 for his key role in the black market sale of nuclear technology and equipment to Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly others. A.Q. Khan’s nuclear smuggling network prospered throughout the 1980s and 1990s and was linked to middlemen and businesses in over 20 countries. The network offered buyers a menu of both technical expertise and materials with prices ranging from millions to hundreds of millions of dollars. The Khan network was ultimately exposed largely due to years of intelligence gathering by the United States and the United Kingdom. However, very few of the network’s members have been successfully prosecuted and the demand for nuclear material by both state and non-state actors continues. The exposure of Khan’s network confirmed that a non-state actor could procure and sell a turnkey nuclear weapons program to willing buyers.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

MacCalman, Molly. 2016. "A.Q. Khan Nuclear Smuggling Network." Journal of Strategic Security 9 (March): 10-118. http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol9/iss1/9/

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