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Bin Laden Nuclear Plans Found

Osama bin Laden?s detailed plans for nuclear devices and other terrorist bombs were found in one of its Kabul headquarters. The partly burned documents were left in a hastily abandoned safe house. Written in Arabic, German, Urdu and English, the notes give detailed designs for missiles, bombs and nuclear weapons. They include descriptions of how the detonation of TNT compresses plutonium into a critical mass, sparking a chain reaction, and ultimately a thermonuclear reaction.

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 emphasize that it is extremely difficult to build.

While the terrorists may not yet have the capability to build such weapons, they clearly hope to be to do so in the near future. One set of notes written April 26, 1998 on stationery from the Hotel Grand in Peshawar 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 contain an external combustion behind the missile . . .?

This 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. They were abandoned on Monday as the Taliban fled the city and were identified by local residents.

Attempts had been made to burn the evidence, but many documents were still readable. 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 of Western special forces? hostage rescue techniques, phone numbers for industrial chemical and synthetic producers, flight manuals, aerodynamic research, and advanced physics and chemistry manuals.

Intelligence sources have reported that bin Laden and al-Qaeda acquired nuclear materials illegally from Pakistan. At least ten Pakistani nuclear scientists have been contacted by agents for the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the past two years, according to reports.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair?s office has 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 stopped. ?

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