One Year Ago — Libyan Nuke Program Was CIA-MI6 Sting Op

“We were very happy the [Libyan nuclear] files were destroyed.”

Senior intelligence official in Washington, D.C.

“Washington wanted the evidence collected in raids on the Tinners’ home and offices, including computer files, hard drives, disks and documents, to be destroyed in order to hide their own stupidity. They are responsible for the spread of this dangerous technology. You cannot stop it now.”

Swiss Investigator

“I am quite astonished. It’s very unusual to see people destroying documents like this. They should be put somewhere very safe. The real question is how many copies of these documents existed. If copies were made, where did they go. That’s the main issue.”

Former senior IAEA official


November 16 2017 — The GUARDIAN has just published a long and seriously disturbing piece: How Britain did Gaddafi’s dirty work. This long-read article contains so many errors — lies, perhaps — that you will need to read it many times to see them all! Much of the article is nonsense and, of course, it accepts wholly and unconditionally the theory of the Libyan responsibility for Lockerbie and UTA 772 without question. Actually, the ‘Hidden Thesis’ of the article is that if the US/UK succeeded in disarming Libya, then the invasion of Iraq might be seen as acceptable after all. But Gaddafi never had a viable nuclear programme, except for the one that the CIA and MI6 were running with some help of a Libyan Intelligence officer. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: One Year Ago — Dr A. Q. Khan: The Bomb, the Swiss and the CIA

RELATED STORY: The VELA Incident: Declassified Files Shed Light on the Nuclear Test Controversy

RELATED STORY: Iranian Nuclear Scientist Shahram Amiri Executed

RELATED STORY: Fake News Report prompts confrontation between Pakistan and Israel. Who hides behind AWD News?

UPDATE (November 16 2018) — In a piece published on the CIA WebsiteThe Intersection of Intelligence and Policy: Cooperation in the Libya WMD Disarmament Case– William Tobey argues that ” Intelligence information supported actions and arguments that ultimately persuaded the Libyans that they were unlikely to succeed against seemingly omniscient and omnipresent adversaries.” This thesis is utter nonsense and pure propaganda as I have explained in this post. END of UPDATE

At first, the story seems to be about the well documented — No more secrets there! —  collaboration of the CIA and MI6 with the Gaddafi’s regime over a long period of time.

But the ‘Hidden Thesis’ of the article is that if the US/UK could disarm Libya then the invasion of Iraq might be seen as acceptable.

In order to do this, it had to be shown — first of all — that Gaddafi had a viable nuclear programme. The obvious trouble is that such WMDs program NEVER existed!

Quality journalism!

The author is Ian Cobain. He has been senior investigative reporter with the Guardian since 2005.

Cobain has won quite a few prizes for his journalism, but has often said — without reservation — that Megrahi/Libya bombed PA 103 over Lockerbie and that Libya carried out the La Belle bombing, murdered policewoman Yvonne Fletcher and also bombed the UTA flight despite the fact that all these cases are very suspicious and highly disputed. (And for serious reasons, I must say.)

RELATED POST: PT/35(b) — The Most Expensive Forgery in History [Lockerbie]

RELATED POST: Suspicious Aviation Tragedies: 1989 — UTA Flight 772 (September 19 1989)

[NOTE: “It is striking to note the similarity of the ‘scientific’ evidence discovered by the FBI’s Tom Thurman in both the Lockerbie and UTA cases. Of the tens of thousands of pieces of debris collected at each disaster site, one lone piece of printed circuit was found and, miracle of miracles, in each case the fragment bore markings that allowed for positive identification: MEBO in the Lockerbie case and TY in the case of UTA Flight 772. Despite the common findings of the DCPJ, the DST and the Prefecture of Police crime laboratory, Juge Bruguière chose to believe Thurman, the expert in fabricating evidence.” Pierre Péan — African Manipulations]

Ironically, Cobain has written an acclaimed book — The History Thieves — accusing the British government of covering up the unpleasant truths behind the UK behaviour internationally.

Cobain has made his name recently by investigating the close and corrupt Blair-Libya links. So, what is going on here?

I suspect that Cobain has been given a lot of inside information by the spooks provided that he agrees not to look into the bigger crimes of Lockerbie, La Belle, UTA, PC Fletcher and the very murky issues of the Libyan WMDs. So, allow me to remind you the facts.


On May 16 2006, an article titled “How Gaddafi Lost His Groove” appeared on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. The opinion was signed by Judith Miller, the controversial former New York Times reporter.

She tells the story of “the complex surrender of Libya’s WMD.” Miller begins by reminding her readers of the spectacular interception of the BBC China by U.S.-U.K. intelligence agencies.

“Then, in early October 2003, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Italy interdicted the ‘BBC China,’ a German ship destined for Libya that the Americans had been tracking for nearly a year.

A U.S. intelligence official informed the Libyans that the five 40-foot containers marked used machine parts that were offloaded from the ship contained thousands of centrifuge parts to enrich uranium, manufactured in Malaysia by the A.Q. Khan network,” Miller writes.

“In fact, the still largely secret talks that helped prompt Libya’s decision, and the joint American-British dismantlement of its weapons programs in the first four months of 2004, remain the administration’s sole undeniable — if largely unheralded — intelligence and non-proliferation success.

And a key figure in that effort, Stephen Kappes, is now slated to be the next deputy director of the demoralized Central Intelligence Agency,” she adds.

[NOTE: Things did not go very well for Kappes in the end. But that is an other story! And one that nobody has told yet… The odd timing of the retirement in May 2010 — and lack of Presidential thanks for his years of service — led many to comment that this was a departure in disgrace.]

Her column echoes the opinion of George Tenet, the former CIA director, and repeats the praises expressed by her former colleague at the New York Times, White House correspondent David Sanger.

According to Tenet, the intercept of the BBC China was the result of many years of hard work:

“An operation superbly planned and perfectly executed.”

“So far, the high-water mark of the Bush administration’s counter-proliferation efforts has been the interception of the BBC China, a German cargo ship, as it steamed toward Tripoli in October 2003.

It was, in the words of one senior intelligence official, the perfect spy story,” wrote Sanger.

[NOTE: Recently, Mike Pompeo — the current CIA Director — repeated these claims! In 2017, Pompeo appears to believe this nonsense? It make you wonder if Pompeo has any idea of what is going on at the CIA.]

But Miller forgot to tell her readers a key piece of information concerning Tenet’s perfectly executed operation. The CIA agents offloaded five 40-foot containers marked “used machine parts” but they overlooked an additional container.

The fact that the agents left on board a container filled with thousand of parts for a uranium enrichment factory raises serious suspicions about the whole operation.

Was it genuine or was it orchestrated to revamp the credibility of the CIA? Could it be that Washington and Tripoli were working hand in hand, preparing the renewal of their diplomatic relations?

B. S. A. Tahir was Abdul Qadeer Khan’s chief lieutenant. After the intercept of the German cargo, he was arrested and his activities were investigated by Malaysian authorities.

“The actions against vessel BBC China should be viewed with skepticism in the light of the following allegations made by B. S. A. Tahir,” said the inspector general of Malaysian police in his press release.

“Tahir claimed that together with the seized components on board, was a consignment made sent by Gunas Jireh, a Turkish national who supplied aluminum casting and dynamo to Libya.

These items were delivered through Dubai using the services of TUT Shipping via vessel BBC China.

It is surprising that the consignment from Gunas Jireh direct to Libya was allowed without any actions,” the report said.

“Two week after action taken against the BBC China, B. S. A. Tahir claimed to have arranged a transshipment of electrical cabinet and power supplier voltage regulator to Libya through Dubai on behalf of Selim Alguadis.

This shipment too arrived in Libya without any obstruction and this is unusual,” the report continues.

When, in March 2004, the BBC China finally arrived in Libya, it had on board an additional container of P-2 centrifuge components. Tripoli called the CIA and the International Atomic Energy Agency to report the embarrassing news.

Can anyone seriously believe that the CIA would have overlooked one of the containers after having intercepted the German cargo?

Surely, had it been a genuine operation, the CIA agents would have taken the boat apart down to the last screw.

As I wrote earlier, I strongly suspected — right from the start —  that this operation had been orchestrated by the CIA and MI6 and that these agencies were working with Tripoli since at least 1997.

For the CIA and MI6, the operation provided a great success, much-needed to regain a bit of credibility after the Iraqi WMDs fiasco.

Their complete failure over pre-war intelligence had totally crippled their ability to convince anyone, anywhere on the planet.

[NOTE — After looking at the content of an Iranian laptop, a European diplomat replied to a CIA official, “So what?” See Operation MERLIN and Jeffrey Sterling.]

RELATED POST: One Year Ago –Former CIA John Kiriakou Explains The Jeffrey Sterling Case (VIDEO)

Early in March 2006, the trial of Gotthard Lerch began in Mannheim, Germany. Lerch was accused of supervising — for the Kahn Network — the production of centrifuge parts in South Africa.

“Indeed, the entire case is beginning to bear the telltale signs of the CIA and MI6, a windfall for Lerch’s defense attorneys, who argue that the entire deal was concocted by the intelligence agencies.

Their client, they say, is a victim, not a perpetrator, and he expressly contests the violations of the War Weapons Control Act and the Foreign Trade Act of which he has been accused,” wrote Der Spiegel reporters.

The prosecution faced several challenges. Finding witnesses was not the smallest of them.

Obviously, no Pakistani scientists, let alone Khan, were available. Tahir made it clear that he would not say a word in a German court of law.

Urs Tinner and Peter Griffin would have been ideal witnesses to the prosecution. Tinner, a Swiss citizen, was accused of supervising the production of centrifuge parts in Malaysia. Griffin, a Briton, was suspected of organizing the shipment from Dubai.

“Testimony by Urs Tinner would likewise no doubt be valuable to the prosecution. But he is said to have been recruited by the CIA shortly before the end of his mission in Malaysia. Upon his arrest and detention in Germany, the Americans made a big show of supporting him,” wrote Der Spiegel reporters.

“For years, Griffin has been seen as a man with good connections in the intelligence community, especially with the British. Amazingly enough, Griffin is still a free man, and the Mannheim court stands little chance of securing his extradition,” they add.

Direct involvement

Quite possibly, the CIA and MI6 have gone as far as providing some components to the Khan network. The vacuum pumps were manufactured by a German company: Pfeiffer Vacuum.

[NOTE: I suspect that these vacuum pumps were NOT working properly. In some sense, it was some kind of a blueprint for Stuxnet.]

According to the company, these vacuum pumps were sent to the U.S. nuclear weapons research facility in Los Alamos, N. M. Moreover, the source of key components, the most difficult to manufacture, has never been identified.

Saif Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader and — at the time — the presumed heir, said he had sensed early on that paying indemnities to the relatives of Lockerbie victims would not be enough to convince Washington and London to renew diplomatic ties with Libya.

“We needed something bold, something big enough to have impact,” he said.

In an interview with the Western press, Saif Al Islam, confessed that we live in a tough world.

“Nothing comes free. You have to pay for everything.”

An American diplomat, a smile on his face, did agree with Gaddafi for once:

“Had we found WMDs in Iraq, there would have been no BBC China story.”

Libyan Nuke Program Was CIA-MI6 Sting Op

In 2006, I suggested that the Libyan nuclear program might have been a CIA-MI6 sting operation designed to bring down the A. Q. Khan nuclear mafia.

But, the program also intended to convince countries such as North Korea and Iran that it was in their best interest to give up their nuclear ambition.

Among other things, I suggested that members of the Tinner family, who supervised the production of uranium centrifuge parts in Malaysia, were in fact CIA assets.

On August 24, 2008, The New York Times revealed that the suspicion was indeed well founded.

Swiss authorities have admitted that all files regarding this affair have been destroyed at the demand of the US government.

“The United States had urged that the files be destroyed, according to interviews with five current and former Bush administration officials.

The purpose, the officials said, was less to thwart terrorists than to hide evidence of a clandestine relationship between the Tinners and the C.I.A.,” The New York Times revealed.

“Over four years, several of these officials said, operatives of the C.I.A. paid the Tinners as much as $10 million, some of it delivered in a suitcase stuffed with cash.”

A New Era…

Following these events, the Web site of the Libyan news agency published an amazing story regarding their alleged “nuclear weapons” program:

“[US Secretary of State Condoleezza] Rice began a four-nation tour of North Africa in Tripoli, Libya on Friday, meeting with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and other top officials in what the State Department is calling a landmark trip that will symbolize the opening of a new era in ties between the United States and the oil-rich country of Libya.

“Libya succeeded in obtaining good relations with the USA by making several concessions which included billions of dollars in payments to the USA…”

“It also involved Libya creating a fictitious “nuclear weapons” program, so that some odd looking parts and charts, could be handed over to the USA so as to show that any nation that “give up” its weapons can become a friend of the USA.”

“Needless to say, no program ever existed, and the hiring of Pakistanis and others by Libya was merely designed to give some credence to the plan.”

The CIA has attempted to hide its involvement with the nuclear mafia previously. Ruud Lubbers, a former Dutch prime minister, revealed in August 2006 that the Netherlands was prepared to arrest A. Q. Khan 30 years ago.

Dutch authorities came close to arresting Khan twice, first in 1975 and later in 1986, but the CIA requested that they let him act freely.

The State Department has always declined to elaborate about Lubber’s remarks.

“It is not something that I feel we really have anything to say about because it deals with events long in the past.

It deals with intelligence matters and for those reasons, I don’t have anything to say about it,” US State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli stated.

The Amsterdam court, which sentenced Khan to four years in prison in 1983, has “lost” Khan’s legal files. The court’s vice president, Judge Anita Leeser, suspects the CIA had a hand in the disappearance of the documents.

“Something is not right, we just don’t lose things like that,” Leeser told Dutch news show “Nova.”

“I find it bewildering that people lose files with a political goal, especially if it is on request of the CIA. It is unheard of.”

On July 27, 2006, The Guardian of London announced the collapse of the Lerch trial:

“The international effort to get to grips with the world’s worst nuclear proliferation racket suffered a serious setback yesterday when the first criminal trial of an alleged top figure collapsed.

“A judge in the south-west German town of Mannheim threw out the prosecution case against Gotthard Lerch, a German engineer, four months into his trial on charges of helping Libya clandestinely build a nuclear bomb.

Judge Peter Seidling said there was a danger of Mr Lerch not receiving a fair trial as the prosecution had withheld evidence.”

By 2006, it had become absolutely obvious that American and British intelligence agencies were somehow involved in the Libyan nuclear program.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the CIA and Britain’s MI6 infiltrated the Khan network and that they probably even recruited some of the main suspects.

How else, for example, could one explain the fact that vacuum pumps manufactured by Germany’s Pfeiffer Vacuum, ended up in both Libya and Iran?

The company, after all, never sent any vacuum pumps to Libya or Iran — but did send some to the US nuclear weapons research facility in Los Alamos, New Mexico,” Der Spiegel reported.

Destruction of the Files

The destruction of the files is a tragedy for the nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency as it will be from now on impossible to determine with certainty what type of information A. Q. Khan has provided to his customers. It also has direct bearing on the case against the Tinners.

“The Swiss judge in charge of the Tinner case, Andreas Muller, is not terribly happy either. He said he had no warning of the planned destruction and is now trying to determine what, if anything, remains of the case against Friedrich Tinner and his sons, Urs and Marco,” The New York Times wrote.

The Libyan news agency made a second extraordinary revelation. The article claims that the transparent miscarriage of justice in the case of the only person convicted of the bombing of Pan Am 103 was the result of a deal between Washington, London and Tripoli.

“The concessions included allowing the USA and Britain to lay the blame on Libya for the downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie which killed hundreds of people.

To this day the real perpetrators of this crime have not been sought, with an innocent Libyan languishing in a Scottish jail,” wrote.

Although Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi had been granted a second extraordinary appeal, his defense lawyers were denied the right to access secret documents provided by an unknown third country — almost certainly Jordan — and believed to be highly relevant to the case.

In the wake of Secretary of State Rice’s visit to Libya, the name of Megrahi was removed from the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Web site. No explanation was ever provided. As a former CIA operative in the Middle East told me, this is rather strange…

And the Tinner family avoids jail  

The Federal Criminal Court eventually accepted a plea bargain in the case of Swiss engineer Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, ending a long-running probe into the family, who were involved in a nuclear smuggling ring. Today, all the defendants are free.

In its ruling, the Bellinzona court approved a deal agreed between the Federal Prosecutor’s office and the Tinner family, and passed a suspended sentence of two years on the father and sentences of 50 and 41 months on his sons Urs and Marco respectively for violating federal law on war material exports.

Given the time the sons have already spent in detention, they did not have to return to prison.

The family was part of the network set up by Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the “father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb”, which supplied technical support to the nuclear programmes of North Korea, Iran, Iraq in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Despite the length of time the case has taken, many of the details concerning the Tinners’ involvement will never be known.

CIA in Denial — Of Course

CIA spokesman George Little dismissed the idea that the CIA had bungled its handling of the Khan network.

“The disruption of the A.Q. Khan network was a genuine intelligence success, one in which the CIA played a key role.”

“The agency’s commitment to our counterproliferation mission is unwavering.”

PS: How did I know?

How did I know all along that this official story was bogus? The answer is amazingly simple! How many Libyan nuclear scientists do you know? [Several hundreds are needed to start a viable nuke programme.] I have met one — and only one! — in my entire life. The day after he received his PhD, he was recruited … by the CIA.

Tinner family avoids jail   [October 2012]


How The CIA Runs The Nuclear Black Market

“The AQ Khan nuclear network was first introduced to the public in early 2004, with Abdul Qadeer Khan’s dramatic televised confession to the Pakistani public that he had participated in selling nuclear technology, including bomb-making designs and equipment, to countries including Iran, North Korea, and Libya.

Right from the beginning, the sensational nature of the network and its eventual discovery, a tale of international intrigue and shadowy spy craft, seemed tailor-made for headline-grabbing reports, or sensationalistic BBC docudramas.

By now, much has been reported on the Khan network and its eventual unraveling. As is typical with these events, a popular understanding has emerged around the early reporting on the subject, one that suggests that Dr. Khan was working essentially off the radar and out of sight of the intelligence agencies whose very existence is predicated on identifying such threats long before they develop.

And as is also typical with these events, that popular understanding is completely wrong.

In fact, as we now know, Khan and his network were known, identified, surveilled, funded and even protected by the CIA from its very inception.”


In Nuclear Net’s Undoing, a Web of Shadowy Deals

CIA Resisted Arrest of Nuke Tech Broker Khan

First trial over Libya’s nuclear bomb plan collapses

Network of Death on Trial


Libyan Nuke Program Was CIA-MI6 Sting Op

One Year Ago — Libyan Nuke Program Was CIA-MI6 Sting Op

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