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Shopping for Bombs


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Table of Contents

Taranto--October 2003: Introduction Part I: Rise 1: Roots 2: The Bomb Natanz--February 2003: 3: Iran--From Import to Export Chagai Hills-May 1998: 4: North Korea--Pyongyang and Back Jordan--August 1995: 5: The Network Expands--The Libya Deal Part II: Fall 6: Picking up the Trail Washington, DC--September 2001: 7: Watching London--March 2003: 8: Dealing with Gadaffi New York--September 2003: 9: Confronting Musharraf--Dealing with Khan Kuala Lumpur--November 2003: 10: Unraveling the Network Epilogue: The Spread

About the Author

Gordon Corera is a Security Correspondent for BBC News. He covers counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation, and international security issues for BBC TV, Radio, and Online. He has writen extensively on the British and American intelligence community and has worked as a foreign affairs reporter for Britain's Today show. He was educated at Oxford and Harvard Universities and joined the BBC in 1997.


Corera, a security correspondent for the BBC, offers a measured account of how a young Pakistani metallurgist named A.Q. Khan became the world's leading dealer in nuclear technology. The story starts as Khan watched Pakistan lose the 1971 war with India and vowed to help prevent it from happening again. Three years later, as India tested its first nuclear device, he offered Prime Minister Bhutto his help in creating the Muslim world's first nuclear bomb. In 1975, when his Dutch employer discovered Khan had stolen centrifuge designs, he fled to Pakistan. Though he was tried in absentia in 1983, it wasn't until January 2004, under pressure from the U.S. and Britain, that he was arrested for 30 years of selling nuclear materials and designs to Libya, North Korea and Iran. By the mid-1980s, Corera points out, the U.S. was aware that Pakistan had produced weapons-grade uranium. Drawing on CIA and diplomatic accounts of the spread of technology, Corera also examines why the Americans initially looked the other way as Pakistan joined forces in arming the mujahideen in Afghanistan before becoming an ally in the hunt for bin Laden. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"It is tempting to demonize A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani engineer who became infamous for selling nuclear weapons designs and production equipment to North Korea, Iran, Libya and perhaps others. If Khan is written off as simply evil, then his deeds can be written off as peculiar sins that do not reflect flaws in the international system. Unfortunately, life is more complicated, as the BBC reporter Gordon Corera vividly narrates in his fine new book. Shopping for Bombs is more than the fast-paced story of an alarming proliferation network and the conditions that let it flourish. Corera also offers a fascinating, detailed account of how Libya surprised the world with its undetected nuclear acquisitions and how the United States and Britain secretly persuaded Moammar Gaddafi to verifiably give them up. Corera takes readers briskly through real policy conundrums without lapsing into wonk talk."--George Perkovich, Washington Post Book World "A measured account of how a young Pakistani metallurgist became the world's leading dealer in nuclear technology. Drawing on CIA and diplomatic accounts of the spread of technology, Corera examines why the Americans initially looked the other way as Pakistan joined forces in arming the mujahideen in Afghanistan before becoming an ally in the hunt for bin Laden."--Publishers Weekly "A page-turner."--The Economist "Shopping for Bombs tells a disturbing tale.... From the 1970s through the 1990s, Khan secretly disseminated nuclear technology to a number of rogue states around the world. The full story of Khan's activities cannot yet be fully told--much information is under lock and key in Pakistan, if it has been preserved at all--but a persuasive preliminary account has been prepared by Gordon Corera."--The Wall Street Journal "Gordon Corera has written a book you will not be able to put down. It reads like a thriller, but it is true! He has done an impressive job in researching and describing the extraordinary threat we face from nuclear weapons falling into the hands of those who wish us harm."--Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University and author of The Power Game: A Washington Novel "A superb account of how A.Q. Khan, the pioneer of nuclear black marketeering, exploited the forces of globalization and loopholes in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to provide what IAEA Secretary General, Mohamed El-Baradei, called the 'Wal-Mart of private sector proliferation'."--Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor, J. F. K. School of Government, Harvard University "Reads like a thriller. Corera's story, about one of the greatest threats to international security of which I am aware, is chilling and disturbing. As a former practitioner in the field, and one who has remained a close observer of issues related to nuclear proliferation, I found Shopping for Bombs a great read; it is detailed and well sourced, and full of useful insights. For anyone interested in understanding the character of the threat posed by nuclear proliferation today, it is essential reading."-Ambassador Robert L. Gallucci, Dean, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University "Corera's book magnificently sheds light on the activities of A.Q. Khan and rogue regimes around the world. In today's world of heightened nuclear tensions, this invaluable expose represents a must-read for both policymakers and the general public." --Steven Emerson, author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us "Shopping for Bombs is a clearly written and fascinating account of one of the most important episodes in the history of weapons of mass destruction--Pakistan's illicit and successful effort to build nuclear weapons and then to spread nuclear materials across the globe, an effort spearheaded by the maverick scientist A.Q. Khan. Corera has produced an even handed and absorbing history of that important story."--Peter Bergen, fellow of the New America Foundation and author of The Osama bin Laden I Know and Holy War, Inc. "If ignorance is bliss, then not reading this book is the best advice. If one is concerned about the threats facing the United States and the West, then reading this book is a must." --Strategic Studies Quarterly

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