Skip to comments.Swiss nuclear smuggling suspect claims CIA link [Tinner]
Posted on 01/22/2009 3:09:09 PM PST by CutePuppy
GENEVA (AP) A Swiss man suspected of being involved in the world's biggest nuclear smuggling ring claims he supplied the CIA with information that led to the breakup of the black market nuclear network led by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
In a documentary airing Thursday on Swiss TV station SF1, Urs Tinner says he tipped off U.S. intelligence about a delivery of centrifuge parts meant for Libya's nuclear weapons program.
The shipment was seized at the Italian port of Taranto in 2003, forcing Libya to admit and eventually renounce its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.
The 43-year-old Tinner is suspected, along with his brother Marco and father Friedrich, of supplying Khan's clandestine network with technical know-how and equipment that was used to make gas centrifuges.
Khan the creator of Pakistan's atomic bomb sold the centrifuges for secret nuclear weapons programs in countries that included Libya and Iran before his operation was disrupted in 2003.
Tinner was freed by Swiss authorities last month after almost five years in investigative detention and he has yet to be charged.
Tinner's account echoes that of the book "The Nuclear Jihadist," by U.S. investigative reporters Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins. Frantz says, based on interviews with sources in the U.S. intelligence community, Urs Tinner was recruited by the CIA as early as 2000.
A CIA spokesman, George Little, refused to discuss the Tinner case. The agency has said in the past that "the disruption of the A.Q. Khan network was a genuine intelligence success, one in which the CIA played a key role."
In the Swiss documentary, Tinner also claims he sabotaged equipment destined for uranium enrichment facilities so it would malfunction on first use. He does not say which country the sabotaged parts were destined for.
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
So unfortunate that many of them such as Libya dismantling nuclear program, as well as uncovering massive corruption of UN Oil For Food scandal haven't been use more in public relations battle here at home, while this case is unnecessarily exposing the details of CIA methods and operations, and endangering the lives of agents or recruits.
Reference : Papers on nuclear smuggling ring shredded - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2019577/posts
AUGUST 2004 : (GERMANY : GERHARD WISSER IS THE SECOND SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESSMAN TO BE CAPTURED; HE HAD BEEN A MEDIATOR IN OBTAINING AN ORDER FOR A SOUTH AFRICAN COMPANY TO MAKE & SUPPLY ALUMINUM TUBING TO BE USED IN AN 'AFRICAN URANIUM ENRICHMENT PLANT' ) Gerhard Wisser (65), the second South African businessman arrested [in connection with the Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan's suspected nuclear black market;][the first was Asher Karni, 3rd was Gottard Lerch, and 4th was Johan Meyer]. He was captured in Germany two weeks ago. He is alleged to have worked as a mediator to obtain an order for a SA company to make and supply aluminum tubing to be used in an African uranium enrichment plant;--- "SA link to nuke black market," By Graeme Hosken, PRETORIA NEWS, September 7, 2004, http://:www.pretorianews.co.za
SEPTEMBER 2, 2004 Thursday : (WMD : SOUTH AFRICA : TRADE FIN ENGINEERING : JOHAN MEYER IS ARRESTED, EQUIPMENT INCLUDING CENTRIFUGES IS SEIZED-— See A Q KHAN NETWORK, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION) The role of several South African citizens and their businesses in a nuclear black market is being investigated by an international nuclear watchdog. The high-level investigation by the ...(IAEA), as well as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), comes as scientists and engineers from Pelindaba examine more than 11 truck loads of equipment, allegedly used in the production of nuclear materials.
The items seized from Pretoria engineer Johan Meyer (53) include centrifuges which are used for the enrichment of uranium. Enriched uranium can be used in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons.
The equipment, which was allegedly to be sold to Pakistan, was taken to Pelindaba at the weekend to be tested to see if uranium had passed through the centrifuges.
Meyer, who is to appear in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, was arrested last Thursday [Sept 2, 04] at his factory Trade Fin Engineering. He is alleged to have contravened the South African Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Treaty and the South African Nuclear Energy Act.
The IAEA believes that Meyer is part of an international nuclear smuggling syndicate.
The IAEA, NIA, SAPS, and NPA have been investigating Trade Fin Engineering for more than a year.
The Pretoria News has learnt that apart from [Johan] Meyer’s company being under investigation, several other Gauteng businessmen and Centurion-based companies - which the investigators have not identified - are being probed for their alleged role in the nuclear black market network. -——— “SA link to nuke black market,” By Graeme Hosken, PRETORIA NEWS, Tues September 7, 2004,
OCTOBER 2004 early : (GERMANY : SWISS ENGINEER URS TINNER IS ARRESTED IN GERMANY- SEE LIBYAN NUKE PROGRAM, QADEER KHAN NETWORK, MALAYSIA) Swiss engineer Urs Tinner ... was arrested in Germany... .. He is believed to have been part of the international clandestine network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, which helped Libya’s nuclear program, German authorities said. He is believed to have been part of the international clandestine network of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, which helped Libya’s nuclear program, German authorities said. German prosecutors said they were preparing treason charges against the engineer.
[Swiss engineer Urs] Tinner is alleged to have overseen machine work in Malaysia on gas centrifuge parts that were intercepted by Western intelligence last October on a ship bound for Libya. He’s also alleged to have trained Libyans in their use. Gas centrifuges are needed to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons. If the Swiss suspects are tried and convicted of violating sanctions and illegally exporting war material they could face as much as 10 years in prison and a $4 million fine.-——— “Switzerland Opens Nuclear Investigation,” by BALZ BRUPPACHER, AP, 10/13/04
The fact that the aluminum tubes found in Iraq were exactly the same and from the same source as the ones utilized in Libya's nuclear weapons program didn't matter at all to them, but sadly, was not emphasized by Bush administration or more forcefully pressed by Iraqi Survey Group - the goal posts were quickly shifted to “stockpiles”.