Frontline World


Nuclear Underground



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Anonymous - Sydney, Australia
Asher Karni cannot be an Israeli. Asher Karni cannot be an Orthodox Jew. Allowing him to continue with Israeli citizenship is nothing short of prostituting one's kith and kin. He has been dealing with the enemy for a few shekels. He should be handed hard labour for the rest of his natural life with a stamp on his file saying "NEVER TO BE RELEASED."


Pundit Kalidass - Delhi, India
Government agencies and accredited non-government organizations should become the legal authorities in the sale and purchase of dual-use nuclear devices. Strong policing would make entry and exit doors for these exports easier to track, and narrow down the search to pinpoint responsibility in the cases of misuse. On the other hand, all communities should keep their ears to the ground with effective stinger and covert operations. There will always be individuals such as Humayun Khan finding a way to circle the path. This is particularly important with the cool relations between India and Pakistan and how either country may react when pressures mount.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This react has been edited.]

Sharif Mandela - Newark, New Jersey
I believe any nation -- the U.S. included -- that has nuclear technology or nuclear weapons is a danger. Remember, the United States is the only country to ever use nuclear bombs against a country (Japan). The international community should demand that the manufacturing, selling, and profiteering of nuclear technology and weapons be treated as a crime against humanity. The proliferation of nuclear weapons and technologies starts here in the U.S. -- we are the manufacturers and sellers of these weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, we have the responsibility to start at home first, and investigate, arrest and prosecute all parties involved. No one should be above the law.


Leo Fish - San Francisco, California
Your nuclear smuggling story is especially timely with the U.N. [Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty] talks and the worrying nuclear programs of North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and the list goes on. The world becomes exponentially more dangerous with the spread of not just nuclear material but the know-how to produce the key components, such as the devices to trigger a nuclear bomb mentioned in your story.

What you highlight is the fact that the proliferation of these devices took place under the guise of genuine medical needs for a partner country, South Africa. If it were not for the tip-off in the case, no one would have known that these triggers were earmarked for Pakistan.

Surely, this dual-use loophole of exporting nuclear technologies for medical purposes has to be closed until there is surefire accountability of who the end user is. The fact that South Africa was just a conduit only enhances the problem. It begs the question of what our government will now do to clamp down on this -- in actions not just words.