June 21, 2005
Part 3: The Guru
Listen to what Humayun Khan says about
his involvement in the nuclear smuggling case. Khan, who's
been indicted by the U.S. government and is still at large,
spoke by phone from Islamabad with reporter Mark Schapiro.
Read excerpts from the smoking-gun emails between Asher Karni, a businessman originally from Israel and Humayun Khan, his contact in Pakistan.
April 21, 2005
Part 2: The Double Life Of Asher Karni
Watch the video report from South Africa to find out how Asher Karni, a respected Israeli businessman in Cape Town, became the middleman in a nuclear smuggling operation.
Part 1: The Middleman
Read Mark Schapiro's original report on the Asher Karni
case, coproduced by Mother Jones magazine,
the Center for Investigative Reporting and FRONTLINE/World.
JUNE 21, 2005
The most elusive character in the case of the U.S. nuclear triggers
shipped illegally to Pakistan is Islamabad businessman Humayun
Khan. Khan has been indicted by the U.S. Justice Department
but he remains free in Pakistan, where he insists he is innocent.
His South African collaborator, Asher Karni, has already pleaded
guilty and awaits sentencing in a Brooklyn prison.
Khan is the owner of Pakland PME Corporation, which has long-standing ties to the Pakistani military. The indictment against him includes a series of emails he exchanged with Karni. In one, dated May 20, 2003, Khan asks Karni to purchase a prohibited item -- oscilloscopes -- for a Pakistani company called "Matrix," but cautions his partner: ".... A word of advice from the Guru...do not purchase all items together and never contact Tektronix U.K. office!"
FRONTLINE/World reporter Mark Schapiro finally managed
to speak by phone with "the Guru." In a conversation that lasted
more than an hour, Khan was alternately friendly, evasive and
argumentative. He told several different stories to explain
why he was not guilty of nuclear smuggling. At one point he
blamed the nuclear deal on one of his managers, who he says
betrayed him and then fled to Dubai. Later, Khan acknowledged
that he had made a "mistake" and that the evidence compiled
against him seems overwhelming: "Everything is pointing right
Listen to excerpts from the phone conversation between Humayun
Khan (below) and reporter Mark Schapiro.
PHONE INTERVIEW (length 9:18)
"Mark, in Pakistan we believe that Asher Karni is working
with Israeli intelligence and it was all preplanned."
Read the transcript
of the conversation.
Tucked away in the vast recesses of the Commerce Department in
Washington, D.C., is the Bureau of Industry and Security, an obscure
government entity with a highly sensitive mission. Its task is
to prevent the export of U.S. goods and technology that may be
used by rogue states or terrorists to make chemical, biological
or nuclear weapons. The bureau lists about 3,000 "dual-use" products
that can be used for civilian or military purposes. One of those
restricted items is the "triggered spark gap," made by PerkinElmer
Optoelectronics in Salem, Massachusetts. These spark gaps can
be used to dissolve kidney stones or to trigger a nuclear detonation.
Alerted by an anonymous informer in South Africa, who called the
Commerce Department hotline, agents cracked the nuclear smuggling
case FRONTLINE/World has been tracking -- a case in which
U.S. authorities say Pakistani businessman, Humayun Khan, was
trying to obtain 200 of these triggers from the U.S. by way of
a South African middleman, Asher Karni.
In Washington, normally taciturn Commerce Department investigators agreed to discuss the case with our reporter Mark Schapiro.
If extradicted, Humayun Khan could face up to 35 years in prison.
the full indictment. (PDF)
"The Guru" is a co-production of FRONTLINE/World and the Center for Investigative Reporting in association with Mother Jones magazine.
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