Everyone and their neighbour seems to be linking to Shaun Gregory’s article in the CTC Sentinel about nuclear security in Pakistan, so let me pitch in. First, here’s the passage that’s giving us the creeps:
A series of attacks on nuclear weapons facilities has also occurred. These have included an attack on the nuclear missile storage facility at Sargodha on November 1, 2007, an attack on Pakistan’s nuclear airbase at Kamra by a suicide bomber on December 10, 2007, and perhaps most significantly the August 20, 2008 attack when Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers blew up several entry points to one of the armament complexes at the Wah cantonment, considered one of Pakistan’s main nuclear weapons assembly sites.
Notice those teeny-tiny numbers dotting Gregory’s prose? They’re called footnotes. If you look at the equivalent numbers at the bottom of the page, you will notice that, in fact, it’s not the writer himself who has come up with this information but… whoa, some other dude called Bill Roggio. Here’s what Roggio writes (no doubt referencing the Pakistani media although not crediting them):
Two days after an al Qaeda suicide bomber killed eight in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, a suicide bomber drove his motorcycle into a bus at an air base in Sargodha in the province of Punjab.
Okay, so we have a guy blowing up an airforce bus. Is that an “attack on a nuclear weapons facility”? Not sure? Let’s look up the other Roggio piece Gregory is paraphrasing. Titled “Al Qaeda, Taliban targeting Pakistani nuclear sites”, the article opens with a bang:
After a closer look at the bases struck inside Pakistan since August, at least two more strikes occurred either on or near nuclear weapons storage facilities, based on open source information on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programs. Since August 2007, there have been two suicide attacks at or near the Sargodha Air Force Base, a nuclear weapons and missile storage facility in central Punjab province. Other attacks in Punjab and the Northwest Frontier Province may be aimed at facilities providing regional security for Pakistan’s nuclear program.
Jeez… but wait. What kind of attacks, exactly? Let’s follow Roggio’s links… Oops — they just lead to more Roggio stuff.
In the end, all we have is a list of military facilities “at or near which” some sort of terrorist attacks have occurred and that are somehow, maybe, kinda, linked to Pakistan’s nuclear program.
Even if we forget the fact that almost every military base in Pakistan can be said to be part of the country’s nuke complex, and that military bases are traditional terrorist targets whether they have some secret mission or not, this all sounds a little tenuous, wouldn’t you say? Not according to Gregory, who sums up with a gasp: “The significance of these events is difficult to overstate.”