Jihadis Discuss Plans to Seize Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 14

Abu Yahya Al-Libi

Urged by a senior al-Qaeda ideologue to take over Pakistan, members of jihadi internet forums have begun to examine the possibility of controlling Pakistan’s nuclear weapons (al-faloja1.com, April 24). At the same time, jihadis continue to collect information on nuclear facilities around the globe, especially Israel’s nuclear projects, waiting for an opportunity to perpetrate successful terrorist attacks against these facilities after massive terrorist attacks using conventional weapons failed to give rise to the global supremacy of Islamic law (al-faloja1.com, April 22).

On March 14, al-Fajr Media Center released a 29-page book entitled Sharpening the Blades in the Battle against the Government and Army of Pakistan by a senior al-Qaeda leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi (alboraq.info, May 3; see Terrorism Focus, May 8). Al-Libi’s work is designed to incite jihad against the Pakistani government. The author suggests Pakistan was founded in 1947 to uphold and implement Shari’a (Islamic law), but has since been plagued by successive corrupt governments that manipulated the Pakistani army and security services into opposing the implementation of Shari’a. Al-Libi cites numerous Hadiths and Quranic verses attesting to the religious obligation to oust the government and take over Pakistan.

Relative to al-Libi’s provocative book, jihadi forums have focused on the future of Pakistan. A forum member nicknamed “Mohami al-Dawla” said no one had anticipated Pakistan would be overwhelmed by a jihadi surge to become a base for the revival of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate. After the tribal areas became a safe haven for the mujahideen retreating from Afghanistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion, Pakistan facilitated the reformation of mujahideen forces who are now “at two bow’s lengths” from controlling Afghanistan. Although U.S. strategic policies are aimed at weakening Pakistan and imposing conditions in favor of its other allies in the region, the United States is helpless against possible Taliban control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. With the mujahideen in control of the Swat valley, only 90 miles from the capital of Islamabad, al-Dawla maintains it’s only a matter of time before the Taliban take full control of Pakistan. “This is not mythology or illusions. This is inevitable.” Al-Dawla adds that the mujahideen should prepare countermeasures against U.S. plans to prevent the fall of Pakistan’s 24-48 nuclear warheads to the mujahideen by seizing, dismantling and smuggling Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal into those nations he describes as the “enemies of Islam.”

By controlling Pakistan, al-Dawla is confident the mujahideen would not only control Pakistan’s weapons of mass destruction, but would also gain control of copies of all the secret Pakistan-India agreements designed to prevent the targeting of nuclear facilities in any confrontation between the two countries. “By possessing highly sensitive maps and intelligence on India nuclear facilities, the enemies of Islam, the Hindus, would be very vulnerable.” To handle the Pakistani nuclear weapons, the mujahideen need to build their military and intelligence capabilities by recruiting experienced people from the Pakistani government. “Some might think it’s too early to talk about this subject, but a thorough assessment of the jihadi military situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan indicates the battlefield is ripe. Preplanning for nuclear arsenal control is a lot better than planning for 30 years of jihad” concludes al-Dawla.   

Other forum members described the importance of winning over Pakistani nuclear scientists such as Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is accused of promoting nuclear proliferation in the Islamic world and helping to transfer nuclear weapons technology to Libya. The mujahideen must protect such scientists from possible liquidation if the Taliban succeed in taking over Pakistan because even if the enemies of Islam dismantle and move Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, they would not leave behind the brains that developed these weapons.

In the same forum, members launched a new project of research on nuclear installations around the world entitled “Nuclear targets and facilities to be attacked.” The research begins by mapping the 17 nuclear facilities and installations spread over Pakistan. Part two of the project is to map the location of Israel’s 400 nuclear warheads.

Israeli nuclear and vital military and storage facilities are discussed in detail, including the Negev Nuclear Research Center at Dimona, the Naqab nuclear complex, and the Tel Nof air base. The section of research on Israel concludes by inciting Jordanian jihadis to attack Dimona, only 15 km from the Jordanian border.

Other countries examined by the jihadi forum members include France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Holland, Turkey, South Africa and the UK. For the United States and Russia, the jihadis posted several maps showing the locations of nuclear facilities and strategic naval bases, putting the number of Russian nuclear warheads at 14,000 and the number of U.S. warheads at 5,400.

Finally, the jihadis express their belief that suicide attacks against nuclear facilities would bring the enemies of Islam to their knees, and thus urge Salafi-Jihadis everywhere to conduct separate and more detailed research on the nuclear weapons facilities of the aforementioned countries.