US has special crack squad in place to secure Pak nukes at short noticeMay 15th, 2009 - 12:58 pm ICT by ANI
London, May 15 (ANI): The United States has in place a detailed emergency plan to secure Pakistan’s mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads, in case the nukes are in danger of falling into the hands of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.
According to the US intelligence sources, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the super-secret commando unit headquartered at Fort Bragg, has been given orders to remain prepared for action at short notice.
The JSOC, the US army’s chief terrorists hunting squad, is already present in the region and is operating along the western Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
“We have plans to secure them ourselves if things get out of hand. That is a big secondary mission for JSOC in Afghanistan,” a U.S. intelligence source, deployed in Afghanistan, said.
“Small units could seize them, disable them and then centralize them in a secure location,” he added.
For the first time in 2004, a secret Defense Intelligence Agency document revealed that Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal of 35 weapons.
The document further said that Islamabad was planning to double the number of the nuclear weapons by 2020.
The JSOC may be an elite group of extensively trained commandos, but they too may have to face certain challenges securing the nukes.
Securing the nuclear arsenal in Pakistan is particularly difficult, because the military has established its missiles on Soviet-style mobile launchers and rail lines.
Even though the US intelligence agencies are using satellite photos and communication intercepts constantly to monitor their whereabouts, it is feared that the rogue elements inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence service could quickly side with the extremists and make JSOC’s mission more difficult. (ANI)
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