Pak scientists offered Osama N-weapons
New Delhi: Barely a month before the 9/11 terror attacks, two Pakistani nuclear scientists, said to be close to disgraced Abdul Qadeer Khan, met up with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and offered to supply him with atomic weapons, according to a newly released book.
Chaudiri Abdul Majeed and Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, who held a series of senior posts in Pakistani nuke programme, went to Taliban headquarters in Kandahar in mid-August 2001 and spent three days with bin Laden who was keen on acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
However, the so-called deal did not materialise as the meeting between the Pakistani nuclear scientists and bin Laden ended inconclusively when the al-Qaeda leader, along with some of his senior associates, had abruptly left for the mountains of northwestern Afghanistan.
What's more revealing is that a year before they met bin Laden in Kandahar, the two Pakistani nuke scientists had set up a non-profit organisation, Ummah Tameer-e-Nau, to carry out relief work in Afghanistan, including advising the Taliban on scientific matters.
And, on the board of the organisation were several Pakistani army generals sympathetic to the Taliban cause, and it was one of the few non-government groups that the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, had allowed to operate in Afghanistan.