Who would track India’s IED supply chain to IS?

  • No scan on Uranium thefts?

During a European-mandated investigation by Conflict Armaments Research, a cache of made-in-India-2012 Improvised-explosive-devices (IEDs) components were discovered at Kobane in Syria and Kirkuk and Erbil in Iraq. It contained chemical precursors, detonators, detonating and electrical cords, wires, cables, electronics, fuses, , and other accessories. They also included mobile phones for remote-controlled IEDs. Indian companies hoodwinked customs checkpoints to deliver IED components to IS, within a month. The Pulwama IED, also, was indigenous.

Jaundiced focus on Pakistan’s nuclear route?

A bomb, whether TNT or nuclear,  kills. But there was no international hullabaloo in international media about this shocking discovery. Indian media downplayed the shocking discovery. For instance, look at Hindustan Times dated Feb 26, 2016 reportage with under-linings.  It reported `Indian firms have emerged as a leading, but unintentional, source of components used by the Islamic State terror group to fabricate improvised explosive devices…The report names seven companies from India as the source of detonating cords and detonators, only the second largest supplier by country of origin after Turkey…But the report was unequivocally clear that these supplies were not intended for IS, and were not delivered directly to the terrorist group or to its known fronts or allies.…All components documented by CAR were legally exported under government-issued licences from India to entities in Lebanon and Turkey.  The companies, identified by the report, are not being named here because they did not do business with the IS directly, intentionally or knowingly’!

Investigation teams ferreted out unmistakable Indian connection after analysing 700 captured components of the IED, ISIL forces’ signature weapon.

Not to speak of IED surreptitious exports, India is  nonchalant even to Uranium thefts from its plants sprawling all over the country. India Today dated July 6, 2018 reported Kolkata (West Bengal) Police arrested five persons (near Mango Lane in central Kolkata), carrying a white plastic package with “uranium” printed on it (). It also had batch number “14617071” mentioned on it. The package was labeled `radioactive uranium’ with  `manufacturing date of 03.06.2017 and an expiry date 28.10.2024’. It was worth Rs. 3 crore. The arrestees included Javed Miandad, Sk Mughal Younus Biswas, Md Shahjahan Mondal and Basant Singh .

But there has been blinker-eyed limelight on Dr. AQ Khan, described as ‘merchant of menace’ (The Time magazine February 14, 2005) and ‘merchant of nuclear materials’ (The India Today February 16, 2004). A dossier titled ‘Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A. Q. Khan and the Rise of Proliferation Networks’ was published by International Institute of Strategic Studies. No dossier yet on Indian IED exports?  The Hill reported breaking news is that Dr. Qadeer was hands in glove with Iran’s effort to make an A-bomb (The Hill, <http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/397167-what-the-stolen-iranian-nuclear-secrets-do-and-dont-reveal>). The report claims to be based on Iran’s secrets stolen by Israel.

The dossier was supplemented with Pakistan-bashing documentaries like the ‘Nuclear Jihad: Can Terrorists Get the Bomb’ (CBC, March re-telecast In Pretoria of April 2006 production), and Swiss-television channel-2 ‘Nuclear Jihad’ (January 21, 2007, 2030 hours). The Canadian Broadcasting Association documentary is a product of collaboration of with the New York Times and Discovery Times Channel. Interestingly, the documentary does not say a word about misuse by India of Cyrus reactor and know-how acquired from Norway, Russia, China France and Canada to make her A-bombs (and probably H-bombs). The documentary keeps mum about the role played by USA’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ programme as precursors to ‘Atoms for War’. What were the USA’s policy motivations for blinking at bomb-oriented ‘peaceful’ nuclear research in several countries? India has conducted another military exercise (Ashwamedha, along Pakistan’s borders from April 29-May 3, 2007.

As in the afore-quoted Hindustan Times report, media has a way to highlight or limelight information. Why international media is always soft on India and hard on Pakistan? It  subdued silver linings in the dossier with pro-Pakistan intonations.

The  dossier states. ‘All of the countries that have pursued nuclear weapons programmes obtained at least some of the necessary technologies, tools and materials from suppliers in other countries. Even the United States (which detonated the first nuclear weapon in 1945) utilised refugees and other European scientists for the Manhattan Project and the subsequent development of its nascent nuclear arsenal. The Soviet Union (which first tested an atomic bomb in 1949) acquired its technological foundations through espionage. The United Kingdom (1952) received a technological boost through its involvement in the Manhattan Project. France (1960) discovered the secret solvent for plutonium reprocessing by combing through open-source US literature. China (1964) received extensive technical assistance from the USSR’.

From the dossier, one gets to know that Asher, an Israeli businessman, and Alfred Hempel, an ex Nazi who died in 1989, are co-fathers of India’s ‘indigenous’ bombs. Hempel, a German nuclear entrepreneur, helped India overcome difficulties of heavy-water shortage by organising illicit delivery of a consignment of over 250 tonnes of heavy water to India’s Madras-I reactor, via China, Norway and the USSR. The duo also arranged transfer to India of sensitive nuclear components.

Why India is always protégé and Pakistan a bête noire of media. Let them map India-IS route, tracking intermediaries.