Nuclear Weapons are a Greater Threat than You Think

The world’s nuclear weapons might be in the hands of traitors, drug addicts, and terrorists. Al Qaeda terrorists may have come close to seize to getting their hands on a nuclear-tipped missile in 2014.

Al Qaeda terrorists led by a renegade naval officer nearly seized control of a Pakistani warship that may have carried a nuclear missile, journalist Steve Coll revealed in his latest book Directorate S. On September 6, 2014, Lieutenant Zeeshan Rafiq and a former naval officer named Owais Jakhrani tried to turn the frigate PNS Zulfiqar over to a band of Al Qaeda gunmen.[1]

The Zulfiqar’s armament might have contained a nuclear warhead at the time of Rafiq’s treasonous assault, Indian military intelligence officers told Coll. Fortunately, Rafiq’s scheme was foiled by commandos from Pakistan’s Special Air Services (SAS) who were onboard the Zulfiqar and opened fire on a boatload of Al Qaeda killers who were trying to link up with Rafiq.

Rafiq’s plan was to turn the Zulfiqar’s weapons on U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, Coll revealed. It is not known if Rafiq knew a nuke was onboard or if he had plans to use it. Pakistan’s government has denied the Indian claims that nukes were on the Zulfiqar but the vessel did carry a C-802 capable of hitting Indian cities like Mumbai and New Delhi and U.S. military bases with a nuclear warhead.

 Airmen Guarding American Nukes used LSD

Arrogant Americans that chant “it can’t happen here,” might change their minds after hearing about a frightening 1960s flashback at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

A group of airmen guarding nuclear missiles were disciplined for using LSD, the Associated Press reported. LSD is the powerful hallucinogenic mind-altering drug used by hippies in the 1960s.

Disturbingly, Air Force investigators only discovered the drug use because of a post on social media. The military had actually stopped testing for LSD years before, National Public Radio reported. Documents uncovered by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request show airmen were also abusing cocaine and ecstasy

The airmen tripping out on acid; as LSD is sometimes called, were part of the 90th Missile Wing which operates around 450 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS). The LGM-30G Minuteman 3 is America’s only land-based nuclear weapon. The Minutemen are kept on 24 hour a day, seven day a week alert in silos scattered across the Great Plains of several states.

One of the airmen court-martialed admitted that he would not have been able to perform his duty because of LSD use, the AP reported.  Another admitted to distributing LSD to other airmen while on duty at F.E. Warren.

Those taking the LSD were security troops not missile operators, the AP reported. Some of them were part of a ring that was selling LSD to troops. Around 14 airmen were court-martialed for using acid.

How safe are America’s Nukes?

Events at F.E. Warren raise the disturbing possibility of an incident like that onboard the Zulfiqar at an American nuclear facility. The man who organized the attempt to seize the Zulfiqar; Rafiq, was an active duty Pakistani naval officer with a high-level security clearance.

Rafiq was assigned to the ship, and Coll reported that he was able to smuggle loaded weapons onboard. Rafiq also allowed an ex-naval officer and Al Qaeda sympathizer onto the ship and tried to let a boatload of terrorists onboard.

Coll did not say why members of the SAS; Pakistan’s most elite commando unit, were aboard the Zulfiqar on 6 September 2014. A strong possibility is that the SAS was tipped off to the Al Qaeda plot. SAS commandos guarding a Pakistani warship would be akin to SEAL Team Six guarding a U.S. Navy vessel.

Pakistani security measures thwarted Rafiq’s plan just as Air Force Security detected the LSD ring at F.E. Warren. If drug traffickers can go undetected at a US nuclear facility so could terrorists or traitors. A frightening scenario would be terrorists using such a drug ring to blackmail military personnel into giving them access to nukes.

America’s ICBM force is a potential threat because what was an elite Air Force unit has become a dumping ground for the worst recruits. Nuclear weapons are increasingly an afterthought in a military dedicated to warfighting oversight overseas.

Is time to Scrap Nuclear Weapons?

The revelations about the Zulfiqar incident and the drug use at Warren should make the world’s powers consider scrapping nuclear weapons. The threat the nukes pose now exceeds the potential benefits.

There is no military purpose the Minuteman III, submarine launched missiles can provide America’s nuclear deterrent. So scrapping it will not weaken America or put the nature in any danger.

A good case can be made that the Minuteman III puts Americans in danger by exposing nuclear weapons to terrorist seizure. Likewise the Pakistani military needs to reconsider the policy of placing nuclear weapons on ships.

The world’s governments need to seriously reconsider the whole idea of nuclear weapons. The nukes themselves might be a greater danger than the enemies they are supposed to deter.

One has to wonder if it will take the destruction of a city or tens of thousands of deaths to get the world to start taking the security of nuclear weapons seriously.

[1] A full account of the Zulfiqar affair can be found on pages 656-660 of Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan