Sign in to your account.

Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Schmitt, Eric, “Panel Fears Use of Unconventional Weapon,” NYT, A 11, Dec. 1, 2008.

  1. “An independent commission has concluded that terrorists will most likely carry out an attack with biological, nuclear or other unconventional weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years unless the United States and its allies act urgently to prevent that.”
  2. “the Congressionally mandated panel found that with countries like Iran and North Korea pursuing nuclear weapons programs, and with the risk of poorly secured biological pathogens growing, unconventional threats are fast outpacing the defenses arrayed to confront them.”
  3. “The report is the result of a six month study by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.”
  4. “[recommendations include] improved bioforensic capabilities, and strengthening international organizations, like the International Atomic Energy Agency, to address the nuclear threat.  It also calls for a comprehensive approach for dealing with Pakistan.”
  5. “The report calls for conducting a major review of the program to secure dangerous pathogens and tighten oversight of high-containment laboraties.”

Bioterrorism, WMD, Biosecurity, Nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan


Norris, Robert. “Global nuclear weapons inventories, 1945–2010“. The Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists. July 2010.

  1. “Nuclear weapon states shield details about their arsenals and generally have only imprecise knowledge about the size and composition of other countries’ inventories; this creates uncertainty, mistrust, and misunderstandings.” (Page 1)
  2. “We estimate that the world’s nine nuclear weapon states possess nearly 22,400 intact nuclear warheads. The vast majority of these weapons—approximately 95 percent—are in the U.S. and Russian arsenals. Nearly 8,000 warheads—nearly one-third of the worldwide total—are operational to some degree (not necessarily fully operational) and ready to launch on relatively short notice.” (Page 1)
  3. “India and Pakistan have a combined total of approximately 150 nuclear warheads, just a few more than what is carried on a single U.S. Trident submarine.” (Page 1)
  4. “We calculate that more than 128,000 nuclear warheads were built since 1945, all but 2 percent by the United States (55 percent) and the Soviet Union/Russia (43 percent).” (Page 2)
  5. “Of the more than 70,000 warheads that the United States has produced since 1945, more than 60,000 have been disassembled—more than 13,000 of these since 1990. However, the United States has retained nearly 14,000 plutonium cores (pits) from its dismantled warheads, storing them at the Pantex Plant.” (Page 3)
  6. “Russia has been decreasing its deployed/operational forces, and at the same time it has been reducing its number of intact warheads via an ongoing dismantlement effort.” (Page 3)
  7. “The majority of India’s and Pakistan’s warheads are not yet operationally deployed. Both countries are believed to be increasing their stockpiles.” (Page 4)
  8. “Despite two nuclear tests and production of enough plutonium for 8–12 nuclear bombs, North Korea has yet to demonstrate that it has operationalized any weapons.” (Page 4-6)
  9. “Yet eight of the nine nuclear weapon states continue to produce new or modernized nuclear weapons, and all nine insist that nuclear weapons are essential for their national security.” (Page 6)

Nuclear, Russia, Pakistan, North Korea, China


Hope, Jenny. “Alarm over ‘unbeatable’ enzyme that could make all bacterial diseases resistant to antibiotics“. Mail Online. August 12, 2010.

  1. “So far two types of bacteria have been host to NDM-1 –  the gut bug E.coli and another that can invade the lungs called Klebsiella pneumonia. Both can lead to urinary tract infections and blood poisoning.”
  2. “Figures suggest it costs between £500 million to £1 billion to bring new drugs to market.”
  3. “The NDM-1 gene alters bacteria”
  4. “Christopher Thomas, professor of molecular genetics at the University of Birmingham who was not linked to the study, said ‘We are potentially at the beginning of another wave of antibiotic resistance, though we still have the power to stop it.’”
  5. “’The consequences will be serious if family doctors have to treat infections caused by these multi-resistant bacteria on a daily basis’ he added.”
  6. “’Hospitals need to ensure they continue to provide good infection control to prevent any spread, consider whether patients have recently been treated abroad and send samples to the HPA for testing.’”

NDM-1, Pakistan


Editors. “New superbug now in Canada ‘Potentially a major global health problem,’ author of study says”.  The Toronto Star. August 12, 2010.

  1. “Both Canadians, one in Alberta and one in B.C., infected by the antibiotic-resistant NDM-1 have recovered, but “we don’t know if the infection will come back,” Dr. Johann Pitout of the University of Calgary told the Star on Wednesday.”
  2. “Ages of the infected people ranged from 4 to 66, and the reasons for hospitalization included bone-marrow transplants, dialysis, heart disease, pregnancy, traffic accidents, burns and cosmetic surgery.”
  3. “”And as a result, with the patient being isolated and so on, there was no further spread of infection to anyone else in the hospital,” he said”

NDM-1, Pakistan


Weiser, Benjamin,  “Pakistani Sentenced to 86 Years for Attack,NYT, A23, September 24, 2010

  1. “A Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill American soldiers and F.B.I. agents in Afghanistan was sentenced to 86 years in prison on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.”
  2. “The case of the scientist, Aafia Siddiqui, 38, had attracted wide attention, particularly in Pakistan, where she was widely portrayed as a heroine.”
  3. “In Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore, word of the sentence prompted protests from religious parties, which announced plans for nationwide demonstrations on Friday. Outside Ms. Siddiqui’s house in Karachi, dozens of protesters chanted anti-American slogans.”
  4. “In 2004, she was described by Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the F.B.I., as “an Al Qaeda operative and facilitator.” And an indictment charged that when she was arrested in 2008, she was carrying instructions on making explosives and a list of New York landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building.”
  5. “But it was her assault on a team of American officers and agents who went to question her after her arrest that led to her conviction in February on charges that included attempting to kill American officers and employees. She had been taken into custody in Ghazni, Afghanistan, after the local authorities became suspicious of her loitering outside the provincial governor’s compound.”
  6. “‘“As she did this,” the judge said, she uttered, “in the same impeccable English that she has demonstrated here in the courtroom, anti-American sentiments” like “ ‘I want to kill Americans’ ” and “ ‘Death to America.’ ”
  7. “Ms. Siddiqui, who has degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University, had punctuated her trial with numerous outbursts, resulting in ejections from the courtroom.”
  8. “At her sentencing, she rolled her eyes and made dismissive motions when one of her lawyers argued on her behalf. Her legal team, with which she has not cooperated, has maintained she was mentally ill, but prosecutors and the judge — and Ms. Siddiqui — disagreed.”
  9. “Ms. Cardi cited a five-year period, starting in 2003, when Ms. Siddiqui’s whereabouts were unknown; her supporters have claimed she was taken by American forces and tortured in Afghanistan, an accusation that is widely accepted in Pakistan, but is rejected by American officials.”
  10. “For example, referring to the five-year period of Ms. Siddiqui’s disappearance and claims of torture, he said, ‘I am aware of no evidence in the record to substantiate these allegations or to establish them as fact.'”

Law Enforcement, Scientist, Academia, Pakistan


Webster, Paul. “Global action urged in response to new breed of drug-resistant bacteria“. Canadian Medical Association Journal, October 19,2010.

  1. “NDM-1 is an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to a broad range of beta-lactam antibiotics, including carbapenem antibiotics, which are among the last-case treatments for infection when other drugs fail.” (Pg. 1)
  2. “NDM-1 is now widely disseminated throughout the Indian subcontinent because of contaminated sewage and water, and as a consequence, the threat is community-based, Nordmann added.”(Pg. 1)
  3. “‘At the WHO, there is nothing for the surveillance of any emerging antibiotic resistance. There is a very nice network on flu and malaria and tuberculosis, but nothing on antibiotic resistance, which is incredible.'” (Pg. 1)
  4. “One of the patients was infected with a clonal version of NDM-1 that was identical to one later discovered in an Australian patient with whom he’d had no contact, reinforcing the proposition that NDM-1 is capable of rapid and widespread clonal duplication.” (Pg. 2)
  5. “Pitout also warned the NDM-1 poses the greatest risk for those with hard-totreat infections, such as upper urinary tract infections, and that it has now been identified in Escherihia coli, a very common pathogen.” (Pg. 2)
  6. “‘Generally, the public health risk to Canadians is very low. Research shows all of the Canadian cases have acquired their infections in hospital settings while undergoing medical treatment in India or Pakistan’” (Pg. 2)
  7. “The agency also noted that ‘provinces and territories are not required to report cases of NDM-1 to PHAC; however PHAC encourages hospitals to report healthcare-associated infections to their province or territory.'” (Pg. 2)

NDM-1, Pakistan, WHO


Zarfel, Gernot & Hoenigl, Martin. “Emergence of New Delhi Metallo- β-Lactamase, Austria“. CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Vol. 17, January 2011.

  1. “New Delhi metallo-β- lactamase (NDM-1) was first detected in a Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate in 2008 from a Swedish patient of Indian origin; it has since been reported in increasing numbers of infections in patients from India, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom” (pg 1).
  2. “NDM-1 shares very little identity with other metallo-β-lactamase enzymes” (pg. 1)
  3. “However, the emergence of NDM-1 poses the risk of plasmid-mediated transfer of the carbapenemase enzyme blaNDM-1 between different bacterial strains, which could lead to serious public health issues” (pg. 1)
  4. “So far, NDM-1 carbapenemase has been detected in K. pneumoniae, Escherichia coliCitrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, and Morganella morganii and has shown resistance to nearly all classes of antibacterial agents, except polymyxins and tigecycline” (pg.1 and 2).
  5. “Kumarasamy et al. recently reported the identification of 37 isolates with NDM-1 in the United Kingdom. The isolates came from 29 patients, of whom at least 17 had traveled to India or Pakistan in the year preceding identification of NDM-1; 14 patients had been to a hospital in those countries” (pg. 2)

NDM-1, Pakistan, E. coli


Gertz, Bill, “Chinese Firm Tied to Steel Used in Iran Nukes” 23 January 2011, Washington Times Last Checked 27 January 2010.

  1. “The State Department in 2009 sought the Chinese government’s help in blocking a sale to Iran of 25 tons of specialty steel for Tehran’s defense industry to be used in building nuclear-related centrifuges, according to a classified department cable.”
  2. “‘The steel was to be partially machined in order to disguise it as mechanical parts in order to evade Chinese customs officials,’ the cable said, noting that the export was controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an international organization that seeks to limit exports of products that can be used in nuclear-weapons development.”
  3. “‘Although the solid maraging steel rods described previously are not explicitly controlled [on international agreement] lists, the circumstances surrounding this case, i.e., deceptive practices involving a proscribed entity and prospects for further deals between the parties, suggest that the transfer of this material would be inconsistent with China’s obligations under UNSCR 1737.’”
  4. “The Iranians involved were ‘linked to Iran’s DIO’ that was sanctioned under U.N. Security Council resolutions (UNSCR).”
  5. “The company also was charged with selling Iran tungsten used in missile parts, graphite cylinders used in centrifuges and other nuclear arms uses, and high-strength aluminum also used in manufacturing centrifuges.”
  6. “A CIA report to Congress last year said Chinese companies, both state-owned and private, continued in 2009 to sell weapons-of-mass-destruction goods to Iran.”
  7. “China also covertly sold to Pakistan in 1996 specialty ring magnets that U.S. officials later determined were used in the core of that country’s nuclear weapons program, specifically its centrifuges that spin uranium gas into highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.”
  8. “‘What this shows is that China has been a consistent problem in U.S. efforts to tighten the noose around Iran’s nuclear program,’ said Gary Milhollin, head of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control. ‘Chinese companies have been a conduit for goods going to Iran.’”

State Department, PSI, Nuclear, China, Iran, Pakistan


Schneidmiller, Chris, “Pakistan Sought U.S. Assistance Against Biothreats, Cable ShowsGlobal Security Newswire, Feb. 8, 2011.

  1. “Pakistan in 2008 discussed with U.S. officials the prospect of establishing a system to ensure militants could not obtain jobs in the South Asian nation’s burgeoning disease research sector that might give them access to potential bioterror agents, according to a diplomatic dispatch made public last week (see GSN, June 30, 2010).”
  2. “The U.S. State Department’s Biosecurity Engagement Program since 2007 has supported efforts by the Pakistani government to ensure “safe, secure and sustainable” public health operations, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said in a leaked document.”
  3. “A number of Pakistani officials by early the next year were seeking closer ties with the diplomatic office and assistance with construction of Biosafety Level 3 laboratories, which work with disease agents that can cause serious illness or death.”
  4. “‘The executive director of Pakistan’s National Institute of Health also expressed interest in a personnel reliability program to screen for “extremists” or other groups looking to gain access to pathogen collections,’ according to the embassy dispatch posted on the website of the London Telegraph.”
  5. “The document also indicates that U.S. officials noted security concerns and subsequent improvements during three visits to the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council facility in the capital city. ‘PARC houses a full range of viral and bacterial pathogens, including dangerous agents such as anthrax, FMD (foot and mouth disease), brucellosis and highly pathogenic avian influenza,’ the embassy said.”
  6. “‘Virtually no biosecurity measures were observed during March and June 2007 visits to PARC, but by early February 2008, dedicated safety officers and improved security practices were in place,’ it added.”
  7. “Potential threats posed by radicals operating within the Pakistani establishment were highlighted by the assassination last month of Punjab state Governor Salman Taseer by one of his bodyguards (see GSN, Jan. 11).”
  8. “‘The Department of State and Pakistan are currently cooperating on a wide range of projects in the area of the biological sciences, including projects to improve disease diagnostics and disease surveillance in the public health sector,’ according to the statement. ‘U.S. and Pakistan strategic dialogue embodies a commitment to a strong and productive bilateral relationship and partnership for long-term results based on shared democratic values, mutual respect, trust and interests.’”

Pakistan, Japan, BSL, State Department, Personnel Reliability


Editors, “North Korea Used Black Market to Acquire Nuke Technology, IAEA Says,” 6 September 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 6 September 2011.

  1. “North Korea appears to have employed an illicit network to acquire material needed to establish a uranium enrichment facility at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded in a report.”
  2. “The IAEA report appears to suggest that North Korea obtained assistance from the nuclear proliferation ring once operated by former chief Pakistani atomic scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, which also sold nuclear-weapon technology to Iran and Libya before it was disbanded in 2003.”
  3. “The document concludes North Korea established its uranium facility following the expulsion of U.N. inspectors in April 2009.”
  4. “Assuming no other clandestine network was involved, it would follow that Pyongyang purchased centrifuges from the Khan ring no later than 2003 and kept them a secret from investigators.”
  5. “The U.N. watchdog said it possessed additional information that would indicate other types of enrichment machinery and expertise were acquired by Pyongyang from the Khan ring.”
  6. “The nuclear agency also determined that the North had ‘very likely’ produced the uranium hexafluoride discovered in a container the Khan ring sent to Libya in 2001. That would suggest the Stalinist state clandestinely established its uranium enrichment program more than a decade ago.”

Nonproliferation, Nuclear, North Korea, Pakistan


Alvarez, Lizette, “Details Are Revealed in Brothers’ Terror Case,” NYT December 18, 2012, Last checked December 22, 2012

  1. ” One of two brothers accused of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction traveled to New York City last month to scout targets for his plan to set off a bomb, a federal prosecutor said in court on Tuesday.”
  2. ”Raees Alam Qazi, 20, the younger brother, pedaled around New York City on a bicycle over Thanksgiving weekend trying to pick a site but never selected one, the prosecutor, Karen Gilbert, said.”
  3. ”Mr. Qazi and his brother were arrested on Nov. 29 because agents believed there was ‘an immediate threat,’ the prosecutor said. For this reason, he was questioned without being read his Miranda rights against self-incrimination. A federal agent said later in the hearing that no specific attack had been in the works.”
  4. ”Mr. Qazi and his brother, Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, also have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Both men are naturalized United States citizens of Pakistani descent, and lived for years in Broward County. They have pleaded not guilty.”
  5. ”In arguing for his detention, Ms. Gilbert told the judge that Mr. Qazi ‘was reaching out to Al Qaeda,’ and ‘is a danger to this community.’”
  6. ”In their search of Mr. Qazi’s house, federal agents said, they found batteries taped together, stripped Christmas light wire and a magazine, Al Qaeda Inspire, with an article on how to make a detonator using Christmas lights. One article carried the headline ‘Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom.’ … they found parts of a remote control car that Ms. Gilbert and an F.B.I. special agent said could be used to blow up a bomb remotely.”
  7. ”Agents also seized Mr. Qazi’s computer and found searches for PETN, … Agents said Mr. Qazi had told them that he tried to make a bomb at his home but did not succeed.” *”Mr. Ecarius {Mr. Qazi’s lawyer} also questioned whether there was truly a ‘specific attack.’ An F.B.I. special agent, Kristine Holden, responded in court that ‘he didn’t specifically plan one.’”
  8. “Federal agents offered up multiple recorded phone conversations between the defendants and two confidential informers. In one recorded conversation, Mr. Qazi’s brother described him as a ‘lone wolf.’ In another, Mr. Qazi’s sister-in-law complained about Mr. Qazi. … ‘it’s nice that he’s going to do jihad, but he still has to pay rent and help out.’”

Law, Pakistan, Terrorist/Offender, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, al-Qaeda


Editors, “Former Managing Director of PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co., LTD., Sentenced to a Year in Prison for Conspiring to Illegally Export High-Performance Coatings to Nuclear Reactor in Pakistan” December 20, 2012, Bureau of Industry and Security U.S. Department of Commerce, DOJ Press Release, Washington,, Last Checked February 14, 2013.

  1. ”Xun Wang, a former Managing Director of PPG Paints Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary of United States-based PPG Industries, Inc., was sentenced today to a year in prison for conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.”
  2. ”Wang, 52, was sentenced by the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to the prison time, Judge Sullivan ordered Wang to pay a $100,000 fine and to perform 500 hours of community service.”
  3. ”Wang pled guilty to the conspiracy in November 2011, and agreed, as part of her plea, to cooperate with the government’s investigation.  Her cooperation led to the Dec. 3, 2012, guilty plea by the China Nuclear Industry Huaxing Construction Co., Ltd. That plea is believed to have marked the first time that a People’s Republic of China corporate entity has entered a plea of guilty in a U.S. criminal export matter. As part of its plea agreement, Huaxing agreed to the maximum criminal fine of $2 million, $1 million of which will be stayed pending its successful completion of five years of corporate probation.”
  4. ”In both the criminal and administrative cases, Wang is accused of conspiring to export. reexport, and transship high-performance epoxy coatings to the Chashma II Nuclear Power Plant (Chashma II) in Pakistan, a nuclear reactor owned and/or operated by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, an entity on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List.”
  5. ”As a restricted end-user, a United States manufacturer seeking to export, reexport or transship any items subject to the Export Administration Regulations to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, or its nuclear power plants or reactors, would first need to obtain a license from the Department of Commerce in the District of Columbia.”

Export Control, China, Pakistan, Nuclear


Davenport, KelseyA Normal Nuclear PakistanArms Control Today, Volume 45 Issue 8. Page 7. October 2015.

  1. “Toby Dalton and Michael Krepon argue in this report that Pakistan, having achieved a successful strategic nuclear deterrent against India, is at a crossroads: Islamabad can pursue full-spectrum deterrence to compete with India or take steps to integrate into the mainstream nuclear order” – page 7
  2. “Dalton and Krepon…  recommend five steps that Pakistan can take if it chooses the latter course” – page 7
  3. “They propose that Pakistan shift its declaratory policy away from full-spectrum deterrence, which requires an open-ended arsenal for a broader array of targeting, to maintaining strategic deterrence, which would allow Islamabad to deter limited nuclear exchanges or a conventional war” – page 7
  4. “In the same vein, they argue that Pakistan should sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, regardless of India’s intentions to do so” – page 7
  5. “The two analysts maintain that their recommended steps will not impair Islamabad’s minimum credible-deterrent posture and will increase the chances of Pakistan’s entry into the global nuclear order.” – page 7

Pakistan, Nuclear