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How Israel Stole Weapon Grade Uranium from USA

02:30 PM | 8 Aug, 2023
How Israel Stole Weapon Grade Uranium from USA
Source: Atomic Heritage Foundation

“We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force.  . . . We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”– Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld

The Israeli leadership considered John F. Kennedy (JFK) an enemy of Israel for several reasons. One of the key reasons was the staunch and intense opposition of JFK to Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. The JFK-Ben Gurion correspondence on the subject remained classified until the mid-1990s, when some parts of it were released. David Ben Gurion was the Prime Minister of Israel from its very inception, until he resigned, for unspecified reasons, in summer 1963. One may recall the JFK was assassinated in November 1963. Eventually around 2015 the entire JFK-Ben Gurion correspondence appears to have been declassified. 

From the declassified JFK-Ben Gurion correspondence it is quite clear that Ben Gurion had been evading JFK’s demand for inspection of the nuclear reactor set up at Dimona. This reactor had been set up secretly with French help and its establishment had not been shared with the U.S. The U.S. was, naturally, angered by this deception when it discovered its existence through U2 photographs. JFK had become aware of Israel’s secret nuclear program shortly before he was sworn in as president. It is now clear that Ben Gurion was buying time so that Israel could develop a nuclear bomb before being found out. According to Seymour Hersh, the Dimona reactor had, unknown to the world, already gone critical in 1962. Such was Kennedy’s concern over the issue that he essentially threatened to cut off all aid to Israel if Israel did not come clean on the matter. JFK was a threat to Israel’s nuclear program and it was in Israel’s interest to see to it that he was eliminated.

At the time JFK was not aware that Israel had been stealing weapon grade uranium from a US facility, but had he lived, he would have found out, with drastic consequences for those who did it. One can imagine the world wide consequences for Israel having been found out stealing weapon grade uranium from the US. There was more than sufficient motivation for the assassination of Kennedy, and, it appears, as argued by Michael Collins Piper, that Ben Gurion ordered Mossad to assassinate JFK, and then resigned so that when the assassination took place, he would not be in power. JFK’s last letter to Ben Gurion on the nuclear issue was delivered on May 19, 1963, and Ben Gurion resigned on June 16, 1963.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Israel’s nuclear program had the support of the wealthiest Jewish families on the planet, including the Rothschilds, who have been now invited by the ill-informed and myopic Pakistan government to dig out its gold from the mines in Baluchistan. Baron Edmund Leopold de Rothschild (1916-2009) of the English Rothschild branch made significant financial contributions to the Israeli nuclear weapons program. Israel did not have the capacity to enrich uranium at the time and it therefore decided to steal enriched weapon grade uranium from the United States. The story of how it was done has been described in a 2016 book by Roger Mattson. The book is titled Stealing the Bomb: How Denial and Deception Armed Israel. Mattson used to work for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the US. He led an NRC investigation into the missing highly enriched uranium from a US corporation known as NUMEC.

It is important to note that Ben Gurion, had, soon after the establishment of Israel, argued for the development of nuclear and bio weapons to safeguard the state of Israel. In 1948, he wrote: “We are living in an age of scientific revolutions, an era that discloses the atoms, its miraculous composition, and the tremendous power hidden in it.  . . . What Einstein, Oppenheimer and Teller, all three of them Jews, made for the United States could also be done by scientists in Israel for their own people.” Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt about the possibility of making an atom bomb, and the possibility that Germany might be making one. Oppenheimer headed the Manhattan Project for the construction of the atom bomb, a project that was initiated after Einstein’s letter. Teller was associated with the Manhattan Project and eventually became known as the father of the hydrogen bomb.  It is thus clear that Ben Gurion had the development of nuclear weapons in mind from day one.

In the year 1957 a company called NUMEC [Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation] was set up in Apollo, Pennsylvania. The funding for NUMEC was arranged by a man named David Lowenthal, a hero of the Jewish usurpation of Palestine in 1948, and a close confidante of Ben Gurion. Lowenthal was a member of Haganah, the terrorist Jewish organization of Menachim Begin. Lowenthal was on the ship Exodus that brought Jewish “refugees” to Palestine after WWII. In Pittsburgh, Lowenthal’s neighbor was a scientist named Zalman Shapiro, who was closely known to Ernest David Bergman, the Chairman of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (was this a coincidence?).  Shapiro knew a lot about how to make fuel elements for nuclear reactors as he had been associated with the nuclear program of the US Navy. Shapiro was involved in designing the first nuclear submarine of the US Navy.

When NUMEC was being set up Shapiro was working for a US government nuclear facility known as the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. Shapiro resigned from his government job and became President of NUMEC. We thus have a very intriguing triangle – Lowenthal, a confidante of Ben Gurion, Shapiro, who knew how to make material for nuclear reactors as well as weapon grade uranium, and Ernest David Bergman, the Chairman of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, and a former associate of Shapiro. In December 1957, the AEC, granted NUMEC permission to enrich uranium. 

In the words of Mattson: “The Apollo plant achieved many firsts in the US nuclear industry. It was the first commercial facility licensed to convert uranium hexa-flouride to uranium dioxide powder; it achieved the first commercial production of coated particle fuels; and it was the first to develop the dry pressing process for power reactor fuel pellets.”  Because Shapiro had naval connections NUMEC began producing highly enriched uranium for the US Navy around 1960. Mattson mentions that CIA later concluded that “Shapiro was a consultant to the Israeli AE program in 1960 or earlier.” Important employees at NUMEC, including Shapiro, were connected with the Zionist Organization of America.

In a talk Mattson gave at the National Press Club in Washington on March 18, 2016, he pointed out: “By 1964, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory people were learning that there was missing uranium — what they call `inventory differences’ or `material unaccounted for’ — at the NUMEC facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania.” Now Oak Ridge National Laboratory was the first ever uranium enrichment facility in the world and was headed by Glen. T. Seaborg, who had won the 1951 Nobel Prize for the discovery of plutonium. Mattson stated: “They used the best people they could find — the best people from Oak Ridge, the best people from the commission, the best people from NUMEC — and they came up with 178 kilograms of missing highly enriched uranium. Of that 178, they found that 94 kilograms could no way be accounted for.” NUMEC was fined to the tune of $2.2 million at that time (over $15 million currently). NUMEC was the only such facility of the US that had missing uranium.

Mattson gives tables of estimates in his book and states: “These estimates show that more than half of the 178 kilograms were missing by late 1965 and had gone missing before the end of 1963.” If one bears in mind the claim of Seymour Hersh, who is himself Jewish and had access to Israeli establishment, that the Dimona reactor had gone critical by 1962, it is clear that some of the missing highly enriched uranium from NUMEC had already made its way to Domina by that time. No wonder Ben Gurion was so adamantly evasive to JFK’s demand for US inspections at Dimona. Dimona reactor was not only critical, it had acquired stolen highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the US. Mattson also estimated that between 1959 and 1977 a total of 345 kilograms (about 700 lbs) of weapon grade uranium went missing from NUMEC.

When FBI conducted investigations many years later, a witness told the FBI (in 1980) that he had, while walking the loading dock area of the NUMEC in 1965 or 1966, seen people loading containers, of the size used for highly enriched uranium, into boxes. He said that the shipping papers for the boxes showed that they were destined for Israel. Another witness stated that he saw a flatbed truck backed up into the loading dock area. The driver was loading “stove pipes” into a cabinet on the truck. The witness found it odd because the loading duties were carried out during the day by workers assigned that kind of job. The shipment was however being prepared in the evening. He explained that “stove pipes” were cylindrical containers that the plant used to pack enriched uranium inside. Each stove pipe usually contained three or four packets of HEU.

The FBI report states: “He [the witness] further advised that it was highly unusual to see Dr. Shapiro in the manufacturing section of the Apollo nuclear facility; it was unusual to see Dr. Shapiro at night; and very unusual to see Dr. Shapiro so nervous as to pace around. He described Dr. Shapiro as a very cool and collected man who never got upset.” The report continues: “He advised he had not come forward before because he had a large family to support and the day following the incident, the plant Personnel Manager (name unrecalled) of NUMEC threatened to fire him if ‘he did not keep his mouth shut’ about what he had seen on the loading dock the night before.” Some other employees also confirmed that they had seen material loaded onto trucks with Israel as the ultimate destination.  It is, therefore, quite clear that high enriched uranium was being stolen from NUMEC and shipped to Israel with the knowledge and connivance of Zalman Shapiro.

In 1966, 67, 68 the CIA thought that Israel had the bomb. But for that they needed to confirm that Dimona was producing plutonium.  John Hadden, CIA station chief in Tel Aviv, was assigned the responsibility to collect plants form the vicinity of Dimona. So Hadden would take his kids in his car to the area, and while the kids enjoyed their peanut butter sandwiches, he collected flora and quietly put those in the trunk of the car. Nuclear plants are regulated because small traces of radioactivity do leak into the atmosphere.  The radioactive analysis of plant samples from the vicinity of Dimona revealed traces of highly enriched uranium as well as plutonium. Since Israel did not have the capability to enrich uranium, how could Dimona have highly enriched uranium? Not only that, the highly enriched uranium came from a plant that worked for the US Navy because the Navy used uranium that was 97.7% enriched. And the uranium from Dimona samples was 97.7% enriched. Please note that NUMEC was producing highly enriched uranium for the US Navy. 

In James Jesus Angleton, the head of the CIA counter intelligence section, Israel had a staunch ally. Mattson states in his book: “The communication blunders blamed by the intelligence community for America’s late recognition of Israel’s fledgling nuclear weapons program may not have been accidental. James Angleton may have purposely withheld information gained by CIA about the startup of Israeli nuclear program to avoid antagonizing his connections in Mossad. His primary interest was in using Israel to further his knowledge of the Soviet Union, not in preventing Israel from acquiring nuclear weapons.” He did not care for John Kennedy’s concerns about non-proliferation.

Once the CIA confirmed the presence of highly enriched uranium and plutonium from the flora samples around Dimona, it was clear that Israel had nuclear capability. Director CIA, Richard Helms, reported the matter to President Johnson. James DiEugenio, who wrote an article on Mattson’s book describes what happened. “The man who had prepared the NIE and gave it to Helms was the CIA’s chief science and technology officer, Carl Duckett. After Helms met with Johnson, the CIA Director told Duckett about the President’s rather odd reaction. LBJ did not get upset, and he did not order an investigation into how it happened. Further, he did not tell Helms to let both the Defense Department and State Department know about it so they could establish intelligence inquiries or consider sanctions. Instead, Johnson did the opposite. He told Helms to keep the news secret and specifically told the Director not to let the secretaries of State or Defense know about it. Helms obeyed the orders of his Commander in Chief, but he decided to talk to the FBI about how this development had occurred earlier than expected.”

The real reason for the behavior of President Johnson can only be understood if one knows that his mother, his maternal grandmother as well as his mother’s maternal grandmother were Jewesses. Under Jewish law Johnson was a Jew. His father was a Christadelphian, a Christian sect that believes that Jews are God’s chosen people. So while Shapiro helped Israel steal highly enriched uranium, James Jesus Angleton covered up for Israel, and the crypto-Jewish President Johnson let Israel do what it wished.

Mattson asks: “Why do the FBI and the CIA still hide truth about NUMEC when much of the truth is already known? What is left to hide? So much time has passed that the people who guard the secrets have no personal stake in the history they hide. Many of the characters in the affair, its investigation and its cover-up have died . . . Who is the US government protecting?” Two parallel Congressional inquiries in the matter were impeded by the FBI when, with the collaboration of the Department of Justice and Department of Energy, it refused to provide documents demanded by Congressmen Udal and Dingell. 

Mattson adds: “CIA’s complicity in the cover-up of NUMEC investigations is obvious by its continuing refusal to declassify key documents that are nearly 50 years old. Not so obvious  is the CIA’s misuse of the labor and integrity of US citizens to accomplish its operations and protect its secrets.” CIA withheld information from Edwin Kintner who was sent with a colleague to study and see if Israel was developing a nuclear capability through Dimona. Kintner stated in an interview: “The President of the United States gets an agreement that states that such a study will be made and the CIA on its own decides to not give what it knows to the people who are sent over there. Doesn’t that sound strange?” The President he refers to was John Kennedy.

Jewish American scholar Avner Cohen opines: “It appears that Kintner and his team were duped twice: once by the Israelis and once more by the US intelligence agencies who did not share all they knew with the visiting team. In retrospect, it may be that the true function of the visiting technical teams was more political than technical, unbeknownst to the inspectors.  . . . Their job was not to verify that what Israelis were saying was true, but rather they were to be the technical fig leaf for the political façade that Israel was not crossing the nuclear threshold.” Mattson concludes; “[I]t is safe to say that our government not only keeps essential facts from its citizens, it also uses its citizens as unwitting foils in perpetuating its cover-ups.” 

Thanks to the late Dr. A.Q. Khan, unlike Israel, Pakistan did not have to steal highly enriched uranium from anyone. For this alone we owe undying gratitude to A.Q. Khan who was ill-treated under US government pressure. This is the same US government that did not have to courage to touch Israel that stole 345 kilograms of its weapon grade uranium to become a nuclear threat for the whole world, including the US. There is food for thought for every thinking Pakistani in this.

Syed Mujahid Kamran was the Vice Chancellor of Punjab University, Lahore. He was a Fullbright Fellow at University of Georgia, USA, during 1988-89 and professor of physics at King Saud University, Riyadh, from 2001 to 2004.

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 27 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 27 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.4 282.3
Euro EUR 303 306
UK Pound Sterling GBP 351.5 355
U.A.E Dirham AED 76 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.2 75
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 742.91 750.91
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.56 40.96
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 905.46 914.46
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.05 175.05
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.36
 
26.66
Omani Riyal OMR 725.54 733.54
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 27.04 27.34
Swiss Franc CHF 317 319.5
Thai Bhat THB 7.76 7.91

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