The country reportedly sought to prevent Pakistan from developing own nukes in 1980s
A Swiss newspaper claims Mossad may have been behind bombing attacks and threats against several German and Swiss companies in the 1980s. Israel reportedly sought to prevent Pakistan from developing nuclear weapons.
The bombshell report was published by Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Sunday. The paper claims that Mossad was behind three bomb attacks in Switzerland and Germany, which happened in 1981 and targeted property belonging to people and firms involved in the sale of dual-purpose materials to Pakistan. The explosions, which damaged the buildings and killed a dog, were followed by phone calls to other companies believed to be involved in dealings with the Pakistanis, with warnings that they could be the next target unless they ditched nuclear-related business deals with Islamabad.
At the time, an obscure group named the ‘Organization for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in South Asia’ claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, the organization had not been heard of prior to the attacks, nor has it emerged ever since.
The Swiss newspaper, citing recently unclassified State Department documents, claims that the US was unhappy about Pakistan’s attempts to develop its own nukes, but Washington did not wish to alienate the government in Islamabad. American diplomats first tried to convince authorities in Bonn and Bern to prevent companies from selling dual-purpose materials to Pakistan. However, those efforts bore little fruit, as the paper claims, and a year later, a string of attacks on the people and entities involved occurred.
Israel, which, according to the report, saw the prospect of a Muslim country getting hold of nukes as an existential threat, reportedly took more decisive action to prevent this from happening. The paper admits, however, that there is no “smoking gun” to point the finger at Israel beyond a reasonable doubt. However, there is some circumstantial evidence that may implicate Mossad, the report claims.
For instance, it reveals that one of the businessmen who had been receiving threats in the wake of the attacks told Swiss police that the Israeli secret service had contacted him. He also reportedly told the investigators that a man named Mr. David, who worked in the Israeli embassy in Germany, had called him multiple times and even met him once in person to try and convince him to opt out of business with Pakistan.
Historian Adrian Hänni also told Neue Zürcher Zeitung that the bombings bore all the hallmarks of a secret service operation, and were strikingly similar to the attacks that had happened two years prior, which targeted people allegedly involved in Iraq’s nuclear program.
The report concludes by saying that most of the German and Swiss companies that were allegedly selling dual-use materials to Pakistan continued with the lucrative business despite the attacks and threats. The Swiss newspaper also claims that several years later, Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, went on to help Iranians get hold of uranium enrichment centrifuges.