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Allah's Bomb: The Islamic Quest for Nuclear Weapons Hardcover – February 1, 2007
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The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
The peril of nuclear proliferation is urgent and intractable, argues journalist Venter (Iran's Nuclear Option, etc.) in this sprawling exposé, which examines the supply and demand side of the international nuclear black market. Iran, Venter contends, is the most determined and—given its anti-Israel animus—dangerous seeker of nuclear weapons, but al-Qaeda is in the market, as are possibly Saudi Arabia, Syria, Algeria and Egypt. Underpinning their ambitions is a dense web of suppliers, centered on the Pakistani proliferation entrepreneur A.Q. Khan. His network is a dark caricature of globalization, bringing together stolen fissile material from the former Soviet republics, European nuclear technology, Pakistani uranium-enrichment expertise, nuclear-capable North Korean missile designs and know-how from Russia, China, South Africa and elsewhere. With so much support and lax oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Venter warns, covert nuclear-weapons programs like Iran's are far more advanced than is generally understood. Meticulously tracing who sold what to whom, Venter offers a comprehensive, if sometimes disorganized and repetitive, account of the industry, complete with sketchy sidebars on nuclear science and engineering and unhelpful (one hopes) diagrams of atom bombs, centrifuges and missiles. The welter of details about proliferation's intricate maze can be eye-glazing, but they make Venter's book a useful introduction to this unavoidably complex—and dire—issue. (Mar. 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Inside Flap
Based on intelligence from international sources and the author's own forty years of international reporting, Allah's Bomb covers both al-Qaeda's growing interest in acquiring nuclear parity and how South Africa built six atom bombs. South African technology and many of its missile scientists ended up in Iran. Author Al J. Venter also points out that an essential part of what was to have been Muammar Gaddafi's atom bomb program was constructed in a factory near Johannesburg.
Venter shows that there are counties in the Islamic sphere that are eager to acquire the bomb, including Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and possibly Syria.
A.Q. Khan, the disgraced Pakistani scientist who created the world's biggest international nuclear smuggling network, gets his share of attention, as do some of the people who worked for him, including a former major in the Israeli Defense Force who smuggled tightly restricted, triggered spark gaps from the United States to Pakistan.
Venter reveals that Tehran's weapons-of-mass-destruction programs are much further ahead than most authorities believe.
Venter details the close links between Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea and how the technology linked to an intercontinental missile is now shared by all three countries, which brings all of Israel into range of Iran, a country that almost daily threatens to obliterate it.
Also covered are the money and communications tied to today's sophisticated brand of international terrorism. As Venter explains, countering terror has a specific link to tracing the money that funds it.
The author also exposes a huge communication gap that has emerged in the Persian Gulf, which is being vigorously exploited by al-Qaeda.
That Israel has the bomb is no longer a secret, either. That fact was made public in December 2006 by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a television interview in Germany. It was Olmert who added the rider that were his people again threatened with annihilation, they'd use these weapons too.
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Top customer reviews
I am a retired Chief of Police who was on the job on the morning of September 11, 2001. As with most local law enforcement organizations, we had little to no experience with international terrorism. Over the past five years I've not only studied terrorism, attended many seminars on the subject, and investigated terrorism cases, I now speak to government and private sector organizations, as well as civic groups on the reality of terrorism and the implications for the United States. Given that background I quickly asked for the opportunity to read and review "Allah's Bomb," authored by Al J. Venter.
Having read the book, I may safely say that Mr. Venter has written a book that is an absolute must read for every American. The book belongs in every home, every library, every government and private sector agency, and certainly in every educational institution. Mr. Venter's extensive experience as an international correspondent and his association with the widely respected Jane's organization certainly qualify him to write this book.
International terrorism is the defining issue of this generation and the risks associated with it grow at an ever-accelerating pace. As our country grows ever more polarized on the Global War on Terror, and the information presented continues to be inadequate to the problem, the need for Americans to understand what we are dealing with grows proportionally. Never has our country faced an enemy that has so clearly stated its hostile intentions towards us. Those intentions include the use of nuclear weapons, which Osama bin Laden has authorized. Mr. Venter makes a compelling case for America to be not only aware, but engage in significant levels of preparedness. Finally, Mr. Venter makes the case of additional risk die to other countries attempting to produce nuclear weapons.
I endorse Mr. Venter's work and give "Allah's Bomb" a very high rating. Well done sir!
Received book free of charge