JEDDAH, 1 April 2006 — Saudi Arabia yesterday denied a German magazine report that it was working on a secret nuclear program with the help of Pakistani experts. The report “is totally unfounded,” a Defense Ministry spokesman told the Saudi Press Agency, adding that Riyadh “advocates imposing nuclear non-proliferation in the (Middle East) region.”
Pakistan also rejected the report.
“It is a fabricated story and motivated by vicious intentions,” Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.
Citing Western security sources, German magazine Cicero said in its latest edition that during the Haj seasons in 2003 through 2005, Pakistani scientists posing as pilgrims came to Saudi Arabia in aircraft sponsored by the Kingdom.
Between October 2004 and January 2005, some of them took the opportunity to “disappear” from their hotel rooms, sometimes for up to three weeks, German security expert Udo Ulfkotte told the magazine.
According to Western security services cited by the magazine report, Saudi scientists have been working since the mid-1990s in Pakistan, a nuclear power since 1998, thanks to the work of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Cicero, which will appear on newsstands tomorrow, also quoted a US military analyst, John Pike, as saying that Saudi bar codes can be found on half of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
The magazine also said satellite images prove that Saudi Arabia has set up in Al-Sulaiyyel, south of Riyadh, a secret underground city and dozens of underground silos for missiles.