Libyan transition council claims to find Gaddafi’s nuclear weapons

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, October 31, 2011 9:33 EDT
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Libya rebels celebrate victory.
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(Update: The rebels found radioactive materials left over from Gaddafi’s uranium enrichment program, according to later reports, which does not meet the technical standard of a “nuclear weapon.” )

In the years leading up to the fall of Col. Muammar Gaddafi, it was not clear to the U.S. or its allies just how far along the Libyan nuclear program had progressed.

Turns out, Gaddafi may have succeeded where other dictators failed: he had nuclear weapons, the Libyan transitional council said Monday.

Gaddafi was thought to have given up his nuclear weapons program in 2004, in an effort to strengthen ties to the west. The Bush administration took Libya off their list of terrorist states in 2006, hailing Gaddafi’s willingness to abandon his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

Those weapons have since been discovered, rebels said, along with several undeclared chemical weapons production facilities which are slated to be dismantled.

Mahmoud Jibril, Libya’s interim prime minister, added that his country has no intention of keeping the nuclear weapons, and will ensure alongside allied nations that they are destroyed.

While the report of nuclear weapons had not been verified, they said that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors would be on site within the week to examine them.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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