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FACT CHECK: How Serious is the Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Program? FACT CHECK: How Serious is the Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Pro... FACT CHECK: How Serious is the Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Program? FACT CHECK: How Serious i...

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Homepage / CAMPAIGN 2012

FACT CHECK: How Serious is the Threat to Pakistan’s Nuclear Program?

Pakistan soldier stands in front of Pakistan made long-range missiles Shaheen, which is capable of carrying nuclear warheads, Monday Nov. 13, 2000, at the venue of a defence exhibition in Karachi.  The four day grand defence exhibition will be inagurated Tuesday. (AP Photo/Zia Mazhar)(AP Photo/Zia Mazhar)

photo of Yochi J. Dreazen
November 22, 2011

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann serves on the House Intelligence Committee, so her comments on Pakistan’s nuclear program represent either a news-making leak of previously unknown classified information or another in her recent series of seemingly-random, and highly inaccurate, public comments.  During the CNN debate, Bachmann said that 15 Pakistani nuclear sites were vulnerable to jihadist attacks, and that six of the sites had previously come under some form of Islamist attack.  U.S. intelligence and military officials believe that Pakistan has 15 nuclear sites, but no U.S. official has publicly said that all of the sites were vulnerable to militant attack or confirmed that any of them had previously come under any form of jihadist attack.

On Wednesday Bachmann's staff said the congresswoman had based her comments on a recent collaboration by The Atlantic and National Journal which had reported the numbers.

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