Jeffrey LewisTinner Talks

Urs Tinner, AQ Khan associate and suspected CIA informant, gave an interview to SF1, a Swiss television station. According to AP’s Frank Jordans, Tinner admits to working for the US intelligence community, in particular for tipping them on the BBC China:

In a documentary airing Thursday on Swiss TV station SF1, Urs Tinner says he tipped off U.S. intelligence about a delivery of centrifuge parts meant for Libya’s nuclear weapons program.

The shipment was seized at the Italian port of Taranto in 2003, forcing Libya to admit and eventually renounce its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.


In the Swiss documentary, Tinner also claims he sabotaged equipment destined for uranium enrichment facilities so it would malfunction on first use. He does not say which country the sabotaged parts were destined for.

The interview airs next Thursday. (For backstory on Tinnner, read one of my earlier posts.)

SF1 has a website with some cool documents and whatnot.

I am sure the documentary will end up on YouTube and the Open Source Center.


  1. pkr (History)

    There are some other noteworthy new developements in the Tinner case: The Swiss parliament yesterday released a 50 pages report about the destruction of evidence ordered by the federal government in the Tinner case. It reveals to some extent their close relations to the CIA and US attempts to get hold of the documents and block the prosecution of the Tinners. Among other details, it confirms that the Swiss authorities left the original data – among them an “almost complete nuclear weapons design” at the Tinner’s house for more then two years. They only made copies of the files for the investigation.

    After Urs Tinner was freed before christmas, his brother was released today on a 100.000 SFr bail.

  2. BJR

    This is the first time I have seen the infamous picture of A.Q. Khan holding a soccer ball (and in front of some interesting information on the blackboard) online. The picture is on the front of his book “Dr. A.Q. Khan on Science and Education” (1997) and in “Deception” (2007) by Levy and Scott-Clark with a redaction over a portion of the blackboard. Have other websites published this picture?

  3. Jeffrey Lewis (History)

    Yes, they have.

    Deception redacted the wrong part of the blackboard!

  4. BJR

    My suspicion that the redaction is in the wrong place is confirmed. I wonder who did the security review for Levy and Scott-Clark or where they found their version of the picture…

  5. Oliver Meier (History)

    The whole documentary can be viewed or downloaded at

    Interesting complementary reading is A.Q. Khan’s lenghty interview in Swiss “Weltwoche” at

  6. sek

    The documentary aired in fact this thursday (22.01). There was a version for the French speaking and one for the German speaking channel of the Swiss public TV.

    The French version, for those gifted with this language, can be “streamed” at the following web address:;vid=10232677

  7. sek

    Oh, yes, contrary to what AP says, in the interview, Urs Tinner says that the parts he sabotaged concerned the Iranian programme.

  8. Martin Dirksen

    You can watch the German Version of “ Der Spion der aus dem Rheintal kam”. The Swiss-German the Tinners speak is a challenge-even for those readers of Yours that are native Germans
    Sincerley Yours from Hamburg, Germany