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'Father of the Islamic bomb'

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Now three fine additions – "America and the Islamic Bomb" by David Armstrong and Joseph Trento, "Deception," by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, and The Nuclear Jihadist by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins – take Khan's story a step further.

All are scathing indictments of the Western powers that knew what Khan was doing and yet looked the other way.

"America and the Islamic Bomb" is a chilling account of the political calculus that led five successive US presidents to turn a blind eye. "Deception" provides rich new information about Khan's life and work while making the case that Pakistan shares the credit and the blame for his notorious crimes.

"The Nuclear Jihadist," too, offers fresh, behind-the-scenes detail. Husband-and-wife reporting team Frantz and Collins spent four years crisscrossing the globe, interviewing intelligence officials and Khan's friends and former colleagues. The resulting account adds much to what was previously known about the origins of Khan's program.

In 1947, when bloody strife split Britain's subcontinental empire, a teenage Khan left his family in Bhopal, India, and followed masses of countrymen into the new Muslim nation of Pakistan. The violence he witnessed on his journey, and the indignities he suffered, engendered in the boy a lifelong hatred of India.

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