Yesterday Abdul Qadeer Khan (AQ Khan) died in Pakistan after being hospitalized for COVID19. Khan is the man responsible for facilitating turning Pakistan into a nuclear power and just as significant, providing countries like North Korea, Libya, and Iran with the science and technology they needed for their own nuclear programs. Most believe North Korea would never have become a nuclear power without AQ Khan.

Reflecting on the scientist’s death, the BBC wrote: “Khan was one of the most significant figures in global security in the last half-century, his story at the heart of the battle over the world’s most dangerous technology, fought between those who have it and those who want it.”

Former US CIA Director described AQ Khan as ” “at least as dangerous as Osama bin Laden.”

This podcast episode that tells the story of AQ Khan was originally published at the End of History in 2017: North Korea, Iran and the Wrath of Khan

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JB Shreve is the author of "How the World Ends: Understanding the Growing Chaos." He has been the host of the End of History podcast since 2012. He has degrees in International Relations and Middle East Studies. His other books include the Intelligence Brief Series. Regular posts and updates from JB Shreve are available at