Poll: Netanyahu should be
investigated for nuclear weapons tech smuggling before US
A majority of Americans believe
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be
investigated by the FBI for nuclear weapons technology
smuggling before being allowed to enter the United States
according to a new poll.
In 2012 the
FBI declassified and
released files (PDF archive) of its investigation into
how 800 nuclear weapons triggers
were illegally smuggled from the US to Israel.
According to the FBI, the Israeli Ministry of
Defense ordered nuclear triggers (krytrons), encrypted
radios, ballistic missile propellants and other
export-prohibited items through a network of front
Smuggling ring operations leader Richard Kelly Smyth
alleged that Netanyahu worked at one of the fronts--Heli
confessed spy and Hollywood producer Arnon
Milchan--and met with him frequently to execute smuggling
The poll was commissioned by the
Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep).
When informed of the incident, most Americans (54.9
percent) indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu should be investigated by the FBI before an
upcoming U.S. visit.
Israel officially designated the
smuggling operation "Project Pinto."
Smyth was captured, prosecuted and incarcerated in
2002 after years on the run as an international fugitive.
The krytrons were believed to be destined for
Israel's clandestine nuclear weapons program.
Only 25.8 percent of Americans polled
believe Netanyahu should be allowed to freely visit the US
while 15.9 percent say said he should neither be
investigated nor allowed to enter the US
When questioned by
media about the smuggling affair, the Israeli Foreign
Ministry denied involvement.
Younger respondents (age 18-24 and
25-34) are generally more likely to want Netanyahu
investigated (73.6 percent and 62.0 percent) than older
Reponses vary little between income categories.
However females (63.4 percent) were more likely
than males (50.4 percent) to prefer Netanyahu be
criminally investigated before being allowed to enter
Netanyahu has recently announced
plans to break diplomatic protocol and address the
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and
Congress in March, 2015 without coordinating his state
visit with the White House.
The IRmep poll, with a margin of
error of plus or minus 2.5 percent, was fielded January
26-28, 2015 by Google Consumer Surveys and received 1,507
responses. The poll question, response choices and
statistically significant results may be viewed online and
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