Czechoslovakia The Arms Merchants' Dilemma

Havel tightens controls on the lethal explosive Semtex, but what about the rest of Prague's thriving weapons market?

In a secluded wood 55 miles east of Prague, smoking chimneys rise above the East Bohemian Chemical Enterprise. A large complex of ramshackle sheds and concrete buildings, the factory looks unprepossessing enough. But a "special production unit" is mixing batches of one of Czechoslovakia's most lethal exports: Semtex, the odorless, colorless plastic explosive of choice for terrorists the world over.

Semtex's most famous target was Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, killing all 259 on board and eleven people on the ground. Scottish officials have concluded that a terrorist group called the Popular Front for...

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