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Press Release 05/12/98

Indian Nuclear Testing

12 May 1998

Nuclear proliferation is an extraordinarily important and difficult target for the Intelligence Community. It is an issue which consumes considerable effort and is of great import.

Questions have arisen regarding the intelligence collection and analysis concerning Indian nuclear testing. The potential for possible Indian nuclear tests has been known for many years. Close scrutiny was devoted to the issue in late 1995 and the subject was addressed once again following recent Pakistani missile tests. It is apparent that the Indians went to some lengths to conceal their activities and intentions.

DCI Tenet strongly believes that we have a professional obligation to review all the facts and determine what lessons can be learned from the situation.

Accordingly, he has asked Admiral David Jeremiah, USN (Ret), former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to lead an Intelligence Community team to assess the Indian nuclear testing issue and report his findings within the next ten days.

The Director will share the results of the Jeremiah Panel with the White House and the two intelligence oversight committees.