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Mystery Failure Knocks One-Ninth Of U.S. Nukes Off-Line


U.S. President Barack Obama was said to have been briefed on the failure three days after it occurred.

U.S. President Barack Obama was said to have been briefed on the failure three days after it occurred.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been briefed about a series of suspected computer problems that took 50 of America's 450 nuclear intercontinental missiles (ICBMs), or one-ninth of the U.S. arsenal, off-line for a short period.

Officials are quoted as saying the computer communications break occurred on October 23 at Warren Air Force base in Wyoming and lasted less than an hour -- but that Obama was only briefed about the failure three days later.

Reports say sabotage or a computer virus has been ruled out, and that the missiles could still have been launched by Obama in an emergency.

The Wyoming base is one of three bases -- the others are in North Dakota and Montana -- that host the U.S. arsenal of Minuteman ICBMs.

compiled from agency reports
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