Accessibility links

Breaking News

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 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