cables

There's a stylistic convention in newspaper headlines that I never got the hang of: paraphrasing something someone said, then a colon, then an indication of whoever it was that said it.

This morning, I saw this Reuters headline:

Iran searching for nuclear bomb materials: cables

And I thought, huh, who'd have thought that nuclear bombs would require some kind of hard-to-find cables? If the Iranians had Radio Shack or Fry's, would that bring them closer to nuclear capability?

And then I realized that the headline meant “according to diplomatic cables.”