Friday, October 06, 2006

The Threat is Still Real--Dirty Bomb Edition

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British security forces have seized quite a bit of radioactive material that could be used to produce dirty bombs:

SEIZURES of smuggled radioactive material capable of making a terrorist “dirty bomb” have doubled in the past four years, according to official figures seen by The Times.

Smugglers have been caught trying to traffick dangerous radioactive material more than 300 times since 2002, statistics from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) show. Most of the incidents are understood to have occurred in Europe.

The disclosures come as al-Qaeda is known to be intensfiying its efforts to obtain a radoactive device. Last year, Western security services, including MI5 and MI6, thwarted 16 attempts to smuggle plutonium or uranium. On two occasions small quantities of highly enriched uranium were reported missing. All were feared to have been destined for terror groups.

Radioactive material is still prevalent in hospitals and other non-secure locations. The US has built the nuclear repositroy at Yucca Mountain, NV but that is not yet operational and we still have to transport the material to that site.

The threat of a dirty bomb is real and the detonation of one in London would be severe psychological and physical blow.

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