This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Could Islamist terrorists get a hold of a nuclear bomb? Dozens of nuclear warheads have gone missing during the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s – with many disappearing to the ocean floor. The American Defence Department has already confirmed the loss of at least eight atomic bombs – with a combined explosive force 2,200 times the Hiroshima bomb.
According to The Sun, the Russians have never disclosed their missing weapons. However, according to the Berlin Information Centre for Transatlantic Security up to 50 nukes have been lost across the world since the 1950s. Most of these highly dangerous weapons are still lying on the ocean floor after military planes and subs sank without a trace.
Experts claim that while they would probably be no use as weapons they could easily be salvaged, and the uranium would be used to build a “dirty” bomb (a weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives). ISIS terror fanatics, who have been working to bolster their ranks with a team of jihadi scientists capable of creating a dirty bomb, have already launched chemical attacks.
According to security service officials, finding a missing nuke would be a huge achievement for any terror group. Now, experts say the jihadis who want to develop nuclear weapons are the biggest threat to Europe since the end of the cold war.
Moshe Kantor, head of the Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe, warned: “ISIS has already carried out numerous chemical weapons attacks in Syria. We know it wants to go further by carrying out a nuclear attack in the heart of Europe”.
US president, Barack Obama, has warned the prospect of ISIS or other terrorists getting hold of a nuclear bomb is among the most serious threats faced by the world. Speaking during the international Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, earlier this year, he said it was clear that “these mad men” would use such a device to kill as many people as they could. Obama said the risk of ISIS or other extremists getting a nuclear weapon remains “one of the greatest threats to global security”, adding that ISIS had already used chemical weapons and that al-Qaeda had long sought nuclear material.
Frustration over the slow pace of reducing nuclear stockpiles shadowed this year’s summit, Obama’s final effort towards denuclearisation. The absence of key players further underscored the lack of unanimity still confronting global efforts to deter nuclear attacks.