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Following the spread of Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide, causing major concern among the entire population, the West has begun looking for a solution to a new problem which poses a far greater risk than beheadings, namely: the risk of nuclear and radiological terror. One of the institutions looking into this potential danger is the Federation of American Scientists, whose findings and estimates reach all US intelligence bodies.
A paper published by the Federation’s nuclear experts, points out several risks posed by the threat of nuclear terror. The first: ‘non-territorial terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah and others. Such organizations, which have unlimited financial means, can simply acquire nuclear arms in the black market through criminal organizations with the proper knowhow. The second risk is posed by the threat of a terrorist organization capable of acquiring uranium ore and create an IND (Improvised nuclear device). Also named ‘dirty bomb’, this charge could be detonated using conventional explosive to spread radioactive fallout across a major radius.
The third, new risk, is posed by the threat of an attack on nuclear power stations which abound across the globe. The essence of this threat: a relatively small bomb could cause widespread damage.
It is important to note, cautions the Federation’s paper, that nuclear power plants generate about 20% of the world’s electricity. Some 31 states across the US and numerous countries from Europe to the Far East have about 435 active nuclear power stations. The major threat is posed by their relative proximity to civilian, urban centers. In this context, it is also important to note many of these reactors are old, so they could be tampered with using conventional means – not necessarily nuclear means.
The Federation’s paper recommends applying the most advanced radiation monitoring means available in all numerous US border checkpoints. Nevertheless, they also recommend control, monitoring and security of routes leading to and from nuclear facilities, including naval and aerial routes used for transporting various cargo.
One of the Federation’s paper’s most interesting recommendations, is to reduce terrorist organizations’ motivation to disrupt the West by delivering data and information through sophisticated means that the West could, for his part, perpetrate a major attack on important Muslim centers and wreak irrevocable radiation damage.