WAR: Radioactive Rockets For Sale To Terrorists

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posted on May, 8 2005 @ 10:19 AM
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Last week a Sunday Times reporter posing as a middleman for Islamic terrorists was offered three radioactive Alazan rockets. The weapons, offered for $500,000, could be tied to sources within Transdniester. Dozens of Alazan rockets went missing from the breakaway eastern European republic of Transdniester in 2003. The Sunday Times withdrew from the negotiations once the availability of the weapons had been confirmed.
 



www.timesonline.co.uk
THREE radioactive rockets capable of contaminating a city centre were offered for sale last week to a Sunday Times reporter posing as a middleman for Islamic terrorists.

The Alazan rockets, which have a range of eight miles, were among 50,000 tons of weapons left behind at an arms dump in the breakaway eastern European republic of Transdniester when the Russian army withdrew after the cold war.

They were offered to the reporter for $500,000 (£263,000) after he approached a senior officer in Transdniester’s secret police, claiming to represent a militant group in Algeria. The officer contacted a local arms dealer who arranged meetings with the reporter on a bridge in Transdniester and later at a hotel in neighbouring Moldova.

At their first meeting two months ago, the dealer said the price of a single rocket would be $200,000. The rocket could be independently inspected with a Geiger counter to verify that its warhead contained radioactive strontium and caesium, he said.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


These Alazan rockets are flying dirty bombs and are considered by defence specialists to be an ideal weapon for terrorists. These and a huge stockpile of other weapons are sold on the black market in Transdniester. It's high time the world realize that there is an open arms bazaar in the middle of Europe which needs to be shut down. These arms smugglers obviously have no compunction about dealing with terrorists.

Related News Links:
www.timesonline.co.uk
www.washingtontimes.com
news.scotsman.com
www.dailyrecord.co.uk

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Tiraspol - Moldova - Mafia in Uniform
WAR: Global Arms-Trafficking Network Designated by US


Edit: removed apostrophe from the title

[edit on 2007/3/4 by Hellmutt]




posted on May, 8 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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I have been doing a small bit of research on the matter of this conflict myself. The separatists of the Transdniester region are well-known for their involvement with money laundering and the manufacture and smuggling of weapons, as well as trafficking in human beings and drugs. It is no surprise that they have gotten their hands on these Alazans.

The Moldovan conflict has created such instability in the region that it is no longer dangerous only to those who live there. Once again I find myself asking, “Where is the U.N.?”. In December of 2003, Colin Powell called for the establishment of an international peacekeeping force for Moldova. I wonder whatever happened with that?

This latest development is disturbing. Perhaps this will draw sufficient attention to this issue that some measures will be taken to put a lid on this thing before it explodes!



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 12:16 PM
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Does anyone know anything about these weapons, off-hand. I guess I can google them myself, when I get a little time at home. Range, destruction, anything.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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The original news source referenced here states that the Alazan have a range of 8 miles. Here is a further quote which gives a more detailed picture of the destructive capacity of these rockets:


Experts said the Alazan rockets, which were originally intended for use in Soviet weather experiments, could spread radiation for more than 20 miles from their point of impact. Few people would die, they said, but the contamination would cause widespread fear and disruption. Large areas would have to be evacuated for a costly clean-up operation.

“The psychological impact would be devastating and the economic damage would run into millions of pounds, “ said Andy Oppenheimer, a consultant to Jane’s Information Group. “The Alazan would be especially attractive for terrorists seeking to strike a high security target.”



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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It's kind of silly for anyone to spend half a million bucks on a virtually intested system (it's old and rockets do age), where one could use a baloon for a tiny fraction of the cost, and still achieve same result.

Getting the required amount of radioactive material would be exceedingly hard, though, regardless of the delivery system.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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I must confess... I considered myself a fairly good geography buff...until now...
Transdniester... sounds like a disease affecting transgendered people...(no offense inteneded to the transdneisterites or transgendered people)

So we now have a country that no one has ever heard of, selling rockets to terrorists...
any other obscure countries have nuclear material that we know of?
anyone?
anyone?

I also wonder if this was a setup from the other side...
Were there really rockets for sale, or was this an attempt by the transdneisterite government to catch a potential terrorist interested in buying rockets?

there was a discovery channel special about a year ago, that told of nuclear warheads, suitcase bombs, and even a freakin nuclear sub, that were being offered on the russian black market...
the information came forward from a former russian mafia partner, that turned evidence in exchange for freedom (in america).



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
I must confess... I considered myself a fairly good geography buff...until now... Transdniester...



I also wonder if this was a setup from the other side...
Were there really rockets for sale, or was this an attempt by the transdneisterite government to catch a potential terrorist interested in buying rockets?

No setup. Yes there are really rockets for sale there among other stuff. Anyone with money (even terrorists) can buy. Click on the picture (the map) above to learn more...



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by Aelita
It's kind of silly for anyone to spend half a million bucks on a virtually intested system (it's old and rockets do age), where one could use a baloon for a tiny fraction of the cost, and still achieve same result.

Getting the required amount of radioactive material would be exceedingly hard, though, regardless of the delivery system

The price for one rocket is 200.000$ and they already contains radioactive material. You can probably buy radioactive material there too, without the rocket. Then you can have fun with baloons instead, if that´s what you want.



posted on May, 9 2005 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by Hellmutt

Originally posted by Aelita
It's kind of silly for anyone to spend half a million bucks on a virtually intested system (it's old and rockets do age), where one could use a baloon for a tiny fraction of the cost, and still achieve same result.

Getting the required amount of radioactive material would be exceedingly hard, though, regardless of the delivery system

The price for one rocket is 200.000$ and they already contains radioactive material. You can probably buy radioactive material there too, without the rocket. Then you can have fun with baloons instead, if that´s what you want.


If I had $200,000 cash, I would bet it in a heartbeat, that the supposed radioactive material payload was a fake. You can plant a small amount of such material, which is more readily available as say a calibration source, in the rocket, to full the buyer who might bring a radiometric device. You then could fill the rest of the rocket with some white substance, such as starch.

In the land of con artists, this is by far most likely a con.

I'm speaking on the basis of intuition, and my old experience with radioactive material (which I handled a few tons of). Also, consider - if the rocket is to contain enough material to contaminate a few square miles, it would be a source of such intense radiation itself that handling it would be tantamount to a suicide. I doubt the missile size and power allow for any bio shield.

So I don't sweat it.



posted on May, 11 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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I find this news from today very interesting. I wonder...

ATS: Europe Stages Nuclear Crisis Test



More than 60 countries are taking part in the 36-hour test, organised by the UN atomic energy agency

The test began at 0600 (0300 GMT

Full details are being kept secret to make the simulated accident as real as possible for emergency teams.

Local residents were told to act as if the emergency were real, stay indoors and drink only bottled water

And also:

Moldova's breakaway region of Trans-Dniestr has requested advice and assistance
There is talk of bringing in the European security body, the OSCE.


[edit on 2006/9/25 by Hellmutt]



posted on May, 7 2006 @ 05:47 AM
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Seems like Zarqawi might have got his hands on some Alazan rockets from Tiraspol. This is very bad news! Flying dirty bombs in the hands of terrorists...



Counterterrorism Blog: Alazam 5 Rockets and the Zarqawi Tape

May 5, 2006

By Bill Roggio



In last week's posting, The Military & Propaganda Messages in Zarqawi's Tape, I pointed out the missiles that were so prominent in video were crude and ineffective weapons as the rockets were small and unguided. While this is true in a conventional sense, it turns out the weapons depicted in the video are Alazam 5 rockets, some of which have been modified for a very unconventional purpose, as a delivery vehicle for a radiological weapon. An unnamed military source contacted me to identify the rockets shown in the video, and stated, "It was known as the Alazan 5 a former Soviet weather rocket in which the Chechen's modified as a surface to surface missile... There were many missing from Moldova and we had reports of five warheads that were modified as RDDs [Radiological Dispersion Devices] also missing." The military source followed up with a confirmation, and noted "They are most definitely the same missile... It shows there is a weapons link [from] the Moldova black market [to Iraq]..."


Alazan 5 rocket from the Zarqawi tape. Click to Enlarge.

There is an unusual amount of footage of these rockets within the Zarqawi videotape. al-Qaeda in Iraq may be sending a message: we have a delivery system available to launch radiological weapons inside Iraq - and beyond.

Click the link to read the full version...



posted on Nov, 24 2007 @ 05:03 PM
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I'm not sure whether Hamas is refering to Alazan rockets or not, but it does fit the description. Today, Hamas threatened to use "deadlier rockets" with a more lethal type of warhead against Israel. Radioactive Alazans (flying dirty bombs) comes to mind...


Hamas threatens to launch deadlier rocket attacks on Israel


Another Hamas official said the group was on the brink of developing a more lethal type of warhead for the rockets it regularly lobs from Gaza into Israel.

"They can be developed in a short period to create sufficient terror and fear and make the Israelis live in pain no less than what our people live through because of the repeated incursions into our villages and cities in the West Bank and Gaza," said Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



posted on Nov, 25 2007 @ 09:45 PM
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Regarding the possibility of Hamas (and Al Qaeda?) having aquired these rockets, I've found this article from 2004. Also keep in mind that there were much footage of Alazan rockets on the Zarqawi tape.


Islamic terrorists look to Moldova for dirty bombs


4/1/2004


Alarm over the prospect of the weapons falling into terrorist hands was raised by this journal in May 2003. An article on the convergence of the interests of Islamic terrorists and organized criminals along the infamous Balkan route (see Contemporary Review No. 1648, pp. 264-267) quoted reliable Russian intelligence sources warning that high-level representatives of al-Qaeda and Hamas as well as Iran and Chechnya had recently passed through Moldova to establish operational bases there.

There was reason to believe that the terrorist agents had been attracted to that former Soviet republic by an abandoned rock mine at the village of Bicioc, Dubossari Judet, storing fourteen unguarded radioactive isotope warheads. Such weapons were designed to explode in the air in order to mark a territory for attack by bombers. However, they could produce consequences similar to a small nuclear explosion if detonated on the ground. The unguarded warheads were understood a year ago to have been removed from a stockpile of thirty-five missiles at Silo 13 of Military Unit 4043 at Tiraspol Airfield where the rest were being held under proper supervision.



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 09:15 PM
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I've just found this archived article from 2003, and adding it here.


Dirty Bomb Warheads Disappear (washingtonpost.com)


Potter documented 50 cases in which the rockets were used in clashes, by both guerrilla fighters and government forces. In most incidents, Alazans were fired indiscriminately at civilian targets, often crowded urban centers. They were used by Azeri forces in the war with Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, and used by separatists in South Ossetia in clashes with Georgian troops


But the existence of "radiological warheads" for the Alazan was unknown until two years ago, when military documents describing them were obtained by the Institute for Policy Studies, a research group in Chisinau, the Moldovan capital





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