posted on Feb, 25 2004 @ 09:54 AM
At the border crossing between Ukraine and Hungary a pound of uranium was confiscated from a man who claims he was paid at a nearby gas station to
take it across the border.
Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian border guards stopped a man trying to take almost 450 grams (1 pound) of uranium into Hungary, the Associated Press
said, citing Yevheniy Bargman, a spokesman for the frontier security force.
The questions posed by this capture is "how much uranium has passed border without detection" and "who is behind the smuggling of nuclear
materials". Concern about tranfer of nuclear material has been an ongoing problem since the break-up of the old Soviet union especially since the
rise of terrorism brought on by al-Qa'ida.
Also worrisome is how easily transportable uranium is. Fuel rods thrown in the back of a pick-up truck would pose no real danger to its transporters.
And though some border posts in the former Soviet Union have nuclear detection devices, there are numerous potential exit routes for smugglers. In
Abkhazia, a breakaway province of Georgia which has been in effect run by separatists since 1993, up to 2 pounds of highly enriched uranium from an
abandoned facility has disappeared without a trace.
With only about 25 pounds enriched uranium required to build a bomb and much less material for dirty bomb the chance that an organization such as al -
Qa'ida, fielding a weapon containing nuclear material must be rated a high risk. Quoting CIA director George Tenet in the recent Senate Intelligence
Committee hearings "This enemy remains intent on obtaining and using catastrophic weapons".
Inlight of recently released tape by Al Zawahiri threatening France for passing what he considers anti-Islamic laws and new warning of terror
operations in the U.S., In the past, statements by Zawahiri have been followed in rapid succession by violent attacks on civilian targets around the
Could the confiscated uranium have been bound for an al - Qa'ida operation to back up these threats ?
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