I've been spending some time contemplating this (and using big words in the process), and ultimately I've come to no conclusion. It'd be
interesting to hear other views on this.
BACKGROUND: Despite repeated rumored and published threats that Al Qaeda was planning to target a nuke attack on American soil (see numerous posts on
the alleged American Hiroshima plot), to date, no such attack has occurred. This despite Osama binLaden gaining alleged approval from clerics to kill
3+ million Americans. Most recently, this rumored surface in a MSM outlet that Al Qaeda planned to use suitcase nukes and fly then over select cities
in small planes.
PREMISE: Despite this plan being reported since 2005, no nuke attack has occurred, either on American soil or elsewhere. Why not?
I see three distinct possibilities here:
- Al Qaeda does not actually have a bomb.
- Al Qaeda does have a bomb, but incapable of using it.
- Al Qaeda does have a bomb, but is being checked by an unstated U.S. policy that if any nuke is used on U.S. soil or elsewhere, then certain
countries in the Mideast will be nuked in response without question. A modified MAD scenario.
To me, the most likely scenario is Al Qaeda is all hype, and it has no bomb. Setting aside some theories that Al Qaeda is a made up organization to
galvanize the world against certain Mideast countries, the fact that the organization has never used it would indicate that, in fact, it does not have
one and was never able to acquire one. The threats, then, are used by Al Qaeda to incite fear at times when it is needing to prompt some political
The second scenario is the least likely, IMO. It's been said that any bomb the group does have is likely an old suitcase nuke, perhaps from Russia.
And as such, these things are unreliable and perhaps even unworkable.
To me, if Al Qaeda had such devices, it would be able to create a working device somehow. This network has a huge pool of financing, so money is not
an object. Even if unable to actually detonate the nuke, Al Qaeda could easily use the components for a dirty bomb, a scenario which itself hasn't
The third is a quaint theory, and one that could be true. If Al Qaeda does have a bomb or bombs, it may be being held back due to an unstated policy
by the U.S. that it would retaliate against certain countries and cities in the Mideast without question or hesitation. A sort of MAD plan. Even if
the targeted country had no direct connection to the Al Qaeda nuke attack, it would be still targeted. This could have an affect to have certain
Mideast governments keep the reins on the organization's leaders from executing its strike.
Well, anyway, these are my thoughts. Anyone else have an opinion?