posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 10:48 AM
Let's put the whole "nuke" thing in perspective.
First, if we are talking about a terrorist attack and not war with another nation, then we really do not need to be afraid. The possibility of a
terrorist organization either buying a nuclear weapon or making one is highly remote.
Buying one: First question- From Whom? The fissile material currently produced in rogue states like N. Korea and Iran is not the kind of stuff you can
smuggle into a country. The N. Korean weapons-grade uranium is the kind of stuff the United States was playing around with in the 1950s. It is far too
unstable to be transported by a terrorist organization into the United States. Moreover, cooperation between the N. Korean regime and an Islamic
terrorist organization is laughably unlikely.
So, buy it from Iran? Same problem. Neither of the Iranian nuclear reactors has produced enough fissile material to allow the Iranians to construct
their own bomb, much less given them the highly refined uranium needed for tactical nuclear weapons. Again, they have yet to develop ICBM/Long-Range
delivery systems for Atomic weapons, and most certainly have yet to develop the means of using "suitcase nukes."
So, buying one from the mysterious Ex-Soviet stockpiles? This one seems reasonable until you realize that most of these "lost" weapons are not so
lost as to fall into the hands of terrorist organizations. Any transaction of the magnitude of terrorists buying ex-Soviet materials would not go
unnoticed by spy organizations around the world. Again, the question is who would sell these weapons to terrorists? First, if one buys from these
mysterious Ex-Soviet caches that are apparently lying around, the Islamic group with first dibs are the Islamic rebels in Chechnya.
Also, we can be reasonably confident that terrorists are not in possession of a weapon currently, because they have not used one. Therefore, we can be
reasonably confident spy organizations will learn of any big transactions if they happen.
Ok, so... somehow our little terrorist group is able to procure a weapon of mass destruction without any spy organization finding out. Guess we're
toast now! Not really.... The ability to get a "suitcase" nuclear weapon into the United States really would be very difficult without raising
suspicion or bragging about it on a crazy terrorist website.
In conclusion, if "the terrorists" had a nuclear weapon, they would have used it already. However, it's more than likely if they got one, they
would probably wind up blowing themselves up through mishandling the material long before it got to the United States.
Realistic terrorist fears: car bombs, hostages, a plane blowing up.
Unrealistic fears: apocalyptic cataclysms that most legitimate governments couldn't even do.