Nuclear terror risk to Britain from al-Qaeda
2010 03 25
By Duncan Gardham | Telegraph.co.uk
[Ed note: Message - ’Eternal vigilance’ or ’fear and obey’?]
"Britain faces an increased threat of a nuclear attack by al-Qaeda terrorists following a rise in the trafficking of radiological material, a government report has warned."
Bomb makers who have been active in Afghanistan may already have the ability to produce a "dirty bomb" using knowledge acquired over the internet.
It is feared that terrorists could transport an improvised nuclear device up the Thames and detonate it in the heart of London. Bristol, Liverpool Newcastle, Glasgow and Belfast are also thought to be vulnerable.
Lord West, the Security Minister, also raised the possibility of terrorists using small craft to enter ports and launch an attack similar to that in Mumbai in 2008, when more than 150 people were killed.
The Government is so concerned about the threat that it is setting up a command centre to track suspicious boats.
The terrorism threat level was raised from "substantial" to "severe" in January after the failed attempt to blow up an aircraft over Detroit on Christmas Day.
Three separate reviews of the country’s ability to prevent a major terrorist attack were published simultaneously yesterday, before an international meeting on nuclear security in Washington next month.
Downing Street released an update to the National Security Strategy in which it stated that "the UK does face nuclear threats now" and added that there was "the possibility that nuclear weapons or nuclear material [could] fall into the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups".
The International Atomic Energy Authority recorded 1,562 incidents where nuclear material was lost or stolen between 1993 and 2008, mostly in the former Soviet Union, and 65 per cent of the losses were never recovered.
Another report, on the Government’s "Contest" counter-terrorism strategy, said there was a danger that the increased expertise of insurgents in making bombs in Afghanistan had increased the threat from a radiological "dirty bomb".
It added that there was a "significant increase in the illicit trafficking of radiological materials, the availability of chemical, biological radiological and nuclear (CBRN) related technologies over the internet and the increased use of CBRN material for legitimate purposes", which could be acquired by terrorist organisations.
A third report, on Britain’s strategy for countering chemical, biological radiological and nuclear terrorism, described al-Qaeda as the "first trans national organisation to support the use of CBRN weapons against civilian targets and to try to acquire them".
The report said security around stockpiles of decommissioned material was "variable and sometimes inadequate, leaving materials vulnerable to theft by insiders and criminal and terrorist organisations".
Legitimate uses for such materials also "significantly increases the risk that they may be diverted and exploited by terrorist organisations".
It added that al-Qaeda had established facilities to conduct research into CBRN weapons when Afghanistan was under the control of the Taliban before 2002.
Since then the terrorist group had approached Pakistani nuclear scientists, developed a device to produce hydrogen cyanide, which can be used in chemical warfare, and used explosives in Iraq combined with chlorine gas cylinders.
The possibility of an attack launched from speedboats was highlighted by Lord West, speaking at the new National Maritime Information Centre in Northwood, Middlesex. He said hundreds of thousands of small boats arrived in Britain unchecked every year. “I think the public would be surprised to discover that we do not know about every single contact [with a vessel],” he said.
He said the agencies responsible for guarding the coastline did not know “with any clarity what is going on around our coasts”.
The maritime centre will receive intelligence from the security services and combine the response of the navy, coastguard, police and fisheries vessels in the event of an attack.
The Government has already set up 18 sites with officers who would co-ordinate the emergency services in the event of a CBRN attack.
Police and fire services have been given extra equipment to detect potential attacks and more members of the Army have been trained in making CBRN devices safe.
The Government has also introduced mobile radiation detection units to scan vehicles and passengers arriving at ports.
Article from: Telegraph.co.uk
Nuclear Bomb expected in London (Video)
Suspected bomber in lawyer’s wig causes terror alert on London Underground
Primetime Panic: Spoof Report Sparks Fear and Protests in Georgia
H1N1: When butting in line could be a matter of life or death (Fear Tactics)
Outer Limits - The Architects Of Fear - Fake Alien Invasion (Video)
Climate Change: Fear and Obey (Video)
Rule by fear or rule by law?
Latest News from our Front Page
Fukushima radiation killing children, government hiding the truth
2014 04 22
Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba, a town near the disabled Fukushima nuclear plant, is warning his country that radiation contamination is affecting Japan’s greatest treasure - its children.
Asked about government plans to relocate the people of Fatuba to the city of Iwaki, inside the Fukushima prefecture, Idogawa criticized the move as a "violation of human rights."
Compared with Chernobyl, radiation ...
Why your fingerprints may not be unique
2014 04 22
Assumption that everyone has a unique fingerprint from which they can be identified through a computer database is flawed, says Home Office expert Mike Silverman
Fingerprint evidence linking criminals to crime scenes has played a fundamental role in convictions in Britain since the first forensic laboratory was set up in Scotland Yard in 1901.
But the basic assumption that everyone has a ...
Asteroids cause dozens of nuclear-scale blasts in Earth’s atmosphere
2014 04 22
Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth’s atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals.
Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT.
Most occurred too high in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage ...
‘Editing DNA’ to eliminate genetic conditions now a reality
2014 04 22
Scientists have employed a revolutionary genome-editing computer technique that accurately identifies one faulty genetic “letter” among billions and effortlessly repairs a genetic condition in animals, paving way for human trials.
The success, by MIT in Boston, is the latest achievement in the field of genome editing that has been catapulted into the spotlight through a technology that can pinpoint genetic faults ...
EU should ’undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief
2014 04 22
The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.
Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.
He also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee ...
|More News » |