WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS?
By Ralph D. Thomas
In the 1960's, the United States Government conducted an experiment in which they had asked three recently graduated physics students to build a nuclear weapon using only publicly available information. The result was successful as the three students built one in about three years. Since that time, there has been a huge amount of publicly available material on the subject and the level of research and effort to develop the information needed for building nuclear weapons has dropped massively. For many years, Loompanics Unlimited out of Washington state had published and sold a little manual titled Basement Nukes: How To Built An Atomic Bomb In Your Basement. There have been several other books published on the subject. In fact, there are many web sites dedicated to this subject. A quick two minute search turned up several including these listings:
I am sure that a more indepth search on the web would turn up many other such sites. I have no idea if the information provided from these sites contain the information one would need to successfully build one nor do I know if the above mentioned book would actually provide the needed information but they would all likely be a start. The other problem would be obtaining the needed material to build one even if you had the know-how. The million dollar question of the day is, does Bin Laden have nuclear weapons and does he have the capability of using any on the United States?
In May of 2001, The World Tribune reported that as many as 100 organizations around the world had obtained elements needed for the construction of a nuclear bomb. A United Nations report stated that organizations had obtained materials from nuclear reactors from the former Soviet Union. The 100 organizations statement made by The World Tribune apparently came from UN papers. The Guardian Daily, a London newspaper, stated that the smuggling of radioactive materials has doubled since 1996.
Bin Laden officially declared war on the United States in August of 1996. This statement by Bin Laden is found on the FBI web site:
On or about August 23, 1996, Usama bin Laden signed and issued
a Declaration of jihad (holy war) from Afghanistan entitled,
"Message from Usama bin Laden to his Muslim Brothers in
the Whole World and Especially in the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration
of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two
Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula."
In the Washington Post and several other newspapers, it has
been reported that US Intelligence sources believe that a secret
nuclear weapons laboratory has been set up inside Afghanistan.
It is a known fact that since the fall of the USSR, Bin Laden
has made many attempts to purchase chemical, biological and nuclear
materials from the Russian mafia.
On Monday, September 24th, 2001, Congressman Christopher Shays (R-Ct)- the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security stated that the United States was vulnerable to nuclear attacks within the homeland. Congressmen Shays stated that terrorists may have access to as many as 60 briefcase nuclear weapons. Congressman Shays also stated that a high ranking Russian official and advisor to Vladimir Putin had first stated to his congressional committee that "out of 140 of (The briefcase nuclear weapons), the Russians could only account for about 80 of them." He went on to state the the Russians now deny that statement.
Since al Qaeda can be considered the world's largest prime source of Heroin for the world, it's only logical that they would be in communication with the Russian mafia. An FBI public document found in pubic court records from 1998 in New York stated that the al Qaeda had tired to purchase enriched uranium in 1993.
Jamal Ahmad al-Fadl, an ex-Bin Laden follower gave testimony several years ago in the World Trade Center Bombing trial that he had spent many years in attempts to develop enriched uranium for Bin Laden.
There is at least some good news.First of all, if Ben Laden and his al Qaeda has any nuclear ability, they can be considered small ones. They will not level entire cities. It's obvious that Bin Laden does not have the missile power to launch a missile-based nuclear weapon but the fear is that he's got some associates who would be willing to die in order to set one off in the United States. But even if Bin Laden has briefcase nukes, they are extremely difficult to maintain and have a very short shelf life. A massive supply of replacement fuel would be required to keep them ready. Even if he has a briefcase nuke from Russia, it's highly likely that the units he has can not be used or are not ready to use. Many US governmental officials discount the threat of any nuclear capability of Bin Laden but the overall feeling seems to be that no one really knows for sure. One thing is for sure. If the terrorists don't have them now or have them but don't have the ability to set one off now-it's only a matter of time before they will.