Nukes & Bioterror: Has Al-Qaida Arrived?
Al-Qaida is capable of producing radioactive weapons after sourcing nuclear material and recruiting scientists to build “dirty” bombs according to leaked diplomatic documents. This and more is revealed in thousands of classified documents obtained by the WikiLeaks website. The international struggle to stop the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological material around the globe continues.
Al-Qaida documents found in Afghanistan in 2007 revealed that greater advances had been made in bioterrorism than previously believed by U.S. authorities. In 2008, an Indian national security adviser told American security personnel that terrorists had obtained the materials necessary and “have the technical competence to manufacture an explosive device beyond a mere dirty bomb”.
Freight trains have carried nuclear material across the Russian border, highly enriched uranium has been carted across Uganda by bus, and a hustler in Lisbon has offered to sell radioactive plates stolen from Chernobyl. Employees at a uranium mine in Namibia have smuggled nearly a half ton of uranium yellowcake. Agricultural stores of deadly biological pathogens in Pakistan are vulnerable to extremists who could use supplies of anthrax and other decidedly nasty diseases to develop lethal biological weapons. The political panic continues as authorities count the stories of hazardous materials leaks around the world.
The Wikileaks controversy and the likes of insiders like Army Intelligence Analyst Bradley Manning has raised continuing insecurity within the political community globally. The security of many national headquarters, even smallpox stores, are being called into question as authorities around the globe consider the possibility of insider compromise. President Obama has voiced concern that nuclear terrorism is the single biggest threat to international security.
Apparently, too many parties have access to information and materials that could compromise the safety of millions at a time. With the advent of Wikileaks, the obvious solution is looking officials in the face. Stop writing everything down in ordinary fashion as if easily-written information can actually be made secure. This way, Washington small talk as well as vital safety information can’t be made public to the embarassment of small minds around the globe. In this age, information security seems tentative at best.