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Paper says bin Laden claims he has nuclear weapons.
November 9, 2001 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Paper says bin Laden claims he has nuclear weapons. Pakistan's respected Dawn newspaper said on Saturday bin Laden, in an interview inside Afghanistan, said he had nuclear and chemical weapons and might use them to respond to U.S. attacks. Maybe he read DSSi's strategic scenario analysis.
posted by tranquileye (37 comments total)

 
This sounds like a "yeah I got 'em... but uh... you'd have to use your's first..."

If he had nuclear weapons he'd use them right now, simple as that.

I doubt Bin Laden watched War Games and went "Hmmm you know what maybe I shouldn't use my nukes."
posted by geoff. at 8:08 PM on November 9, 2001


The FBI is now on the lookout for the alleged creator of bin Laden's nuclear arsenal:


posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:12 PM on November 9, 2001


> Maybe he read DSSi's strategic scenario analysis.

Or maybe he read Metafilter thread 11433 from October 13 or thread 10497 from September 17. (Could've also been one of the many comments on similar threads though.)
posted by sylloge at 8:14 PM on November 9, 2001


in the real world, no small nation (or group) could sanely use nuclear weapons against the US. it's a simple thought process, really:

"i have a nuclear weapon," says the group/nation, "i shall use it against america."

"we have more than 20,000 nuclear weapons," says the US, "we don't think that'd be a good idea."
posted by phalkin at 8:17 PM on November 9, 2001


it's a simple thought process, really

Simple, yes, but it is not the only thought process which humans are capable of.
posted by rushmc at 8:49 PM on November 9, 2001


"it's a simple thought process, really"

Here's a simpler thought process:

"I am a warrior of God. If I smite the infidel greatly and die as a result, I enter Paradise. Sounds like a deal."

Osama and his kind don't really mind dying as long as they take enough of us along with them.
posted by MAYORBOB at 8:56 PM on November 9, 2001


More scary shit from Yahoo news: 86 of 132 suitcase nuclear bombs are said to be missing from Russia's inventory.
posted by ferris at 9:03 PM on November 9, 2001


great.
posted by rabbit at 9:16 PM on November 9, 2001


"we have more than 20,000 nuclear weapons," says the US, "we don't think that'd be a good idea."

And we would use them on who? How exactly do you use nuclear weapons on a stateless multi-national network of cells>

Simple as that. Yup, simple answers for complex problems--they nuke us, we nuke them, don't confuse me with the details...like, oh, what will happen between the US and the rest of the world or that we'll all be in for what will make the Great Depression look like a trip to Disneyland. I think it was James Fallows who wrote in the Atlantic ten or so years ago about how we'll all miss the Cold War. Boy, was he on the money.
posted by y2karl at 9:18 PM on November 9, 2001


See also thread 11860 from October 26, 2001.
posted by tamim at 9:19 PM on November 9, 2001


well, nuclear war might be helpful with the population problem. one way to look at it
posted by rabbit at 9:41 PM on November 9, 2001


The Dawn Interview in which Osama outlines his grievances, denies going to a hospital in Dubai for kidney problems and laughs at the the rumor one of his daughters is married to Mullah Omar. It includes a picture of Bin Laden with the Dawn reporter. The emphasis seems to be more pleading as the victim of injustice, (Riba/usury, occupation of Harmain Sharifain/Mecca and Medina) rather than a holy warrior waging Jihad against the Infidel. I think he may be scared. Also he says "Only Afghanistan is an Islamic country". Way to rally the troupes.
posted by obedo at 9:54 PM on November 9, 2001


well, nuclear war might be helpful with the population problem. one way to look at it


...
posted by y2karl at 9:59 PM on November 9, 2001


well, nuclear war might be helpful with the population problem. one way to look at it.

this, from a guy calls himself 'rabbit'?
posted by quonsar at 10:03 PM on November 9, 2001


"we have more than 20,000 nuclear weapons," says the US, "we don't think that'd be a good idea."

but who do we use them against? the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks lived in New Jersey and Florida. Deterrence isn't all that credible of a threat against people who want to die.

This is scary stuff. We have to operate under the assumption that they have them and they have them here in the US. not good.
posted by andrewraff at 10:04 PM on November 9, 2001


We have to operate under the assumption that they have them and they have them here in the US. not good.

how the fudge did we jump to the latter conclusion?
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:13 PM on November 9, 2001


And the fact that Bin Laden goes out of his way to say that he'd only use these supposed nukes if we nuked him first all but guarantees this is just more empty/desperate rhetoric -- since there's a snowball's chance in hell we'd actually deploy nukes and risk alienating even the staunchest Alliance members and actually trigger WWIII. It's all well and good for him to say he has something and then say he'd only deploy it in the case of a highly improbable situation. That makes it immediately unverifiable and bogus. He doesn't have nukes. End of story. This is just more page-12 paranoia.
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:37 PM on November 9, 2001


I want my NEST more and more.
posted by Voyageman at 10:40 PM on November 9, 2001


this, from a guy calls himself 'rabbit'?

About the webmaster:

Well, I'm the rabbit around these parts, and basically i own allthingsdark. This site is not for the "novelty". Don't ask me what it is for either. For the most part it is probably just proof that I need some form of therapy, and most likely there will come a time when I regret providing all this "evidence". At that point I shall delete my sentiments before they fall into the wrong hands.

I spend my time, seeking out true love, heartbreak, hollywood and anything from the early nineties. I'm still obsessed with just about any girl i ever loved, and would give anything to get any of them back. I dislike anything tacky, and people who have a sense of humor that revolves around being mean. I'm depressed most of the time and have been accused by some of being "your typical jerk". Others think i'm crazy or just plain annoying. I am a little on the creepy side, but i'm a fairly cute guy, sort of friendly and i have good taste in everything, so that proves i'm okay to talk to.The girls I find the most attractive are feminine girl next door types with style, and preferably a little on the squirrely side. In case you're wondering, we have nothing in common and i have nothing to offer in a relationship. You've been warned..
-- Rabbit, allthingsdark.com


He dislikes anything tacky and likes diet pepsi and has nothing to offer. All you can eat buffet style.
posted by y2karl at 10:41 PM on November 9, 2001


speaking of tacky: rabbit's autobiography.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:46 PM on November 9, 2001


Maybe CENTER FOR DEFENSE INFORMATION-What if Terrorists Go Nuclear is worth revisiting.
posted by Voyageman at 10:46 PM on November 9, 2001


please don't discuss tacky when your name is "mcsweetie".

"Rabbit" is a reference to John Updike's classic novel, "Rabbit Run" which was made into a mediocre yet poignant film starring James Caan in 1970.
posted by rabbit at 11:07 PM on November 9, 2001


that, at least, is to your credit.
posted by y2karl at 11:24 PM on November 9, 2001


how the fudge did we jump to the latter conclusion?

because I was laying on the couch flipping around during the commercials in elimidate and saw Geraldo talking with a Pakistani diplomat and Afghan (non-Taliban) diplomat and a retired US General about the declaration and figured that since I'm in NYC it's likely that I'm going to die from a terrorist nuclear bomb. yes, paranoid, but better that the various federal agencies be working to make sure this doesn't happen than to deny the possibility. Of course, since our Congress can't seem to quickly pass a bill that will make our air travel safer, hopefully the response to this will be taken with more reason...
posted by andrewraff at 11:25 PM on November 9, 2001


Ah, well spent quality time with what precious moments you may have left. Live long and prosper. And I mean that, ya knucklehead!
posted by y2karl at 11:33 PM on November 9, 2001


Can we take the metatalk about rabbit to ... um, metatalk? And not every thread in which rabbit posts?

Indeed, the 20,000:1 ratio becomes rather meaningless in asymmetrical warfare. Let's say a nuke goes off. Now, quick: who do we target? It's a really tricky question, especially if it was a terror cell or a rogue operation (as some have suggested 9/11 may have been). Mutually assured destruction was a doctrine that worked between nuclear superpowers, but when the force asymmetry is that dramatic, MAD just doesn't figure into the equation anymore.

I don't think we have to operate on the assumption that they're already here -- but we should operate on the basis that they may be moved here at any time. I believe that the actions of the administration indicate that they feel this is a concern; this is why Cheney's basically been getting a nice all-over no-tan. I've thought, also, that our fig-leaf gestures toward preservation of our government in case of nuke attack should be beefed up. It's not just enough for the Veep to skip the all-Congress games; you'd better keep a random selection of legislators and justices and cabinetry out of there as well; and not just the lowest guy on the totem pole. (I think Clinton always tapped the VA guy to be his guy-out-of-the-room, which always seemed rather ... depressing. I don't want some nobody to become President. At least make it someone we've heard of, maybe a career cabinet officer.) I hate to consider it, because it looks like a capitulation to fear. But I suspect we'll never see Cheney clapping away behind Bush again.
posted by dhartung at 12:24 AM on November 10, 2001


More scary shit from Yahoo news: 86 of 132 suitcase nuclear bombs are said to be missing from Russia's inventory.

For more info on Suitcase Nukes check out Prop1.org's bibliography and excerpt page. Soviet accounting methods for these bombs, assuming they where smuggled in, were less than rigorous.
posted by youthbc1 at 3:22 AM on November 10, 2001


This sounds like the plot from The Peacemaker. As always, Hollywood has investigated this scenario. Not to worry -- George Clooney will save us.
posted by mrmanley at 6:12 AM on November 10, 2001


Having read the many commentson the Bin Laden deal with hukes, I feel very much better and at ease. I know now that god is in his heaven and all is right with the world. Thanks everyone. Look for me in the Veteran's Day parade.
posted by Postroad at 7:03 AM on November 10, 2001


A big mushroom cloud is unlikely. A so-called "dirty bomb" is much more likely.
posted by gimonca at 9:22 AM on November 10, 2001


The claim is only made in English - according to the BBC report.

"..he makes no such claim in an Urdu-language version of the interview. "

Perhaps because it's only permissible to lie to infidels.
posted by grahamwell at 9:57 AM on November 10, 2001


Get real... if al-qaeda had any such weapon there wouldn't be a New York left to speak of at this point. If you're going to crash the airplane you're into into a large building with the direct wish being of killing large numbers of civilians and yourself, there's really no reason to hold back on the use of any weapon at all -- provided you have it.
posted by clevershark at 10:09 AM on November 10, 2001


Can we take the metatalk about rabbit to ... um, metatalk?

dhartung, if that was in reference to my remark, obviously directed to andrewraff's watching Elimidate, directly above your comment, please rest assured and stand corrected.
posted by y2karl at 10:13 AM on November 10, 2001


it's a simple thought process, really

Unfortunately the situation doesn't lend itself to simple thinking. If nukes enter the arena then Pakistan (and from that, India) and Israel suddenly become much more volatile and ready to use their own. The reaction of Cowboy George pretty much goes without saying.

Personally, I think this is big-talk from OBL.
posted by holycola at 2:00 PM on November 10, 2001


Not to worry -- George Clooney will save us.


I hope he's more on the ball than Bruce Willis, who obviously failed us in the recent past. ; )
posted by kittyloop at 3:02 PM on November 10, 2001


It’s worth nothing — twice — that the BBC translation of the interview says bin Laden does not have nukes.

“But, while the English-language newspaper carries a clear message from Bin Laden that he has access to such weapons, he makes no such claim in an Urdu-language version of the interview.”
posted by raaka at 6:01 PM on November 10, 2001


please don't discuss tacky when your name is "mcsweetie".

that made sense. ps! today is opposite's day.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:28 PM on November 11, 2001


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