"What if Terrorists go Nuclear?"
October 9, 2001 6:50 AM   Subscribe

"What if Terrorists go Nuclear?" Center for Defense Information, Washington, DC. Real threat or excessive paranoia?
posted by Voyageman (5 comments total)
It would be a lot easier to transport one of the vials of smallpox virus that have walked away from Soviet bio-weapons facilities. One of these fits in a pocket, weighs nothing, is invisible to airport scans, and could potentially kill more people more horribly than any bomb, nuclear or not. I frankly expect it to happen. Oh, yeah, smallpox vaccine is not available. Ghod, people are wicked and stupid.
posted by jfuller at 8:18 AM on October 9, 2001

the world will continue to be a vicious place as long as those who shout loudest succeed in drowning out common sense.
posted by asok at 9:05 AM on October 9, 2001

Smallpox would go global, and is usless as a weapon it will be mutual assured destruction. Even Osama understands killing his own people in an attack isnt good politics.
posted by stbalbach at 5:18 PM on October 9, 2001

An excellent novel about this possibility is the 20-year-old The Fifth Horseman (not to be confused with other novels of the same name: this one is by journalists Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre), which posits a suitcase nuke positioned in New York City, and the nuclear anti-terror team assigned to find it before it can be used. In the novel, it's used to hold the city hostage in order to extract political favors for Mideast leaders including Muammar Gadhafi. Alas, I have a really bad feeling that Osama bin Laden is not nearly so practical as Gadhafi (real or fictional versions), and would happily use first, demand later.
posted by dhartung at 5:43 PM on October 9, 2001

Just a note;

Talking to some ex-military guys, they said there is a warning in the various government agencies that terrorists already have devices in the States.

Now, this was in the worst case senario section, but it was still under realistic senarios.
posted by rich at 7:49 PM on October 9, 2001

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