Bin Laden Has Several Nuclear Suitcases
October 25th, 1999
Reproduced from the Jerusalem Report
Master terrorist Ossame Bin Laden has acquired portable nuclear devices, a U.S.-based expert on non-conventional terror believes. The only real question now is whether BinLaden has "a few," as Russian intelligence seems to think, or "over 20," a figure cited by intelligence services of moderate Arab regimes. "There is no longer much doubt that Bin Laden has finally succeeded in his quest for nuclear ősuitcase bombs," says Yossef Bodansky, head of the Congressional Task Force on Non-Conventional Terrorism in Washington. In a recent book, Bodansky reports that Bin Laden‚s associates acquired the devices through Chechnya, paying the Chechens $30 million in cash and two tons of Afghan heroin, worth about $70 million in Afghanistan and about 10 times that on the street in Western cities.
Bodansky‚s statements corroborate 1998 testimony by former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed to the U.S. House of Representatives. Lebed said that 43 nuclear suitcases from the former Soviet arsenal, developed for the KGB in the 1970s, have vanished since the collapse of the former Soviet Union a decade ago. Lebed said one person could detonate such a bomb by himself, and kill 100,000 people.
Among the others who recognize the threat is Ben Venzke, director of Tempest Publishing. The U.S. firm plans to release a detailed technical handbook on dealing with nuclear terror next year. The danger, says Venzke, is quite real ? and is not confined to stolen Russian weapons. "It is really quite simple," he says, "to acquire radioactive material and combine it with an explosive or so-called dirty device." Yael Haran
US Nuclear retaliation.... extract.
US Nuclear Doctrine, Nonstate Actors, and WMD Under US nuclear doctrine, the 20 August 1998 attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan could have been carried out with nuclear weapons. US doctrine allows strikes against terrorist groups armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In Doctrine for Joint Theater Nuclear Operation, a Joint Chiefs of Staff publication, "likely targets" for US nuclear weapons include "nonstate actors (facilities and operation centers) that possess WMD". "Nonstate actors" refers to terrorist organizations like the one US officials claim is headed by Osama bin Laden. At the same time, statements from Pentagon officials are openly contradictory. In response to a media query on the above US doctrine, a Department of Defense spokesperson said the policy referred to situations "in which the U.S., or allies or our forces have been attacked with chemical or biological weapons." However, even that statement included a caveat, that the US "does not rule out in advance any capability available to us." As US nuclear doctrine has evolved since the end of the Cold War, it has increasingly focused on the perceived threat of weapons of mass destruction, including arsenals held by "nonstate actors". As the following documents demonstrate, however, this policy is ineffective, contradictory, and actually increases the risk of further nuclear proliferation. * Nuclear Weapons Against Terrorism, by Hans M. Kristensen, Research Associate, Nautilus Institute, 28 August 1998. Highlights the contradictions in US policy. * US Targets Nuclear Weapons at "Nonstate Actors", BASIC Press Release,