Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

al-Qaida No. 2: We Have Briefcase Nukes
Yahoo News ^

Posted on 03/21/2004 9:52:31 AM PST by sonsofliberty2000

SYDNEY, Australia - Osama bin Laden's terror network claims to have bought ready-made nuclear weapons on the black market in central Asia, the biographer of al-Qaida's No. 2 leader was quoted as telling an Australian television station.

In an interview scheduled to be televised on Monday, Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir said Ayman al-Zawahri claimed that "smart briefcase bombs" were available on the black market.

It was not clear when the interview between Mir and al-Zawahri took place.

U.S. intelligence agencies have long believed that al-Qaida attempted to acquire a nuclear device on the black market, but say there is no evidence it was successful.

In the interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. television, parts of which were released Sunday, Mir recalled telling al-Zawahri it was difficult to believe that al-Qaida had nuclear weapons when the terror network didn't have the equipment to maintain or use them.

"Dr Ayman al-Zawahri laughed and he said `Mr. Mir, if you have $30 million, go to the black market in central Asia, contact any disgruntled Soviet scientist, and a lot of ... smart briefcase bombs are available,'" Mir said in the interview.

"They have contacted us, we sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other central Asian states and they negotiated, and we purchased some suitcase bombs," Mir quoted al-Zawahri as saying.

Al-Qaida has never hidden its interest in acquiring nuclear weapons.

The U.S. federal indictment of bin Laden charges that as far back as 1992 he "and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of nuclear weapons."

Bin Laden, in a November 2001 interview with a Pakistani journalist, boasted having hidden such components "as a deterrent." And in 1998, a Russian nuclear weapons design expert was investigated for allegedly working with bin Laden's Taliban allies.

It was revealed last month that Pakistan's top nuclear scientist had sold sensitive equipment and nuclear technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea (news - web sites), fueling fears the information could have also fallen into the hands of terrorists.

Earlier, Mir told Australian media that al-Zawahri also claimed to have visited Australia to recruit militants and collect funds.

"In those days, in early 1996, he was on a mission to organize his network all over the world," Mir was quoted as saying. "He told me he stopped for a while in Darwin (in northern Australia), he was ... looking for help and collecting funds."

Australia's Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the government could not rule out the possibility that al-Zawahri visited Australia in the 1990s under a different name.

"Under his own name or any known alias he hasn't traveled to Australia," Ruddock told reporters Saturday. "That doesn't mean to say that he may not have come under some other false documentation, or some other alias that's not known to us."

Mir describe al-Zawahri as "the real brain behind Osama bin Laden."

"He is the real strategist, Osama bin Laden is only a front man," Mir was quoted as saying during the interview. "I think he is more dangerous than bin Laden."

Al-Zawahri — an Egyptian surgeon — is believed to be hiding in the rugged region around the Pakistan-Afghan border where U.S. and Pakistani troops are conducting a major operation against Taliban and al-Qaida forces.

He is said to have played a leading role in orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.


TOPICS: Breaking News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; alqaedanukes; briefcasenukes; loosenukes; nuclearblackmarket; suitcasenukes; threats
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-204 next last


Patriot Paradox

1 posted on 03/21/2004 9:52:32 AM PST by sonsofliberty2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
Well, they may have them now but they didn't on September 11, 2001 or they would have used them.
2 posted on 03/21/2004 9:55:20 AM PST by FReepaholic (Never Forget: www.september-11-videos.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
If they had 'em, they would have used 'em.
3 posted on 03/21/2004 9:56:29 AM PST by brooklin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
This reminds me of the old joke: "The Soviets have a nuclear bomb capable of being fitted into a suitcase. But first, they have to find someone to make the suitcase for them."
4 posted on 03/21/2004 9:56:40 AM PST by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
I own the Brooklyn Bridge.
5 posted on 03/21/2004 9:57:39 AM PST by Dog Gone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tscislaw
I agree that if they had them there have been too many opportunities to use them before they loose them.
6 posted on 03/21/2004 9:58:07 AM PST by McGruff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
But, I'VE got the RECEPIT!!

BWAAAHAHAHAHAAA!!!
7 posted on 03/21/2004 9:59:27 AM PST by RandallFlagg (<a href="http://www.michaelmoore.com" target="_blank">miserable failure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
"smart briefcase bombs"

I'm sorry Achmed, I'm afraid I can't do that.

8 posted on 03/21/2004 9:59:42 AM PST by palmer (Solutions, not just slogans -JFKerry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
Bring it on.
9 posted on 03/21/2004 10:00:39 AM PST by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: McGruff
--yes--and we have had some pretty convincing information from non-classified sources that the "suitcase" weapons don't "keep", but require maintenance largely beyond what the casual possessor can give--
10 posted on 03/21/2004 10:02:20 AM PST by rellimpank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
Al-Zawahri — an Egyptian surgeon — is believed to be hiding in the rugged region around the Pakistan-Afghan border where U.S. and Pakistani troops are conducting a major operation against Taliban and al-Qaida forces at room temperature.
11 posted on 03/21/2004 10:02:49 AM PST by Thinkin' Gal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000

12 posted on 03/21/2004 10:03:36 AM PST by The Mayor (Instead of grumbling because you don't get what you want, be thankful you don't get what you deserve)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
If they use one, mecca will be the next crater.
13 posted on 03/21/2004 10:04:55 AM PST by whereasandsoforth (tagged for migratory purposes only)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
I can think of three reasons why this report is false.
  1. The US has been the world leader in warhead miniaturization for fifty years, and the smallest American Atomic Demolition Munition would not fit in a briefcase or even a suitcase. (This particular device was discontinued by the USA in the mid-1980s and all were dismantled).

  2. If al-Qaeda has had such a weapon, they have shown uncharacteristic restraint in not employing it. That makes no sense. If Zawahiri got his grubby, goat-caressing hands on a nuke. it would be hotter than hot and every day they held it in inventory would be a very great risk of losing it. They would lose no time in employing this weapon. That they haven't is to me conclusive proof that they don't have such a weapon.

  3. Such reports always suggest that the weapons are ex-Soviet in origin. Sometimes authors point to Russian and former Soviet republics' abandonment of nuclear delivery systems such as subs and bombers as proof of poor inventory control of these weapons. But the warheads were never handled by the military: they were under the control of the KGB. That organization came through both Russia's democratic revolution and the ongoing totalitarian counterrevolution of Putin without significant disruption.

I don't know that Mr Hamid Mir is necessarily spinning here. I think that he has been spun by al-Z. But, of course, both of them stand to gain by this report.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

14 posted on 03/21/2004 10:07:43 AM PST by Criminal Number 18F
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: whereasandsoforth
If they use one, mecca will be the next crater.

If they use one, we'll be hearing from every liberal loon about why, exactly, we deserved it.

15 posted on 03/21/2004 10:08:49 AM PST by Euro-American Scum (A poverty-stricken middle class must be a disarmed middle class)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: brooklin
If they had 'em, they would have used 'em.

Not necessarily. We have the ability to make Mecca and Medina uninhabitable for a thousand years, and they know it.

16 posted on 03/21/2004 10:09:10 AM PST by Trickyguy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
Logic suggests if Al Qaeda actually had a nuke that fact would be their most closely guarded secret.
However if they had failed to purchase a nuke boasting of having one would be a cheap and simple way to spread terror.
17 posted on 03/21/2004 10:09:40 AM PST by doug9732
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
"al-Qaida No. 2: We Have Briefcase Nukes"

And I have an enchanted jockstrap.
18 posted on 03/21/2004 10:10:23 AM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
I can imagine the Russian mafia counting their money and telling these raghead morons that it's a "smart" suitcase bomb. Yeah, that's the ticket! It's a "smart" suitcase bomb!
19 posted on 03/21/2004 10:13:17 AM PST by AF68
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
I know nothing about weapons systems.

What is a "smart" breifcase nuke? Set aside the issue of whether or not they're small enough to be briefcase vs. suitcase. Set aside the issue of maintenance needed. What does the descriptor "smart" mean relative to nukes?
20 posted on 03/21/2004 10:13:59 AM PST by not_apathetic_anymore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
*BUMP*!
21 posted on 03/21/2004 10:23:01 AM PST by ex-Texan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Criminal Number 18F
I agree... this is disinformation. A) they can't build one; B) none of the suitcase bombs that the Soviets built, if in fact they could build them, could realistically survive in usable shape; and C) unless there's a breakthrough in nuclear miniaturization we don't know about, that briefcase is going to be very suspiciously large.
22 posted on 03/21/2004 10:23:53 AM PST by thoughtomator (Voting Bush because there is no reasonable alternative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Dog Gone
wanna sell it
23 posted on 03/21/2004 10:26:18 AM PST by al baby (Hope I don't get into trouble for this)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
The old saying, "buying a pig in a poke" comes to mind.

I sure al-Qaida has spent millions on purchasing nuclear suitcase bombs.


Very expensive FAKE nuclear devices.

It's not exactly a product one can "field test."

And the Black Market ain't much on One Year Warrantees
24 posted on 03/21/2004 10:26:22 AM PST by RedMonqey (Its is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: not_apathetic_anymore
"What does the descriptor "smart" mean relative to nukes?"

It means it won't blow up until you're a safe distance away!

25 posted on 03/21/2004 10:26:43 AM PST by doug9732
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: doug9732
I heard once that the fastesat and easiest way to mine a harbor was with one press release i think it was swartscroff
26 posted on 03/21/2004 10:28:39 AM PST by al baby (Hope I don't get into trouble for this)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: not_apathetic_anymore
Set aside the issue of maintenance needed.

I don't get it. What maintenance is needed? And if you know, how would you know?

27 posted on 03/21/2004 10:30:40 AM PST by sirchtruth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: AF68
I can imagine the Russian mafia counting their money and telling these raghead morons that it's a "smart" suitcase bomb. Yeah, that's the ticket! It's a "smart" suitcase bomb!

That seems to be the most likely scenario.

Yes, the FSU is has been having a big yard sale for a long time.

But relieving gullible Bronze-age primitives of their money does not require anything High-Tech to sell. A briefcase full of the proceeds of a Radio-Shack dumpster and a surplus cesium source to make it "Hot" would be enough to convince these morons.

As I recall, the Atomic Cannon warhead was 166 mm diameter, but its length, weight, and required fuzing modifications would put it out of the suitcase range.

28 posted on 03/21/2004 10:33:38 AM PST by Gorzaloon (Contents may have settled during shipping, but this tagline contains the stated product weight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: doug9732
:) See I told 'ya I knew nothing.

To me the concept that one should be far away before detonation would be a given on even the stupidest weapon system. But then I guess I have to remember that we're dealing with a mentality that idolizes suicide bombers, so I guess it isn't such a given to certain zealots.
29 posted on 03/21/2004 10:33:50 AM PST by not_apathetic_anymore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: The Mayor
That's a mockup of a conventional fragmentation bomb, not a nuke. It's also fairly poor practice to use 10 separate electric caps. Two caps and a dual ring-main of det cord would be more reliable -- this bomb would very likely not detonate completely. Mind you, it would still be bad news for anyone nearby.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F
30 posted on 03/21/2004 10:35:01 AM PST by Criminal Number 18F
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Criminal Number 18F
I don't know that Mr Hamid Mir is necessarily spinning here. I think that he has been spun by al-Z. But, of course, both of them stand to gain by this report.

Same mistake as Saddam Hussein?

"We have lots of WMD:s! We are not destroying them! All your bases are ours!"

ZOT!!

31 posted on 03/21/2004 10:35:25 AM PST by ScaniaBoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey
Al Qaeda doesn't behave rationally. I can imagine numerous blackmail strategies they could employ but haven't because they're either too stupid or crazy.
32 posted on 03/21/2004 10:38:41 AM PST by Callahan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: brooklin
"If they had 'em, they would have used 'em "

Not necessarily; they can be used with the maximum effect at the RIGHT TIME. Like before important elections...

(sorry - just my humble opinion; sure hope it won't ever happen)
33 posted on 03/21/2004 10:41:20 AM PST by traumer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Criminal Number 18F
I did a google and that is all I could find..
34 posted on 03/21/2004 10:42:09 AM PST by The Mayor (Instead of grumbling because you don't get what you want, be thankful you don't get what you deserve)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey
I sure al-Qaida has spent millions on purchasing nuclear suitcase bombs.

The Afghans are great entrepreneurs in this kind of thing. They were always trying to sell us some cobbled-up thing with a hammer and sickle and an international ionizing radiation symbol as leftover Soviet nuke stuff (in fact, the Sovs never brought nukes into Afghanistan. They were evil, not stupid).

After a while it began to sink in that we had better physics educations than they did, so they actually brought in one that sent a Geiger counter off. Turns out that some enterprising fellow had jimmied the Caesium 137 out of an abandoned machine in a shell-wracked hospital. The builder of this thing almost certainly died for his pains, and we didn't pay for the cylinder, either... but al-Qaeda might have gone for something like that.

Unfortunately, as long as mosques and charities continue to support terrorists financially, they will have the wherewithal to buy this kind of thing, and they will gradually get more informed. Like the Soviets were, they are evil, and they suffer from the anti-intellectualism of their goatherders' religion, but they are not stupid.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

35 posted on 03/21/2004 10:43:42 AM PST by Criminal Number 18F
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: traumer
If one goes boom here, you can expect every nation in the world that is currently harboring terrorist to be nuked the same day. This means good by Iran, Syria, North Korea. This is the reason that Kadaffi of Libya decided to "get right" with the United States. We can not fight them everywhere but we can damn sure Nuke them.
36 posted on 03/21/2004 10:48:05 AM PST by cpdiii (Oil Field Trash, Geologist, Pharmacist (REFUSE TO ATTEND A GUNFIGHT WITH A CAL. LESS THAN FORTY))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Gorzaloon
As I recall, the Atomic Cannon warhead was 166 mm diameter

280mm but the US also had, by the late sixties, nucs for smaller cannons. The problem becomes the shielding for transport, and the weight. The guy who carried the suitcase nuc around, if he could, would look like a fiddler crab after awhile -- he'd have one of Arnold's arms on his scrawny Arab bod.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

37 posted on 03/21/2004 10:48:21 AM PST by Criminal Number 18F
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Criminal Number 18F
"The builder of this thing almost certainly died for his pains"


Can you imagine sitting in a cargo ship(no plane) with a real(but crude) nuclear device, for sixty-days or more? The radiation leakage of such a device , even if possible, would kill the lone delivery man-loser and set off even the most basic of radiation detectors.
38 posted on 03/21/2004 10:54:57 AM PST by RedMonqey (Its is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
If true, I would have thought that the Chetchens(sic) would have leveled Moscow by now.
39 posted on 03/21/2004 10:58:44 AM PST by Bommer (John Kerry = War Criminal!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Criminal Number 18F
--"mockup", indeed--just wondering what number you estimate those "electric caps" are--they sure look bigger than the #6's and #8's with which I was familiar before Primadets came along---
40 posted on 03/21/2004 10:58:49 AM PST by rellimpank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: rellimpank
just wondering what number you estimate those "electric caps" are--

Uh, the caps are inside the ten pipe bombs.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

41 posted on 03/21/2004 11:00:37 AM PST by Criminal Number 18F
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: cpdiii
If one goes boom here, you can expect every nation in the world that is currently harboring terrorist to be nuked the same day. This means good by Iran, Syria, North Korea. This is the reason that Kadaffi of Libya decided to "get right" with the United States. We can not fight them everywhere but we can damn sure Nuke them.

Wouldnt happen. Too many pro-Us peons in those countries... I dont know the answer, but that aint it in my opinion. Tactical govt toppling maybe...

42 posted on 03/21/2004 11:00:42 AM PST by smith288 (Who would terrorists want for president? 60% say Kerry 25% say Bush... Who would you vote for?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: The Mayor
Cut the red wire!
43 posted on 03/21/2004 11:01:28 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: The Mayor
Nice touch leaving the ignition cap wires hanging in loose loops. Must be the industry trade show version.
44 posted on 03/21/2004 11:02:34 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: CzarNicky
And I have an enchanted jockstrap.

So you are the #&$*@!& who outbid me on ebay....

45 posted on 03/21/2004 11:03:03 AM PST by killjoy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: The Mayor
--good joke--reminds me of an employee of mine twenty some years ago that was caught stealing inch and a half by twelve inch bolts by concealing them in the front of his pants, held up by his belt---had a lunchpail full of them too--never did find out what he wanted them for.
46 posted on 03/21/2004 11:03:15 AM PST by rellimpank
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
Hard to use them when your dead!!!
47 posted on 03/21/2004 11:03:33 AM PST by Andy from Beaverton (I only vote Republican to stop the Democrats)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sonsofliberty2000
I'm sure the Soviets made "suitcase" bombs, but they're probably large and very, very heavy (about 200-300#) The US did make "backpack" bombs in the '60s and '70s for tactical use in Europe in the event of a Soviet invasion.

To put some minds at ease, it would be next to impossible to get a nuke near a population center in the US. Of note, a man in New York City who was picked up multiple times by the subway cops. He was 50-something, white and had no links to terrorists. He was, however, undergoing radiation therapy. That's how sensitive our stuff is. And I'm sure some old Soviet POS leaks like a sieve.

That really leaves the only way to get a nuke to the US by ship, which is relatively unchecked. For some reason the administration keeps telling us this, but they don't increase funding for the Coast Guard to do something about it. It would be a shame if downtown Long Beach or Savannah got vaporized because we didn't give those guys enough money.
48 posted on 03/21/2004 11:05:37 AM PST by oldleft
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cpdiii
you can expect every nation in the world that is currently harboring terrorist to be nuked the same day

No. But you could expect a worldwide house to house search, including your house or apartment.

49 posted on 03/21/2004 11:06:09 AM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: The Mayor

"Hello? Hello? Is this Dominoes? I need to order a piiiizzaaaaaa! Hellooho! Somebody pick up please!"

50 posted on 03/21/2004 11:08:09 AM PST by openotherend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-204 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson