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Think Tank Warns of Al Qaida Nuclear Weapons Fear
The Scotsman ^ | May 24, 2005 | Gavin Cordon

Posted on 05/24/2005 3:02:22 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777

Failure to curb the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea could lead to nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups such as al Qaida, a leading foreign affairs think tank warned today.

The Institute for International Strategic Studies said that the system of international controls to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, based around the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), was in danger of “eroding”.

A combination of regional instability, “gaping loopholes” in the NPT regime, illegal supply networks and “lax leadership” by the existing nuclear powers pointed to “a first-order crisis that, if not urgently addressed, could trigger an nuclear catastrophe”, it said.

“The most chilling possibility is the acquisition of a nuclear weapon by al Qaida or a similar terrorist group dedicated to inflicting mass civilian casualties and impervious to threats of retaliation,” it said in its annual Strategic Survey.

“The possible emergence of new nuclear-weapon states in North Korean and Iran, the threat of nuclear terrorism around the globe and the relaxed pace of nuclear disarmament strongly suggest the existing nuclear non-proliferation regime – with the NPT at its core – is eroding.

“Moreover, it is being replaced with an ‘every man for himself’ mentality that, if left unchecked, could spawn a new generation of nuclear weapons and increase the risk that the transnational Islamist terrorist network over which Osama bin Laden loosely presides becomes a nuclear power.”

The IISS said that while Iran was still probably “several years away” from developing a nuclear weapon, the most immediate problem was North Korea which probably already had at least one if not two nuclear bombs.

“North Korea raises the dual risk of a growing nuclear-weapon inventory in the world’s most isolated regime, and the possibility of nuclear terrorism through the sale or transfer of nuclear material or weapons,” it said.

The dangers were exacerbated by the presence of unsecured stocks nuclear weapons and materials around the world, including in the nations of the former Soviet Union.

“The global effort to secure nuclear weapons and materials at their source to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism – involving both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states – is suffering from a lack of resources, bureaucratic impediments and a relaxed timetable for implementation,” it said.

The IISS called for a renewed commitment to the principles of non-proliferation and disarmament by the existing nuclear powers.

It said that while European states like Britain, which have been leading diplomatic efforts to resolve the Iran crisis, needed to be prepared to be more robust, the United States had to start engaging diplomatically.

At the same time it urged Western governments to build a new “political accommodation” with Islam in an effort to undermine the threat of groups like al Qaida.

Despite the continuing violence in Iraq, the counter-terrorist outlook was becoming “more optimistic”, with the the global “jihadist” movement “physically and ideologically in flux”.

Many of the loose confederation of Islamist terror groups around the world now shared al Qaida’s objectives and methods “only in a general and not necessarily sustainable sense”, it said.

At the same time international law enforcement and intelligence co-operation was improving – in large part because Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had been forced to take measures to tackle the Islamist threat within their own countries.

The report cautioned that “hard” anti-terrorism measures could at best only contain the problem and that other approaches were needed.

“A better Western political accommodation with Islam – more a function of soft rather than hard power – was also required,” it said.

“While European Muslims aggrieved by adverse circumstances in their host countries derive energy and political affirmation from al Qaida, their support for its maximalism could flag if conditions for Muslims in Europe improve.”

It said that while America’s past reliance on hard power had resulted in “blowback” – producing more terrorist recruits – there now appeared to be a greater understanding, even in the US, of the importance of soft power.

“Eventually, ideological cracks could emerge from agendas and degrees of commitment among jihadists,” it said.

Groups such as Jemaah Islamiah in Indonesia, or the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines – which had relatively limited regional objectives – could become “amenable” to political influence.

At the same time the opening up of opportunities for political progress in the Middle East following the death of the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat had allowed for “a more optimistic counter-terrorism outlook”.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaedanukes; alqaida; globaljihad; loosenukes; wmd
Interesting perspective on the situation. I think all would agree that a nuk AQ must be prevented at all costs. I am not convinced that Islamic extremist elements are necessarily open to "political" solutions, however.
1 posted on 05/24/2005 3:02:23 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777
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To: Bald Eagle777
I once read a suggestion that someone should start a science magazine called Duh!

Raise your hand if the idea of al Qaeda getting its hands on a nuke never, ever, ever occurred to you.

2 posted on 05/24/2005 3:05:24 PM PDT by prion (Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM the spelling police)
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To: prion

Wow, glad we have these "think tanks"...I would have never thought about it, if not for them!


3 posted on 05/24/2005 3:06:36 PM PDT by Stellar Dendrite (Allen/DeLay '08!!)
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To: Bald Eagle777

Once weekly al-Qeada nuke bump!


4 posted on 05/24/2005 3:06:54 PM PDT by oldleft
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To: Bald Eagle777

"impervious to threats of retaliation"

Oh, let's not be too sure about that. Someone would pay.


5 posted on 05/24/2005 3:10:35 PM PDT by combat_boots (Dug in and not budging an inch. NOT to be schiavoed, greered, or felosed as a patient)
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To: prion

Does it really matter? It just detracts from some one not giving some prisoner his Koran in the proper way, or, not opening the floodgates for any and every illegal that crosses the border. /sarcasm


6 posted on 05/24/2005 3:10:46 PM PDT by Paul Atreides (FACT: You can get more reliable information in a beauty shop, than from the media)
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To: Bald Eagle777

Do ya think they'd set off a big boy if they knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a US boomer would immediately vaporize Mecca? Think of all the korans that would be desecrated...I shudder to think of it.


7 posted on 05/24/2005 3:12:34 PM PDT by msf92497 (My brain is "twitchy")
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To: prion

I'll second that DUH!!


8 posted on 05/24/2005 3:24:18 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Bald Eagle777
"At the same time it urged Western governments to build a new “political accommodation” with Islam in an effort to undermine the threat of groups like al Qaida."

An accommodation with a religion? Why doesn't the writer just say Arab/Islamic terrorists. They are the foot soldiers of terrorism directed at the West. They are the enemy. Why cater to them? This is just more PC groveling by cowards in the West.

9 posted on 05/24/2005 3:24:58 PM PDT by StormEye
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To: Bald Eagle777
>>> The IISS called for a renewed commitment to the principles of non-proliferation and disarmament by the existing nuclear powers

Sounds like a Harvard think tank... We should all agree that terrorists with nuclear materials are "bad", and at the same time the civilized powers that posses nuclear material should "disarm"; in the face of fanatic regimes building bombs at break neck speed...

What are they saying, wait for them to shoot me, or I can just shoot myself...? Let me ponder that one for a bit.

The IISS must be loaded with very smart people, I will therefore conclude that I must be a fool for not comprehending their wisdom.
10 posted on 05/24/2005 3:28:32 PM PDT by mmercier (they that are delivered from the noise of archers)
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To: msf92497
Do ya think they'd set off a big boy if they knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a US boomer would immediately vaporize Mecca?

Yes, they would. They'd think such an action would galvanize all Islam. Forgetting that the first nuke would galvanize the US, and we have lots more nukes to "play" with.

11 posted on 05/24/2005 4:12:17 PM PDT by El Gato
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To: El Gato

I dunno. They crap bricks over rumors of books being dropped in toilets - Mecca is the home to that damn rock they all swarm over.

"History of the Ka'aba

The Ka'aba located in the holy Islamic city, Mecca, is a massive black meteorite, and the sacred stone of the Islamic faith. Muhammad deemed the meteorite was a sacred stone in 630 AD. Wherever a Muslim is located, they are instructed to pray towards Mecca and the Ka'aba. Every Muslim must make a pilgrimage to the Ka'aba once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage represents the ultimate in spiritual fulfillment. During the worship at the Ka'aba the pilgrims circle the shrine seven times, and then all make their way to kiss the sacred shrine. The prayer towards the Ka'aba and the pilgrimage to Mecca create a distinct unity between the Muslim people. "

Seem like it would do more than galvanize them. It would crush them.

I vote for a go.


12 posted on 05/24/2005 4:19:49 PM PDT by msf92497 (My brain is "twitchy")
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To: msf92497

Worshiping the 'fallen star'.....

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isa. 14:12-14)


13 posted on 05/24/2005 6:06:34 PM PDT by joesnuffy (The generation that survived the depression and won WW2 proved poverty does not cause crime)
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To: joesnuffy

Luke 10:18 And He (Jesus) said unto them (the 12)
"I beheld SAtan as lightning fall from Heaven"


14 posted on 05/24/2005 6:10:47 PM PDT by joesnuffy (The generation that survived the depression and won WW2 proved poverty does not cause crime)
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To: Bald Eagle777
West Fears Nuclear Talks With Iran Are Doomed To Failure
15 posted on 05/24/2005 7:28:10 PM PDT by blam
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To: msf92497

The world was freaking out at the HINT that we flushed a Koran..Do you think we have the balls to flatten Mecca ? I dont


16 posted on 05/24/2005 7:31:25 PM PDT by hineybona
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To: Bald Eagle777
Think TANK?

More like a Jeep.

Nah...just a moped.

17 posted on 05/24/2005 7:34:58 PM PDT by stboz
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To: hineybona

I'd let 'em know, up front and plainly, if there is a WMD attack on USA homeland, and if responsibility can be laid to any islamo group, then the penalty is IMMEDIATE DESTRUCTION OF MECCA.

No debate. Nothing.

We need to grow a pair, if we are to survive. We cannot look at our enemy as if he thinks like us. He does not.

Oh, and BTW, the world doesn't give a crap about us, so I don't think their opinion matters one hill of poop.


18 posted on 05/24/2005 7:54:05 PM PDT by msf92497 (My brain is "twitchy")
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To: StormEye

The AQ nuk angle is not new, as we all know. I try to sort through as much data as possible and let the sources speak for themselves, verbatim. Anyone with anything to say on this subject becomes of interest to me. Any changes in analysis or any general statements of position or opinion I tend to look at. Today, this is what the cat brought in. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

In this specific instance, I tend to, shall we say, "disagree" that there is somehow a political solution (as opposed to a military-only approach) to terrorism generally, and AQ specifically.

That there can be any kind of possible "political" solution is completely unacceptable, particularly when it comes to a nuk AQ.

We’ll see what the next think tank has to say, that is for dead certain.


19 posted on 05/24/2005 8:40:04 PM PDT by Bald Eagle777 (Property tax is eternal rent. You can never own your own land. Why?)
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To: Bald Eagle777

What would you (reader of this) do if you were a bad boy head of a regime like North Korea or Iran?

So our enemies could send nukes to us by way of Al Qaeda. That's possible. More likely, if they think it would work to confuse and set us up for a more effective follow-up attack of their nuclear missiles, they'll do it.

And that's a scenario that our leaders must (and probably do, I hope) plan to deal with. We should keep as much of a technical manufacturing base (large pool of citizen engineers and technicians) as we can, IMO.


20 posted on 05/24/2005 9:10:10 PM PDT by familyop ("Let us try" sounds better, don't you think? "Essayons" is so...Latin.)
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To: Bald Eagle777
'24' - timely show....
21 posted on 05/24/2005 10:21:00 PM PDT by traumer
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