Skip to comments.Seizures of radioactive materials fuel 'dirty bomb' fears
Posted on 10/06/2006 8:11:47 AM PDT by 1curiousmind
SEIZURES of smuggled radioactive material capable of making a terrorist dirty bomb have doubled in the past four years, according to official figures seen by The Times.
Smugglers have been caught trying to traffick dangerous radioactive material more than 300 times since 2002, statistics from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) show. Most of the incidents are understood to have occurred in Europe.
The disclosures come as al-Qaeda is known to be intensfiying its efforts to obtain a radoactive device. Last year, Western security services, including MI5 and MI6, thwarted 16 attempts to smuggle plutonium or uranium. On two occasions small quantities of highly enriched uranium were reported missing. All were feared to have been destined for terror groups.
Scientists responsible for analysing the seizures have given warning that traffickers are turning to hospital X-ray equipment and laboratory supplies as an illicit source of radioactive material.
Investigators believe that the smugglers, who come mainly from the former Eastern bloc, are interested only in making a swift fortune and believe that they may have no compunction in selling to jihadist groups. Most undercover operations and recent seizures have been kept secret to protect the activities of Western security services.
This "fear factor" could end up killing more people than an actual dirty bomb, especially if detonated near a stadium.
Question: Should sport stadiums be proactive in informing spectators what to do in the case of an emergency? attack? Could they prevent a panicked stampede?
Anyone watching that series on CBS? Hits pretty close to home.
Yes. Amazing show and super-informative on what to do if such a catastrophe should strike.
Yes, and the sooner the better.
Osama bin Laden invited two Pakistani atomic scientists to visit a training camp in Afghanistan to discuss how to assemble a bomb using stolen plutonium. Captured al-Qaeda leaders have since confessed to the CIA of their attempts to smuggle a radioactive device into the US.
Our press and dem's tell us there is nothing to worry about, no one wants to harm us and we should not pay any attention to this and just let everyone have what they want.
The fear factor could indeed be much more powerful than the actual radioactive bomb. Even more powerful than that would be the lawsuit factor.
I, like everone else, wants to just be able to go and watch a game without thinking about such a thing, but I really feel that there is a unique vulnerability presented in such venues that will eventuallly be exploited by terrorists. (I hesitate to even write that) It really wouldn't take a dirty bomb, but such a bomb would escalate the panic immensely, I'm afraid.
The show's premise is very plausible about how things would/could go down...
The show hasnt revealed it political agenda yet...hopefully, it's on the right side of things.
"Osama bin Laden invited two Pakistani atomic scientists to visit a training camp in Afghanistan to discuss how to assemble a bomb using stolen plutonium."
Yes, didn't you find such a public announcement/invitation odd? Do they REALLY need to broadcast it like that? Or did they do it in order to make it clear that when something does happen, they are responsible? Some other reason?
Oops, this was the quote that I meant to reference:
"Al-Qaeda makes no secret of its desire to obtain a dirty bomb. Last month its leader in Iraq, Abu Hamza alMuhajer, called for scientists to join it and experiment with radioactive devices for use against coalition troops."
People in a stadium wouldn't know if they had been exposed to radiation or smoke from an exploding devise. Panic will kill either way.
If a plutonium devise explodes, radiation could be spread for miles by fleeing fans before it was discovered. First responders wouldn't have radiation suits with them which would compound the emergency.
An obvious first step would be to have radiation detection devices at every sports stadium. Devices that would automatically alert Homeland Security and local emergency teams. That's cheap.
Second step would be to have a prerecorded series of announcements at the stadium. This will contain panic. The first voice would be a man - to add authority - calm voice - the second voice that of a woman - to add comfort and security. Before the tape was installed it could be tested for effectiveness. That's cheap.
Third, a system of decontamination sites should be set up between the stadium and the parking lots. (read fire hydrants). That would be cheap. Some of the first solutions aren't difficult and they're cheap. But, and this is a big one, they need to be put in place before an event.
No, I didn't find it odd. UBL and team are always issuing warnings - it's some weird Muslim "cover your ass" thing. They have to get permission from an Iman to kill us, then they have to warn us so we have a chance to give up. Death cults are strange by the very nature of their existence -- beyond that, there's nothing I can say...
Those are good steps in the right direction. I agree.
Maybe I have thought about this too much, but imagine a typical fall Sunday, simultaneous games in a handful of cities. One dirty bomb explodes outside one stadium, maybe even a good distance from the stadium. Within minutes cell phones would start ringing all over the other stadiums from relatives, friends, etc... informing them of the attack. At that point, any kind of explosion at or near the other venues would create sheer panic. Who knows what the casualty toll would be? It would be immense. And captured on live TV. Okay, 'nough said.
I hesitate to even mention such a scenario just in case some wackjob terrorist would stumble in here and read it.
But, I feel that it is a scenario that could easily become reality if people with alot more smarts than me don't think it through and try to come up with a plan ahead of time.
God knows there are thousands of other possibilities. This is just one. I know.