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Suitcase Nukes Said Unlikely To Exist
AP via Yahoo! ^ | 11/10/2007 | Katherine Shrader

Posted on 11/10/2007 1:01:10 PM PST by zencat

Members of Congress have warned about the dangers of suitcase nuclear weapons. Hollywood has made television shows and movies about them. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency has alerted Americans to a threat — information the White House includes on its Web site. But government experts and intelligence officials say such a threat gets vastly more attention than it deserves. These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 24; nukes; suitcase; suitcasenukes; wmd
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1 posted on 11/10/2007 1:01:11 PM PST by zencat
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To: zencat

I find it hard to believe that a bunch of lawyers in Congress who haven’t been in school in 30 years and cannot even comprehend basic science alone nuclear physics.


2 posted on 11/10/2007 1:04:27 PM PST by Perdogg (Elections have consequences.)
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To: zencat

This has been known and discussed for years on FR.


3 posted on 11/10/2007 1:05:30 PM PST by ASA Vet
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To: zencat

I didn’t pay a lot of attention to George Tenet’s book, but wasn’t he “worried” about a nuclear device in the days after 9/11?


4 posted on 11/10/2007 1:05:43 PM PST by gusopol3
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To: Perdogg
I find it hard to believe that a bunch of lawyers in Congress who haven’t been in school in 30 years and cannot even comprehend basic science alone nuclear physics.

I think you posted the above before you meant to. Can you restate what you meant please?

jas3
5 posted on 11/10/2007 1:06:21 PM PST by jas3
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To: zencat
Never underestimate the determination of a Jihadi Martyr.


6 posted on 11/10/2007 1:06:47 PM PST by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: zencat
alerted Americans to a threat

Then what? If you find one soak it in a bucket of water?

7 posted on 11/10/2007 1:07:22 PM PST by RightWhale (anti-razors are pro-life)
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To: zencat

U.S. backpack nukes:

http://www.active-duty.com/BackPackNukes.htm


8 posted on 11/10/2007 1:08:18 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: zencat
The M-388


9 posted on 11/10/2007 1:08:26 PM PST by Perdogg (Elections have consequences.)
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To: zencat
highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune

As if those three ever stopped anything from happening.

10 posted on 11/10/2007 1:08:40 PM PST by Domandred (Eagles soar, but unfortunately weasels never get sucked into jet engines)
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To: zencat

However, we should still be very worried about a cargo van nuke.


11 posted on 11/10/2007 1:09:43 PM PST by BigBobber
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To: zencat

Chemical or biological weapons are much more likely. Easy to transport and there is no real practical physical restriction on how deadly they can get.


12 posted on 11/10/2007 1:10:03 PM PST by nosofar
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To: zencat
It takes serious design work to make them small, but it can be done.

This one weighed at under 100 pounds. Sub-kiloton yield. It's name was the Davy Crockett.

13 posted on 11/10/2007 1:10:55 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: zencat

14 posted on 11/10/2007 1:12:25 PM PST by Dumpster Baby ("Hope somebody finds me before the rats do .....")
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To: Perdogg
These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune.

That will be most comforting for the victims' families.

15 posted on 11/10/2007 1:13:37 PM PST by Hazwaste (Now with added lemony freshness!)
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To: zencat
Maybe if they put it in one of these?

16 posted on 11/10/2007 1:14:59 PM PST by ThomasThomas
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To: Perdogg

Physics?
Is that the class Ted Kennedy paid some other guy to take his final for? And got caught.


17 posted on 11/10/2007 1:18:59 PM PST by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: zencat
How big would that be? "Like SUV-sized. Way bigger than a suitcase," she said.

That makes me feel a LOT safer....

18 posted on 11/10/2007 1:20:41 PM PST by OCC
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To: zencat
The thing about nukes is that nowadays, they're almost impossible to conceal for any significant length of time unless they're way underground.

I think biological and chemical weapons are a much greater threat, though our biosensor technology has made great strides in the last few years.

19 posted on 11/10/2007 1:20:45 PM PST by jpl (Dear Al Gore: it's 3:00 A.M., do you know where your drug addicted son is?)
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To: zencat

Does it matter?

They can drive a huge truck in from Mexico.


20 posted on 11/10/2007 1:21:03 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: zencat

Even if someone did manage to take possession of an old soviet nuke, regardless of the size, don’t these devices have a limited shelf life? Isn’t there alot of maintenance that needs to be performed? And, aren’t there components that need to be replaced over time?


21 posted on 11/10/2007 1:22:18 PM PST by dadgum
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To: ThomasThomas

How much would you have to tip the skycap for that one!?


22 posted on 11/10/2007 1:23:31 PM PST by bubbacluck
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To: zencat

Oh good...It CAN’T fit in a suitcase, but it CAN fit in one of the thousands of containers that enter our ports everyday. I feel better.


23 posted on 11/10/2007 1:25:03 PM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

“They can drive a huge truck in from Mexico.”

Yeah but that truck doesn’t have brakes and will probably have an accident way before it gets here. Bad for the family in the minivan that burns to death but at least no nuclear explosion.


24 posted on 11/10/2007 1:25:13 PM PST by driftdiver
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To: driftdiver
Can it fit in here?


25 posted on 11/10/2007 1:28:30 PM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: zencat
The smallest US warhead is the W54. It was used in the Davy Crockett shown above in an older post.

It also came as a special demolition device in a backpack form.

There might have been no official 'suitcase' nukes per se, but warheads small enough to fit in large suitcases do exist.

Small warheads do require more maintenance than large ones.


26 posted on 11/10/2007 1:30:58 PM PST by varyouga ("Rove is some mysterious God of politics & mind control" - DU 10-24-06)
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To: dadgum
Yes. Cold-war era small nukes need much more frequent maintenance than large ones.
27 posted on 11/10/2007 1:33:54 PM PST by varyouga ("Rove is some mysterious God of politics & mind control" - DU 10-24-06)
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To: Billthedrill
Did you ever see what happened when they tested it? IIRC the jeep that launched it got blown over by the shock wave. It wasn’t exactly long range.
28 posted on 11/10/2007 1:34:39 PM PST by Woodman ("One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." PW)
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To: Woodman

The max range of one of those was only slightly outside the wounding range of the bomb. A bad shot would probably take out the launcher.

It was supposedly a ‘last stand’ weapon. Hence the name Davy Crockett.


29 posted on 11/10/2007 1:39:40 PM PST by varyouga ("Rove is some mysterious God of politics & mind control" - DU 10-24-06)
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To: zencat

Oh God, Joe Farah must be having heart palpitations, he just lost 1/3 of his income!

And that “Russian Colonel” that Farah developed into a media talking head, that guy is totally screwed out of a job now!


30 posted on 11/10/2007 1:41:31 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: Drango

Yes, that is what concerns me.

Not a suitcase nuke or an iPod nuke but a container nuke in an American port city or along a railroad track in middle America.


31 posted on 11/10/2007 1:43:49 PM PST by trumandogz (Hunter Thompson 2008)
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To: JerseyHighlander

The last I heard Joe Farah was out hunting pterodactyls.


32 posted on 11/10/2007 1:46:05 PM PST by trumandogz (Hunter Thompson 2008)
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To: Woodman

Here’s one test:

http://www.sonicbomb.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=56


33 posted on 11/10/2007 1:47:51 PM PST by dadgum
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To: ASA Vet

That Morgan Freedman movie had it right. The thing had to be shipped in in a packing crate. It’s the shielding. Hard enough to reduce it to the size of an artillery shell.


34 posted on 11/10/2007 1:48:43 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: trumandogz
This is from the Scott Pelley interview with George Tenet on 60 Minutes:

"And we don't torture people. Now, listen to me. Now, listen to me. I want you to listen to me," Tenet says. "The context is it's post-9/11. I've got reports of nuclear weapons in New York City, apartment buildings that are gonna be blown up, planes that are gonna fly into airports all over again. Plot lines that I don't know – I don't know what's going on inside the United States. And I'm struggling to find out where the next disaster is going to occur. Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through. The palpable fear that we felt on the basis of the fact that there was so much we did not know."

Like him or not, the CIA was worried about them post 9/11 leads me to believe they are a real threat. It's the leftist line to put on this faux bravado that the "threat is overblown, " just like the Soviet threat supposedly was in the cold war.

35 posted on 11/10/2007 1:51:12 PM PST by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

Again I fear that if a Nuke does come in it will be packaged in a shipping container on since NYC is a port city it could arrive there.


36 posted on 11/10/2007 1:56:47 PM PST by trumandogz (Hunter Thompson 2008)
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To: zencat
But government experts and intelligence officials say such a threat gets vastly more attention than it deserves.

Are these the same government experts that are trying to convince us of the dangers of second hand smoke and global warming?

37 posted on 11/10/2007 1:57:41 PM PST by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Dumpster Baby

Read the article — it specifically discusses how off the mark Weldon’s “suitcase nuke” is.


38 posted on 11/10/2007 1:59:15 PM PST by tyke
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To: zencat

“a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune.”

Exactly the kind of thing the KGB was good at...

Kurt Weldon showed a mockup of a suitcase nuke during a hearing on Russian espionage chaired by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana), on 24 January 2000.

Not a lot is known about these things, but the Russians were scared shiiteless in the mid-90’s that the Chechens may have gotten ahold of one.

Alexander Lebed, a former Soviet General, tried to account for them all, but no one really has any idea how many were produced. Estimates run from 85-500.

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies states that no alive really has an idea of how many of these were produced, if any, and what condition they may be in...

In short, don’t dismiss them out of hand, but don’t hit the panic switch yet, either...


39 posted on 11/10/2007 1:59:15 PM PST by tcrlaf (You can lead a Liberal to LOGIC, but you can't make it THINK)
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To: ThomasThomas

Now that’s funny.


40 posted on 11/10/2007 1:59:39 PM PST by tyke
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To: zencat

If the terrorists check their suitcase nukes on a Delta Airlines flight their chances of a successful operation will be greatly reduced.


41 posted on 11/10/2007 2:02:37 PM PST by Rb ver. 2.0 (The WOT will end when pork products are weaponized)
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To: zencat

The odds of a terrorist nuke going off in a US city are very small. There are dozens of low-tech methods for the terrorists to choose from that would cause widespread chaos and economic havoc. Imagine a couple of dozen D.C. snipers popping up at random around the country, for example. People would be afraid to leave their homes for days, if not weeks.


42 posted on 11/10/2007 2:07:25 PM PST by tyke
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To: OCC

Have you got a bunker to go to? Congress sure does. If the threat wasn’t there, why do they ( the appointed ones) have one or two to retire to? I don’t have “bunker busters”, but if I did - - -


43 posted on 11/10/2007 2:08:13 PM PST by hkp123
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To: tyke

Ditto that.

It doesn’t take a genius to come up with a dozen low-tech/no-tech ways to cause enormous panic and economic loss. It’s the price we pay for living in an open society, I guess.


44 posted on 11/10/2007 2:19:32 PM PST by dadgum
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: zencat
Probability less than 50% in unlikely!


46 posted on 11/10/2007 2:29:04 PM PST by ricks_place
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To: ricks_place

All this makes me so confident the USA will not be attacked by lunatics with a suitcase full of nukes!!

A small package of Biological germs is another question all together!


47 posted on 11/10/2007 2:33:20 PM PST by Mojohemi
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To: zencat

Oh man, it was all a scam, those suitcase nukes. Hmm? Who should I believe anymore.

Guess we won’t know until one of those suitcase nukes is unleashed on a city. Then folks might believe it.


48 posted on 11/10/2007 2:36:30 PM PST by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: zencat
"These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune."

True. But nothing is stopping anyone from getting one of our mini nukes and putting it in a suitcase. The mini nuke would still require the usual upkeep however.

49 posted on 11/10/2007 2:42:32 PM PST by Nathan Zachary
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To: varyouga
Example

w48- Mechanical time delay or proximity airburst, or contact Yield: 72 T

50 posted on 11/10/2007 3:18:40 PM PST by Nathan Zachary
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