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Bush: fear of bin Laden nukes
UPI ^ | October 29, 2001 | Richard Sale

Posted on 10/29/2001 7:45:54 PM PST by Timesink

Bush: fear of bin Laden nukes
Bush: fear of bin Laden nukes
By RICHARD SALE, UPI Terrorism Correspondent

   The Bush administration is concerned that the al Qaida network of accused terrorist
mastermind Osama bin Laden might try to use a small nuclear weapon in a super-spectacular
strike to decapitate the U.S. political leadership, according to a half dozen serving
and former U.S. government and intelligence officials.

   "They believe it's a real possibility," said one former senior U.S. government official,
adding that secret plans for protecting the U.S. president and his successors in the
event of a nuclear attack were in place.

   The Bush administration believes that bin Laden -- the prime suspect in the Sept.
11 terror attacks -- may be in possession of one or more small, portable nuclear weapons,
according to one former senior U.S. intelligence official. Other experts agree that
the danger is real. "We're not at all discounting that possibility," agreed Rose Gottemoeller,
senior associate and Russian weapons expert at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace.

   Bin Laden's efforts to get hold of nuclear material are no secret. Peter Probst,
an anti-terrorism analyst formerly with the Pentagon's Office of Special Operations
Low-Intensity Conflict says the Saudi fugitive "has been obsessed with nuclear weapons."

   During his trial for involvement in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. Embassies in East
Africa, Jamal Ahmad al-Fadl, an al Qaida operative, outlined bin Laden's efforts to
spend $1.5 million to obtain a cylinder of enriched uranium. Plans were made, said
al-Fadl, to test uranium samples to see if they could be made into a bomb. The project
fell through, he said, according to court documents.

   But Monday, the Times of London cited unnamed Western intelligence sources as saying
bin Laden had obtained nuclear materials from Pakistan.

   And there have also been several reports -- variously citing unnamed intelligence
sources from Israel, Russia and Arab nations -- about bin Laden's attempts to purchase
a small nuclear device from the arsenal of a former Soviet republic, through terrorist
or mafia groups in Chechnya or Central Asia.

   According to Probst, what the U.S. intelligence community fears is that tactical
nuclear weapons of one kind or another have been sold to terrorists via corrupt Russian
military officers or the Russian or Chechen mafias with whom bin Laden is known to
have had contact.

   Probst explained that portable nuclear weapons were developed by the Soviets in the
1960s. They were designed for use by their Spetznatz special operations forces against
NATO command and control sites.

   Until recently, the best information the United States had about these weapons described
them as "suitcase bombs," although former CIA counter-terrorism expert, Vince Cannistraro,
says that they are the size of a footlocker and Gottemoeller adds that they actually
come in two sections, "both rather cumbersome."

   Cannistraro denounces reports that bin Laden has obtained such weapons as "total

   But a former senior U.S. intelligence and Eastern Bloc specialist cautioned that
"the Soviets were able to build weapons of such smallness and lightness that they
could be carried by one person," pointing out that one U.S. nuclear warhead weighs
less than 60 lbs.

   While much has been written about suitcase bombs, until now, nothing has appeared
in any public report about these smaller "backpack" nuclear weapons, according to
several U.S. government sources.

   One U.S. government expert said that the United States gained new knowledge of the
backpack weapons in the 1990s through Russian double agents run by the CIA. One U.S.
source familiar with the program said: "We had defectors who trained on backpack weapons
and who bluntly told the agency that everything they knew about the devices was wrong.
We didn't understand how they were assembled or how they were to be used."

   In 1998, this new information was put into a CIA "blue border" report, meaning it
"contains material from a foreign source of the greatest sensitivity," a former senior
U.S. intelligence official said. The report was presented to then President Bill Clinton
and his National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. The report was so secret, the two
men were only allowed to initial the document before it was returned to the agency's
custody, U.S. government officials said.

   Berger's assistant told United Press International that he declined to comment because,
"It's an intelligence matter."

   But the Federation of American Scientists says, "nuclear weapons that can fit in
a very heavy, normal-sized suitcase are a real possibility."

   "The possibility that these devices have been stolen and sold to terrorist groups
is nearly anyone's worst nightmare," said Carey Sublette of the Federation of American

   General Aleksandr Lebed, the former Russian security czar, said in 1997 that several
nuclear suitcase bombs and tactical nukes had disappeared from the Russian arsenal.

   In testimony before the Congressional Military Research and Development Subcommittee
in October 1997, Lebed said there were bombs made to look like suitcases that could
be detonated by one person with less than 30-minute preparation.

   Lebed also said that nuclear bombs only 24 x 16 x 8 inches were distributed among
Soviet military intelligence units. He made no mention of nuclear backpack bombs.

   Probst told UPI he believes that Lebed is accurate about missing Soviet tactical
nuclear weapons. "I firmly believe that some were sold to groups by corrupt Russian
military, probably in the Central Asian republics," he said. On Oct. 28, 1999, Rep.
Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) said that he believed that some 48 Russian nuclear devices remained
unaccounted for.

   "We simply don't know what was floating around out there when the Soviet Union dissolved,"
especially in the Central Asian republics, an administration official said. "That's
one of the questions we need to ask: what are the threats?"

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
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I'd feel a lot more comfortable if the news media weren't publishing material that directly contradicts each other every five minutes.
1 posted on 10/29/2001 7:45:54 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
What if they took out the NY Senators?

Could our nation survive?

2 posted on 10/29/2001 7:49:35 PM PST by Abcdefg
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To: Timesink
Berger, Clinton, = these people never learned to keep and maintain national security. They're mouths go on.....
3 posted on 10/29/2001 7:49:40 PM PST by onyx
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To: Timesink
As much as I disagree (and do I ever!) with both Bush and Ashcroft (and the Keystone Comedy Cops in Congress) in their unmitigated attack on our Constitutional liberties in recent weeks in the name of "security," I'll be DAMNED if I want to see ANY FOREIGN POWERS touch a HAIR ON THEIR HEADS!

Unfortunately, the Government is its own worst enemy here. Instead of DISARMING the American citizenry, the President and his Attorney General should be saying, "Okay, unorganized militia: Break out the guns and ammo and keep your powder dry. We don't expect any able-bodied men (of sound mind) to leave home without at least one weapon on his person." In the meantime, let's PRAY for Divine Protection on our fair land, her leaders, and her people.

4 posted on 10/29/2001 7:52:33 PM PST by BenR2
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: onyx
Don't forget Fatso Richardson. Has anybody seen him on FNC lately? I sent Roger Ailes an email saying it was a disgrace that Fatso was an FNC "consultant" on security matters and I haven't seen him for a week or two. Could I have had an effect?
6 posted on 10/29/2001 7:59:46 PM PST by clintonh8r
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To: Timesink
Naw, those fun-loving, peaceful sons of islam couldn't do a thing like that. "Swear to God," they'll tell us, the very name of their religion means peace, and all they want to do is live in tranquil brotherhood with their fellow ragheads, tolerating people of the book, stomping women and an occasional dog when a woman can't be found to abuse, and things of that sort. "Swear to God, why in name of Allah will we risk all islamic people by doing the nuke thing? We peaceable. It's the Jews who are after you. Or the Koreans. Or the drug cartel. Or the right wing extremists. Not us, despite what so many islamic people might say, and despite the visual evidence you might see on on television where a lot of ragheads are burning American flags and all that sort of festive and exuberant islamity. And if you believe me, sign yourself by the name I use--Ibn Had Alot."
7 posted on 10/29/2001 8:03:34 PM PST by mathurine
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To: Timesink
I'm sticking with my prediction that there will be no mega-atrocities launched until we attack Iraq. I think Saddam got his revenge on 9/11. Now he just wants to stay alive. A MAD-type deterrent is only useful so long as you don't have to use it.

Of course, we are in unknown territory here, so nothing is certain.

8 posted on 10/29/2001 8:04:28 PM PST by Clinton's a rapist
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To: Timesink
Another reason to decentralize the government - Washington's too concentrated. Bush needs to let his wishes be known just in case. If they take out an American City, all bets are off. Allah can sort them out...
9 posted on 10/29/2001 8:05:04 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: Clinton's a rapist
Insightful comments:

I'm sticking with my prediction that there will be no mega-atrocities launched until we attack Iraq. I think Saddam got his revenge on 9/11. Now he just wants to stay alive. A MAD-type deterrent is only useful so long as you don't have to use it.

Of course, we are in unknown territory here, so nothing is certain.

10 posted on 10/29/2001 8:08:25 PM PST by GOPJ
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To: Timesink
Is there any doubt that if this really happened the state and county govt's would step in to fill the power vacumm in a New York Minute? This press is the most neurotic group of people I've ever seen.
11 posted on 10/29/2001 8:14:35 PM PST by joeyman
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Any nukes detonated on US soil will be a death sentence for Islam and the putrid countries is has under its domination.
12 posted on 10/29/2001 8:28:12 PM PST by clintonh8r
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To: Timesink
Maybe we should had the children of America send TWO dollars each!
13 posted on 10/29/2001 8:33:45 PM PST by Liberty Ship
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To: BenR2
Yup, we can walk around with M16s, AK47s and shotguns, ranting and raving while these towel heads are blowing up bridges, tunnels and the rest of America's infrastructure.

Yea, I have quite a few firearms, and I'm keepin' my powder dry. But that's not going to stop a truck bomb parked on the Golden Gate Bridge, or in New York's Lincoln Tunnel, is it? Your solution sure didn't prevent 9/11.

See Oklahoma bombing by Timothy McVeigh. The needle was too good for that bastard!
14 posted on 10/29/2001 8:36:05 PM PST by Cobra64
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To: Timesink
Have they heard of a PRE-EMPTIVE NUCLEAR STRIKE?

Or is the P.C. crowd (the Media and the State Dept.) going to intimidate us until doomsday?

15 posted on 10/29/2001 8:40:26 PM PST by FReethesheeples
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To: Abcdefg
What if they took out everybody BUT the NY-New England & CA-Left-Lib-Dem-Fem Senators

(say DiFi, Boxer, Hitlery, Schumer, Biden, Dodd, Cantwell, Landreau, Stabenow, Feingold, Daschle, Durbin, the No. Dakota Socialist Twins, & the Widow Carnahan from MO)

: What wouold we do then? What would happen to the Country?

(Oh, yes, Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, and Dickie Gephardt aand a half dozen other hard lefties, would be the only ones to survive in the House:

That would be the true nightmare/doomsday scenario!!

Could the nation survive then?

Would we wnat to?

Inquiring minds want to know....

16 posted on 10/29/2001 8:49:27 PM PST by FReethesheeples
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one little SADM is not considered a MAD device


17 posted on 10/29/2001 9:07:09 PM PST by randystone
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To: Angus_Day
In the year 2032 a small boy and his father were strolling through New York City when they came upon a huge park. There was a big plaque engraved with many names. The little boy inquired as to the nature of the space and his daddy told him:

"Son, this is the site of the former World Trade Center."

The boy asked what had happened to it and why was it so important and the father replied:
"They were two 110 story glass and steel towers that represented the gleaming jewel of our country in our strength and dedication to freedom. They were knocked down by Arab Terrorists in the year 2001.
The child was silent for a loooooong moment and then he looked up at his dad and asked in wonder:

"Daddy....WHAT'S AN ARAB?"

18 posted on 10/29/2001 9:14:39 PM PST by ExSoldier
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To: FReethesheeples

On what? New York?

The nukes are already here in country !

19 posted on 10/29/2001 9:18:13 PM PST by america-rules
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To: FReethesheeples
I agree with you about the PC crowd... I am so sick and tired of their whining about our hitting a couple of residential areas or non targets... sheesh can you just imagine what General Patton would have to say to these whiners??? Oh Lord, where is he when you need him... I just wish Rumsfeld and the Generals would just directly tell the media that something they ask is just " none of their business... they are not on the access list and therefore do not have the need to know"! Thanks for permitting the rant!
20 posted on 10/29/2001 9:34:12 PM PST by celtic gal
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