From CNN, “‘High risk’ of WMD attack in decade,” .
WASHINGTON — The chance of an attack with a weapon of mass destruction somewhere in the world in the next 10 years runs as high as 70 percent, arms experts have predicted in a U.S. survey.
Most of the more than 80 experts surveyed in the report released on Tuesday believed one or two new countries will acquire nuclear weapons in the next five years, with two to five countries joining the nuclear club during the next decade.
The survey, commissioned by U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, also showed that four out of five people said their country was not spending enough on non-proliferation efforts.
The most likely scenario for a nuclear attack would be for terrorists to use a weapon they made themselves with material acquired on the black market, the survey said.
“The results underscore the need to improve security around tactical nuclear weapons and nuclear material in Russia and expand our ability to detect transfer of weapons or materials from rogue states to terrorist organizations,” said a summary of a report outlining the survey results…
And from the New Duranty Times, “U.S. Borders Vulnerable, Witnesses Say,” with thanks to EPG.
WASHINGTON – The federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorists from smuggling a nuclear weapon into the United States are so poorly managed and reliant on ineffective equipment that the nation remains extremely vulnerable to a catastrophic attack, scientists and a government auditor warned a House committee on Tuesday.
The assessment, coming nearly four years after the September 2001 attacks and after the investment of about $800 million by the United States government, prompted expressions of frustration and disappointment from lawmakers…
Four federal departments – Homeland Security, Defense, Energy and State – are involved in a global campaign to try to prevent the illicit acquisition, movement and use of radioactive materials, which includes efforts to prevent theft of nuclear materials from former Soviet stockpiles and inspecting cargo containers on arrival from around the world.
Dirty bombs, crude devices that widely spread low levels of radiation, are relatively easy to detect. But highly enriched uranium, a crucial ingredient in a nuclear bomb, could easily be shielded with less than a quarter-inch of lead, making it “very likely to escape detection by passive radiation monitors” now installed at ports and border stations, Benn Tannenbaum, a physicist and senior program associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, testified at Tuesday’s hearing.
The monitors are unable to distinguish between naturally occurring radiation from everyday items like ceramic tile and dangerous material like enriched uranium…