Jihadists discuss mass destruction. From The Australian, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
IN the past 12 months, influential Islamist jihadist websites have carried an increased discussion on the ethics and strategy of using weapons of mass destruction as part of the global terror campaign. In the week when state and federal governments in Australia have announced tougher rules to monitor and restrict possible and suspected terrorists, we have to take this discussion very seriously.
The Western policy-makers who deal with this do so cautiously. Virtually nobody in authority is being alarmist. But it is the WMD, especially the nuclear, dimension that raises terrorism from the spectrum of gruesome criminality through sustained insurgency and up to genuine strategic threat.
In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal two weeks ago Prime Minister John Howard, in expressing bitter disappointment at the UN’s failure to do anything serious about nuclear non-proliferation, noted that “al-Qa’ida has made no secret of its ambitions to acquire — and to use — WMD”.
The authoritative discussion of this option among several key religious figures in the global jihadist network should give us serious pause. Former foreign minister Gareth Evans, now head of the International Crisis Group, while acknowledging the real dangers, was this week urging caution and restraint in our response to terrorism.
But his words on nuclear terrorism were sobering: “We know very well how limited our capacity is, and always will be, to deny access to terrorist groups to chemical and especially biological weapons. But the same is true of nuclear weapons.”
He spoke of the “stockpiles of fissile material that litter the landscape of the former Soviet Russia, and after the exposure in Pakistan we know far more than we did about the global market for nuclear technology, materials and expertise, and all of it is alarming … the level of technical sophistication required to make a nuclear explosive device is certainly above the backyard level but it is not beyond competent professionals … and there is enough [highly enriched] uranium and plutonium lying around now to make some 240,000 such weapons. Much of it — particularly in Russia — is not just poorly but appallingly guarded.”
Read it all.