Editor’s note: Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin is a weekly online, subscription intelligence news service from the creator of WorldNetDaily.com – a journalist who has been developing sources around the world for the last 25 years.
Security, police and intelligence officials in Kiev have formed a joint task force to examine possible purchase of nuclear materials by U.S.-based terrorists – including one package addressed to
America, reports the latest issue of Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The investigation followed a discovery last week of a radioactive package seized in the capital’s airport. The package was addressed to the U.S., according to the online subscription intelligence newsletter.
An official with the Ukraine Ministry of Emergencies said the package was emitting radiation ”at a rate which is thousands of times higher than the acceptable norm in Kiev of 0.05
Mykola Karabet, an officer with the Ministry of Emergencies, said the parcel was found in a luggage depot awaiting shipment. He claimed the material was packed in a way that did not endanger
Information of the discovery was immediately shared with U.S. officials who alerted U.S. Customs and the FBI, according to G2 Bulletin. The U.S. is said to be on the alert for packages
containing hazardous material coming from the former Soviet Union.
Diplomatic sources in Kiev said the discovery of the package was not the first of its kind and that U.S. officials in the Ukrainian capital said there was every reason to be concerned over the latest
Throughout the Cold War, the Kremlin kept an iron grip on the Soviet nuclear arsenal through an array of elaborate procedures – from stringent border screenings to multiple, decentralized
stockpiles – designed to ensure the safety of its nuclear deterrent. But the collapse of the Soviet Union left Moscow with a sprawling, insecure nuclear infrastructure.
Despite some progress in decommissioning and protection, only one-third of Russia’s estimated 600 metric tons of weapons-usable nuclear material is currently secure. Meanwhile, the Russian military, the primary guardian of post-Soviet nuclear security, is destitute and ridden with criminality.
A thriving nuclear black market has sprung up in Central Asia, Europe and the Balkans. In one high-profile incident in 1995, Ukrainian officials in Kiev apprehended two former Russian
soldiers carrying 13 pounds of stolen highly enriched uranium – half the fissile material necessary for a nuclear bomb. In another, authorities in St. Petersburg, Russia, nabbed a Russian nuclear
scientist and his accomplice in 1999 for smuggling weapons-grade californium from rusting Russian nuclear icebreakers to St. Petersburg-based crime groups.
In all, close to 100 nuclear smuggling attempts have been thwarted by Russian and international law enforcement over the last five years. But countless others have gone undetected. In 1995, German intelligence agencies were already estimating that there were nearly 200 incidents of nuclear trafficking annually. And last year, a more conservative estimate by the International Atomic
Energy Agency officially confirmed that more than 370 smuggling incidents have taken place since 1993.
Even more alarming is that Russia’s nuclear complex has become a bargain basement for terrorists. In 1993, the Islamic Jihad organization, a terrorist group affiliated with Iran’s radical Revolutionary Guard, the Pasdaran, made a serious bid to acquire nuclear materiel from one of Russia’s ailing ”nuclear cities.”
Since then, other groups have gotten into the game. Osama bin Laden is believed to have paid millions to acquire a Soviet-era ”suitcase bomb” in 1998, and to have subsequently enlisted
Chechen extremists to raid Russian nuclear facilities. In all, more than 100 terrorist groups around the world are estimated by the United Nations to currently have the tools – and the fissile material – necessary for some form of nuclear capability.