WASHINGTON – Nine days after WND broke a story on the presence of al-Qaida nuclear weapons inside the U.S., a Democratic Party national security advisory panel charged President Bush was not doing enough to prevent terrorists from detonating a nuclear bomb in a U.S. city – calling it “the gravest threat facing Americans today.”
In a report issued yesterday, the group, headed by former Clinton administration Defense Secretary William Perry, said Bush is taking “insufficient actions” to counter the threat.
“The administration is fighting a global war on terror but not yet a global war on weapons of mass destruction,” the report says.
The National Security Advisory Group, including retired Army generals John Shalikashvili and Wesley Clark, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former national security adviser Samuel Berger, was joined by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in saying North Korea and Iran pose bigger threats today than before the war on terrorism was launched. They also said programs aimed at preventing “loose nukes” have not been getting enough attention.
“This report says we must keep our eye on the ball,” said Reid.
According to captured al-Qaida leaders and documents, al-Qaida has a plan called “American Hiroshima” involving the multiple detonation of nuclear weapons already smuggled into the U.S. over the Mexican border with the help of the MS-13 street gang and other organized crime groups, WND reported more than a week ago.
Al-Qaida has obtained at least 40 nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union – including suitcase nukes, nuclear mines, artillery shells and even some missile warheads, according to the report developed by WND’s premium, online intelligence newsletter Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. In addition, documents captured in Afghanistan show al-Qaida had plans to assemble its own nuclear weapons with fissile material it purchased on the black market.
Besides trying to detonate its own nuclear weapons already planted in the U.S., military sources also say there is evidence to suggest al-Qaida is paying former Russian special forces Spetznaz to assist the terrorist group in locating nuclear weapons formerly concealed inside the U.S. by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Osama bin Laden’s group is also paying nuclear scientists from Russia and Pakistan to maintain its existing nuclear arsenal and assemble additional weapons with the materials it has invested hundreds of millions in procuring over a period of 10 years.
The plans for the devastating nuclear attack on the U.S. have been under development for more than a decade. It is designed as a final deadly blow of defeat to the U.S., which is seen by al-Qaida and its allies as “the Great Satan.”
At least half the nuclear weapons in the al-Qaida arsenal were obtained for cash from the Chechen terrorist allies.
Many of the details of the planned nuclear terror attack are found in an upcoming book, “The Al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime and the Coming Apocalypse,” by Paul L. Williams, a former FBI consultant.
According to Williams, former CIA Director George Tenet informed President Bush one month after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that at least two suitcase nukes had reached al-Qaida operatives in the U.S.
According to the author, the news sent Bush “through the roof,” prompting him to order his national security team to give nuclear terrorism priority over every other threat to America. The president reportedly ordered the building of underground bunkers away from major metropolitan areas for use by federal government managers following an attack.
A follow-up report in G2 Bulletin and WND said at least nine major U.S. cities, including New York and Washington, are prime targets for the al-Qaida nuclear terrorists. Osama bin Laden’s preferred dates for attacks include Aug. 6, the anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing in 1945, Sept. 11 and May 14, the anniversary of the re-creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima attack will be marked next month.
“The administration has failed policies on weapons programs in North Korea and Iran, on securing loose nuclear material in Russia and elsewhere and on strengthening the world’s nuclear non-proliferation system,” said Pelosi in her own statement. “The lack of leadership by the Bush administration in these areas has made the American people less safe than they should be.”
The Democratic leaders embraced the key recommendations of the report, “Worst Weapons in Worst Hands: U.S. Inaction on the Nuclear Terror Threat Since 9/11, And A Path Of Action,” to expedite the process to secure all loose nuclear material, and strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Reid said: “It’s time we did everything we can to protect Americans and focus in on the threats we face,” Reid said. “This report makes very serious recommendations, and Democrats intend to use them to put this country back on the right path. I hope my Republican colleagues will join us in taking up these recommendations and keeping Americans safe.”
“The gravest threat facing Americans today is a terrorist detonating a nuclear bomb in one of our cities,” said the report. “The National Security Advisory Group judges that the Bush administration is taking insufficient actions to counter this threat. The administration is fighting a global war on terror, but not yet a global war on WMD.”
The Democratic group believes North Korea’s efforts at becoming a nuclear power “might still be stopped diplomatically through the Six-Party talks, but to have a chance, President Bush must put an end to the debate within his administration between those who favor diplomacy and those who favor pressure. Diplomacy or pressure is not a choice; it is a sequence. The U.S. should devise a Plan A for diplomatic success to employ first, and then a contingent Plan B for pressure to use if diplomacy fails. Plan B serves two purposes: to aid Plan A by showing North Korea the penalty for failing to end its nuclear program; and to create a realistic prospect of containing and ultimately eliminating the nuclear threat from North Korea.”
The group also calls for closer cooperation between the U.S. and Russia.