WASHINGTON – Recent al-Qaida attacks using primitive bombs and inflicting relatively small numbers of casualties have persuaded some that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network has been unable to secure weapons of mass destruction or has been unable to smuggle them into the U.S. and other key target countries.
In the wake of a series of reports from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin about the nuclear terrorism threat, some skeptics of al-Qaida’s ability to detonate nuclear weapons inside the U.S. most often suggest the problems with maintenance and technical attention.
Others suggest Osama bin Laden may have purchased duds on the black market. Others point out that the triggers on suitcase nukes decay rapidly and have short half lives. The nuclear cores, after a time, fall below the critical mass threshold, say the optimists. Even the shells are subject to contamination over time if not properly maintained, they say.
Unfortunately, finds Paul Williams, author of the upcoming book, “The Al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime and the Coming Apocalypse,” there’s little point in assessing the possibilities with rose-colored glasses.
“The belief that bin Laden simply purchased these weapons for millions of dollars and stored them within his cave without concern for maintenance has its basis in the erroneous and prejudicial notion that he is a backward Bedouin warrior without knowledge of sophisticated weaponry, rather than a highly trained engineer and one of the most gifted military tacticians in the annals of modern history,” he writes.
Williams dismisses suggestions that bin Laden hasn’t taken into account some obvious problems with nuclear weapons.
“Bin Laden has been extremely mindful of proper maintenance,” he writes. “As soon as he obtained the weapons, he paid an amount estimated from $60 to $100 million for the assistance of nuclear scientists from Russia, China and Pakistan. From 1996 to 2001, bin Laden also kept a score of Spetznaz technicians from the former Soviet Union on his payroll. These technicians had been trained to open and operate the weapons in order to prevent any unauthorized use. To simplify the process of activation, the scientists and technicians came up with a way of hot-wiring the small nukes to the bodies of Muslim agents who long for immediate martyrdom and immediate elevation to the seventh heaven.”
Other skeptics ask: “If bin Laden has nukes, why hasn’t he used them? Why would he wait? If he has successfully smuggled them into the U.S., why haven’t any gone off yet?”
Williams and other G2 Bulletin intelligence sources explain that one of bin Laden’s defining characteristics is patience.
“He started plotting the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania when he was in Sudan in 1993,” points out Williams. “The attack on the USS Cole was more than two years in the making; and 10 years passed between the first attack on the World Trade Center and the second.”
Williams said recruits at al-Qaida training camps are instructed to repeat this throughout the day: “I will be patient until Patience is outworn by patience.”
Intelligence analysts and sources disagree on the details of the way bin Laden’s “American Hiroshima” plan unfolds. Some G2 Bulletin sources emphasize bin Laden’s commitment to re-enacting the 1945 attack on Japan with one nuclear detonation, followed by another days later.
Williams, however, sees a much more devastating, coordinated, all-out, surprise attack coming.
“The next attack, according to al-Qaida defectors and informants, will take place simultaneously at various sites throughout the country,” he writes. “Designated targets include New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston, Las Vegas, and Valdez, Alaska, where the tankers are filled with oil from the Trans-Alaska pipeline. To orchestrate such an incredible event requires not only the shipment of the nukes into the United States but also the establishment of cells, the training of sleeper agents, the selection of sites, and the preparation of the weapons without detection from federal, state or local law enforcement officials. Unlike 9-11, that cost less than $350,000, this event already has cost a king’s ransom, and bin Laden will not waste the billions in expenditures, the years of planning and his coveted ‘crown jewels’ on an attack that is ill-planned, poorly timed and carelessly coordinated.”
Other sources interpret some of the same information, based on captured al-Qaida operatives and documents as well as defectors, differently. They project an escalating series of attacks, each followed by blackmail demands upon the U.S. government and the American people.
In any event, both kinds of spectacular nuclear terror attacks require pinpoint coordination and secure communication.
Williams also speculates that the delay in launching attacks with weapons already smuggled inside the U.S. could be due to reports al-Qaida is determined to locate tactical nuclear weapons that were forward-deployed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. These weapons were reportedly buried at remote sites throughout the country for recovery by Soviet agents.
“There is no doubt that the Soviets stored material in this country,” says Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Research. “The question is what and where.”
Bin Laden may have a considerable head-start in the search given his predilection toward hiring former Soviet special forces officers whose job it was to know something about these plans.
U.S. officials have reportedly ordered the excavation of several sites believed to be possible depots.
Russian defector Stanislav Lunev told congressional investigators nuclear suitcases had been buried throughout the U.S., and that he could not pinpoint the locations because Russian military leaders continue to believe a nuclear conflict with the U.S. is still “inevitable.” He said the only hope of finding them would be if the Russian government disclosed the locations.
During the same hearings, Belgian officials testified they found three secret depots containing tactical nukes buried by the Soviets in the 1960s.
WND and G2 Bulletin previously reported, based on captured al-Qaida leaders and documents, that the terrorist group 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.
According to the reports, 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. 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.
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.
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.