It’s about the worst nightmare Americans could ever have.
Imagine Osama bin Laden with nuclear weapons and the wherewithal to get them inside the U.S.
According to Paul Williams, author of “The Dunces of Doomsday: 10 Blunders that Gave Rise to Radical Islam,” it’s time to stop imagining and start preparing for the grim reality of nuclear terrorism.
“The beginning of the end of Planet Earth” occurred 15 years ago, according to Williams. Much of the evidence of the impending holocaust is strewn around the globe, with al-Qaida and its allies at the helm.
Williams, a former FBI consultant and author of “The Al Qaeda Connection” and “Osama’s Revenge,” uncovers a “booming nuclear black market” in which bin Laden has been strategically complicit.
“The belief that bin Laden simply obtained these weapons to keep in his cave without concern for maintenance and upgrading has its roots in the erroneous and prejudicial notion that he is a backward camel jockey lacking knowledge of sophisticated weaponry, rather than a highly trained engineer and one of the most gifted military tacticians in contemporary history,” Williams writes.
With its origins in the Soviet Union’s voluntary withdrawal of its 22,000 nuclear weapons in the early 1990s, the nuke market has grown into an international trade, characterized by a dizzying and disconcerting bevy of untracked, lost and stolen weapons. In the first three years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, some Russians – desperate for survival amid resultant unemployment and widespread malnutrition – turned to the temptations of the looming nukes for financial support and sustenance.
“The temptation would be too great for an ascetic ‘saint’ to resist, especially when a kilo of chromium-50 was selling for $25,000, cesium-157 for $1 million, and lithium for $10 million,” says Williams.
Williams outlines that more than 10 years ago, German officials documented more than 700 attempted sales of nuclear weapons and materials. Major prospective buyers included Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and al-Qaida. These tracked sales do not take into account the many devices that seeped into the underground unchecked.
Consider these facts:
- Bin Laden has been amassing a nuclear arsenal since 1992. His purchases have included at least 20 suitcase bombs from Chechen rebels, 48 suitcase nukes from the Russian Mafia, more than 20 kilos of uranium-236, several bars of enriched uranium, and 20 nuclear warheads. He’s worked with scientists and technicians to create hard-to-detect suitcase and backpack bombs. These purchases have been supported by bin Laden’s massive global opium enterprise.
- Even a small amount of radioactive material has devastating effects. “A single gram of cesium, if inhaled or ingested, is a bone sucker,” writes Williams. It causes hair loss, diarrhea, bleeding, delirium, high fever, purple fingernails, imminent death, various cancers and long-term environmental contamination. Now consider that bin Laden has amassed “enough radioactive material to plant a dirty nuke in every major American city.”
- The U.S. government played down radioactive deals that became common knowledge in the international community.
- For years, For years, Iraqi al-Qaida operatives have been at the helm in combing the world for “loose nukes” that have flowed to Russia, Germany, Sudan, Libya, Pakistan and, yes, Iran, too.
“The al-Qaida nuclear arsenal is not a matter of speculation but of substantiated fact … the situation is dire,” says Williams.