International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei says al-Qaida and other terrorist groups tried to obtain a nuclear weapon.
“They were actively looking into acquiring a nuclear weapon and other weapons of mass destruction,” ElBaradei said in an interview in Vienna with Norway’s commercial TV 2 channel, according to Reuters.
The proof came from Afghanistan where U.S.-led troops in 2001 removed the Taliban government that supported al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, ElBaradei said.
“I would be surprised if they did not try to acquire nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “That would be the most horrible scenario because these extremist groups – if they have the weapon, they will use it.”
ElBaradei said the world is in a “race against time” to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
“The more nuclear weapons that exist, the more threat we are facing. And the more countries that have nuclear weapons, the more danger we are facing,” ElBaradei said. “We can’t afford one single lapse in the system of security of nuclear material or nuclear weapons.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, an al-Qaida memo discovered by Pakistani authorities said if suicide bombers come to America, they are likely to be carrying biological, chemical or nuclear weapons with them.
In October 2002, WND first broke the story of al-Qaida’s purchase of suitcase nukes. Paul Williams, an FBI consultant on international terrorism said then bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network purchased 20 suitcase nuclear weapons from former KGB agents in 1998 for $30 million.
His book, “Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror,” also says this deal was one of at least three in the last decade in which al-Qaida purchased small nuclear weapons or weapons-grade nuclear uranium.
Williams says bin Laden’s search for nuclear weapons began in 1988 when he hired a team of five nuclear scientists from Turkmenistan. These were former employees at the atomic reactor in Iraq before it was destroyed by Israel, Williams says. The team’s project was the development of a nuclear reactor that could be used “to transform a very small amount of material that could be placed in a package smaller than a backpack.”
“By 1990 bin Laden had hired hundreds of atomic scientists from the former Soviet Union for $2,000 a month – an amount far greater than their wages in the former Soviet republics,” Williams writes. “They worked in a highly sophisticated and well-fortified laboratory in Kandahar, Afghanistan.”
Yossef Bodansky, author of “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America” and the U.S. Congress’ top terrorism expert, concurs that bin Laden has already succeeded in purchasing suitcase nukes. Former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed also testified to Congress that 40 nuclear suitcases disappeared from the Russian arsenal after the collapse of the Soviet Union.