Good news: State Dept. official says risk of nuclear terrorism is growing

posted at 12:40 pm on March 30, 2007 by Allahpundit

Seems like an odd place for a warning like this to come from, although perhaps not if you read it as a more general warning about nukes in Muslim hands. State, after all, is the arm that’s dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

I wonder if the source is John Negroponte. He came over last month to be Condi’s deputy but was DNI for two years before that, so he’d certainly be in a position to know.

There is a growing threat that terrorist groups such as Hizbullah will acquire nuclear or other WMD technology, a senior US State Department official told The Jerusalem Post this week.

He indicated that there are a “large number” of nuclear smuggling incidents each year, some of which are “substantial” and not limited to low-grade material.

“You have this environment of material, expertise and supporting equipment [for weapons of mass destruction] being more widely available than before,” he said. “You have that coupled with the demonstrated interest of some terror groups to acquire these capabilities, and that is a real concern to us.”

“It’s a bigger threat than it was in the past… You see work by the groups to try to acquire the means. It’s not just the will. They are working to acquire the means,” he said.

While the official wouldn’t discuss the specific capabilities of Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, he said “each of those terrorist groups are ones the United States is very concerned about.” He also said Arab and Muslim countries were increasingly playing a role in combating the spread of such technologies to terrorist organization.

Speaking of Hezbollah, Time has a short but fascinating dispatch from inside one of their bunkers. (Bryan’s written about them several times.) So well camouflaged are they that the reporter nearly missed the entrance even though he had the GPS coordinates.

The effort that went into building the fortifications in this valley alone had been extraordinary, and these were just three of dozens, possibly hundreds, scattered throughout southern Lebanon. The steel plates and girders, as well as the digging tools, sandbags and other equipment had to be carried by hand up the steep slope from the valley floor and welded into place in the cramped claustrophobic tunnels. And Hizballah’s engineers had managed to work undetected, despite near daily reconnaissance flights by Israeli jets and drones.

Exit question: How on earth did they build them right under the IDF’s nose?


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This is why we need a Democrat president who will finally focus on our growing health care problem.

frankj on March 30, 2007 at 12:42 PM

frankj good one :P

djohn669 on March 30, 2007 at 12:44 PM

Exit Answer: Good Exit Question.

amerpundit on March 30, 2007 at 12:45 PM

frankj, don’t forget about spinach storage!

amerpundit on March 30, 2007 at 12:46 PM

Wrong exit question…. just how did they build them under the UN’s nose???

Romeo13 on March 30, 2007 at 12:50 PM

That’s cool though, ’cause nuclear winter is the only way to save us from global warming.

Tony737 on March 30, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Heh, funny frankj.

Allah good exit question. How the hell did this sneak by the IDF and Mossad? Or us? Where the hell did they get this stuff, and why isn’t it being tracked?

Bad Candy on March 30, 2007 at 12:54 PM

Better question – even if we knew about it; would anything have been done to stop it?

lorien1973 on March 30, 2007 at 1:11 PM

Now that the domestic Jihad allies are in place (aka Congress), I would think that nuclear terrorism is ready to rip. If they could just deep six that pesky Patriot Act we might see some mushrooms by Summer.

Islam + Dhimicrats = Shazaam!!!

Hening on March 30, 2007 at 1:24 PM

You can’t actually see a lot from a low-winged plane. If they carried everything up there at night, it would be hard to photograph their activities. It’s tough to detect tunnels.

PRCalDude on March 30, 2007 at 1:28 PM

IMO an Ultimatum or a Nuclear Agression Pact needs to be implemented immediately. First Offense = entire country. Second Offense, every islamic holy site.

Before I am castigated as a crazy “Nuke Mecca” reactionary, think about what I am really saying. Such a policy would make them police their own. Make them responsible for their actions and the actions carried out in the name of their 7th century, dark ages cult.

Isn’t it time for them to ante up? The more “passes” they get, the less likely it is that a nuclear horror can be averted.

America1st on March 30, 2007 at 1:34 PM

Where the hell did they get this stuff, and why isn’t it being tracked?
Bad Candy on March 30, 2007 at 12:54 PM

If you mean the weapons, you know the international arms trade is – of course – one of the most open, well-regulated and honestly-documented businesses in the world . And the construction materials? – even in the US, for many years, if you wanted to find out the details of the movement and use of concrete in the New York City area? fogeddaboutit!

eeyore on March 30, 2007 at 1:39 PM

There are more important issues like Global Warming to worry about.

Kini on March 30, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Ever notice that on the show 24, whenever Jack Bauer calls for a ‘perimeter’, the bad guy always gets through it? I think Jack Bauer threw a perimeter around Iran so that’s how the stuff got through.

pistolero on March 30, 2007 at 1:59 PM

More of Bush’s State Dept. trying to force us into a war with Iran…

Enrique on March 30, 2007 at 2:07 PM

“BOOM!”

Dust self off……. bandage burning skin….. patch blind eye…… cough, cough…….. bury untold dead….

“Hey, what the heck happened?”

“Why didn’t Nancy Pelosi and Jack Murtha protect us?”

“Why didn’t Ted Kennedy and John McCain secure the border?”

PinkyBigglesworth on March 30, 2007 at 2:46 PM

There is no escaping the nuclear attacks to come.
Our media and our congress are ensuring it.

unamused on March 30, 2007 at 4:51 PM

This is why wars cannot be won from the air. You must have boots on the ground.

csdeven on March 30, 2007 at 5:04 PM

frankj on March 30, 2007 at 12:42 PM

one word: Apropos

csdeven on March 30, 2007 at 5:08 PM

frankj, don’t forget about spinach storage!

amerpundit on March 30, 2007 at 12:46 PM

And peanuts!

csdeven on March 30, 2007 at 5:09 PM

Is this barrier different from trenches or the Maginot Line in regard to the ways one can deal with it? I’m asking. However, I guess I should stipulate that I don’t have a moral problem with using chemical weapons on an immobile army or going through the territory of a weak, neutral country to get around them.

Kralizec on March 31, 2007 at 1:56 PM