[ RadSafe ] Dirty Bomb Material Crosses Border

Flood, John FloodJR at nv.doe.gov
Sat Apr 1 12:59:38 CST 2006

I don't really want to get a debate under way on this as it's rather off
topic for Radsafe, but I'll make one response.  It's true that the
subway and resort targets were economic in nature.  The intended
aftermath of such an attack is a significant (huge, total) decrease in
the usefulness of the economic resource.  But if the goal is just
economic disruption, the terrorists can plant a bomb, call in a warning
so there's just enough time to evacuate, and then detonate the bomb,
harming no one.  I know of no example of such tactics by AQ or any other
active terrorist organization. The body count that comes from the
surprise attack on an occupied facility is a fundamental part of the
action and has been all of my life.  To shift to a practice that allows
those in harm's way to escape first would be an enormous change of
personality and totally contrary to the nature of those who blow things
up to impose their cause on others.
Bob Flood

	-----Original Message-----
	From: Gerry Blackwood [mailto:gpblackwood at yahoo.com] 
	Sent: Saturday, April 01, 2006 5:31 AM
	To: Flood, John; Bradt, Clayton (LABOR); BLHamrick at aol.com;
ray2hoover at yahoo.com; radsafe at radlab.nl
	Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Dirty Bomb Material Crosses Border
	" I have proposed this idea on Radsafe in the past - the use of
a "dirty
	bomb" would be require a significant change of personality for
	terrorists here in the early 21st century. "
	History defines your logic.... It would not be a turn around in
tactics for terrorists to go after economic targets only. UBL, AQ and
its member groups have proved this time and time again... I will note
the subway bombing at the G8 Summit, July 7th, 2005 and the Egyptian
resort attacks on July 23, 2005,  just to name a couple. These attacks
were economic terrorism and nothing other than that. Of one the key
goals of the 9/11 attacks was economics. Yes body count does matter to
terrorists so does chaos and a RDD would cause that.  I suggest you read
the State Departments Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001. You will see
that the bulk of attacks were against businesses. Economic terrorism in
many cases does more damage than any body count. Worldwide its all about
economics.... Also for your reading pleasure I suggest "Charlemagne and
Muhammad' (1943).... I think it say's it all.....
	As far as the assessment and cleanup goes? That remains to be
seen. Yes our folk can do the job with their eyes closed. But its not
about the science its about the publics perception on radiation.... Its
all about perception...... And perception can be a real
	"Flood, John" <FloodJR at nv.doe.gov> wrote: 

		I have proposed this idea on Radsafe in the past - the
use of a "dirty
		bomb" would be require a significant change of
personality for
		terrorists here in the early 21st century. A terrorist
attack is
		primarily a publicity stunt to focus attention on the
cause to which the
		terrorist is devoted. The standard means of getting that
publicity has
		been the body count - the attack needs to succeed at
killing people
		and, if the group responsible isn't obvious at that
time, they "claim
		responsibility" to ensure the desired kind of attention.
		To switch to causing economic harm or the threat of a
slow death instead
		of immediate would be a complete turnabout. And use of
		material to contaminate an area could backfire. The
aftermath -
		assessment of the immediate impact and the cleanup - may
be a very good
		demonstration to the public that their fears of
radiation never were
		necessary. I suggest that no terrorist group cares to
risk such a
		colossal flop.
		Given the kinds of attacks in recent years - 911, the
train systems in
		Europe - terrorist organizations have adequate technical
expertise and
		organizational skills to understand the danger to
themselves if they try
		to assemble and deliver a large enough dirty bomb to be
spectacular, and
		that the likelihood of delivering it undetected is too
low to make such
		an attack an attractive prospect. They should also have
		expertise to understand attach with a small dirty bomb
could ultimately
		be viewed as laughable by the population they attacked.
		One man's opinion.
		Bob Flood
		Nevada Test Site
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