[ RadSafe ] Anthrax, Sarin or A bomb deaths more likely than "Dirty Bomb" scare?

howard long hflong at pacbell.net
Fri Mar 31 18:43:17 CST 2006

I agree, John Flood, that the impact of many deaths fits Al Queda modus operandi more than a "dirty" bomb scare. . 
  Surveillance of communications (presently debated)
   may already have prevented a hundred times the deaths of 9/11/01 - judging from 
  Saddam's Secrets by Gen Georges Sada (whom I find all too credible, considering other sources).
  Saddam debated an order to spread tons of sarin from 98 planes on Israel. 
  Most would have been shot down en route, and would have wiped out much life in Syria and Jordan. The sarin is said to have been taken to Syria as Coalition forces gathered in '02 and early '03, as was other WMD material smuggled as relief supplies for a flooded Syian village. They must still be in Syria, perhaps not used because our security is better (as Moussawi says). 
  A bomb details (from Kahn?) were memorized by Saddam's scientists - who still have the collective knowledge. That and Iranian Mullahs increasingly being able to give Al Queda a weapon that would flatten DC , are reasons for HPs to prepare for an all too possible nuclear disaster in the USA. 
  Howard Long
"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 radioactive
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 enough
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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