[ RadSafe ] x-ray "WMD"

Joseph Preisig jrpnj01 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 10:50:04 CDT 2015


     Ineptitude doesn't excuse intent.  The lawyers would probably
charge these persons with at least some kind of conspiracy charge, and
it might stick.

     Joe Preisig

On 9/3/15, KARAM, PHILIP <PHILIP.KARAM at nypd.org> wrote:
> A 51-year-old man was convicted of attempting to acquire and use a
> "radiological dispersal device" that was basically an X-ray unit that was
> mobile, remotely operated, and capable of individual targeting. The goal was
> to give a lethal dose of radiation to persons entering or leaving mosques or
> Islamic community centers. He bought such a unit from an FBI "vendor" that
> was apparently realistic enough for him to believe it would work. (Of course
> they had given him a unit that wouldn't emit radiation. Earlier this week he
> became the first person convicted of attempting to acquire a radiological
> dispersal device under a statute passed by Congress in 2004.
>                 Strictly speaking, such a device would be a radiological
> exposure (or emitting) device (RED) rather than a radiological dispersal
> device (RDD); the latter term generally refers to a conventional explosive
> that spreads radioactive material over a large area, while the former
> generally refers to a single exposure source. The former Soviet Union
> reported criminal usage of single-source radiation emitters; most were gamma
> sources except for one californium-252 neutron source. Six incidents
> involved only a few victims, though two involved 13 and 23 persons (with 7
> and 1 fatality respectively). Because this man (and his accomplice, who
> pleaded guilty several months earlier) intended to harm several individuals,
> he was convicted of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.
> ------------------------
> So here's the question...I think we discussed this last year when these
> bozos were first arrested. Is it a crime to plan to build something with the
> intent of causing large numbers of casualties, when the device itself just
> won't work? Don't get me wrong - these folks sound as though they are better
> off in prison than on the streets, and when this scheme failed they might
> well have tried something lower-tech that would have worked.
> I know that people are arrested all the time for making "bombs" with inert
> materials provided by their FBI "mentors" but at least we know that bombs
> correctly constructed with the correct materials can, indeed, kill people.
> But as near as I can tell, this x-ray device would probably not have harmed
> anybody due to power requirements, the time requirements for delivering a
> high dose, and the inverse square law. To me, this sounds like arresting
> someone in possession of a magic wand who's trying to learn the right spell
> to kill people - there's no doubt about the evil intent, but is stupidity
> and lack of education really criminal?
> Oh well - just some thoughts over my first cup of coffee of the day....
> Andy
> _______________________________________________
> You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list
> Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the
> RadSafe rules. These can be found at:
> http://health.phys.iit.edu/radsaferules.html
> For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit:
> http://health.phys.iit.edu

More information about the RadSafe mailing list