Christopher S. Carson, in Front Page Magazine, supplies background and details on Al Qaeda’s nuclear plot against America.
The latest audio message from al-Qaeda, reportedly from Osama bin Laden himself, is only the most recent confirmation that the jihadist threat to the West remains real and deadly serious. But the fact that it could take the form of nuclear terrorism should be most worrying to citizens and policy makers alike.
Where a nuclear attack once may have been beyond the capacities of stateless terrorists, that is no longer the case. …
‘Jafer the Pilot” is the nom de guerre of U.S. citizen Adnan el-Shukrijumah. Young, intelligent, fluent in multiple languages and a trained jet pilot who had apparently been in flight schools with Mohammed Atta, Shukrijumah had studied and worked with other jihadis at the 5-megawatt nuclear reactor at McMaster University in Canada. But one day all the terrorists disappeared from campus forever.
John Loftus of WABC news reported on November 7, 2003, that in the immediate wake of Shukrijumah and his fellow travelersâ€™ disappearance, 180 pounds of uranium ended up â€œmissingâ€ from the reactor. Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who interviewed Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11, reported bin Laden saying that one of the founders of al-Qaeda, Anas el-Liby, had helped the Pilot haul out the stash of uranium.
McMaster U. has always insisted that no material was ever missing from the reactor, but instead claims that low-grade radiological material did turn up missing from their pharmacological/medical labs at the time. Paul Williams, author of The Day of Islam, published the Loftus-Mir assertions in his book and elsewhere. For his trouble, he was promptly sued by the University for $4,000,000. The suit is still pending. …
(Shukrijumah) was seen again in Mexico in late August 2004, near â€œterrorist alleyâ€ in Sonora, the main thoroughfare for illegal aliens into the United States. [The violent street gang MS-13 (Mara Salvatruchas)] was the Pilotâ€™s new supply chain and courier of nuclear material for the bombs he was setting up. …
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has documented 15 incidents of theft and smuggling of small amounts of separated plutonium or highly enriched uranium confirmed by the nations involved. But these 15 cases represent the tip of the iceberg of what has actually occurred. So there is always just approaching the right people and buying itâ€”not an easy task, but not an impossible one either. …
In February 2006, Russian citizen Oleg Khinsagov was arrested in Georgia (along with three Georgian accomplices) with some 100 grams of 89 percent enriched HEU, claiming that he had kilograms more available for sale. We canâ€™t know how many thefts that occurred were never detected. Dr. Bunn told Senator Lieberman that â€œit is a sobering fact that nearly all of the stolen HEU and plutonium that has been seized over the years had never been missed before it was seized.â€
The Pilot doesnâ€™t need too much HEU for his seven-city destruction plan. For one â€œsimpleâ€ gun-type design HEU bomb, roughly 50 kilograms of HEU would be needed â€“ roughly the size of a six-pack.
The Pilot could also try hitting up a HEU-based research facility, like his old alma mater McMaster University, although McMaster apparently didnâ€™t employ HEU per se. But some 130 research reactors around the world still do use HEU as their fuel.
Or has he already? The Washington Post, right before last Christmas, reported a strange story. Sometime in the night of November 8, 2007, two coordinated teams of armed men attacked the Pelindaba nuclear facility in South Africa, where hundreds of kilograms of weapon-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU) are stored.
One of the teams was chased off by the guards, but the other team of four gunmen disabled the perimeter alarms, went to the emergency control center and shot a worker in the chest. Bleeding out, the worker was still able to sound the first alarm.
He might not have bothered. The attack team then spent 45 minutes inside the perimeter, without anyone harassing them. What they did next is unknown to the public. The team promptly disappeared through the same hole they had cut in the fence. South African officials later arrested three individuals, but soon released them. The South African government has since been close-lipped about what really happened last November, and it has refused earlier U.S. offers to remove the HEU at Pelindabaâ€”if indeed any remains after the attack. We donâ€™t even know how much HEU, if any, was spirited away.
But surely the point is not whether the Pilot hit this specific facility. It is that he could well haveâ€”or dozens of others like it. We do know that if a 10 kiloton A-bomb, somewhat smaller than the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima, is set off at ground level in midtown Manhattan, the death toll would be perhaps half a million people. We could expect roughly $1 trillion in direct economic damage from this one bomb alone. Multiply this by seven bombs, and we can expect the wholesale depopulation of Americaâ€™s cities in fear, incalculable economic devastation, and the end of the country as we currently know it.
Read the whole thing.