al-Qaida has nukes, why wait to use them?
Analysts see major investment in complex, coordinated,
devastating terror attack plan
Posted: August 8, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
WASHINGTON Recent al-Qaida attacks
using primitive bombs and inflicting relatively small
numbers of casualties have persuaded some that Osama bin
Laden's terrorist network has been unable to secure
weapons of mass destruction or has been unable to smuggle
them into the U. S. and other key target countries.
In the wake of a series of reports from Joseph Farah's G2
Bulletin about the nuclear terrorism threat, some
skeptics of al-Qaida's ability to detonate nuclear
weapons inside the U. S. most often suggest the problems
with maintenance and technical attention.
Others suggest Osama bin Laden may have purchased duds on
the black market. Others point out that the triggers on
suitcase nukes decay rapidly and have short half lives.
The nuclear cores, after a time, fall below the critical
mass threshold, say the optimists. Even the shells are
subject to contamination over time if not properly
maintained, they say.
Unfortunately, finds Paul Williams, author of the
upcoming book, "The Al Qaeda Connection: International
Terrorism, Organized Crime and the Coming Apocalypse,"
there's little point in assessing the possibilities with
"The belief that bin Laden simply purchased these weapons
for millions of dollars and stored them within his cave
without concern for maintenance has its basis in the
erroneous and prejudicial notion that he is a backward
Bedouin warrior without knowledge of sophisticated
weaponry, rather than a highly trained engineer and one
of the most gifted military tacticians in the annals of
modern history," he writes.
Williams dismisses suggestions that bin Laden hasn't
taken into account some obvious problems with nuclear
"Bin Laden has been extremely mindful of proper
maintenance," he writes. "As soon as he obtained the
weapons, he paid an amount estimated from $60 to $100
million for the assistance of nuclear scientists from
Russia, China and Pakistan. From 1996 to 2001, bin Laden
also kept a score of Spetznaz technicians from the former
Soviet Union on his payroll. These technicians had been
trained to open and operate the weapons in order to
prevent any unauthorized use. To simplify the process of
activation, the scientists and technicians came up with a
way of hot-wiring the small nukes to the bodies of Muslim
agents who long for immediate martyrdom and immediate
elevation to the seventh heaven."
Other skeptics ask: "If bin Laden has nukes, why hasn't
he used them? Why would he wait? If he has successfully
smuggled them into the U. S., why haven't any gone off
Williams and other G2 Bulletin intelligence sources
explain that one of bin Laden's defining characteristics
"He started plotting the 1998 bombings of the U. S.
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania when he was in Sudan in
1993," points out Williams. "The attack on the USS Cole
was more than two years in the making; and 10 years
passed between the first attack on the World Trade Center
and the second."
Williams said recruits at al-Qaida training camps are
instructed to repeat this throughout the day: "I will be
patient until Patience is outworn by patience."
Intelligence analysts and sources disagree on the details
of the way bin Laden's "American Hiroshima" plan unfolds.
Some G2 Bulletin sources emphasize bin Laden's commitment
to re-enacting the 1945 attack on Japan with one nuclear
detonation, followed by another days later.
Williams, however, sees a much more devastating,
coordinated, all-out, surprise attack coming.
"The next attack, according to al-Qaida defectors and
informants, will take place simultaneously at various
sites throughout the country," he writes. "Designated
targets include New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami,
Chicago, Washington, D. C., Houston, Las Vegas, and
Valdez, Alaska, where the tankers are filled with oil
from the Trans-Alaska pipeline. To orchestrate such an
incredible event requires not only the shipment of the
nukes into the United States but also the establishment
of cells, the training of sleeper agents, the selection
of sites, and the preparation of the weapons without
detection from federal, state or local law enforcement
officials. Unlike 9-11, that cost less than $350,000,
this event already has cost a king's ransom, and bin
Laden will not waste the billions in expenditures, the
years of planning and his coveted 'crown jewels' on an
attack that is ill-planned, poorly timed and carelessly
Other sources interpret some of the same information,
based on captured al-Qaida operatives and documents as
well as defectors, differently. They project an
escalating series of attacks, each followed by blackmail
demands upon the U. S. government and the American
In any event, both kinds of spectacular nuclear terror
attacks require pinpoint coordination and secure
Williams also speculates that the delay in launching
attacks with weapons already smuggled inside the U. S.
could be due to reports al-Qaida is determined to locate
tactical nuclear weapons that were forward-deployed by
the Soviet Union during the Cold War. These weapons were
reportedly buried at remote sites throughout the country
for recovery by Soviet agents.
"There is no doubt that the Soviets stored material in
this country," says Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., chairman of
the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military
Research. "The question is what and where."
Bin Laden may have a considerable head-start in the
search given his predilection toward hiring former Soviet
special forces officers whose job it was to know
something about these plans.
U. S. officials have reportedly ordered the excavation of
several sites believed to be possible depots.
Russian defector Stanislav Lunev told congressional
investigators nuclear suitcases had been buried
throughout the U. S., and that he could not pinpoint the
locations because Russian military leaders continue to
believe a nuclear conflict with the U. S. is still
"inevitable." He said the only hope of finding them would
be if the Russian government disclosed the locations.
During the same hearings, Belgian officials testified
they found three secret depots containing tactical nukes
buried by the Soviets in the
WND and G2 Bulletin previously reported, based on
captured al-Qaida leaders and documents, that the
terrorist group has a plan called "American Hiroshima"
involving the multiple detonation of nuclear weapons
already smuggled into the U. S. over the Mexican border
with the help of the MS-13 street gang and other
organized crime groups.
According to the reports, al-Qaida has obtained at least
40 nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union
including suitcase nukes, nuclear mines, artillery shells
and even some missile warheads. In addition, documents
captured in Afghanistan show al-Qaida had plans to
assemble its own nuclear weapons with fissile material it
purchased on the black market.
The plans for the devastating nuclear attack on the U. S.
have been under development for more than a decade. It is
designed as a final deadly blow of defeat to the U. S.,
which is seen by al-Qaida and its allies as "the Great
At least half the nuclear weapons in the al-Qaida arsenal
were obtained for cash from the Chechen terrorist
At least nine major U. S. cities, including New York and
Washington, are prime targets for the al-Qaida nuclear
terrorists. Osama bin Laden's preferred dates for attacks
include Aug. 6, the anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear
bombing in 1945, Sept. 11 and May 14, the anniversary of
the re-creation of the state of Israel in 1948.