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Published by Ali Akbar Khan

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Published by: Ali Akbar Khan on Mar 29, 2011
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Iraq tested a RDD bomb in 1987 according to a secret Iraqi report on theweapon¶s construction and testing. It was a conventional bomb filled with radioactivematerials - apparently, spent fuel from research reactors. The report stated thatradiation sickness would ³weaken enemy units from the standpoint of health and inflictlosses that would be difficult to explain, possibly producing an adverse psychologicaleffect.´
That same year Iraq developed radiological weapons with short half-livescalculated to contaminate large areas and cause long-term genetic damage yet wouldbe virtually undetectable after a few months. The problem the Iraqis discovered wasdispersal. The power of radiation, like that of light, falls off as the square of the distancefrom the source. A RDD may contain enough radiation to kill a person at close range,yet when exploded to a mere 100-feet radius the radiation is about one ten-thousandthas deadly as the un-exploded material.
 While a radiological dispersal would not pose immediate, acute health problemsfor the general public, the public could experience measurable increases in cancer mortality over a period of decades after such an event. Moreover, releases at the sitecould also have environmental consequences requiring hundreds of millions to billionsof dollars to clean up. Contamination could also affect habitability for tens of miles fromthe site, possibly affecting hundreds of thousands of residents for many years.
TheIraqi¶s attempted development of an RDD was poetic justice. There an increase inchildhood cancer deaths due to depleted uranium used in America¶s weapons duringthe Gulf War. The American government insisted the uranium in the bullets was notradioactive enough to be classed as a radiological weapon yet those tank-killing shellsturned the Iraqi desert into a permanently radioactive area. Usama bin Ladencommented, ³What does the destruction of the infrastructure in Iraq mean and thetragedy that befell them mean? And the use of depleted uranium, besieging Iraq for years, causing the death of more than one million children that amazed all who hadvisited Iraq, including the Westerners themselves? It is a malicious crusade againstMuslims.´
 In May 2004, the American Department of Energy announced the creation of the
Global Threat Reduction Initiative
later institutionalized in the
Office of Global Radiological Threat Reduction
, with a domestic component, the
U.S. Radiological Threat Reduction Program
, and an international component, the
International Radiological Threat Reduction Program
This makes it more difficult to smuggle abomb into America. Now that Federal inspectors who ask incoming travelers for their passports carry radiation detectors on their belts we plan to ship this deadly mixture to
1. William J. Broad ³Iraq tested bomb meant to cast radioactive cloud 1987 experiments called 'moral barbarism'´
New York Times
 April 29, 2001, San Francisco Chronicle - Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a private group in Washington that said itacquired document from a U.N. official.
. William Scott Malone Blacknet Dispatch.
. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04773t.pdf 
. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05967.pdf 
Mexico then smuggle it into the United States with the help of ³wetback´ smugglers whobelieve that our operative is a Mexican trying to enter the United States in order to findwork. Immigrant smuggling is a billion dollars a year industry - Mexico's second-mostprofitable criminal enterprise, behind drugs. On November 12, 2003, Mexicanauthorities arrested Imelda Ortiz Abdala, Mexico's consul in Lebanon on charges of helping a smuggling ring move Arab migrants into the United States from Mexico.
 The New York City police have installed a radiation detector outside policeheadquarters in Lower Manhattan to thwart our intentions and another outside thebuilding¶s garage. They, however, are not our targets, as they are too well protected.The department¶s bomb squad and its emergency services unit will use two others.They will supplement numerous belt-worn radiation detectors that policeman will wear.
This might present a problem if every policeman gets one, and would call for theemployment of a decoy such as a cancer patient treated with radioactive substances ina car preceding the
, who will be stopped by the police while his Brothers getthrough.
Radiation Detectors are being installed in ports that are considered to betargets of Islamist but we must remember that nuclear materials are more difficult todetect if lead or other metal is used to shield them. For example, in July 2004, acontainer that housed a small amount of radioactive material
passed through radiationdetection equipment that American Department Of Energy had installed at one of theports it has completed without being detected due to the presence of the large amountsof scrap metal in the same container. The host country¶s government later receivedinformation about the container, which led to the discovery of the radioactive source.The host country¶s government raised concerns that the radiation detection equipmentdid not register an alarm during a scan of the container and asked Department Of Energy to investigate the incident. The Department Of Energy national laboratoryexperts determined that the radiation detection equipment had been set to programrequirements. As a result, Department Of Energy national laboratory officials and thehost country¶s government decided not to alter the settings of the radiation detectionequipment.Another technical challenge for America is to detect and identify low-levelradiation sources in the presence of high background radiation levels. Detecting actualcases of our trafficking in weapons-usable nuclear material is complicated because oneof the materials of greatest concern in terms of proliferation² highly enricheduranium²is amongst the most difficult materials to detect due to its relatively low levelof radioactivity. Uranium emits only gamma radiation so the radiation detectionequipment, which contains gamma and neutron detectors, will only detect uranium fromthe gamma detector. Plutonium emits both gamma and neutron radiation. However,
. Terrence P. Jeffery Human Events on Line December 31, 2003 citing Associated Press story ³Mexican Diplomat Charged withHelping Smuggle Arabs into the U.S.´http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?print=yes&id=27166. William K. Rashbaum ³City Begins Deploying Radiation Detectors´
New York Times
June 29, 2002.7. Doctors say Police Department officials have suggested that patients carry letters from them stating they are being treated withradioactive isotopes and give them to the police if they set off a radiation detector, but the police said that such letters would notresolve the matter. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/04/nyregion/04PATI.html
This particular radioactive isotope is commonly used for medical practices as cancer treatment and commercially for thesterilization of food products. Sufficient amounts of this material could be used by a terrorist to construct a ³dirty bomb.´
shielding of nuclear material does not prevent the detection of neutron radiation and, asa result, plutonium can be detected by neutron detectors regardless of the amount of shielding. Only a few materials can cause a neutron alarm - while a gamma alarm canbe caused by a variety of sources including commercial goods such as bananas,ceramic tiles and fertilizer and nuclear materials, such as plutonium and uranium.
 The Department of Homeland Security has sponsored research efforts designedto improve the detection capabilities of the currently fielded portal monitors and toprovide them with the ability to distinguish radiological sources. For example, PacificNorthwest National Laboratory researched, developed, and tested a new software-known as "energy windowing"- to address the currently-fielded portal monitors' inabilityto distinguish between radiological materials. Energy-windowing is supposed to identifyand screen out material,
such as fertilizer or kitty litter 
that cause nuisance alarms andthereby reduce the number of such alarms at cargo screening facilities, while alsoimproving the portal monitor's sensitivity to identify nuclear material of concern. In testsinvolving some common, unshielded radiation sources, such as cobalt-57 and barium-153, the new software has shown improved detection and discrimination capabilities.However, during scenarios that target other common, shielded threat sources - such asthose that might be used in a shielded radiological dispersal device or nuclear weapon -the software has been less able to detect and discriminate.
Allah! This gave us the ideato smuggle radioactive material within kitty litter or fertilizer! 
In October 2005, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office completed the first roundof comprehensive testing of spectroscopic portal monitors at its test bed at the NevadaTest Site. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office tested 10 spectroscopic portalmonitors against 3 currently fielded monitors in 7,000 test runs involving the portalmonitors' ability to detect a variety of radiological materials under many different, cargoconfigurations. According to senior Domestic Nuclear Detection Office officials whosupervised these tests, preliminary analysis of test data indicated that the spectroscopicportal monitors' performance demonstrated somewhat mixed results. Spectroscopicportal monitors outperformed currently fielded equipment in detecting numerous small,medium-sized, and threat-like radioactive objects, and were able to identify and dismissmost naturally occurring radioactive material. However, as the amount of sourcematerial declined in size, the detection capabilities of both types of portal monitorsconverged. Allah! We will smuggle a little bit of radioactive material at a time!The second new technology is "high-Z detection," which is designed to better detect high atomic number (high-Z) materials - such as Special Nuclear Material (SNM)- and shielding materials - such as lead - that could be used to shield gamma radiationfrom portal monitors. The Cargo Advanced Automated Radiography System programwithin the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office is intended to develop the technologiesnecessary for automated detection of high-Z material. The Domestic Nuclear DetectionOffice envisions using the advanced portal monitor technology for the detection of lightlyshielded nuclear threats and radiological dispersal devices, and using Cargo AdvancedAutomated Radiography System technology for the detection of high-Z materials.
. Page 22 GAO-05-375 Preventing Nuclear Smuggling

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