"When asked by Congress in February 2005 whether he could assure Americans that no nuclear weapons were available to terrorists, then-CIA Director Porter Goss replied, 'No, I can't make that assurance. I can't account for some of the [Former Soviet Union's (FSU) nuclear] materials, so I can't make the assurance about its whereabouts.' In the spring of 2005, the U.S. National Intelligence Council also categorically assessed that 'undetected smuggling [of nuclear materials] has occurred, and we are concerned about the total amount of material that could have been diverted or stolen [from the FSU] in the last 13 years,' and a former Soviet military officer said that 'small tactical nuclear loads' had been found missing from the Soviet army's inventory in the 1990s . Bin Laden himself has made clear that al-Qaeda has been nuclear shopping in the FSU. 'It is a fact,' bin Laden wrote to Mullah Omar on June 5, 2002, 'that the [FSU's] Islamic Republics region is rich with significant scientific experiences in conventional and non-conventional military industries, which have a great role in the future jihad against the enemies of Islam' ."
As usual, I don't want to be too alarmist, as the springboard for the piece is speculation based on the aforementioned alleged chemical weapons plan, and the "loose nukes" angle is hardly a revelation. However, it is a sobering reminder of the types of long-term dangers we face.
(Crossposted to American Footprints.)