Hillary Was Right: Rogue Nukes Are a Serious Threat
by Greg Terryn
What is the greatest threat to national security? According to Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election season, it is the threat of nuclear weapons and material falling into the wrong hands. Former President George W. Bush said the same thing in a previous presidential debate. No matter your opinion of their politics, they are right. Both terrorists and smugglers have expressed interest in such a transfer, and we should consider ourselves lucky that one has yet to occur.
How might a terrorist acquire a nuclear bomb or enough nuclear material to create a crude weapon? The most likely scenario involves a terrorist group purchasing or stealing highly enriched uranium (HEU) and developing an improvised nuclear device. With just 25 kilograms of HEU, which could easily fit in a shoebox or backpack, terrorists could make a nuclear weapon capable of inflicting the same devastation as the bombs used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
With less nuclear material, terrorists could lace conventional explosives with radiological material to create a dirty bomb that would disperse radiological material upon detonation. The results would be devastating: in addition to casualties from the explosion, concerns of radiological fallout would create panic and economic disruption.