RealNews

Iraqis Downplay Risk of Terrorist Bomb

Iraqi scientists Tuesday minimized the danger of terrorists using looted radioactive material from their country to build a dirty bomb, saying most of what was stolen was low in radiation and has been recovered. One of the scientists also said it was unlikely that Saddam Hussein revived efforts to build nuclear weapons after his program was destroyed by U.N. teams after the 1991 Gulf War because his experts did not have the resources. “There was no way to revive those attempts,” said Abbas Balasem, now a senior official in the ministry of technology of the U.S.-led Iraqi administration. “There was nothing left.” Asked if Balasem had worked on Saddam’s pre-1991 nuclear programs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said an initial check showed no record of him in that capacity. Balasem’s comment was in line with a report presented last week to the agency’s board of governors by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. He said in the report that before withdrawing in March, U.N. inspectors found Iraq’s nuclear program in disarray and unlikely to be able to support an active effort to build weapons. Full Story

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