RealNews

'Dirty bomb' terrorist attack a growing risk

A DRAMATIC rise in the level of smuggling of radioactive material has increased the risk of a “dirty bomb” attack by terrorists, atomic experts warned yesterday. Evidence from the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows there were 51 smuggling incidents last year compared with just eight in 1996. Most cases are believed to have occurred in Russia and elsewhere in Europe. Smugglers looking for radioactive materials target factories, hospitals and research laboratories, which are not guarded as securely as nuclear industry facilities. The growing problem was highlighted in IAEA records released to New Scientist magazine. They disclosed that since 1993 there had been 300 confirmed cases of illicit trafficking in radiological materials, 215 of them in the last five years. Full Story

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