Advertisement

The World

Heading Off 'Dirty Bombs'

September 17, 2002|From Reuters

VIENNA — U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham called Monday for international cooperation to fight the threat of "dirty bombs," which would scatter radioactive material using conventional explosive devices.

In a speech at the annual conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency here, Abraham said more should be done to prevent lower-grade nuclear material from falling into the hands of terrorists attracted by the destructive potential of such weapons.

"While dirty bombs are not comparable to nuclear weapons in destructiveness, they are far easier to assemble and employ," Abraham said.

"And while the physical destruction they would cause is comparable to conventional explosives, the disruption caused by widespread contamination is far greater. And it is disruption that terrorists seek," he added.

Abraham said plans found in bunkers in Afghanistan revealed the interest of the Al Qaeda terrorist network, which Washington blames for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, in making dirty bombs with the kind of radioactive materials left over from legitimate uses.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|