Sunday, May 04, 2008

Britain, US fear medical dirty bombs

A US State Department report on British terror suspects working in Britain's National Health Service (NHS) facilities is raising fears of dirty bombs made from missing radioactive medical material. Hospitals have a wealth of radioactive materials in radiology and nuclear medicine.
Nine items that could be used to build a dirty bomb are missing from British hospitals, fuelling fears that Al Qaeda terrorists are trying to steal material to build a radioactive device.

The revelation comes as a new US State Department intelligence report highlights fears over terror suspects working in the NHS and reveals Britain has launched an urgent operation to track down all radiological material used in its hospitals.

A State Department counter-terrorism official said there was high-level "concern" in Washington about the large number of foreign-born workers in European hospitals with access to materials that could be made into a dirty bomb.
The left, of course, will dismiss this as just more government fear-mongering. A dirty bomb, they'll say, won't cause more damage than a conventional one and the radioactive contamination from one would be isolated.

While those judgments of a dirty bomb's capabilities are largely true, the damage caused by one detonated at the right time and in the right place is secondary to the psychological damage it would bring.

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