United States is 'Woefully Unprepared' for Nuclear Terrorism

Norah Petersen
According to Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book “Obama‘s Wars“, the United States is not prepared for a nuclear terrorist attack:
A “potential game-changer” for us or for our enemies? What exactly does the president mean? On the topic of nuclear terrorism, economist and prolific author Thomas Sowell warned in 2009:
“It took only two nuclear bombs to get Japan to surrender-- and the Japanese of that era were far tougher than most Americans today. Just one bomb-- dropped on New York, Chicago or Los Angeles-- might be enough to get us to surrender."
Sowell’s fears of a nuclear attack from Iran were at the forefront of his warning; yet, another continual threat which cannot be decoupled from the risk of nuclear terrorism is the crisis of our virtually unguarded border with Mexico. In 2004, Time magazine reported:
“Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian who was captured in late August near Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan, has told his interrogators of "al-Qaeda's interest in moving nuclear materials from Europe to either the U.S. or Mexico," according to a report circulating among U.S. government officials. Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S."
It is now believed that terrorist at-large, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, may have traveled into the United States via the Mexican border during 2004. A Wall Street Journal op-ed by Representative Jane Harman and Senator Susan Collins related that Shukrijumah is “a trained nuclear technician allegedly tasked by al Qaeda with carrying off an "American Hiroshima” ". The op-ed further stated that Shukrijumah “once sought radioactive material from a university in Ontario, Canada" and that "news reports allege that this was an attempt to construct a dirty bomb.”

Unfortunately, despite the danger of nuclear terrorism, little has changed over the years regarding border security, or lack thereof. In August, Investor’s Business Daily reported that illegal immigrants from terrorist-sponsoring countries continually enter the United States through the Mexican border:
“In the last three years, the Department of Homeland Security caught and released 481 illegal aliens from nations designated as state sponsors of terrorism and "countries of interest," and those 481 are now fugitives. That may seem like a small number out of the thousands that arrive every day, but it took only 19 terrorists to fly passenger jets into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and target the White House or Congress

After a Nigerian passenger dubbed the Christmas Day bomber almost succeeded in blowing up Northwest Flight 253 near Detroit, Nigeria and 13 other countries were put on a list whereby passengers from these countries flying into the U.S. would be subject to extra scrutiny and screening.
Ten of these countries —Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen — were defined as "countries of interest." Four others — Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria — are listed as state sponsors of terror. Yet citizens from these countries routinely walk across or are brought across our southern border.”
Not only are we “woefully unprepared” for an nuclear attack, we are inexcusably allowing conditions which greatly increase the possibility of one.
According to Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book “Obama‘s Wars“, the United States is not prepared for a nuclear terrorist attack:
A “potential game-changer” for us or for our enemies? What exactly does the president mean? On the topic of nuclear terrorism, economist and prolific author Thomas Sowell warned in 2009:
“It took only two nuclear bombs to get Japan to surrender-- and the Japanese of that era were far tougher than most Americans today. Just one bomb-- dropped on New York, Chicago or Los Angeles-- might be enough to get us to surrender."
Sowell’s fears of a nuclear attack from Iran were at the forefront of his warning; yet, another continual threat which cannot be decoupled from the risk of nuclear terrorism is the crisis of our virtually unguarded border with Mexico. In 2004, Time magazine reported:
“Sharif al-Masri, an Egyptian who was captured in late August near Pakistan's border with Iran and Afghanistan, has told his interrogators of "al-Qaeda's interest in moving nuclear materials from Europe to either the U.S. or Mexico," according to a report circulating among U.S. government officials. Masri also said al-Qaeda has considered plans to "smuggle nuclear materials to Mexico, then operatives would carry material into the U.S."
It is now believed that terrorist at-large, Adnan el-Shukrijumah, may have traveled into the United States via the Mexican border during 2004. A Wall Street Journal op-ed by Representative Jane Harman and Senator Susan Collins related that Shukrijumah is “a trained nuclear technician allegedly tasked by al Qaeda with carrying off an "American Hiroshima” ". The op-ed further stated that Shukrijumah “once sought radioactive material from a university in Ontario, Canada" and that "news reports allege that this was an attempt to construct a dirty bomb.”

Unfortunately, despite the danger of nuclear terrorism, little has changed over the years regarding border security, or lack thereof. In August, Investor’s Business Daily reported that illegal immigrants from terrorist-sponsoring countries continually enter the United States through the Mexican border:
“In the last three years, the Department of Homeland Security caught and released 481 illegal aliens from nations designated as state sponsors of terrorism and "countries of interest," and those 481 are now fugitives. That may seem like a small number out of the thousands that arrive every day, but it took only 19 terrorists to fly passenger jets into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and target the White House or Congress

After a Nigerian passenger dubbed the Christmas Day bomber almost succeeded in blowing up Northwest Flight 253 near Detroit, Nigeria and 13 other countries were put on a list whereby passengers from these countries flying into the U.S. would be subject to extra scrutiny and screening.
Ten of these countries —Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen — were defined as "countries of interest." Four others — Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria — are listed as state sponsors of terror. Yet citizens from these countries routinely walk across or are brought across our southern border.”
Not only are we “woefully unprepared” for an nuclear attack, we are inexcusably allowing conditions which greatly increase the possibility of one.