organized crime

Non-state actors & WMD: Does ISIS have a pathway to a nuclear weapon?

Nuclear Security

On March 2014, during the Nuclear Security Summit held in the Netherlands, President Obama identified his number one concern as being the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan. UK Home Secretary Theresa May pinpointed her particular fear of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) acquisition of “chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons” in the “world’s first truly terrorist state”. Fortunately, there has not yet been a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack, but the smuggling of nuclear material remains a pivotal threat to nuclear security.

The reports of the nexus are greatly exaggerated

If you've heard it once, you've heard the conventional wisdom a thousand times, ie, the nuclear black market will help terrorist groups obtain the materials and technology to make a nuclear, or a radiological weapon.

Well, here's good news, sort of. The conventional wisdom is wrong. At least it is, according to Dr Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley, who is a senior project manager in the Center for Nonproliferation Studies Washington office.

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