Nuclear Terrorism

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The loose nuclear material story that emerged last month was a chiller. Fifty-year-old Russian smuggler Oleg Khinsagov was supposedly a trader in fish and sausages. But when the Georgian secret service arrested him, they found in his jacket pocket, casually wrapped in plastic, 100 grams of enriched uranium - weapons grade.

Back in his apartment, he boasted, he had kilos more. Enough for a suitcase bomb. Enough for a terrorist to take out a city. All he wanted was a million dollars.

Instead, he's in jail. But others aren't. Nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea may be dangerous, but security pros say the rogue trade in nuclear materials is more dangerous, and being addressed too slowly.

This hour On Point: stopping the suitcase bomb.


Joseph Cirincione, Senior Fellow and Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Center for American Progress. Previously, he was Director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His new book is "Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons"

Andrew Bieniawski, heads up
the Global Threat Reduction Initiative at the National Nuclear Security Administration

This program aired on February 7, 2007.


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