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The danger from “within” is real… that’s according to the experts… Ignore these warnings at our own peril.How to survive a nuclear terrorist attack on a U.S. city…
Deborah A. Wilber, Director of the Office of Emergency Response at the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration.“Is nuclear mega-terrorism inevitable? Harvard professors are known for being subtle or ambiguous, but I’ll try to the clear. ‘Is the worst yet to come?’ My answer: Bet on it. Yes.” Dr. Graham Allison, Director of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
One Day A Nuclear Terrorist Attack Suddenly Happens…
The nightmare is happening now: what if you received a text message, a call or a knock on the door telling you to evacuate immediately because a terrorist group has threatened to detonate a nuclear weapon in your city and do it within an hour? No time to call family or pack, just run for your life. This is no drill. This is real.
What Do You Do?
Theft Of Nuclear Materials
It has been an ongoing process for criminals in recent years to try to steal nuclear materials for sale to “interested parties”. The dissolution of the Soviet Union left unbelievable gaps in nuclear security at military posts, naval bases, even hospitals and businesses that used some form of radioactive product in operations. The Russian Army which had been invincible, feared by the free world, and then driven from Afghanistan by Mujahedeen, was left to harvest cabbage and potatoes from farms near bases for subsistence. Nuclear weapons were loosely guarded if at all. Ukraine was one of Russia’s most important military sites with nuclear arsenals. Now Ukraine was an independent state.
Terrorists And “Suitcase Nukes”
Rumors have circulated since the 1990’s of suitcase bombs, small portable tactical nuclear weapons, which were unaccounted for after the USSR ceased to exist. These are in fact, portable but not suitcase size weapons. These are nuclear charges which could be used in military operations. According to a series of reports, some are missing from inventory. Could these be in the hands of sellers who would make them available to terrorists? So far there has been no answer. But Al Quaeda has stated its intention to purchase a military type nuclear weapon and has stated that it has the funds to do so. The real danger from within: The “dirty bomb” or “radiological dispersal device”.
Terrorists And Dirty Bombs
The dirty bomb, or RDD, is not a nuclear device in the fashion of a military warhead. The design is that of an explosive device that is attached to a container of radioactive materials, any type of spent fuel, radioactive materials used in medical or manufacturing etc. that when detonated will disperse the materials into the environment. The damage from the explosion will be limited to how much explosive and what type is utilized. The damage from the radioactive “dust cloud” will not be so limited. Depending upon where it is detonated, the number of persons in the blast area and invariables such as wind speed and direction, fatalities and casualties will be almost unlimited. The blast area will be uninhabitable and the collateral damage and shock element will be unmeasurable.
The Suicide Bomber Enters The Picture.
In many cases for which government agencies have been trained for and prepared the theory was that a terrorist group would send warning and time limit, possible ransom demands such as money, release of prisoners or other such items. But events in the Middle East and in the West have introduced something that adds genuine terror: the suicide bomber. The Jihadist suicide bomber openly desires death because of the heavenly reward promised to him (or her). The only addition to this plan is to kill as many infidels as possible in the act. Suicide vests with explosives, backpacks, IED’s, automobiles and now tanker trucks as used in Afghanistan recently guarantee a high body count and a high element of anonymity. The Jihad suicider with a large truck loaded with radioactive materials and a large amount of explosive material would be undetectable and unstoppable.
Detection Processes And Agencies
Nuclear terrorism and now Jihad have been at the tip of most governments’ priority lists for decades. In several nations, including Russia, attempts by terrorists to purchase radioactive materials have been thwarted. Recently Russia circumvented the nearly successful theft of materials from a nuclear reactor. But with the proliferation on availability of sources, groups seeking them and now the increasing activity of suicide attacks, it is only a matter of time. Despite regulations and oversight it is still possible to obtain nuclear materials that can be used in a deadly attack.
How You Can Help Prevent And Deter This Disaster
Fear is the most useful terrorist weapon. Being able to strike anywhere, any time and now with no fear of being apprehended, a suicide bomber can inflict extraordinary damage on almost any target. How do we prevent and prepare? “If you see something, say something”. Suspicious behavior such as leaving behind a package or backpack, persons photographing “non-tourist” or “non-artistic” sites such as power plants, intersections and other unusual behavior deserve an anonymous call to police “hotlines”. This is not “spying” or “snitching”. The suicide bomber’s dedication to killing as many as possible of your family, friends and neighbors has placed a new element of peril in the scenario. This is happening everywhere and has begun here with recent car ramming’s and stabbings. The “Boston Marathon” bombers used tactics that can be used with nuclear results.If a more traditional bomb threat is used and a rapid evacuation is begun a family emergency plan is essential. A “bug-out bag” of essential items, water, 24 hour food, any medications, weather proof clothing and a communications plan are core items. If separated find a way to make contact and when possible meet. Have current photos of children available as well for posting. Work with neighbors to be ready and work together for survival and recovery. The danger from nuclear terrorism is very real. The entrance of the dedicated suicide bomber makes this even more dangerous since there will be no warning or threat. Being ready, informed and prepared and observant are the best defenses available in this new world of terrorist attacks.
Here are some suggestions from FEMA on how to prepare for nuclear terrorism and protect yourself and your family not if, but when an enemy uses some form of nuclear device to attack. The entire list is available at this link: FEMA: Dirty Bomb Fact Sheet
Before An RDD Explosion…
• Make a list of potential shelters near your home, workplace and school such as basements, the windowless center area of middle floors in high-rise buildings, subways and tunnels. If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, talk to the manager about the safest place in the building for sheltering building occupants.
During A Dirty Bomb Attack
• Because you cannot see, smell, feel or taste radiation, you should take immediate precautions. If you are outside and close to the incident –• Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to reduce the risk of breathing in radioactive dust or smoke. Don’t touch objects or fragments scattered by the explosion.
• Quickly go into a building where walls and windows are intact to shield yourself from radiation . Once inside, take off your outer layer of clothing and seal it—with the cloth used to cover your mouth—in a plastic bag, if available. If not, use whatever will hold the clothing, can be closed and removed. Removing outer clothes will get rid of up to 90% of radioactive dust. Put the plastic bag where others will not touch it. Keep it until authorities tell you what to do with it.
• Shower or wash with soap and water. Be sure to wash your hair. Washing will remove any remaining dust.
If You Are Inside A Building And Close To The Incident…
• To keep any radioactive dust from getting inside, shut all windows, outside doors (including pet-operated) and fireplace dampers. Turn off fans and heating and air conditioning systems that bring in air from outside. It is not necessary to put duct tape or plastic around doors or windows.• If any walls and windows of the building are broken, go to an interior room and do not leave. If the building has been heavily damaged, quickly go into another building where walls and windows are not broken. If you must go outside, cover your nose and mouth with a cloth. Once you are inside take off your outer layer of clothing and seal it in a plastic bag if available. Store the bag where others will not touch it. Shower or wash with soap and water to remove any remaining dust. Be sure to wash your hair. Tune to local radio or television news for more instructions.
If You Are In A Car, Van Or SUV When The Incident Happens…
• Close the windows and turn off the air conditioner, heater and vents. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to avoid breathing radioactive dust or smoke.• If you are close to your home, office, or a public building, go there immediately and go inside quickly. If you cannot get to any building safely, pull over to the side of the road, under a bridge or in a shady spot. Turn off the engine and listen to the radio for instructions. Stay in the car until you are told it is safe to get back on the road.
What Should I Do About My Children And Family?
• Stay together. Take the same actions to protect everyone. If anyone is in another home or building, they should stay there until you are told it is safe to travel. Schools have emergency plans and shelters. If your children are at school, they should stay there until it is safe to travel. Do not go to the school until public officials say it is safe to travel.
How Do I Protect My Pets?
• If you have pets outside, bring them directly into a room where you can wash them with soap and water to remove any radioactive dust before they scatter it.
Should I Take Potassium Iodide (KI)?
• Potassium iodide only protects a person’s thyroid gland from taking up radioactive iodine. KI will not protect a person from other radioactive materials or protect other parts of the body from radiation. Since there is no way to know at the time whether radioactive iodine was used in the RDD, taking KI would probably not be beneficial. Also, KI can be dangerous to some people. (+Research and ask your doctor before purchasing, in order to find out if it’s safe for you to personally take or not.)
After An RDD Explosion
• Continue listening to your radio and watching television for instructions from local officials. Be prepared to evacuate the area if directed to.• Do not visit or return to an RDD incident location for any reason. Seek aid from recovery agencies such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA, State and Local Sources.
Do Not Be Afraid: Fight Terror With Awareness And Information
In recent days, it has become an ISIS tactic to use individual suicide bombers or teams. No advance warnings or threats are made. The attack is made and as many as possible are killed. ISIS claims responsibility through its social media outlets.Terrorism is a weapon, not a cause in itself. The fear it generates multiples the effect of the attack. Being prepared, vigilant and ready to act is the best counter force to this new and devastating weapon.