I was a guest on France 24’s The World This Week last Friday – here are links for parts one and two. For me one of the many interesting aspects of the debate was our discussion around the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington 12-13 April. Obviously at presseurop.eu, we are not privy to high level security information like the US prez, but nevertheless his declarations on nuke security still have me puzzled one week on. "Two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a cruel irony of history,” said President Obama. “The risk of a nuclear confrontation between nations has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up." Oh yes, but from where? The Independent relays a statement by a “senior White House anti-terror aide” insisting on evidence “that acquiring rogue nuclear materials to mount attacks on a fearful scale was a prime goal of al-Qaeda.”
But what attacks have Al Qaeda been mounting in the West since 9/11? Aside from the Madrid and London bombings, we’ve had Richard Reid who couldn’t blow up his shoe, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who couldn’t blow up his pants. We’ve had the attack on Glasgow airport where the attacker, having rammed his car into concrete bollards, leaped out and set himself on fire (that’ll show you). In fact, the only impact most of these bozos have made is completely idiotic security measures in airports taken by our own governments afterwards.
The Al-Qaeda brand is so diffuse that anyone with a deathwish can sign on without passing a maths test. Aside from the fact that these “terrorists” are/were home-grown, i.e. mainly European, I’m just curious to know how from producing home-made bog-standard devices (and when you think of it, ramming planes into buildings is hardly new either) these mainly none too bright lights can, according to President Obama, move on to producing atom bombs. Even the production of nuclear energy is beyond many a state’s grasp, so how will some future martyr from Bromley or St Etienne have the financial resources, the logistics, and the scientific brain to blow us all up? Or perhaps I’m missing something?