Poorly secured isotopes increase dirty bomb threat according to Henry Jackson report
A new report from the Henry Jackson Society has warned that the poor security of radiological elements has created an “increased likelihood” of a dirty bomb terror attack within the decade.
The report's author, London-based nuclear consultant Dr Bahram Ghiassee, said: “Since 9/11 the international community has been concerned with nuclear terrorism, but the likelihood of a terrorist acquiring nuclear material is remote. It’s a different story with radiological materials, which have been dismissed as an adjunct“.
“We can find radiological materials in research centres and hospitals and they are poorly secured.“
In the report, Dr Ghiassee also suggested that radiological isotopes could also be smuggled into Britain, both through official UK borders or illegal routes used by some migrants or criminals.
Ghiassee has called for the UN Security Council to adopt a legally binding resolution to oblige all UN Member States to adopt legal and stringent frameworks to secure the isotopes, along with the creation by the nuclear watchdog, IAEA of a new
‘International Centre for Radiological Security’.
Ghiassee stressed: “This doesn’t mean that the UK cannot be proactive on its own. The Government must amend the Border Strategy to extend and expand monitoring systems beyond airports and established maritime crossings. We simply must ensure these sources are secure, so access to radioactive sources is made more difficult.”