15 May 2003

Nuclear watchdog fears terrorist dirty bomb after looting at al-Tuwaitha
United Nations nuclear inspectors, barred from Iraq by Washington, are increasingly worried that the widespread looting and ransacking of Iraq's nuclear facilities may result in terrorists building a radioactive "dirty bomb".

The inspectors' concerns are shared internationally and the British government has reportedly offered to raise the matter with Washington to try to get agreement on a return of the UN nuclear inspectors to Iraq.

The main worry revolves around the fate of at least 200 radioactive isotopes which were stored at the sprawling al-Tuwaitha nuclear complex, 15 miles south of Baghdad. It has seen widespread looting, and reports from Baghdad speak of locals making off with barrels of raw uranium and the isotopes which are meant for medical or industrial use.

"If this happened anywhere else there would be national outrage and it would be the highest priority," said a senior source at the UN nuclear watchdog, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

Of course, if this nightmare scenario actually happens it will probably be used as justification for an invasion of France or something. Link courtesy of Gyre.

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