Tags: nuclear | terror | threat

Brian Jenkins: Nuclear Attack No. 1 Threat to U.S.

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 01:11 PM

A terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon remains the most significant threat facing the U.S. today, terrorism expert Brian Jenkins tells Newsmax.

Jenkins is a leading authority on homeland security, a senior advisor for the Rand Corporation, and former captain of U.S. Army Special Forces. He is also the author of the new book “Will Terrorists Go Nuclear?”

With the anniversary of 9/11 looming, Jenkins told Newsmax’s Ashley Martella that there has been progress in making America safer than it was at the time of the attacks, including the removal of al-Qaida’s “Taliban protectors” in Afghanistan.

“As a result of unprecedented international cooperation among the intelligence services and law enforcement organizations of the world, certainly we have made the operational environment a lot more difficult for al-Qaida and its affiliates,” Jenkins said.

“At the same time, there is no question al-Qaida remains a serious and persistent threat.”

Referring to the title of Jenkins’ new book, Martella asked if a nuclear attack is America’s greatest fear right now. Jenkins responded: “The government had indicated that nuclear proliferation and the possibility of nuclear terrorism remains the number one threat to U.S. national security.”

He also declared that a preemptive strike to stave off a nuclear attack must remain a policy option.

“Where we have positive intelligence, convincing intelligence, that terrorists are acquiring or are about to acquire a nuclear capability, and there is no recourse — that is, the government where they happen to be is unable or unwilling to take measures to stop them — then I think we have to reserve the right that we will, if absolutely necessary, use unilateral force to preempt the attack.”

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