Tags: Reports | Say | Zarqawi | Has | Radioactive | Bomb

Reports Say Zarqawi Has Radioactive Bomb

Wednesday, 20 April 2005 12:00 AM

Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz reported the story, but says the intelligence uopon which the story is based is being questioned because analysts think that if al-Qaida had such a weapon they would use it immediately. Gertz thinks that the fact that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has reported the nuclear threat in several classified reports distributed since December indicates official concern about it, no matter the questions surrounding the info.

U.S. intelligence and security officials testified in congressional hearings last February that a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical or biological arms - is likely.

CIA Director Porter J. Goss said such a terrorist strike "may be only a matter of time."

Zarqawi is said to be planning an attack on the United States - he's written in letters that those are his wishesd - and Zarqawi is also thought to be planning a chemical weapons attack in Europe, officials told Gertz.

Moreover, in February, U.S. intelligence and security officials in a classified bulletin to state and local security officials warned that information showed bin Laden had asked Zarqawi to focus future attacks on targets inside the United States.

Gertz also cited a report by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, which ripped U.S. spies for not understanding al-Qaida's WMD aims and capabilities in Afghanistan prior to 2001, when U.S. forces helped oust the Islamist Taliban government.

"There are critical intelligence gaps with regard to each al-Qaida unconventional weapons capability - chemical, biological and nuclear," according to the report, made public March 30.

The commission said bin Laden told a Pakistani newspaper reporter in November 2001 that al-Qaida has both nuclear and chemical weapons.

The CIA then "speculated" in a report that the terrorist group "probably had access to nuclear expertise and facilities and that there was a real possibility of the group developing a crude nuclear device," the commission report said, adding that U.S. intelligence agencies think development of a radiological or "dirty" bomb made by mixing radioactive material with conventional explosives is "well within al-Qaida's capabilities."

Zarqawi, a Jordanian who has specialized in suicide bombings and large-scale vehicle bombings, formally linked up with Osama bin Laden's terror network last year and is believed to be operating inside Iraq.

Gertz reports that Zarqawi had several close encounters in recent weeks with Iraqi and U.S. forces.

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Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz reported the story, but says the intelligence uopon which the story is based is being questioned because analysts think that if al-Qaida had such a weapon they would use it immediately. Gertz thinks that the fact that the Defense...
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Wednesday, 20 April 2005 12:00 AM
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