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NCJ Number: 76474 Find in a Library
Title: Terrorists and the Homemade 'A' Bomb (From Clandestine Tactics and Technology - A Technical and Background Intelligence Data Service, Volume 3 - See NCJ-77155)
Author(s): F M Watson
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Research and Development Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Arlington, VA 22201
Sale Source: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A discussion of the National Liberation Movement (Tupamaros) of Uruguay illustrates the activities of contemporary terrorist movements and the reasoning such groups would follow to use homemade nuclear devices to further their goals.
Abstract: As a recent public television broadcast has shown, an individual or a group from outside the government scientific establishment may obtain the nuclear material and information essential to the construction of a nuclear weapon, however crude. The case of the Tupamaros shows how a terrorist organization operates and how an antiestablishment/antigovernment movement may eventually 'mature' to a stage where the use of an atom bomb is inevitable. With any such group, there are only three basic considerations: their ability to obtain the required materials and make them into a bomb, their willingness to take upon themselves the decision to employ this level of violence, and their conviction that by doing so they will advance their cause. A terrorist group may attempt to build a nuclear bomb if the terrorists feel that their action might trigger a drastic reaction from officialdom. They could actually set off an atomic explosion with a homemade device in such a manner as to put the blame elsewhere. Finally, they could identify a target, isolated from sizeable elements of the general population and for which sufficient hate exists or could be generated, to justify the group's destruction. In addition, an advanced terrorist group may decide to use a nuclear bomb if they have gained sufficient control over the situation to no longer concern themselves over killing a large number of people or if their cause is already in such jeopardy that they are desperate and will try anything. However, the current situation in which no terrorist groups appears to be on the verge of a nuclear offensive, can be jeopardized by an exaggerated emphasis on nuclear safety; hysteria could worsen the general political and social climate. The public should be educated by the press about the dangers of international terrorism to the same degree as they are about the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Excerpts from several American newspapers concerning terrorist activities are cited.
Index Term(s): Bomb threats; Nuclear terrorism; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Terrorist profiles; Terrorist tactics; Tupamaros; Uruguay
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