Terrorists may be getting access to nuke materials ‘every second day’: IAEA

Friday, January 28, 2011

DAVOS - Yukiya Amano, Director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has warned that nuclear material may be falling into the hands of terrorists.

Amano attended the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos in Switzerland on Thursday to make political leaders aware of the risks of nuclear proliferation, that is not limited to just North Korea and Iran, Fox News reports.

“We are aware of the difficulties of countries (who fund the IAEA). I need to strike a good balance of the needs of the agency and the capacity of countries to contribute,” Amano said.

“Another risk is nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists. Some people do not believe this is a real risk. But the IAEA has a database and, on average, every two days we receive information about the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials or radioactive materials and this may only be the tip of the iceberg,” he added.

Although he did not specify the region where the “loose nukes” threat lies, he said that terrorists target the weakest link in the network.

“Nowadays, with the current level of world technology, terrorists can make nuclear weapons-well, dirty bombs, at least,” Amano added.

There are reports that many people have been arrested in the former Soviet republic of Georgia for attempting to smuggle small amounts of highly enriched uranium through the region, the report said.

Speaking about talks between six world powers and Iran that broke down in Turkey last weekend, he said: “There are some activities with a military dimension. I’m not saying Iran has a nuclear weapon, but there are some activities that have some military aspects and we have some concerns.”

Amano also appeared uncertain to what extent the Stuxnet computer worm affected Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but said that the agency is studying the extent to which it poses a danger to any nuclear program. (ANI)

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