Nuclear Terrorism: Assessing the Threat, Developing a Response
CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND BUDGETARY ASSESSMENTS WASHINGTON DC
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Over the past several years, the prospect of a terrorist group armed with a nuclear weapon has frequently been cited as a genuine and overriding threat to the security of the United States. Although the likelihood of a nuclear terrorist attack may be relatively low, the consequences of such an attack would obviously be enormous. There is, therefore, widespread agreement regarding the severity of this threat. Despite this consensus, a number of important questions remain open to debate. How real is the risk that a terrorist group could acquire or construct a functional nuclear device, and how might it attempt to do so Which group poses the greatest threat in this regard, how has that threat changed over time, and is it currently growing or abating What existing and prospective measures will prove most effective in preventing terrorists from obtaining a nuclear weapon, stopping them from delivering and detonating a weapon if prevention fails, and responding both at home and abroad in the event that an attack succeeds The purpose of this report is to examine these critical issues.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare
- Nuclear Weapons