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November 1, 2001
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Terrorists may target nuclear facilities: IAEA

T V Parasuram in Washington

Calling for safeguards against the eventuality of terrorists targeting nuclear facilities worldwide, International Atomic Energy Agency has said terrorists might use radioactive sources to incite panic or cause deaths among civilian populations.

The ruthlessness of the September 11 attacks in the US and the willingness of terrorists to sacrifice their lives to achieve their evil aims creates a new dimension in the fight against terrorism, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said.

He added, "It is far more likely that terrorists could target nuclear facilities, nuclear material and radioactive sources worldwide."

"We are not just dealing with the possibility of governments diverting nuclear materials into clandestine weapons programmes," he said.

An unconventional threat, said ElBaradei, requires an unconventional response, and the whole world needs to join together and take responsibility for the security of nuclear material.

Experts from around the world have been meeting since October 29 at an international symposium and discussing nuclear safeguards, verification and security.

IAEA officials have said some terrorist groups, particularly Al Qaeda, have attempted to acquire nuclear material, which is a cause for great concern.

While the level of security of nuclear facilities is generally considered to be very high, security of medical and industrial radiation sources is disturbingly weak in some countries.

"The controls on nuclear material and radioactive sources are uneven," said ElBaradei.

America's War on Terror: The complete coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The complete coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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