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THE ISRAEL REPORT

September/October
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Bin Laden has several Nuclear Suitcases

Reproduced from the Jerusalem Report: October 25th, 1999

Master terrorist Ossame Bin Laden has acquired portable nuclear devices, a U.S.-based expert on non-conventional terror believes. The only real question now is whether BinLaden has "a few," as Russian intelligence seems to think, or "over 20," a figure cited by intelligence services of moderate Arab regimes. "There is no longer much doubt that Bin Laden has finally succeeded in his quest for nuclear ‘suitcase bombs," says Yossef Bodansky, head of the Congressional Task Force on Non-Conventional Terrorism in Washington. In a recent book, Bodansky reports that Bin Laden’s associates acquired the devices through Chechnya, paying the Chechens $30 million in cash and two tons of Afghan heroin, worth about $70 million in Afghanistan and about 10 times that on the street in Western cities.

Bodansky’s statements corroborate 1998 testimony by former Russian security chief Alexander Lebed to the U.S. House of Representatives. Lebed said that 43 nuclear suitcases from the former Soviet arsenal, developed for the KGB in the 1970s, have vanished since the collapse of the former Soviet Union a decade ago. Lebed said one person could detonate such a bomb by himself, and kill 100,000 people.

Among the others who recognize the threat is Ben Venzke, director of Tempest Publishing. The U.S. firm plans to release a detailed technical handbook on dealing with nuclear terror next year. The danger, says Venzke, is quite real ? and is not confined to stolen Russian weapons. "It is really quite simple," he says, "to acquire radioactive material and combine it with an explosive or so-called dirty device." Yael Haran

US Nuclear retaliation.... extract.

US Nuclear Doctrine, Nonstate Actors, and WMD Under US nuclear doctrine, the 20 August 1998 attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan could have been carried out with nuclear weapons. US doctrine allows strikes against terrorist groups armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In Doctrine for Joint Theater Nuclear Operation, a Joint Chiefs of Staff publication, "likely targets" for US nuclear weapons include "nonstate actors (facilities and operation centers) that possess WMD". "Nonstate actors" refers to terrorist organizations like the one US officials claim is headed by Osama bin Laden. At the same time, statements from Pentagon officials are openly contradictory. In response to a media query on the above US doctrine, a Department of Defense spokesperson said the policy referred to situations "in which the U.S., or allies or our forces have been attacked with chemical or biological weapons." However, even that statement included a caveat, that the US "does not rule out in advance any capability available to us." As US nuclear doctrine has evolved since the end of the Cold War, it has increasingly focused on the perceived threat of weapons of mass destruction, including arsenals held by "nonstate actors". As the following documents demonstrate, however, this policy is ineffective, contradictory, and actually increases the risk of further nuclear proliferation. * Nuclear Weapons Against Terrorism, by Hans M. Kristensen, Research Associate, Nautilus Institute, 28 August 1998. Highlights the contradictions in US policy. * US Targets Nuclear Weapons at "Nonstate Actors", BASIC Press Release,

Rising racism: "A Plague" (Barak)

Following the rise of Joerg Haider's anti-foreigner Freedom Party in Austria's parliamentary election, many Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Ehud Barak have warned of the "spread of the neo-Nazi and fascist plague". "The rise of the extreme right must set off alarm bells among all the people of the free world who still recall the horrors of the Second World War," Prime Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement issued by his office. Haider's party surged to second place in the weekend election with just over 27 percent of votes, up from 22 percent in 1995, as Austria lurched to the right. "The prime minister voiced serious concern over the results of the Austrian election," the Israeli statement said. "The prime minister called on all enlightened forces in the world to band together in a common effort to block the spread of the neo-Nazi and fascist plague." Haider, a 49-year-old populist, once praised Adolf Hitler's employment policies and termed Waffen SS veterans "decent men of character". His party's showing was front page news on Monday in Israel, home to an estimated 250,000 survivors of the Holocaust. (Reuters)

Ehud Barak on Israel's Regional Profile: Extracts from the Jerusalem Post: October 1st, 1999

"We face three threatening circles. The closest is the terrorism circle within us and on our borders. After that, there is the circle of increasing regional conventional weapons. Finally, there is the circle of increasing regional non-conventional weapons. Our influence on the largest circle is limited, and, to some extent, it exists without any relation to us. Take Iran for example: when Iran looks east, it sees nuclear powers all the way to Irkutzk. Pakistan is nuclear, China is nuclear, India is nuclear, North Korea is nuclear. This is the scene they see and we don't have a major part in it. At the same time, we don't have a strategic interest in pushing ourselves as the symbolic and apocalyptic pole in the fight between good and evil. And by the way, Iran also looks westward and sees Saddam Hussein trying to develop nuclear power. So therefore, we need to put the situation into perspective. We have to push in the right direction, but this should not blind us to the needs in our own backyard, over which we can have an influence. In my mind there is a clear conclusion here: from our position of strength and confidence, within this window of opportunity, within this tough neighborhood, we can diffuse the immediate mines of the conflict, which are also those things that affect us on a day-to-day basis. Also, in a more long-term context, this will help to diffuse the long-standing base of belligerency towards Israel."
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