Nuclear Weapons Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment 1. Capability assessment: What skills and resources are necessary to execute a successful attack using portable nuclear weapons? Are there any terrorist groups that possess these skills and resources? Explain. For a terror organization to successfully execute a terrorist attack using portable nuclear weapons, its members are required to have immaculate training in the manufacture, construction, and assembling of small scale nuclear devices. In addition, they would also be required to acquire the necessary raw materials such as fissile material, but in the contemporary era, very few terror organizations have been identified or documented to be making attempts to gain access, an example of which is Al Qaeda (Mauroni, 2012). However,…show more content…
In this regard, countries such as Pakistan that are perceived to have limited security in relation to their stockpiles of nuclear weapons and weapon grade materials pose a significant threat. During the administration of President Pervez Musharraf, there were at least two assassination attempts that were conducted through the collusion of the military and Al Qaeda operatives. This raises the question if the Pakistan administration is unable to secure the security of its president, what about the stockpiles of weapon-grade nuclear material in their possession. Moreover, Iran has been known to finance and support terror organizations, which also raises questions whether it could provide nuclear technology to such groups to hit American targets on its behalf. Additionally, nuclear weapons could be smuggled into the United States from its neighbors such as Canada and Mexico, who seem to have a mediocre security system. A chart devised by Peter Zimmerman illustrates that it could cost about $5 million to manufacture and detonate a nuclear bomb in the US from the process of procuring the material, human resource hired to manufacture the bomb, and smuggling the material to the US mainland through Mexico and Canada. Most of the personnel involved in such an execution of this plan are already in the country in sleeper cells that are only activated once the puzzles have been finally completed, which would make it almost impossible to

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