- Politics and Social Issues
Al Qaeda's Suitcase-Sized Weapons of Mass Destruction
The continual amassing of the weapons of mass destruction by Al Qaeda is indicative of an imminent massive attack on the United States. There is no other justification for Al Qaeda to acquire weapons of mass destruction, other than the destruction of Western society, the nonbelievers. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, one of America’s most wanted Al Qaeda operatives, shared this view in June 2002:
"We have not reached parity with them. We have the right to kill 4 million Americans – 2 million of them children – and to exile twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them with chemical and biological weapons, so as to afflict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical and biological weapons" (Williams, 2005, p. 21).
Leaks from Al Qaeda operatives indicate Al Qaeda already have plans to attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction. These plans vary widely, but all are grandiose in nature. The next attack, according to Al Qaeda defectors and informants:
"Will take place simultaneously at various sites throughout the country. Designated targets include New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Valdez, Alaska, where the tankers are filler with oil from the Trans-Alaska pipeline" (Williams, 2005, p. 99).
It is unclear how Al Qaeda plan to carry out these large-scale attacks against the United States. Numerous reports indicate the Al Qaeda possess nuclear weapons that can be contained in suitcase-size bags. These “suitcase bombs” can easily be transported across borders in a variety of methods. The suitcase bombs are only “about 24 X 16 X 8 inches, weighing less than 30 pounds” (Friedman, 2004, p. 213). This small size makes them easy to conceal and hand-carry, as if legitimate luggage. Intelligence indicates that the Al Qaeda already possess some of these suitcase bombs. The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) discovered intelligence that:
"Al Qaeda had already gotten hold of two suitcase nuclear devices through contacts an unspecified former Soviet republics in Central Asia. The ISI gave specifics. It provided the serial numbers of the weapons and the date of the manufacture – October 1988" (Friedman, 2004, p. 213).
The ending of the Cold War benefitted the United States in the short-term, however, many of the homeless nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union unfortunately found homes in the hands of Al Qaeda. As shown by the 9/11 attacks, Al Qaeda have already demonstrated the patience and planning necessary to execute a large scale attack against the United States. It is only a matter of time before Al Qaeda attack again. It is imperative the United States plan and be ready for such an attack.
Please check out one of my other articles on terrorism:
Friedman, G. (2004). America’s secret war: inside the hidden worldwide struggle between the United States and its enemies. Westminster, MD: Doubleday Publishing.
Williams, P. (2005). The Al Qaeda connection: International terrorism, organized crime, and the coming apocalypse. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.