The possible use of an atomic bomb by a rogue state or a terrorist organisation is the least worrisome factor considered by the Central Intelligence Agency. The most dreaded scenario is the use of "a dirty bomb" (of varying weight) which could be made with ease and its effects equal the devastation of any nuclear weapon of mass destruction. The CIA predicted in 2002 that "it is not whether or not such a nightmare scenario would happen, but it is a matter of when it would take place".
The two designated and most likely areas for this nightmare scenario are: "the lower tip of Manhattan and the city of Tel Aviv", according to the intelligence assessment. A simulated effect of detonation was made of "a certain dirty bomb of 50 pounds of explosives in the lower tip of Manhattan (the biggest business district in the world) will disperse radioactive material all over Manhattan effecting millions and millions of people". The radioactive dust will not cause immediate death to these millions, but in the long run if they stay in the affected areas, cancer is their fate.
"The dirty bomb is not a weapon of mass destruction, but a weapon of mass disruption rendering the affected areas to be unfit for human habitation". This type of radioactive dust would settle on buildings, grounds and people creating massive public panic and instant massive migration. The required decontamination in this case is considered an impossible task pertaining to affected areas which have to be destroyed, isolated and abandoned for many years to come. Dr Henry Kelly, President of Federation of Scientists elaborated on all of that when he testified before the senate foreign relations committee in March 6, 2002. Indeed, the actual threat of ‘a dirty bomb' is not an imaginary threat and the following examples testify to its absolute reality:
1. Chechnya rebels planted a 7.5kg of explosives packed with cesium - 137 in 1995 in Moscow. They directed a TV reporter to the bomb to be removed. They made their point without causing a catastrophe in Moscow.
2. Operative for Al Qaida tried and failed in Sudan to buy enriched uranium on the black market produced in South Africa. The BBC reported on January 30, 2003 that "Al Qaida attempts to manufacture a dirty bomb are much advanced than previously known. Al Qaida training manuals detailing how to best make and use dirty bombs were uncovered — as was a quantity of radioactive material in training camps in Afghanistan".
3. United Nations investigators found that "ingredients for dirty bombs can easily be obtained from the former member-states of the Soviet Union which are littered with forgotten cesium chloride".
4. An unintended incident of a contamination took place in Brazil in 1987. A scrap merchant stole radiation material from a hospital being closed in Goiania, Brazil. The amount was the size of a cigarette lighter of highly concentrated radioactive cesium chloride used for cancer patients. The radiation was released during cutting of the small container which created radioactive dust. Two hundred people were immediately affected and four died and were buried in lead coffins sealed in concrete. Pavements and buildings needed to be scrubbed and tons of soil had to be dug and crated away and 100,000 of people had to be tested and screened from the dispersal of radioactive material from a container smaller than a cigarette lighter that was cut, not detonated.
We have reached the end of the eleventh hour of the clock of the nightmare scenario which threatens the national security of the western countries and the very survival of the Hebrew state. On one hand, we have a colonial/ apartheid state being ruled by Jewish fundamentalists determined to completely Judaise Occupied Jerusalem and all historical Palestine and on the other hand we have an emerging tidal wave of fundamentalism sweeping the parliamentary elections in the Arab World.
The final catastrophic clash between the Zionist doctrine that is determined to complete the process of Judaisation of Palestine and the extremist doctrine of Al Qaida is inevitable, according to western intelligence experts.
Extremist doctrines are meant to blaspheme and negate their opponents. Negating the Palestinian people in Palestine by the Judaisation process by the Zionist doctrine which is making the Hebrew state the last colonial/apartheid power in our world is going to be met by the extremist doctrine of Al Qaida which is infiltrating a few political parties that politicised Islam and which is absolutely prohibited. The next generation of rockets raining on Israeli cities may be packed with easily available radioactive material of the worst kind which will force an instant mass migration from all the contaminated areas in Israel. It is now a deadly race between fundamentalist doctrines that are hell-bent on negating and annihilating each other.
The question now when the peace process is dead and buried is: "Which doctrine is going to be the first to cause the mass transfer of population of the other from Palestine?" And that is "the nightmare scenario most dreaded by the western world and by every moderate Jew with conscience in Israel and outside it."
Professor As'ad Abdul Rahman is the Chairman of the Palestinian Encyclopaedia.