The United States reached agreement with Uzbekistan yesterday to beginproviding technical assistance for cleaning up a former Sovietbiological weapons test range on an island in the Aral Sea that isheavily contaminated with anthrax spores, a State Department officialsaid.
U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan John Herbst initialed the "implementingarrangement," under which the United States would help pay to removethousands of tons of deadly anthrax spores dumped on VozrozhdeniyaIsland and to decontaminate the site. American researchers found livespores on the island about 10 years ago.
The official said the United States has grown increasingly concernedabout the lethal material left on the island, which belongs jointly toUzbekistan and Kazakhstan, because the surrounding sea is drying up. Thesite, dubbed the world's largest anthrax burial ground, may soon beaccessible by a newly formed land bridge, presenting both environmentaland security challenges.
This agreement is one of several technical arrangements that the UnitedStates has reached with former Soviet republics, including Russia,Ukraine and Kazakhstan, to help eliminate the threat of biological,chemical and nuclear weapons under the terms of the Nunn-Lugarlegislation adopted by Congress. Although administration officials couldnot detail the terms of this latest agreement, they typically involvethe provision of U.S. expert teams and technical measures to help stemthe spread of hazardous materials, the official said.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, it reportedly contained eightbiological weapons sites scattered among several republics. Earlier thismonth, an American team headed by Pentagon officials was dispatchedunder the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to Kazakhstan tohelp decommission a former germ warfare factory where anthrax sporeswere found in a pipe.
This latest agreement, initialed in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent,represents the latest example of cooperation between the United Statesand Uzbekistan, which has rapidly emerged as one of the key U.S. alliesin the battle against Osama bin Laden's radical network. Uzbekistanborders Afghanistan and has offered various types of help to theU.S.-led campaign, including bases. return to menu
B. ABM Treaty
1. A Bush-Putin Deal
Wall Street Journal
October 23, 2001
(for personal use only)
President Bush didn't announce the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treatywhen he met with Russian President Putin in Shanghai over the weekend.But he did the next best thing: He set a deadline.
The "D-word" was scrupulously avoided in all public comments on themeeting, with U.S. officials talking instead about "moving beyond" theTreaty. But the meaning was plain. If the two leaders don't makesubstantial progress by the time they meet again next month at Mr.Bush's Texas ranch, Mr. Bush left little doubt he'd give the requisitesix months' notice and pull out. And rather than stand athwart Mr. Bushyelling stop, Mr. Putin showed new flexibility himself.
In short, momentum is building for a historic missile defensebreakthrough next month. The key issue now is not to let thearms-controllers limit the deal so close to the goal line. For the sakeof getting Mr. Putin's approval, Mr. Bush will be under pressure tolimit the scope of his ABM plans, especially when it comes to space. Butonly by using space can a defense be truly effective. Now is not thetime to blink.
We have no evidence that Mr. Bush will in fact blink. Even sinceSeptember 11, he has been stalwart in support, arguing that the threatof terrorism makes missile defense even more important. He repeated thecase with Mr. Putin by his side on Sunday, noting that "He knows myfeelings about the ABM Treaty and so does America."
That said, pressure will build to limit any defenses to a land-basedsystem now planned for Alaska. This is essentially the system proposedby the Clinton Administration and supported by Senate Democrats beforeSeptember 11 as "non-threatening" to Russia. What they mean by this isthat Russia would have enough missiles to overwhelm it.
But effective missile defense requires much more than 100 interceptorsin Alaska. On space, the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, releasedtwo weeks ago, stresses the need for the U.S. military to dominate spaceas much as it does land, sea and air. That mission is not possiblewithin the ABM Treaty, as the Rumsfeld Commission's report on the U.S.role in space made plain earlier this year.
The ABM pact also limits sea-based defenses. According to the Center forSecurity Policy, the Pentagon has told Mr. Bush that the Treaty barssea-based radars aboard Aegis cruisers from monitoring the next test ofa ground-based anti-missile system. The U.S. has been using this radarfor five years to track Chinese missiles, notes Hank Cooper, former headof the SDI program. These are not things Mr. Bush will want to give upin any revised agreement.
This does not mean there aren't good reasons to negotiate with theRussian president. Politically, Mr. Putin's imprimatur would more orless neuter such defense critics as Michigan Senator Carl Levin. If eventhe Russians don't object to walking away from the Cold War Treaty, howcan Senate Democrats?
An agreement would also continue reducing both Russian and Americannuclear arsenals. This seems to be a Putin priority, and it's fine byus. Mr. Putin reportedly wants to bring each side down to 1,500long-range weapons, while the U.S. is said to be reluctant to go below2,500. Russia currently has deployed 6,000 long-range nuclear weaponscompared with the roughly 7,000 deployed by the U.S. under Start II,both countries have already committed to reducing their nuclear forcesto a ceiling of 3,500.
Our own view is that beyond a certain minimum requirement -- possiblyfewer than 2,500 -- the numbers don't matter all that much. Morecritical is the need for greater transparency, that is, less secrecyabout what the Russians have, where they keep it and what they can dowith it. But in a world of defenses, offensive arsenals count for lessand so the world is a safer place.
The larger picture is that Mr. Bush is approaching his goal now becausehe has been so steadfast in pushing for it. Mr. Putin, for his part,seems to be willing to accommodate the American because he has otherneeds and knows he can't stop Mr. Bush in any case. On present trends,in Crawford, Texas, next month the ABM Treaty could lay in pieces on thefloor. return to menu
2. Missile Pact Still Divides U.S., Russia
October 23, 2001
(for personal use only)
MOSCOW, Oct. 22 -- Despite their declaration of progress toward anagreement on missile defense and arms reductions, President Bush andRussian President Vladimir Putin remain separated by serious differencesthat have barely eased in two months of negotiations, a senior Bushadministration official said today.
The official said the United States is "closer than we've been for along time" to unilaterally declaring its intent to pull out of the 1972Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which limits the kind of missile defensesystem that Bush wants to build.
The Russians "are still hoping that this is the Clinton administration,"said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "They don't seemto understand that this is a fundamentally different approach."
The ABM Treaty requires either side to give six months' notice of itsintent to withdraw. Although Bush did not give Putin a specific date,the official said, "he made it clear that it would happen," perhaps assoon as January. "There is a very, very short time period in which weeither make progress or we withdraw," he said.
Bush and Putin discussed missile defense and arms control issues inShanghai on Sunday at the economic summit of Asian and Pacific nations.They were reported to have discussed a proposal under which Russia wouldaccept a U.S. missile defense program in exchange for deep cuts inoffensive nuclear weapons on both sides.
The senior official said Putin sounded more hopeful at a news conferencewith Bush than earlier in private meetings with the president.
The official attributed the lack of progress to the Kremlin's failure torecognize that Bush has made up his mind about the need for a nationalmissile defense system, and has made it a top priority. But the officialsaid the administration has also complicated negotiations by failing todecide how much it would reduce the U.S. arsenal of nuclear warheads.
The administration is waiting for the Defense Department to complete astudy before it offers specific cuts.
The United States will make its offer to Moscow before Bush and Putinmeet Nov. 12-14 in Washington and at Bush's ranch in Crawford, Tex., theofficials said, but cautioned that a definitive pact before the Novembermeeting "is close to impossible." return to menu
C. Nuclear Terrorism
1. Can a Nuke Really Fit into a Suitcase?
October 29, 2001
(for personal use only)
Could the next chapter of our national nightmare be a nuclear one? Howhard would it be for operatives of Osama bin Laden to deliver a"suitcase nuke" to our doorstep?
The technical answer is that the threat is still considered to beremote; there is no hard evidence that any terrorist group, includingbin Laden's, has a finished nuclear weapon in its arsenal. But not longago, anthrax seemed a distant threat. And it is possible for the badguys to assemble an atom bomb with contraband uranium and off-the-shelfparts. "It's not particularly probable, but it's possible,'" saysAnthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic andInternational Studies in Washington. "The difficulty is that we aredealing with a wide range of low-probability cases. We can't be afraidof any one, but we have to be concerned about all of them." Among thoseprobabilities: "dirty" conventional bombs loaded with radioactivegarbage and attacks on nuclear plants that cause massive radiationleaks.
For years, cloak-and-dagger stories have circulated that Soviet suitcasenukes (also known as atomic demolition munitions, or ADMs) had goneunaccounted for and presumably ended up on the Russian black market. TheRussians have offered confusing and conflicting statements about thedisposition of their ADMs, leading some to suspect the worst. The ADMsweigh from 60 lbs. to 100 lbs., according to Bruce Blair, a former U.S.Air Force officer and expert on Soviet nuclear weapons. They could becarried in a case 8 in. by 16 in. by 24 in. The fissile material insidethe mini-nukes degrades over time, though, and it's unlikely that theRussians maintained them or that their new owners could. "There's nogood evidence that any rebel group or terrorist has these," says JohnLepingwell, a nuclear expert with the Monterey Institute ofInternational Studies.
If terrorists can't buy portable nukes, they would have to make them.And in a frightening study done by the Nuclear Control Institute, anonproliferation group in Washington, a panel of nuclear-explosivesexperts concluded that a group of dedicated terrorists without nuclearbackgrounds could assemble a bomb if it had the right materials (such asplutonium 239, uranium 235, plutonium oxide and uranium oxide). It wouldtake about a year to complete the job. "There's little question that theonly remaining obstacle is the acquisition of the material," says PaulLeventhal, the institute's president. Less than 110 kg of activeingredients could yield 10 kilotons of explosive power--a Hiroshima-sizeweapon. Even if the terrorists didn't get the recipe quite right, a1-kiloton yield could still devastate a city. And forget the suitcase: atruck will do, or a container ship to float the bomb into an Americanport.
Where would bin Laden get the material? Again, the most common answer isRussia, with its reputation as a fissile flea market. And a bin Ladenassociate has told authorities that the mastermind is shopping fornuclear ingredients. Adds Leventhal: "My feeling is that the prudentassumption is that bin Laden is nuclear capable in some fashion." Otherexperts are less certain that any terrorist group could pull off a nuke.A 1999 Rand study on terrorism noted somewhat reassuringly that"building a nuclear device capable of producing mass destructionpresents Herculean challenges for terrorists and indeed even for stateswith well-funded and sophisticated programs."
Which is why the greater danger may lie in dirty bombs, conventionalweapons used to spray radioactive material--anything from used reactorrods to contaminated clothing--over wide areas. Although the death tollwouldn't be great, the contamination and the public panic could bewidespread. "The ultimate dirty bomb is a nuclear power reactor," saysNCI's Leventhal. That someone will run a jet into a cooling tower isn'tthe only risk. Periodically the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stagedmock attacks against facilities, and the faux intruders won half thetime--meaning they were in a position to cause severe damage. It's atarget-rich environment: not only is the core vulnerable, but one NRCstudy also concluded that if terrorists blew up the cooling pool thatholds the spent fuel, the radiation could kill 6% of the people livingwithin 10 miles of the plant. return to menu
2. Apocalypse Now?
The Times of London
October 23, 2001
(for personal use only)
Dozens of Russia's nuclear weapons are missing. There is clear evidencethat Osama bin Laden's agents have been scouring the world to buy orsteal such devices in order to attack the West. Our correspondentinvestigates how near they may be to succeeding.
When Ahmed Salama Mabruk was arrested three years ago in Baku, inAzerbaijan, no one in the West could confirm what he claimed to know.Some still doubt him, but no one now dares to say that he was lying.
Mabruk was personal assistant to Ayman Zawahiri, the bespectacledlieutenant to Osama bin Laden who is now thought to have mastermindedthe September attacks on New York and Washington.
When Azerbaijani security forces confiscated Mabruk's laptop they wereable to download from it a mine of information about the structure ofthe al-Qaeda network. He was extradited to Egypt and is now serving a25-year sentence for planning terrorist activities there, but during histrial he had a chance to exchange a few words in his Cairo courtroomwith Mohammed Salah, a reporter with the London-based Al-Hayatnewspaper.
"I asked him if al-Qaeda had obtained nuclear weapons and he told methat both al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad had done so with the help ofseveral different countries," says Salah. "He said that bin Laden hadtold his men not to use them except when ordered to." Salah wassceptical at first. "But now," he says, "I believe everything."
Another story that is also suddenly credible comes from Jamal Ahmedal-Fadl, who travelled to Khartoum, the Sudan capital, in 1993, with$1.5 million (£1 million) and orders from bin Laden to buy South Africanweapons-grade uranium. He says he made contact with a Sudanese Armyofficer offering the fuel for sale in a 3ft steel cylinder. Al-Fadl waspaid $10,000 for his efforts before being removed from the negotiations.
Three years later al-Fadl walked into an American embassy in Africa andturned himself in. He is now the FBI's most valuable source on binLaden, its al-Qaeda supergrass, with secret accommodation and a newidentity as a member of the bureau's Witness Protection Programme. Hesays he doesn't know if the uranium deal went through.
In fact there has been no confirmation of nuclear weapons or nuclearmaterial falling into bin Laden's hands nor any firm statement that hehas failed to obtain them. But the deeper you look into this informationvacuum, which US taxpayers increasingly consider a poor return on their$30 billion-a-year investment in foreign intelligence, the more worryingit becomes.
Bin Laden has said that it is his duty to seek weapons of massdestruction, and the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) inVienna has confirmed hundreds of instances of nuclear smuggling sincethe collapse of the Soviet Union. They litter the map of Eurasia andimplicate a gallery of crooks, usually offering small amounts ofnon-weapons-grade material to buyers with even less knowledge of nuclearphysics than themselves.
A group of Georgian Customs officers treated in 1997 for deep brown legwounds provides a case in point. They had confiscated several phials ofhighly radioactive caesium and pocketed it in the hope of finding abuyer. Instead they found that the caesium, which cannot be used inbombs, ate into their flesh.
The following year, according to an Afghan refugee from Mazar-i Sharifnow living in London, an entire family fell ill when a smuggler buried alarge quantity of what was believed to be uranium in their garden. "Someof them were paralysed from the waist down and all the vegetation intheir garden died," the refugee says. "The uranium probably came fromTaliqan or Kunduz province, near the border."
For most of the 1990s the international community persuaded itself thatnuclear smuggling on a larger scale than this was easy to detect andprobably not happening. Western leaders are now having to assume thereverse: that only the clowns got caught.
"They are probably the tip of the iceberg," says Dr Laurie Mylroie, a USacademic who claims that the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing was almostcertainly masterminded by Iraq, and who insists that President SaddamHussein was likewise behind the September 11 attacks.
"If Russian organised-crime groups with good contacts and resources gotinvolved in this, you might never hear about it," says Gary Milhollin,of the Wisconsin Project, a Washington anti-proliferation think-tank."You tend to pick up the amateurs, not the pros." Before September 11such talk might have been alarmist. Now it is a sane reminder of themost sobering reality of the post-Soviet world order. What was theworld's largest nuclear power, with between 15,000 and 40,000 nuclearweapons and enough fissile material for 40,000 more, has spent the pastdecade staggering under the pressure of rampant corruption andcriminality with its nuclear stockpile ill-guarded, compared withAmerica's. And vulnerable, above all, to the thousands of scientists whobuilt it, but now earn on average $50 a month. The result is what one ofWashington's more moderate non-proliferation experts calls "a nuclearK-Mart".
Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles are not for sale. They areso central to Moscow's vision of itself as a world power that theyremain almost as secure and secret as in the Cold War. But a blackmarket has existed since before the Soviet collapse for a wide range oflesser nuclear assets from battlefield weapons to "suitcase nukes"built for Soviet special forces and low-grade radioactive material thatcould be packed with conventional explosives to make the most basicpoor-man's atom bomb.
In the worst scenario, impossible to rule out with no UN weaponsinspectors left in Iraq, Saddam could already have acquired enoughfissile material for a warhead and mounted it atop a Soviet-built Scudmissile.
In the early 1990s the smugglers' preferred routes led west out ofRussia and Ukraine to Eastern Europe and Germany. In 1994, a Germanpolice sting at Frankfurt airport led to the arrest of a Colombian intransit from Moscow with a consignment of plutonium in his suitcase, andthe smugglers' focus shifted towards the Caucasus and Central Asia.
There are few wilder or more porous frontiers than the 3,000-mile fencealong the southern fringe of the former Soviet Union. It starts on theBlack Sea near Batumi, winds along the spine of the Caucasus andcontinues through scorching deserts to the Pamirs and the Tien Shan,interrupted only by the Caspian.
In the middle of it, Uzbek-istan's short border with Afghanistan hasbeen closed for the past four years. Otherwise all bets are off. I haveinterviewed Chechens in Georgia's spectacular Pankisi Gorge who walkunhindered over the high passes of the Caucasus in and out of theirwar-torn homeland when the snows allow. Not far to the east, customschecks on trains from southern Russia to Azerbaijan are entirelyavoidable with bribes. In the high Pamirs you can drive for hours alongTajikistan's border with the Vakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistanand see hardly a soul.
It is no surprise to learn from the IAEA that in September 1998 policearrested eight people in Turkey and seized 10lb of uranium 235,destination unknown; nor that two men were arrested trying to sellplutonium in the remote Kyrgyz border town of Kara Balta the followingyear; nor that 4lb of highly enriched uranium was found less than threemonths ago packed into a glass jar in neat discs the size of ice hockeypucks in an hotel room in the Georgian Black Sea port of Batumi.
The list is merely a sample of what is known. It does not include policeand media reports based on personal testimony, such as one in the ArabicAl-Watan news magazine in early 1999 claiming that bin Laden had pulledoff a huge deal for 20 Russian nuclear warheads obtained for him by theChechen mafia in exchange for $30 million in cash and two tons of opium.It does not include the FBI's ongoing operation against a Pakistaniintelligence agent with close ties to bin Laden identified as MohammedAbbas, who placed an order with an undercover US agent posing as an armsdealer for six nuclear switches and a quantity of plutonium afterannouncing over lunch in New York that he meant to "kill all Americans".
None of this, at any rate, came as a surprise to the CIA. "Bin Laden hasbeen trying to get his hands on enriched uranium for seven or eightyears," Robert Wolsey, the agency's former director, told reporters aweek after the September 11 attacks.
Why, then, did the world's only superpower not do more to stop him? Itis a question that torments America, but answers are already emerging.On the one hand the US intelligence community was hamstrung by internalturf wars, bureaucratic regulation and limits on what it could do toprotect Russia's nuclear stockpile because of Russia's securityinterests and the risk of losing its own agents a scenario consideredunacceptable in the "risk-averse" post-Cold War era. Even moreseriously, the CIA appears to have relied too heavily on the assumptionthat bin Laden could not have nuclear weapons since building andmaintaining them takes huge political will and the resources of a nationstate.
Experts are now saying that this was a false assumption on severalcounts. The first dates from 1997, when General Aleksandr Lebed, thenhead of Russia's national security council, dropped a bombshell bydeclaring that dozens, possibly hundreds, of suitcase-sized nuclearweapons built in the 1970s were unaccounted for and were "a potentiallyperfect weapon for nuclear terrorism and blackmail".
Lebed was blackballed by the Russian military establishment and thrownoff a commission set up to investigate his allegations. Russian nuclearofficials ridiculed them, but the following month Lebed named theweapons as the RA-115 and the RA-115-01 (an underwater variant), eachweighing roughly 30 kilograms. Aleksei Yablokov, a former environmentaladviser to President Yeltsin, said that 84 out of a total of 132 weremissing. At a conference in Berlin, Lebed said he believed that most ofthem had been stationed in border areas no longer within Russia. Hewarned one of his detractors, the then Prime Minister ViktorChernomyrdin: "Sleep, Viktor Stepanovich, and you just might not wakeup."
Lebed is now running for a second term as governor of Krasnoyarsk andhas refused all interview requests since the attacks. However, a formerWestern diplomat who travels frequently to Central Asia confirmed lastweek that the suitcase-sized weapons almost certainly exist. "It's veryplausible that a device has been smuggled out and even to Afghanistan,"he adds. "Osama bin Laden is as possible a recipient as Saddam Hussein."
Compact nuclear weapons offer terrorists an easy answer to the question"Why build when you can buy?" Pakistan's rush to build an estimated 120nuclear warheads has given bin Laden yet another option theft.President Musharraf insists that his nuclear arsenal is safe, but the USconsiders the risk of Pakistani warheads falling into the wrong hands sogreat given the number of Taleban sympathisers in his ISI intelligenceservice that it has offered to fly in perimeter security for thecountry's nuclear bases and install fail-safe mechanisms on its weaponsto prevent them being detonated.
So far Musharraf has declined the offer. Pakistan and the West musttherefore hope that bin Laden has failed in all his attempts to buynuclear weapons and material. But even if he has, the risk of nuclearterrorism remains real and serious, thanks to Saddam.
The Iraqi dictator nearly bankrupted his country trying to build nuclearweapons before the arrival of UN inspectors in the wake of the Gulf War.This has not stopped him trying again since their departure.
The proof, or the closest thing to it, is in the form of a strange orderplaced with the Siemens electronics giant by the Iraqi Government in1998 for six lithotripter devices designed to break up kidney stoneswith highpowered shock waves. As medical machinery the lithotripterswere not covered by UN sanctions. Each used a precision electronicswitch, and Iraq ordered an extra 120 of these. As Gary Milhollin ofthe Wisconsin Project wrote in The New Yorker: "Iraq's strange hankeringfor this particular spare part becomes less mysterious when one reflectsthat the switch in question has another use: it can trigger an atomicbomb."
Former UN weapons inspectors in Iraq believed in 1999 that Saddamalready had the components for three nuclear weapons, each needing 32electronic switches. Whether he has obtained enough fuel for them is oneof the critical questions driving the debate in Washington on whether toexpand the war on terror to Iraq. Another is whether Saddam sponsoredthe September attacks.
Hawks in the Bush administration have been scouring the globe for anIraqi link that would justify finishing the job begun by OperationDesert Storm in 1991, and they may have found it: earlier this month theCzech Foreign Minister, Jan Kavan, flew to Washington with documentsshowing that Mohammed Atta, the pilot of the first jet to hit the WorldTrade Centre, visited the Iraqi embassy in Prague for meetings with itsconsul last year.
"Why would they meet?" asks Laurie Mylroie, whose work onIraqi-sponsored terrorism has a close following among those in the BushWhite House pushing for a broad offensive against Iraq. "To have a cupof tea?" Asked how scared we should be of the possibility of anIraqi-manufactured nuclear weapon detonating as the conflict unfolds, DrMylroie replies: "Scared is not the right word. This is war. It's likethe Second World War. People have to make the right decisions; if theymake the wrong decisions tens or hundreds of thousands could die." return to menu
Has suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda networkacquired the materials necessary to construct a nuclear device? The U.S.government accuses bin Laden of trying for years to do just that. A U.S.federal indictment charges that Al-Qaeda tried to buy bomb-makingcomponents as early as 1993. Others believe Al-Qaeda has attempted tobuy ready-made nuclear warheads on the black market. How realistic is itto think that terrorists possess a nuclear capability?
Prague, 19 October 2001 (RFE/RL) -- In 1998, members of Osama binLaden's Al-Qaeda network approached separatist rebels in Russia'sbreakaway republic of Chechnya. Al-Qaeda offered the rebels $30 millionand two tons of drugs. In return, Al-Qaeda would receive 20 nuclearwarheads the Chechen rebels had captured from Russian militaryinstallations. The deal was never consummated. Russia's Federal SecurityBureau, or FSB, reportedly foiled the plan.
This chilling tale is recounted by Friedrich Steinhausler, an armscontrol expert who is now at Stanford University's Center for Securityand Cooperation in the U.S. state of California. The story, Steinhauslersays, doesn't end there.
He says European security authorities are now investigating allegedattempts by Russian organized criminal groups to sell radioactivematerials to Al-Qaeda earlier this year: "The current situation is bestdescribed by the attempts to involve Russian organized crime inacquiring radioactive material. And such negotiations betweenrepresentatives of Al-Qaeda and a prominent member of the Russian mafiasupposedly have taken place [in 2001] in Spain in Europe, and this eventis being investigated by several European security organizations."
Steinhausler says the first serious attempt by Al-Qaeda to acquirenuclear materials took place in 1993. According to Steinhausler, thego-between for bin Laden was a Sudanese man, Jamel Ahmed Al-Fadl, whodescribed himself as a former aid to bin Laden. Al-Fadl now lives withhis wife and children in the U.S. under the federal witness protectionprogram. "The result of multiple clandestine meetings with middlemenbetween Al-Fadl, representative of Al-Qaeda, resulted in a meeting witha former Sudanese military officer who offered fissile materialsupposedly contained in a container 60 to 90 centimeters long withmultiple writings on it, among them, reportedly, the words 'SouthAfrica,'" Steinhausler says.
Steinhausler says Al-Fadl received $10,000 for his intermediary role,but it is not clear whether the uranium purchase ever occurred.
In 1994, police in Prague arrested three men carrying almost 3 kilogramsof highly enriched uranium, which was allegedly smuggled out of theformer Soviet Union. Steinhausler says this nuclear heist is believedto have been organized by a web of mafia groups operating in the CzechRepublic, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ukraine, and Germany and may also have beentied to bin Laden.
And while Steinhausler says the 1998 nuclear smuggling operation inChechnya was broken up by the Russian FSB, others aren't so sure. Areport published earlier this year in Geostrategy-Direct.com newsletter-- edited by "Washington Times" reporters Bill Gertz and Robert Morton -claimed that bin's Laden's possession of nuclear devices is no longer indoubt. The report says Russian intelligence sources believe bin Ladenhas a handful of tactical nuclear weapons received from Chechen rebelswho raided Russian nuclear installations.
As late as 1991, more than 50,000 nuclear devices were scattered over500 sites in the former Soviet republics and in Eastern Europe. Mostanalysts say Russia has made great strides toward consolidating most ofthem and removing nuclear weapons from unstable parts of the country,such as the north Caucasus, but fears persist. Economic collapse hasmeant little funding to maintain and protect nuclear facilities.Employees at Russian nuclear installations are often poorly paid.
The Japanese Aum Shirinkyo cult, the architects of a deadly nerve-gasattack in the Tokyo subway in 1995, are believed to have attempted tobuy a nuclear warhead on the Russian black market. A Moscow news report["Literaturnaya Gazeta"] claimed that the extremist Palestinian groupIslamic Jihad, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, sent aletter to the Federal Nuclear Research Center offering to buy a singleatomic weapon.
And Rensselaer Lee at the Foreign Policy Research Institute inWashington, D.C., says Russian managers at top-secret defense plantsoffered plutonium for sale to visiting scientists. Lee -- the author of"Smuggling Armageddon: The Nuclear Black Market in the Former SovietUnion and Europe" -- says the Russian Foreign Intelligence Servicereportedly masterminded the delivery of almost a pound of plutoniumoxide from Moscow to Munich in August 1994.
Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent Moscow-based defense analyst, scoffsat reports that Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda network have tried toacquire nuclear materials in Russia: "All investigations for the last 10years and all reports of possible loose Russian nukes turned out to beunsubstantiated. There are many [such stories]."
Felgenhauer says that if Al-Qaeda does, indeed, possess nuclearmaterials, they most likely came from Pakistan, the only country thatrecognizes Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, which has been sheltering binLaden.
David Kyd is a spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency, theUN-affiliated nuclear watchdog group. Kyd points out that even ifAl-Qaeda did acquire nuclear material, building a bomb would beextremely difficult.
"Could you build one? Well, that's a very challenging and expensive andtime-consuming proposition. You need 8 kilograms of plutonium or 25kilograms of highly enriched uranium. That's a large quantity, not easyto come by."
He says terrorists are more likely to opt for chemical or biologicalweapons: "I think I would be more tempted by quicker, simpler, cheaper,safer options, like chemical or biological. Chemicals, for instance, areeasy to come by and substances that are banal [harmless], whencombined, can have a devastating effect psychologically and also forpublic health. So I'm not sure if nuclear or radiological weapons --that is, things that are radioactive but not fissile, like plutonium andhighly enriched uranium -- I'm not sure they're on the top of aterrorist's list."
But terrorists groups may not have completely ruled out the nuclearoption. As of September 1999, the International Atomic Energy Agency hasrecorded more than 150 reports of illegal trafficking of nuclearmaterial. Agency spokesman Kyd says: "Since 1999, there have been over150 cases -- confirmed cases -- of seizures of radioactive materials onthe black market. Of those -- and that's somewhat reassuring, but nottotally -- six have involved nuclear weapon-grade material. In otherwords, highly enriched uranium or plutonium."
According to Kyd, of the six serious cases, five occurred in the formerSoviet bloc, including Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Latvia, and along theBulgarian-Romanian border. In April 2000, Georgian police seized severalhundred reactor-fuel pellets containing a total of 920 grams of enricheduranium.
For years, officials in the U.S. and elsewhere have been warning thatterrorist groups may some day acquire weapons capable of greatdevastation -- biological, chemical, or nuclear. In 1998, former CIADirector John Deutch and other officials in the Clinton administrationwarned that "catastrophic terrorism has moved from far-fetched horror toa contingency that could happen next month."
After the events of 11 September, little seems far-fetched anymore. return to menu
D. Nuclear Waste
1. Environmentalists Plan to Halt Nuclear Waste Imports
October 22, 2001
(for personal use only)
The Russian Nuclear Energy Ministry (Minatom) has named the countriesthat are expected to be among the first to send their spent nuclear fuelfor storage and eventual disposal in Russia.
As expected, the states that have already expressed interest in sendingspent nuclear fuel for storage and eventual reprocessing in Russia areRussia's closest neighbours, former Soviet republics and EasternEuropean countries.
It will be at least a year before the first contract is signed, butRussian environmentalist are already mounting a national protestcampaign against the nuclear waste imports.
On Monday the deputy head of the Nuclear Energy Ministry Valentin Ivanovannounced that spent nuclear fuel would be brought from Yugoslavia,Uzbekistan, the Baltic States, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to theKrasnoyarsk Region.
The deputy minister said that the initial shipments would be relativelysmall several hundreds kilos per shipment, since the spent fuel to beimported is from scientific research reactors built in the Soviet-eraunder the guidance of Soviet experts.
Ivanov said that Russia has begun preliminary talks on importing largeshipments of spent fuel with Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary, butemphasized that so far those consultations are "preliminary" and willnot become "real" until the government endorses a number of resolutions.
At first, Ivanov said, the government must outline "the particularmechanism of conducting negotiations by Russia with other states forspent nuclear fuel imports", and also define the scope of authoritygovernmental negotiators will be endowed with.
The deputy minister holds the government will complete the guidelines bythe 3rd quarter of 2002 and only then will it be possible to discussterms and details of shipments.
All contracts on spent nuclear fuel imports to Russia that the Ministrysigns with foreign partners will be subject to scrutiny by a commissionset up by Russian President.
However, according to what the head of the Ministry Anatoly Rumyantsevtold Gazeta.Ru, the commission members have yet to be appointed. So far,it has been decided that the commission must include 5 presidentialrepresentatives, 5 representatives from the State Duma, 5 members fromthe Federation Council and 5 government officials.
The president has appointed only the chairman of the commission NobelPrize winner Zhores Alfyorov. But the latter has not proposed anycandidates to sit on the commission.
According to Gazeta.Ru's sources, the prominent academician is very busydividing his time between two research institutes where he works, hiswork in the State Duma (Zhores Alfyorov is a deputy) and attendingvarious scientific conferences.
Besides, after he was awarded the Nobel Prize, he has received numerousother prizes. For instance, Alfyorov is currently preparing for a tripto Japan where he is to be award the Kyoto Prize, less prestigious thanthe Nobel Prize, but with a larger financial prize.
While the government elaborates the legal guidelines for spent nuclearfuel imports to Russia, Minatom continues to fulfil contracts from theSoviet era.
The co-chairman of the anti-nuclear union "Ekozashchita!" VladimirSlivyak told Gazeta.Ru that 41 tons of spent nuclear fuel from reactorsat the Kozlodui nuclear plant in Bulgaria is soon to be sent toKrasnoyarsk for storage.
Slivyak said that because the fuel from Kozlodui is in fact Soviet fuel,formally there is no violation of Russian law about the import.
However, "It's quite another matter," says the environmentalist, "thatthis shipment will be brought to Russia without prior examination by thecommission set up by the president. But Minatom has found a loophole inlegislation here, too. Neither the recently passed amendments to the lawon environmental protection, nor the presidential decree on the creationof the commission say whether those documents have retroactive force.And since there is no such indication, Minatom has decided on its ownthey are not (retroactive). Thus it (Minatom) calmly continues to importnuclear waste under earlier signed contracts, although the commissionthat is supposed to give the go-ahead (for such fuel) to cross theborder, has not yet been formed".
The environmentalists are convinced that all amendments to environmentprotection legislation and presidential decrees dealing with nuclearwaste imports are retroactive and plan to prevent the train fromBulgaria reaching Krasnoyarsk.
Activists are planning action protests on October 24 in towns and citiesalong the Trans-Siberian Railroad: Yaroslavl, Yekaterinburg,Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Belogorsk, Birobidzhan, and Ussuriysk.
For the sake secrecy Slivyak refused to disclose details about theplanned actions, saying only that in every town there will be uniqueprotests, organized by local environmentalists.
The co-chairman of the anti-nuclear campaign said the cities in Siberiaand the Far East are taking part in the protest action due to theNuclear Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev's announcement on October 9that Russia was in talks about importing on spent nuclear fuel fromJapan and South Korea.
However, when asked by Gazeta.Ru on the progress of those talksRumyantsev said nothing concrete had yet been agreed.
In his opinion, there is strong competition on the market for nuclearspent fuel storage and two Western concerns French and British willendeavour to keep Russia out of the market.
"We had negotiations even with Americans," said Rumyantsev, "but havesuspended them for the time being, since nowadays any mention oftransporting substances that may be attractive to terrorists across USAterritory arouses a negative response with the American negotiators".
Thus for now at least, Minatom's and government's plans for making ahandsome profit from nuclear waste imports and reprocessing remain aremote prospect. return to menu
E. Russian Nuclear Power Industry
1. Senators Dream of Private Nuclear Power Plants
October 23, 2001
(for personal use only)
The Federation faction of Russian senators supports granting privatecompanies the right to own nuclear power units.
According to NTV and RIA "News", the idea was voiced at the round-tablediscussion on Monday, and labelled as main news of the day at theFederation faction's Internet site.
The Federation faction comprises a great majority of the senators. Thehead of the group is Valery Goreglyad, Sakhalin county representative,who is said to be the most likely candidate to succeed the speaker'soffice in the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russianparliament.
Goreglyad claims that granting private companies the right to ownnuclear power units will facilitate investments into the building ofNPPs, especially the low-powered ones.
In Goreglyad's view, nuclear materials as a subject of exchangerelations, would raise investment opportunities for the nuclear energyindustry. If nuclear materials were a property of Russian privatecompanies, beneficial conditions for the leasing, contrary to selling,of fuel elements would be generated. Russian plants would be able toexport nuclear fuel without transferring the ownership of the propertyto a foreigner. "As a result spent nuclear fuel, which is a veryvaluable product for countries who are able to reprocess it, and a greatproblem for those, who aren't, would remain as Russian property," saidGoreglyad.
Anyway, according to the legislation in force, Russia is currently boundto accept that nuclear fuel of Russian origin is spent at foreign NPPs.
Spent fuel contains uranium-238 and thorium, which are used in freenuclear reactors, which in turn is the basis of the new generation ofNPPs, Goreglayd says.
Earlier however, during the readings of the amendments favouring spentfuel imports to Russia, Goreglyad estimated the current situation in thenuclear industry as follows: "The current situation in Russia is verydifficult, and obviously we don't have enough internal resources forreprocessing the nuclear waste already at hand.... We may end up drowningin our own waste. This problem needs to be closely monitored." Thesewords, however, did not hamper the Federation faction headed byGoreglyad, in refraining from discussing the amendments, which in factindicates their approval. Without being discussed in the FederationCouncil, the amendments were handed over to the President's desk andsigned.
Goreglyad claims that the liberalisation of the property rights forowning nuclear materials and plants should cause a dramaticreinforcement of the state authorities control, rather than a weakening.One may assume however that the control reinforcement spoken of will besimilar to the "personal control" on spent fuel imports promised byPresident Putin. Whereupon last week, such imports from Bulgaria wereannounced to be carried out in the nearest future, without Minatomhaving co-ordinated this with anybody.
In the end of September, the question of a possible change of propertystatus of NPPs was already touched upon. A plan actively supported bythe Leningrad county governor stipulates that an underground NPP will bebuilt in the county, based on joint stock financing. The Central KrylovResearch Institute designed the plan. "According to the Russianlegislation, a NPP may be built based on joint stock financials, butonly the state can own a nuclear power plant," deputy minister forNuclear Energy, Valery Lebedev, said at the time. But Alexander Agapov,the head of the safety department of Minatom, did not agree with thedeputy minister, and said that the idea of a joint stock nuclear plantleaves the nuclear power plant operation to the will of any privateperson. return to menu
F. Russian Nuclear Forces
1. Russian Scientists Call for Lower Level of Nuclear Combat Readiness
BBC Monitoring Service
October 24, 2001
(for personal use only)
Text of report in English by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS
Moscow, 24 October: The possibility of the accidental beginning of anuclear war can be effectively reduced only by scrapping the concept ofmaintaining the nuclear arms at a high level of continuous combatreadiness, Russian experts said in a report entitled "The lowering ofthe level of combat readiness of the nuclear forces of Russia and theUnited States as a way of lessening the nuclear threat."
The text of the report which was received by ITAR-TASS on Wednesday [24October] had been prepared by Russia's leading scientists specializingin the field of strategic security. The key points of this report aredue to be discussed in the Russian Academy of Sciences within the nextfew days.
One of the contributors to the report, Professor Vladimir Belous of theAcademy of Military Sciences told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday that thepresidents of Russia and the United States will be able to discuss andapprove, during their forthcoming meeting, measures to lower the combatreadiness of their nuclear weapons parallel to holding consultations onAMB-START matters and on the reduction of strategic arms.
"Unilateral, step-by-step moves are possible with a subsequentdiscussion of additional measures to build up confidence," Belous said.
According to him, "it is necessary to take into account that, as the twocountries have immense nuclear arsenals, the task of lowering of thecombat readiness level, if it is carried out by way of removing thewarheads from the delivery vehicles, may prove to be difficult toaccomplish because of the possible financial and technical problemsassociated with the storage, transportation and utilization of thedismantled charges."
"These circumstances have also to be taken into consideration during theNovember meeting of the presidents of Russia and the United States whowill examine questions relating to a radical reduction of the nucleararsenals of the two great powers," Belous said.
Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 1045 gmt 24 Oct 01 return to menu
1. Nobel Prize-Winning Physicians Call On Bush and Putin to Reduce Threat of Nuclear Terror Deeper cuts timely; NMD, tactical nukes still problem
Physicians for Social Responsibility
October 22, 2001
For Immediate Release: October 22, 2001 Contact: Tarek Rizk, 202.667.4260 x215
Physicians for Social Responsibility today praised the progressreportedly being made by Presidents Bush and Putin toward reducing thenuclear arsenals of the two former Cold War adversaries. The US isconsidering cuts down to 2,500 strategic warheads or less while theRussians have suggested numbers as low as 1,500.
"We have been urging very deep cuts and then the elimination of nuclearweapons throughout the post-Cold War era," said PSR Executive Directorand CEO Robert K. Musil, Ph.D., M.P.H., in making the announcement. "Inthe current climate, where we face serious potential for terroristattacks and even nuclear ones, President Bush is in a position to gomuch further in eliminating nuclear weapons then any of his predecessorswould have dared," added Musil.
According to PSR, which shared the 1985 Nobel Prize for Peace for itswork with Soviet physicians on the risks of nuclear war, severaladditional nuclear policies need to be addressed successfully in orderto take advantage of the new US-Russian strategic partnership. In orderto reduce the remaining risks of nuclear terror or inadvertent use ofnuclear weapons, the two sides should immediately undertake very deepreductions of strategic weapons - into the hundreds - while developingplans to move more quickly to implement Article VI of the NuclearNon-Proliferation Treaty. (The NPT commits the US, Russia and othernuclear powers to the elimination of nuclear weapons altogether.)
"We have already seen India and Pakistan develop nuclear weapons usingUS failure to eliminate as an excuse," said Musil. "We now need to takethe threat of further nuclear proliferation, like terrorist threats, farmore seriously than we did before September 11."
PSR thus calls for speedy implementation of Article VI and theelimination of both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons from the USand Russian arsenals. The two sides have over 5,000 tactical nuclearweapons that have no realistic military use and pose an unacceptablerisk of diversion or theft, especially in Russia.
PSR also considers President Bush's insistence on abrogating - ornegotiating into oblivion - the ABM Treaty and moving ahead with NMDdeployment a strategic blunder with long-range implications that canundermine US security when non-state, non-nuclear attacks need highpriority.
"NMD would have been absolutely useless on September 11," asserts PSRNational Security Director Martin Butcher, "and will continue to be soin the face of the numerous means in which a terrorists could employnukes without using a missile."
Since President Bush seeks multilateral cooperation for the war onterror, it makes little sense, PSR believes, to irritate and potentiallydisrupt future alliances with Russia and China in the name of a missilesystem that cannot prevent terrorist attacks. "A program of nuclearelimination under the NPT, cooperative nuclear threat reduction, thesigning of the CTBT, and other confidence measures will prove far moreeffective in the long run," says PSR's Musil. "Presidents Bush and Putinhave a chance to reshape the world. They should seize it." return to menu
2. NO NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORTS THROUGH TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILROAD!
October 22, 2001
PRESS-RELEASE October 22, 2001, Moscow For more info: +7(095) 2784642, 7766546 - Vladimir Slivyak, ECODEFENSE!; 1247934, 1247178 - Victoria Kolesnikova, Press-service of the Socio-Ecological Union
Protest action announcement NO NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORTS THROUGH TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILROAD!
October 24, In response to the governmental plan to import nuclearwaste, Russian environmental groups are staging protests on thecountry's largest railroad
ECODEFENSE! and Socio-Ecological Union are initiating and sponsoring theaction day to protest nuclear transportation across Russia'sTrans-Siberian Railroad (TSR). On Wednesday, October 24, actions ofprotest will take place in several cities located near the Russia'slargest and most important railroad which will be used to transportnuclear waste imported from foreign countries. Earlier in 2001 Russianauthorities changed national legislation in order to allow the import ofnuclear waste for storage and reprocessing. Presently, Ministry ofatomic power (Minatom) organizes the first shipment of waste to Russia,ignoring vulnerability of such shipment to terrorism.
Actions will take place near big cities located on TSR: Ekaterinburgcity - capital of Ural region and third largest city in Russia;Novosibirsk - largest Siberian city; Yaroslavl' city - about 250 kmnorth-east of Moscow; Irkutsk city in Siberia; Belogorsk, Birobidzhanand Ussuriysk cities in the Far East.
Actions are not permitted by authorities. The goal of the action day isto demonstrate that people are ready for radical protests aimed to stopnuclear waste transports. There is unique action developed for each cityparticipating in the action day, organized by one or several actiongroups. Participants of the action day includes: Siberian Scientists forGlobal Responsibility, Youth for Sustainable Development in Siberia,Baikal Environmental Wave, Committee for Workers' International, GreenBranch, Movement against Violence, several groups of the DOP,nation-wide student movement for environmental protection (DOP ofYaroslavl' State University, DOP Bars, DOP Berkut, DOP Ussuriysk bear).
In June 2001 Russian president Vladimir Putin approved new legislationallowing the storage of foreign nuclear waste in Russia with no timelimit. Environmental groups protests to that kind of dumping ofradioactive waste in Russia, as well as against extremely dangerousnuclear transportation. TSR is the main object for attention becausenuclear waste transports can not avoid this railroad, especially ifwaste would be transported from Asian countries, Taiwan, South Korea orJapan. According to documents obtained by environmental activists, Asiancountries are first on the list of nuclear waste exporters for RussianMinatom.
In January 2001 ECODEFENSE! presented the results of study on"Transportation of radioactive materials and nuclear fissil materials inRussia". According to this study, "the number of accidents whiletransporting radioactive materials in Russia is 2-3 times highercompared to the Western world." There are several examples described inthe study such as one in the Ural Electro-Chemical Plant (UEHK,Novouralsk city). "In 1994, train carrying the solution containinguranium crashed what caused the release of 1000 litre ofuranium-containing solution on the railroad outside the plant,contaminating the ground near greatly populated cities". Environmentalgroup also found out that "in 1999, there were two cases of the illegaltransporting of radioactive waste through Russian railroads."
Environmental groups in Russia demand to cancel the import of nuclearwaste, transportation of waste through the country. According toconstitution, Russian citizens have a right for healthy environment, butnot a right to be ill as a result of radioactive contamination. return to menu
3. Bechtel National to Eliminate Last SS-24 Nuclear ICBM Missile Silo Site In The Ukraine
Bechtel National, Inc.
October 22, 2001
Monday October 22, 1:04 pm Eastern Time
SOURCE: Bechtel National, Inc.
Bechtel National to Eliminate Last SS-24 Nuclear ICBM Missile Silo SiteIn The Ukraine
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel National, Inc. (BNI) willdismantle and eliminate the last remaining SS-24 NuclearIntercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Silo Site in Ukraine onOctober 30, marking the end in another chapter of the Cold War. Theelimination of this facility will take place in Pervomaysk, Ukraine,located approximately 400 kilometers south of the capital, Kiev.
This historic event is part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)Program mission to convert former active military sites to sunflowerfields and forests. The CTR Program is performed under the direction ofthe U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency(DTRA), and the Ukraine Ministry of Defense under the terms of theStrategic Arms Reduction Talks Treaty.
BNI was awarded the SS-24 ICBM dismantlement contract in June 1998.Under the contract BNI was responsible for removal of the missiles fromtheir silos, defueling and partially neutralizing them, repairing andmaintaining a variety of infrastructure and special handling equipment,transporting the missiles to transfer stations, loading them ontospecial railway cars, and transporting quantities of liquid rocket fueland oxidizers.
Among the types of missile facilities destroyed at the Pervomaysk siteare hardened launch control silos; several administration buildings;standby power, refrigeration, and security installations; fuel andunderground water storage tanks; security fences; connecting tunnels,and a variety of buried utility components.
In keeping with Bechtel's ``zero accident'' policy, the BNI Ukraine CTRProject Team and its Ukrainian Subcontractor personnel have worked over7.6 million safe job hours to date under BNI's management. The BNIUkraine CTR Project Team invested many years to develop a safety programand train its on-site Ukrainian Subcontractors workforce.
``We are excited to be part of such a historic event and are proud ofour continued involvement in the CTR Program,'' said BNI President TomHash.
A September 2002 completion date is scheduled for the technical siterestoration activities for the last two remaining SS-24 MissileRegiments in Pervomaysk, which each include 16 SS-24 missile silos andone launch control silo. These sites will be then transferred by theUkraine MoD to the local Ukraine Oblast authorities where they will beused for either agricultural or forestation purposes.
Bechtel Work History In The Ukraine:
Some of BNI's prior projects in the former Soviet Union include thedismantlement of 130 missile silos of the SS-19 type, also in theUkraine; a chemical weapons destruction program in Russia; theconstruction of a storage facility for a stockpile of fissile materialformerly contained in Russia's nuclear arsenal; the design andconstruction of a testing and training center to support securityupgrades at 123 nuclear weapons storage sites in Russia; and alogistical support assignment that involved a variety of CTR facilitiesin the Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Currently, BNI also isinvolved in an effort to clean up, decommission, and stabilize thedamaged Unit 4 reactor building of the Ukraine's Chornobyl nuclear powerstation.
4. Joint Statement on Counterterrorism by the President of the United States and the President of Russia
The White House - Office of the Press Secretary
October 21, 2001
The President of the United States and the President of Russiacategorically reject and resolutely condemn terrorism in all its formsand manifestations, regardless of motive. The Presidents stress that thebarbaric act of terrorism committed in the United States on September11, 2001 represent a crime against all humanity.
The Presidents note that terrorism threatens not only the security ofthe United States and Russia, but also that of the entire internationalcommunity, as well as international peace and security. They believethat terrorism poses a direct threat to the rule of law and to humanrights and democratic values. It has no foundation in any religion,national or cultural traditions, and it only uses them as a cover forits criminal goals.
The Presidents agree that every effort be undertaken to bring theperpetrators to justice, while protecting the rights and welfare ofcivilians. They stress that the fight against terrorism requires theunity of the entire international community to counter new challengesand threats on the basis of international law and the full use of theUnited Nations and other international organizations.
The Presidents call for all states to join a sustained global coalitionto defeat international terrorism. Nations must make use of diplomatic,political, law enforcement, financial, intelligence, and military meansto root out terrorists and their sponsors and bring them to justice.
The Presidents emphasize that the current situation in Afghanistan is adirect consequence of the policies pursued by the Taliban, which turnedthat country into an international center of terrorism and extremism.They reaffirm that the United States and Russia are ready to cooperateclosely with the United Nations to promote a post-conflict settlement inAfghanistan that would provide for the formation of a representative,broad-based government capable of ensuring the restoration of a peacefulAfghanistan that maintains good relations with countries of the regionand beyond it.
The leaders of the two countries view U.S.-Russian cooperation as acritical element in the global effort against terrorism. They reaffirmtheir personal commitment and that of their two countries to fight thisdeadly challenge through active cooperation and coordination, bothbilaterally and within the framework of international institutions.
The Presidents note with satisfaction the fruitful cooperation betweenthe United States and Russia in the United Nations and the UN SecurityCouncil, in the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council, and in the G-8.They also instruct their governments to reinforce bilateral cooperationthroughout the U.S.-Russia Working Group on countering terrorist andother threats emanating from Afghanistan.
The Presidents agree that the financial, communications, and logisticsnetworks of terrorist organizations must be destroyed. They call uponall nations without exception to take measures to block access ofterrorist organizations to financial resources, to enhance lawenforcement tools to combat terrorism, and to strengthen procedures tostop the transit of terrorists and their material within and betweencountries. They stress the importance of speedy ratification andimplementation of existing international counterterrorism conventions.
The two Presidents are resolved to advance cooperation in combating newterrorist threats: nuclear, chemical and biological, as well as those incyberspace. They agreed to enhance bilateral and multilateral action tostem the export and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biologicalmaterials, related technologies, and delivery systems as a criticalcomponent of the battle to defeat international terrorism. return to menu
H. Links of Interest
1. Statement to the Fifty-Sixth Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly