The Terrorist Threat to Britain's Cities

[Telegraph-UK] Alasdair Palmer - Osama bin Laden has issued a document entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam," which insists it is "the duty" of Muslims to acquire a nuclear bomb in order to use "as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God." The British Foreign Office's senior counter-terrorist official has "no doubt at all" that Islamist terrorists are actively seeking a nuclear device. "There are people" he adds dryly, "for whom exploding a nuclear bomb in a city would be a triumph for the cause." Deterrence depends on your enemy having cities and a population that can be threatened with obliteration. The problem is that terrorist organizations have neither, and deterrence breaks down as a consequence. Which means that the over-arching aim of the civilized world must be to ensure that they cannot get hold of a nuclear bomb, because that is the only way we can protect ourselves against nuclear terrorism. That is why the Israelis destroyed Syria's "not for peaceful means" nuclear facility last September, and why the rest of the world acquiesced in the destruction.

2008-05-02 01:00:00

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