NOTE: This story in DEBKAfile was reported by Cutting Edge 10/18/01 http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1565.cfm
"New US Terror Alert Linked to Nuke Fear" -- One factor in the third general terror alert raised in the United States since September 11 relates, according to US media, to intelligence information indicating that the former Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden has gained possession of a so-called dirty or radiological bomb. The target date referred to in electronic intercepts is mid-December. It has also been suggested that such weapons may have been smuggled into the United States.
On October 12, DEBKA-Net-Weekly reported from its intelligence sources that Bin Laden had almost certainly procured a supply of uranium-235 six months before the September 11 suicide attacks. The uranium was believed to have reached him in a multimillion deal with a Ukrainian-born mobster called Semion Mogilevich.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly came back to the subject more recently on November
30, in another exclusive report:
Radiation Poisoning Betrays Mule
In the first week of October, a Pakistani arrested on immigration charges in the course of the FBI investigation into the September 11 suicide attacks, complained of bleeding gums and pain, symptoms of gingivitis. He was treated with antibiotics, but was found dead in his cell in Hudson Count jail in Kearny, New Jersey, three weeks later.
The cause of death was not released, any more than the dead man’s identity.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s medical experts note that the bleeding gums the anonymous Pakistani was treated for are a symptom of radiation poisoning, suggesting he might have been a “mule” transporting nuclear materials or devices into America. (A subsequent investigation revealed that he had contracted gingivitis as a result of radiation-induced leukemia.)
This explanation would imply that more than one such carrier is employed by al Qaeda to smuggle nuclear materials or devices into the United States, Western Europe and the Middle East, their mission being to plant their deadly burdens in pre-arranged secret locations, ready for activation.
At roughly the same time, another Pakistani was detained at the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan to Israel. According to initial published reports, he was caught trying to smuggle in a “dirty” nuclear device (a conventional explosive mixed with nuclear materials that spreads radiation).
Then came the news blackout.
An exhaustive DEBKA-Net-Weekly investigation revealed that the arrested
intruder carried no nuclear device. However, he suffered the same symptoms
as the man who died in Hudson Jail, New Jersey, indicating he had been
exposed to dangerous doses of radiation. DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s intelligence
sources reveal that Israel has recently installed hidden Geiger counters
in the battery of detectors at its international border crossings. The
counter pointed border officials to the suspected “mule”, who most probably
reached Jordan from Abu Dhabi.
Israel handed him over to the United States, but was left asking itself: What exactly was the Pakistani’s mission? And have other members of the mule pack managed to gain entry?"
Cutting Edge Note: These fears of a "dirty radiological bomb"
are what prompted Homeland Security to issue a nationwide alert yesterday.
Do Americans really have to fear such a bomb being exploded in a large
city? Only time will tell, but the threat seems real enough.