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Terrorism - Essay Example

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Terrorism [Author’s Name] [University] Terrorism A risk assessment is an essential measure of identifying mitigation steps and procedures. Terrorism is no exception to this rule. A conventional procedure of risk assessment encompasses the analysis of motives, capabilities, opportunities and targets…
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Download file to see previous pages Since its inception, the nuclear bomb has been one of the major threats hanging over the humanity. With the rapid escalation of terrorist movements, the threat of nuclear attacks is becoming even more probable. Despite the growing availability of nuclear materials, the risks of actual nuclear attacks are still minor, simply because nuclear terrorism is extremely difficult to accomplish (Ferguson & Potter, n.d.). The easiest are those acts which result in the least damaging consequences (Ferguson & Potter, n.d.). The problem with nuclear terrorism is not in the availability and accessibility of nuclear materials: in today’s globalized world, getting nuclear materials for a radioactive bomb is not difficult. The main problem is in that creating such a device requires sophisticated technical skills (Ferguson & Potter, n.d.). Building and launching an improvised nuclear device is much more difficult than creating and using a radiological dispersal device (Ferguson & Potter, n.d.). These difficulties, however, do not mean that the probability of nuclear terrorism is zero. As of today, nuclear bombs are the high end of plausibility of what terrorist groups could accomplish (Farber, 2010). The growing insecurity of nuclear materials makes the risks of nuclear attacks even higher. The lack of a comprehensive nuclear terrorism strategy in the U.S. further complicates the situation (Ferguson & Potter, n.d.). Yet, a small group of people who have never dealt with nuclear weapons could easily make a crude nuclear explosive device, with minimum attention drawn to their acts (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). All these conditions make it easier for terrorist groups to realize their intentions and motives. There are strong indicators that a number of terrorist groups are interested in acquiring and using nuclear power in their acts against civilians. In 1998, Osama bin Laden said that acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction would provide reliable defense of Muslims against the rest of the world (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). As of today, at least three terrorist organizations could be planning a nuclear attack: Al-Qaeda, Aum Shinrikyo, and North Caucasus-based separatists (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). These are the organizations that have demonstrated strong interest in the development of nuclear-based terrorist strategies. The exact number of terrorist groups looking for a nuclear weapon is currently unknown, but Aum Shinrikyo and Al Qaeda have already tried to purchase nuclear materials in the black market (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). For the past ten years, Al-Qaeda has persistently tried to acquire nuclear materials and continues to pursue the goal of getting a nuclear capability (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). There are no known cases of acquiring nuclear materials by terrorist groups. Also, it is not clear whether any terrorist groups have access to governments that can obtain these materials for them (Harvard Kennedy School, 2012). Yet, there are several ways in which nuclear materials needed for the bomb could be acquired: (a) from a global stockpile of nuclear weapons; (2) from international nuclear facilities containing separated plutonium; (3) from states that are claimed to possess nuclear weapons, such as Russia and North Korea; and (4) from training and research reactors (Harvard Kennedy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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