The United Nations Atomic Watchdog has warned that “Nuclear Terrorists” can strike anywhere in the world and no country is safe from the threat of a “nuclear attack”. Yukiya Amano, who is the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, expressed his concerns over the possible nuclear terrorist attack in the week-long ministerial conference on preventing misuse of radioactive materials and attacks on facilities.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said, “Ensuring effective nuclear security is important for all countries, including those which possess little or no nuclear or other radioactive material. Terrorists and criminals will try to exploit any vulnerability in the global nuclear security system. Any country, in any part of the world, could find itself used as a transit point. And any country could become the target of an attack.”
A nuclear attack does not necessarily mean a powerful atom bomb being used on a country. Terrorists may use radioactive materials and small bombs which have deadly radioactive materials to target cities and populated areas. The radiation from radioactive materials are deadly not only in short term but also in long term affecting many generations. The threat can not be ruled out because there are countries like Pakistan and North Korea which have an extremely poor record with respect to nuclear safety. Pakistan has often been accused of sharing its nuclear technology with other countries. More importantly, the greatest threat comes from nuclear technology and radioactive materials falling in the hands of terrorist groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tyeba, Al Qaida, Taliban, ISIS, etc. many of which are known to be supported by Pakistan government and have close access to Pakistan military.
Countries all over the world have stepped up their investment in nuclear security with support from the IAEA, and have been working to reinforce staffing levels with more than 10,000 police, border guards and other specialists trained in the past six years. The IAEA has given countries over 3,000 instruments for detecting nuclear material and this year provided radiation detection equipment and other assistance to Brazil during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It’s high time that the global community takes this threat seriously and steps up security measures to prevent a deadly nuclear terror attack.