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Al-Qaeda weapons program ahead of schedule

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Durandal7, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. macrumors 68040

    #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2711645.stm

    British officials have presented evidence which they claim shows that al-Qaeda has been trying to assemble radioactive material to build a so-called dirty bomb.

    They have shown the BBC previously undisclosed material backing up their claim.

    It includes secret intelligence from agents sent into al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan by Britain.

    Posing as recruits, they blended in and reported back.

    SAS officer inspects a deserted Afghan camp

    They revealed that Osama Bin Laden's weapons programme was further on than anyone thought.

    British officials said on Thursday Bin Laden now has the expertise and possibly the materials to build a crude radioactive bomb.

    The government says evidence suggests that by 1999, Bin Laden's priority was to develop a weapon of mass destruction.

    He had acquired radioactive isotopes from the Taleban to do this, officials said, adding that development work on the "dirty bomb" had been going on in a nuclear laboratory in the Afghan city of Herat.

    Evidence 'credible'

    The government even has al-Qaeda training manuals which detail how to use a dirty bomb to maximum effect.

    For a second opinion, the BBC showed some of the material to an expert on al-Qaeda.

    "I think this is genuine," said Dr Mustafa Alani, of the Royal United Service Institute.

    From nuclear weapons the threat is very, very slim

    Gary Samore

    "It is credible. This is proof that al-Qaeda put a lot of effort into collecting information and educating other members of the organisation.

    "It is possible to produce this sort of weapon."

    British military personnel worked with intelligence officers to gather material which was taken to Porton Down defence research centre in Wiltshire.

    Their conclusion was that al-Qaeda had a small dirty bomb but probably not a full blown nuclear device.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    #2
    Damn, we didn't blow all of their asses apart, and somehow they have materials for a dirty bomb, ****.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

    #3
    http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0709-07.htm

    Between 300 and 800 tons of DU munitions were blasted into Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait by U.S. forces in 1991.(3) The Pentagon says the U.S. fired about 10,800 DU rounds -- close to three tons -- into Bosnia in 1994 and 1995. More than 31,000 rounds, about 10 tons, were shot into Kosovo in 1999 according to NATO.(4)

    I guess the 'evildoers' can just repackage all those nice depleted uranium rounds we dropped ...as they say: recycle.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #4
    Solution: Stop al-Qaida!!

    How? By bombing the **** out of Iraq, of course!
     
  5. macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    #5
    you have come face to face with bush logic, congrads.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    #6
    Re: Al-Qaeda weapons program ahead of schedule

    The dirty bomb isn't a weapon of mass destruction, you'll kill more people with the initial blast than with the dispersed radiation, DU is simply the wrong stuff, too heavy, it won't carry on the wind, it's designed to go through tank armour...

    You need a powder or aerosol agent, which isn't too difficult, look at that incident in Brazil a while back, but even then the dirty bomb isn't a terror weapon, it's a Weapon of Mass Inconvenience at best, the amount of radiation dispersed is only twice backgound at 5 km from blast.

    All this info came from the BBC's Horizon Programme last night. There's more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2003/dirtybomb.shtml. Go look.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    #7


    Um, no. It doesn't work like that. The DU rounds allow the weapon to penitrate the hull, it is not a large enough abount of Uranium to build a weapon like that.

    Yep, especially next week when we are given evidence that Saddam has helped fund these activities. That he has assisted the Taliban, and Al Quaeda. Would that make you feel different. Knowing that he is a vital part of the terror network. See going after Iraq doesn't distract from the war on terror, it is vital to its success.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    etoiles

    #8
    I was being sarcastic...on one hand we denounce dirty bombs (hey, I do to), but on the other hand our military uses weapons that have similar long term effects.

    The US assisted both the Taliban and Iraq in the past, so following your logic, putting some 'pressure' on the US government does not distract from the war on terror, it is vital to its success. I agree !;)
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    #9
    Man, you are getting carried away. There is no comparison between DU rounds and a dirty bomb. NO comparison.

    Secondly, we never aided the Taliban. We did not even recognize it as a legitimate government.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #10
    Going after Iraq to stop al-Qaida would be like popping a zit to stop acne. Even if Iraq gave much more help to al-Qaida than it did, al-Qaida could still exist on its own and would almost certainly be just as powerful (since Iraq is unarguably not a key player in that particular terrorist organization).
    http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq2.html#6
     
  11. macrumors member

    #11
    What is so difficult about understanding that someone can have more than one enemy at a time? Saddam needs to be dealt with independent of Al Qeada, and Al Qeada needs to be dealt with independent of Saddam.

    From the president of the United States:

    It is good that we have had leadership that has recognized and continues to recognize the threat that Saddam represents.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    #12
    Those rounds are useless you cant make a dirty bomb nor can you make a nuclear one so please know what you are talking about before such make believe! Think of them as lead! If they have material for a dirty bomb then they got it from saddam/N korea or pakistan.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #13
    Yes, we can have more than one enemy at a time, but Iraq is going to be attacked (as I understand it) in the name of the war on terrorism. What effect will attacking Iraq have in accomplishing this goal? None! It will hurt it more than it will help it! If bioweapons are as easy to make as everyone says, then regime change in Iraq will do nothing to solve this problem. Iraq's nonexistence would be a minor inconvenience at worst to any terrorist organization that wished to attack us with WMD - if Iraq wasn't friendly to them, they'd either get the stuff elsewhere, or make it themselves.

    All the pro-war people seem to have this strange idea that if we bomb Iraq, that's it, terrorism will be over and all the Iraqis will be dancing in the streets wrapped in the US flag. If we need an example of what will likely happen after an invasion, all we have to do is look to Afghanistan, that miracle of freedom we destroyed and then essentially abandoned which is on the road to looking exactly the same in 2010 as it did in 2000. Nobody has any idea what to do in Iraq after the bombs stop falling. Although I do sleep comfortably at night knowing that if the war escalates, and Iraq unleashes its WMD on us, most of the Persian Gulf region will end up a radioactive inferno thanks to Bush's promise to retaliate against such an attack with nuclear weapons, and all those evil guys with towels on their heads will be dead and won't be able to bother me anymore.
     
  14. macrumors member

    #14
    You are incorrect on several counts. First, Iraq is going be attacked because Saddam has refused to abide by the terms of the ceasefire that suspended the Gulf War in 1991. He is not disarming as he agreed to do, and he will be made to disarm one way or another. This is not a change in US policy and predates the "war on terrorism." Second, Iraq is supporting terrorists today. Removing that source of support will be a fringe benefit to removing Saddam. Third, you don't know that removing Saddam will hurt more than it helps, you are just speculating. Indeed, the opposite argument holds just as much face validity as yours.

    Not at all. While there will probably be dancing in the streets at Saddam's fall (remember he's had to beat back uprisings in both the north and south of Iraq, I've heard no one say that this will "end terrorism."
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #15

    This war is very definitely part of the "war on terrorism" and resulting from 9/11. If this were not so, Bush would not be going to such great pains to explain the "links" between Iraq and terrorists. If not for 9/11, we could not bring ourselves to be bothered with Iraq. Iraq would be a nonissue. It's only because of 9/11 that we're so concerned about Iraq now, nevermind the fact that none of the terrorists aboard the jetliners that day were Iraqi, nevermind that any link proposed between Iraq and al Qaida so far has been laughable at best and that the big proof that Bush is promising to divulge next week sounds suspiciously like one of those iWalk rumors that never seems to pan out. "It's coming soon, Jobs told me so himself! I swear, it's coming soon, if you don't believe me, just wait and see!"

    I don't know if you're referring to Iraq's support of Palestinian terrorists? If so then I assure you that any terrorism on the Palestinians has more than been reciprocated by the Israelis. It's a real mess, with both sides doing truly horrible things to each other. Neither side is doing the right thing, but to say Hussein is "supporting terrorists" referring to this would be hugely biased. And of course I'm speculating. I can't see how this war is going to make terrorists all of a sudden love us. I can't see any other outcome other than their being further "annoyed" at us and their numbers multiplying. Every time I've seen this point being brought up, it gets ignored.
    Nobody says it, but I can't help but wonder if there's any other motivation for those who support this war other than their deep-down belief of it. Yeah, there's all the bureaucratic la-la that says we're committed to invading if Iraq doesn't so and so, but is that why we're going to war? I don't think it is. I think that's our superficial excuse. I think our real motivation is rooted deeper than that. Because we certainly didn't give a damn about Iraq's failure to disarm before 9/11, or if we did, we (the non-ultra-hawks) didn't think about seriously acting on it. This war is not about enforcing the will of the UN - it's personal.
     
  16. macrumors member

    #16
    Not so. Iraq was far from a non issue before 9/11. We have been fighting a low grade war there for more than a decade. We have been very bothered with Iraq since 1990. Rhetorically, 9/11 provides a backdrop for action against Iraq, but it is not the sole justification for such action.

    So far as the Israeli/Palestinians go, the important distinction is difference this: if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more violence. If the Israeli's lay down there weapons, there will be no more Israel. The Palestinian terrorists are not the only terrorists that Saddam is supporting, but they are a significant problem. The continued encouragement from Iraq and other Arab countries for suicide bombers makes a negotiated settlement in the area a virtual impossibility. It seems that brutal dictators like Saddam will always have their apologists. It seems you are proud to count yourself among them.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    #17
    alex_ant: I don't know if you're referring to Iraq's support of Palestinian terrorists? If so then I assure you that any terrorism on the Palestinians has more than been reciprocated by the Israelis. It's a real mess, with both sides doing truly horrible things to each other. Neither side is doing the right thing, but to say Hussein is "supporting terrorists" referring to this would be hugely biased. And of course I'm speculating.
    yes israel does retaliate to terrorist actions, they are not the french! would it be ok if they laid down and let the palestinians continue to decimate their society? you would be all for that i am assuming, since you continue to defend the position of non-action against terrorists and the regimes that support them. why is it that governments who act against these people are seen to be at fault? by much of the pacifist logic in this forum, the only solution would be for the jews to move out of the holy land and give it to allah's people. it is a damn holy war to these people. if we or anyone else concedes to these acts of terror, the only message it sends is that terrorism works. i will not live in a society that governs that way.
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #18

    Yes, I know we've been involved there. But would we be considering an invasion if 9/11 had not happened? Like I said, maybe the ultra-hawks would - but most people wouldn't. And, before 9/11, they weren't. 9/11 is not the sole justification, but without it, this war would not be happening. Its happening was critical to the war that's about to happen.

    Makes me wonder about how just Israel is as a state. If one of the countryless ethnic minority groups in Iraq did the same thing, we'd call them heroes, even though if they laid down their weapons there would be no more violence, and if the Iraqi government laid down its weapons then there would be no more Iraq.
    For like the 2358902735098235th time, pointing out the actual complexity of a situation != being an apologist for either side. You call Palestinian terrorists terrorists because you're not one of them. If you were Palestinian, you would call the Israelis the terrorists. That's not to say you're wrong or right. It's to say that it's human nature to call wherever one happens to be standing the high ground, but sometimes the situation is more complex than terrorist vs. nation-state.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #19
    1) If the Palestinians hadn't been given the shaft by those who drew Israel's boundaries, there would be no Palestinian violence.
    2) I see both sides at fault - it is both of their problems that they are unable to work out a peaceful solution, and if it seems that I only see those who act against terrorists to be at fault, it's because I'm arguing against the position that it's only terrorists who happen to be at fault and that any retaliation against them, however bloody and unrestrained, is warranted.
    3) I'm not pacifist, I do believe in war where it's justified. I believe it's possible for the Jews and the Palestinians to compromise. It's naturally unpalatable for those who have the upper hand (the Jews) to do this, but I believe it's possible.
    4) Terrorism does work. That's blindingly obvious. Look what 9/11 did to us. We're a completely different country now. 9/11 was successful beyond bin Laden's wildest dreams. If we say, "Hey, look - terrorism doesn't work!" we're not fooling anybody, not least any potential terrorists. It's not about conceding to terror, its eliminating terror's causes so that it ceases altogether.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    #20
    The Arabs living within the British mandatory region of Palestine were hardly given the shaft. The British decided to give the part of Palestine east of the Jordan River to the Arabs for the Hashemites to govern in return for the Hashemites' help in World War II. This part is now the nation of Jordan. After that, the remaining section was divided between Arabs and Jews, the Arabs recieving Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") and the area immediately surrounding the city of Gaza. The Arabs immediately decided (influenced by no small part by their prior alliance with Hitler) to invade Israel and take *all* of Palestine, and to drive the Jews into the sea. As a result of this war, Israel survived, Jordan got the West Bank, and Egypt got the Gaza Strip.

    Fast-forward to 1963. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia declare war on Israel and try to destroy it. At the end of the Six Day War, Israel has gained the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as a buffer to protect them from attack by the Arabs. They also grabbed the Golan Heights. It is at this point, in 1963, that Yasser Arafat (an Egyptian!) was chosen by the Arab League to lead the PLO. His mission: to destroy Israel from within.

    There was great reluctance to refer to the Arabs as "Palestinians", because up until the Israeli declaration of independence, it was the Jews who were known as Palestinians. Also, most of the residents of the West Bank and Gaza were Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, etc. who either had secondary residences there or had other reasons for residing in Palestine. There was no Arab Palestinian national identity until it was invented in 1963 as a tactic to destroy Israel.

    Many Palestinians now want peace. Many of them, however, instead choose to make themselves human bombs. Whether evil or misguided, they intend to kill Jews for the mere cause of killing Jews. It is these people who, if given statehood, would simply be given shelter and better opportunity to carry out their mission.

    So what should be done? The plan I support would go something like this:

    1. Turn the West Bank over to Jordan to administrate over in the same way Israel is administrating over it now.
    2. Create a strong border.
    3. Israel and Jordan cooperate to kill the wacko terrorist types.
    4. Over time, let Palestinian society get on its feet.
    5. Referendum in the West Bank over whether they want to join Jordan or be an independent country.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #21
    Kind of selective in your presentation of historical facts, aren't you? All the web pages I've been able to find tell a very different story. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The bottom line is that this situation is much murkier than aggressor vs. victim. Both sides fight terror with more terror. Back to my point, it's one-sided at best and disingenous at worst to say "Iraq supports terrorists" referring to the Palestinians.
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    #22
    Actually, none of them contradicts what I said, except for a couple points such as the exact year of the Six Day War.

    Here's another source for you:
    http://www.factsandlogic.org/ While they are by admission biased, they at least have authority over mainstream sources, which are biased but don't admit it.

    A couple other points: Everyone acts as if "Jewish settlements" in the disputed territories are a huge atrocity. They don't realize how racist they are being. There are several Arab towns in Israel proper, and no one disputes their right to be there. And rightly so. There should be nothing stopping Arabs from living in Israel, nor Jews from living in Judea and Samaria, nor Irishmen living in Uganda if they so wish.

    Palestinians frequently target pizzarias, busses, bar mitzvahs, and shops. The Israelis, for the most part, target terrorists and paramilitary groups. While the Israelis do accidentally kill innocents, and while Palestinians do at times engage Israeli military instead of civilians, that is the exception rather than the rule.

    Every time you see on the news an incident where Palestinians were throwing rocks and the Israelis fired back with live rounds, what the news isn't reporting is just as important as what they are reporting. What they don't tell you is that the Palestinians use slings to throw the rocks. And even in modern times, a sling is a lethal weapon.

    Regardless of that, I believe my plan would work in the Middle East. I also believe that nothing the Israeli military ever could do justifies murdering children at a bar mitzvah--which is exactly the kind of activity that Saddam Hussein is sponsoring.
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #23

    What they do is fill in the very imporant points you didn't mention. A glance at the first couple dozen points on that first link (if they're all accurate) makes it very clear that there is more than one side to this story.

    Agreed, anyone should be able to live anywhere.

    I think that is very much incorrect. The Palestinian suicide bombings are what grab the big headlines, but they only account for a relatively small fraction of all the conflict-related death that's going on in the region. You never hear about the Israeli atrocities because news sources don't want to open themselves up to criticism that they're in bed with the Left even more than they already are. Human Rights Watch documents scores of instances of what might be called terrorism. A glance down the list shows that both sides are very guilty of atrocities, and the worst reports of both sides are very brutal:

    After reading something like that, I don't understand how one could consider Yasser Arafat or a Hamas leader a terrorist and not Ariel Sharon as well - a terrorist whose country is receiving $2.23 billion(?)/year from the US in aid. I actually don't think the term "terrorism" is very useful in describing a situation like this. Both sides are at fault. Pointing fingers will do no good. So to get back to the point, saying "Saddam supports terrorists" referring to the Palestinians is disingenuous. We need credible and meaningful evidence that supports the accusations of Iraq's ties to terrorism, and until it comes (I don't see it coming anytime soon), fighting Iraq as part of the war on terrorism would be like fighting grasshoppers in a war on heart disease.
     
  24. macrumors member

    #24
    In a war, people die. Guilty people and innocent people. Terrorists and children alike. Israel is in a state of war. To say that they should make an effort to avoid civilian deaths is true, but civilian deaths are inevitable. Just because civilians die doesn't make them terrorists. If they decided to kill civilians as a means of making political statements, that might be different. The Romans used to do that, and it was effective. It's where we get the word decimate. They would go into a troublesome town, line up all the men and kill every tenth man at random.

    It remains true that if the Palestinians lay down their weapons, there will be no more violence, but if Israel lays down its weapons, there will be no more Israel. That is a qualitative difference between the two sides.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    #25

    "In a war, people die." That makes everything alright then, doesn't it? Israel is at war. People are dying. Guilty people and innocent people. Terrorists and children alike. Nothing wrong there. They should be avoiding civilian deaths of course, but, oh well, we'll give them points for effort, even though they're not really trying very hard.
    Are thousands of calculated civilian deaths over an extended period of time inevitable? Because this is just the tip of the iceberg - it's not even one of the worst examples. I'm sorry, but being in a state of war does not make atrocities like this OK. If you were a Palestinian, you would be ****ting yourself with anger. You cannot hold one side to the standard that says "you can kill whomever you like, although it would be nice if you would try to maybe steer your grenades away from the elementary schools, perhaps" and another side to the standard that says "any murder of civilians clearly and unquestionably makes you a terrorist."

    To sum up: We're giving $2.2 billion per year in aid to a country that HRW considers one of the 20 worst human rights violators in the world.

    ter·ror·ism Audio pronunciation of terrorism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tr-rzm)
    n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

    1) The airstrike was unlawful. 2) It was intended to send a very strong message. 3) The whole nature of the conflict is political.

    "Terrorist" is not a word you can apply selectively to your enemies in order to legitimize your friends. Like I said, I think it's not the right word to be used in this situation, but if you're absolutely insistent upon using it, there is NO WAY you can call Palestinians terrorists without calling Israel terrorist.
    Yes, and it doesn't mean much, as I responded above, but you're only reiterating the same thing.
     

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