John Ashtead: “Dirty bomb” – next target London?

Intelligence services have revealed that Osama Bin Laden’s organization has made repeated attempts to obtain radioactive materials, while a Pakistani chemical engineer linked to Al-Qaeda has been detained in possession of entry visas to the UK.

An ex-member of the Bulgarian secret services has tipped off his counterparts in the United Kingdom about a plan by Al-Qaeda to buy spent nuclear rods from the Kozlodui nuclear power station in Bulgaria. He was invited to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he was approached by a man calling himself a chemical engineer, who spoke of plans to make a “dirty bomb”, which would spread radioactivity over a large area when exploded over a major city.

The same chemical engineer has since been arrested, and was found to be in possession of two entry visas to the United Kingdom, the entry date being the end of October. Whether or not the plan has been set in motion already, or whether it has been nipped in the bud, remains to be seen.

The Bulgarian, now a businessman, claims to have had a secret meeting with Osama Bin Laden, apparently in eastern Afghanistan. Upon consultation of his Magellan 300 Global Positioning System, he saw later that his destination had in fact been western China.

British Intelligence services believe that Al-Qaeda may have large quantities of cyanide, but there is nothing to suppose that the organization has had access to nuclear material, despite having made 4 attempts to procure it.


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