Chance of a terrorist A-bomb detonating in a major city

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  • #51
Skyhunter
cronxeh said:
Evidence is for the federal agents to find, its not my niche. Suppose an optimal combination of an airman's family taken hostage, a certain missile silo under a complete electronic and EM blanket cover - no signals in and out, and a total military overthrow of a particular silo

Impossible? I think not. The US government doesnt think and neither has the capacity to execute protective measures against a broad scale professional terrorist attack that would include a statistical monitoring of a given base or missile installment over a period of time, a surveilance of every military personnel working on that base, a detailed knowledge of rocket science - from blueprints to knowledge of advanced engineering, and a significant amount of firepower to overrun, takeover and control any one of those silos.

I bet as of today 'osama bin laden' is no longer a key terorrist worry for US. However there are a lot of people with money and a Bayesian conspiracy lovers who could hire ex-KGB specialists and execute aforementioned procedure. Improbable? Very probable. Likely to occur? depends on how far the US foreign policy is willing to go
Now I am starting to worry.
 
  • #52
loseyourname
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It sounds like you just watched Crimson Tide. That exactly what the Russian rebel group did in that movie. They overwhelmed a Russian missile silo and held the world hostage. The only thing that kept them from launching until the Russians could get their military in to retake the silo was the fact that they didn't have the launch codes.

If you know anything about how missile launches work, I'd appreciate some input. From what I know, while you can manually launch the missiles, you wouldn't be able to aim them at any specific target unless they were pre-programmed. Detonating it on the spot doesn't seem like it would be that disastrous, at least compared to an urban detonation, as the silos are in relatively remote and unpopulated areas. It would destroy a lot of farmland though. Thankfully, weather systems in the midwest tend to run north-south, so the fallout would end up in Mexico or Canada depending on the time of year, rather than the US seaboards.
 
  • #53
russ_watters
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SOS2008 said:
If the reasons for attacks are removed, there will be no excuse or sympathy for their cause.
Since the primary reason for their attacks is our existence, that is not a concession I'm willing to make.
 
  • #54
vanesch
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russ_watters said:
Since the primary reason for their attacks is our existence, that is not a concession I'm willing to make.
Well, I agree of course with you that one should not be ready to give up on one's own existence :smile:

But the point was:
"If the reasons for attacks are removed, there will be no excuse or sympathy for their cause."

And that is correct ; well, there will be LESS sympathy for their cause. Your presence in Iraq is making a lot of people HAVE SYMPATHY for the terrorists and their cause, which wouldn't have that sympathy for them if you weren't over there.

Of course it doesn't mean that withdrawing from Iraq will somehow SOLVE the terrorism problem, but at least it will not MAKE IT WORSE AS IS HAPPENING NOW. You guys don't seem to understand that your action over there is a propaganda movie for OBL!

EDIT: well, I have to contradict my own argument: the very act of withdrawing itself will of course ALSO be propaganda for OBL (he will be victorious, or at least perceived to be so). It's a catch-22.
 
  • #55
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loseyourname said:
If you know anything about how missile launches work, I'd appreciate some input. From what I know, while you can manually launch the missiles, you wouldn't be able to aim them at any specific target unless they were pre-programmed.
If the warhed was on a cruise missil ethe course can be chnged midflight so no preprogramming is required. If a ballistic missile is used such as an MIRV, the independant missles can be set different targets whilst air borne.


loseyourname said:
Detonating it on the spot doesn't seem like it would be that disastrous, at least compared to an urban detonation, as the silos are in relatively remote and unpopulated areas.
An 80 megaton yield bomb (highest yield thoguht probable) is predicted to be able to incinerate objects up to 80 miles away. So i wouldn't feel too saf eif one of those babies went off! The risk after explosion is not just airborne radiatoin bt also radiation in food webs etc, water ways.
 
  • #56
Informal Logic
russ_watters said:
Since the primary reason for their attacks is our existence, that is not a concession I'm willing to make.
I realize this is the propaganda being bandied about in America, that the terrorists want to exterminate all infidels from the face of the Earth. If you believe this, I have some great deals for you.
vanesch said:
EDIT: well, I have to contradict my own argument: the very act of withdrawing itself will of course ALSO be propaganda for OBL (he will be victorious, or at least perceived to be so). It's a catch-22.
Once again, I think this has been exaggerated for purposes of defending the policy of further occupation of Iraq. For one thing, there are many more issues in Iraq to be considered as you listed in your earlier posts. All the US needs to do is state accomplished objectives and that it is now time for international assistance with nation building, etc. I fail to see what is so difficult about this, and suspect all that prevents this course of action are the imperialistic dreams of the neocons.
 
  • #57
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Currently all missile launch capabilities can be disabled remotely by military personnel hundreds of miles away. Short of using many tons of high explosives it is impossible to gain entrance into a missile silo.

Upon entering the locked outer door all entrants pass into a containment area and must give a code word to proceed. If an Airman is held hostage he has been trained to give a duress word which locks down everything.

The minuteman missiles are the only ground based nukes left. The warhead itself cannot be detonated without having passed through a fail safe criteria. Opps I cant' tell you exactly what that entails.

As far as commandeering a missile launch control center, whatever you may think up, the Airforce had it covered years ago.

On the other hand as I mentioned earlier, a nuke in a shipping container has the highest probability of success. Homeland security has not yet sufficiently addressed that problem.

A nuke could also be driven across the Mexican border in a truck. Drug runners haul tons of drugs over the border daily.
 
  • #58
Skyhunter
edward said:
Currently all missile launch capabilities can be disabled remotely by military personnel hundreds of miles away. Short of using many tons of high explosives it is impossible to gain entrance into a missile silo.

Upon entering the locked outer door all entrants pass into a containment area and must give a code word to proceed. If an Airman is held hostage he has been trained to give a duress word which locks down everything.

The minuteman missiles are the only ground based nukes left. The warhead itself cannot be detonated without having passed through a fail safe criteria. Opps I cant' tell you exactly what that entails.

As far as commandeering a missile launch control center, whatever you may think up, the Airforce had it covered years ago.

On the other hand as I mentioned earlier, a nuke in a shipping container has the highest probability of success. Homeland security has not yet sufficiently addressed that problem.

A nuke could also be driven across the Mexican border in a truck. Drug runners haul tons of drugs over the border daily.
These scenarios sound more likely.

A renegade scientist(s) builds a crude bomb, or one is purchased on the black market.

Hey, where did all the Iraqi Nuclear scientists go and what are they doing today?

[edit] I should have known, typed in "Iraqi nuclear scientists" and it was the first link.

The Iraqi scientists from Saddam Hussein's nuclear and biological weapons programs posed a huge risk to international safety after Saddam's fall. So why did the Bush administration refuse to track down the scientists after the 2003 invasion of Iraq? Mother Jones reports that all but three of Saddam's top 200-some nuclear scientists are missing.
http://www.motherjones.com/radio/2005/08/082105_broadcast.html [Broken]
 
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  • #59
devil-fire
if the right people got a nuke from an arms dealer (former general) of the USSR, got a standard sized cargo container and drove it to the docks and payed to have it loaded on an ocean liner bound for new york and detonate it when the boat stoped, it would be bad. there aren't a lot of people who could pull that off though.

first you need someone who is willing to kill millions of civilians. there are a lot of those lately but fortunately they are poor, uneducated, xenophobic and if they are part of a like minded organization, they are also watched to some degree. if anyone With the money and With the international connections tryed to buy a bomb, they wouldn't have an easy time of keeping it a secret since people keep an ear on those guys for that exact reason. by that time they are a lightning rod in a storm.

korea might be a problem and iran has the potential to be a Big problem if their nuclear program continues and isn't monitored.

if you think 10-15 years down the road, things could become more viable for the nuke on boat deal. some people say star wars is great because its planing for the future. i say your more resources are a lot better spent on preventing commercial and private boats from being a viable transportation for a nuclear weapon
 

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