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Thu Oct 24, 2019, 08:58 AM

Foreign Policy (the magazine): White Supremacists Want a Dirty Bomb

And the Trump administration is letting them get dangerously close to acquiring one.


On Dec. 9, 2008, police raided the home of the millionaire James Cummings in Belfast, Maine. Cummings was an abusive husband, and he had been shot in the head by his wife, but that wasn’t what still disturbs investigators to this day. At Cummings’s home, police obtained radiological material and literature on constructing a dirty bomb. Cummings had collected the radioactive isotope thorium-232 and depleted uranium, the latter of which he bought online, along with the materials necessary to build a conventional explosive. Angered by the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, Cummings had compiled the materials he deemed necessary to build a dirty bomb just 42 days before the inauguration.

At the scene, investigators found literature on how to create different types of radiological dispersal devices (RDDs), colloquially referred to as dirty bombs, using the radioactive isotopes cesium-137, cobalt-60, and strontium-90 and an application for the U.S. Nationalist Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization. Cummings had ties to white nationalist groups, he revered Adolf Hitler, and, according to workers who spent time in his home, he was a collector of Nazi memorabilia.

More than a decade later, on Aug. 3, 2019, a gunman posted an anti-immigrant, white nationalist manifesto on a far right forum, walked into a Walmart on the East side of El Paso, Texas and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 22 people.. There is no longer any question of whether the country is facing the rise of domestic white supremacist terrorists. The question is how far they will go. While the United States has been focused on the trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials abroad, experts at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) have argued that the threat of dangerous radiological materials being used in America’s own backyard is “just as serious.”

With a wide variety of civilian uses, including in the medical, industrial, and research fields, radiological materials rated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Category 1 threats—such as cesium-137, cobalt-60, and strontium-90—are left relatively unguarded. These materials could be used to contaminate a major U.S. city with devastating consequences.


I was asked to make this an OP

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Reply Foreign Policy (the magazine): White Supremacists Want a Dirty Bomb (Original post)
Celerity Oct 2019 OP
ck4829 Oct 2019 #1

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 12:50 PM

1. K&R

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