The United States and Western Countries have been haunted ever since the disintegration of the Soviet Union with the prospect of WMDs falling into the hands of terrorist groups. Their fears have turned out true with information now available that the Islamic Jehadi groups led by Osama bin Laden have indeed acquired WMDs.WMDs in the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists fortified with the spirit of martyrdom and imbued with the frenzy of expelling the United States from the Islamic world or Islamisation of countries with sizeable Muslim population, indeed become frightening weapons of terror.
Indications of possession of WMDs by Osama bin Laden are amplified below.
Chemical and Biological Weapons
Nuclear Suitcase Bombs and Tactical Nudear Weapons
The suitcase nuclear bombs are reported to be stored at two locations in Afghanistan :
The nuclear suitcase bombs could only be operated by SPETZNAZ (Russian Special Forces) personnel. Some Ukrainian and Baltic region SPETZNAZ troopers are reported to have been recruited, not for operating the bombs but as escorts / protection for these bombs and the technicians.
However the operational use of suitcase nuclear bombs will be entrusted only to Islamic Jehadis. To overcome the technical problems of coded transmissions for activation of these nuclear suitcase bombs (Russian technique,) it is reported that Laden’s nuclear experts could “hot-wire” them and these can be used by human-bomb volunteers from amongst the Islamic Jehadis seeking martyrdom.
That nuclear suitcase bombs could have reached Osama bin Laden stand corroborated by General Lebed’s (former Security chief of Russia) statement in 1997 that a number of such bombs stood missing from Russian arsenals.
Combating terrorism is itself a very complex and frustrating task. The task of combating Islamic Jehadi terrorism of the Osama bin Laden variety imposes new challenges for countries being targeted by Islamic Jehadis. The WMD threat so posed can only be effectively met by intelligence of a very high order which could facilitate pre-emptive actions.
If the current record of Taliban’s attitudes to intentional criticism over the Bamiyan episode is an indicator, Osama bin Laden will have nothing but contempt for any overtures to give up the WMDs as a tool of Islamic Jehad. WMDs give the Islamic Jehadis an unprecedented power to indulge in political blackmail of Western and other targeted countries. Aware of the vulnerability of civilised societies to political terror and panic, the WMD provides a heady intoxication of unrivalled power to the Islamic Jehadis.
Technical means for long distance disablement of such weapons do not seem to be in existence. Devoid of these, the United States as the primary target has no choice but to keep strict and effective surveillance of Osama bin Laden’s activities, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the main conduit of both westward and eastward movement of the Jehadi’s WMDs. India too as one of the targets identified by Laden needs to ponder seriously as to how combat this menace.