Nuclear Find in Bogatá

From the July 2001 Trumpet Print Edition

Colombian police were astonished when a tip-off led to their stumbling across a $1.5 million cache of enriched uranium in the bathroom of an animal-feed salesman in war-torn Bogotá, late April.

“The police believe they have foiled an international gang that planned to build and sell nuclear weapons,” said the Sunday Times, April 29. The man helping police with their investigation claimed that he had simply found some radioactive ore on his farm!

This type of discovery only serves to increase the alarm expressed at recent international conferences about the growing threat of nuclear terrorism.

The methods employed by groups trading in enriched uranium and atomic bomb parts are increasingly sophisticated. Given that many terrorist groups have recourse to all the latest in vanguard technology, no wonder their movements are so hard to trace!

International authorities admit that there is a long way to go—but they must move quickly to control this highly dangerous, furtive world trade.

Amazingly, the fbi team sent to determine the origin of the Bogotá uranium said they were alarmed at the prospect of a black market in atom bombs. This in spite of the fact that, earlier this year, forums involving the U.S. and the EU have openly admitted that international terrorism involving nuclear bombs is increasingly a real threat.

It also comes at a time when Russia is more open about its worldwide arms trade and uranium sales than at any time since the end of the cold war. As Russia tries to rid itself of the burden of accumulated debt, watch for the dire effects of it becoming bolder in international arms trading.

Apart from the inevitable —the increasingly worrying possibility of nuclear terrorism—the balance of world military power stands to be destabilized.

America’s role as international policeman is floundering fast, and the fact that the U.S.’s unpopular new missile program is out of joint with most of the rest of the world gives the EU further excuses to increase Europe’s joint military capacity.

Watch for the EU increasingly being referred to as an emerging joint military bloc of stabilizing importance on the world scene.