with Dirty Bomb Warheads are Missing
December 12, 2003
Experts say that dozens of rockets equipped with so-called dirty bombs-
warheads designed to scatter deadly radioactive material- appear to be
missing in Trana-Dnieswter, a breakaway region of Moldova. Moldova is
a former Soviet republic, which broke away after the 1991 collapse of
the Soviet Union.
analyst, Oazu Natoi, who works at the non-governmental Institute for Policy
Studies in Chisinau,said he had seen copies of Russian military documents
showing that the dirty bomb warheads were missing from a storage depot
near the Trans-Dniester Tiraspol military airport.
Nantoi is a respected expert on the region of Trans-Dniester, which is
populated by ethnic Slavs and has been policed by thousands of Russian
troops since the region's fight for independence from Moldove 12 years
the documents came from a disgruntled Russian military official who claimed
he had not received compensation for being exposed to radioactive material.
The possibility of terrorists acquiring dirty bombs is a main concern
of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.
IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei said last week that his agency,
which tires to cap the spread of nuclear weapons, is not spending a great
deal of time working on this threat."
The organization for security and cooperation in Europe and other agencies
have expressed repeated concern about reports that the Trans Dniester
region is a major weapons smuggling center.
Thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition remain stored in Trans-Dniester
after the breakup. The region has a robust arms industry.