Sunday, October 24, 2004

Fire Sale on Explosives

Josh Marshall, one of my favorite bloggers, has this post on his blog, Talking Points Memo, forecasting what he thinks will be a big news item to break soon. Apparently, an insider's newsletter called The Nelson Report reveals that over 350 tons of really nasty explosives were taken in the early days of the United States' invasion of Iraq. What makes things interesting is that, according to the portions of the Nelson Report quoted by Marshall, the DOD has been trying to keep the mishap a secret from the IAEA. Apparently United States Defense officials put pressure on the Iraqi interim government not to disclose anything to the IAEA, and the issue was kept under wraps until recently, when Iraqi officials disclosed the missing explosives.

The post also suggests that the stolen explosives have been used in many of the suicide bombings plaguing Iraq. Although the story alludes to the fact that the stolen explosives may be used in the triggering process for a nuclear weapon, that fact alone does not seem to make this an IAEA issue. I bet there is a lot of legs on this story, and it may have important consequences for the election. It is certainly worth paying attention to it to see what develops.

UPDATE: The Drudge Report claims that the New York Times is working on a front-page story about "terrorists and explosives." I take everything on that site with a healthy dose of skepticism, but it seems to corroborate Marshall's post.

No comments: