Dirty bomb 'real threat' to UK as nuclear weapon smuggling increases across world
The British government has claimed that nuclear terrorism is still one of the biggest threats to global peace, and that a dirty bomb attack is a 'real threat' faced by Britain.
Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt, while speaking about the dangers posed by a rise nuclear weapons being smuggled around the world, warned that information freely available on the internet combined with nuclear material become more widely available means an attack, once 'unthinkable' is not a 'real and global threat', reports the Daily Mail.
Burt said the UK's National Security Strategy identified nuclear terrorism as a primary danger to Britain.
"Nuclear terrorism is a real and global threat. A successful attack, no matter where in the world it came, would be catastrophic. Catastrophic for the immediate devastation and terrible loss of life, and for the far-reaching consequences - psychological, economic, political, and environmental," he said.
"Such an attack was unthinkable just a generation ago. But it is now a possibility we need to confront with the utmost vigilance," he added.
Burt said nuclear material is becoming 'more available' as more countries develop nuclear energy.
"In today's world of modern communication, information is spreading faster. Like nuclear energy, this brings huge benefits, but it also brings significant risks. There is more information about nuclear weapons on the internet than there ever has been," he said.
"Global smuggling networks are thriving. Criminal cells operate across borders and across continents," Burt further said.
He said the UK has been at the 'forefront' of tackling illicit trafficking of nuclear material.
Burt's stark warning came as he addressed a meeting in London of experts from around the world discussing ways to prevent a devastating attack.