I was listening to NPR this morning to Michael Levy' thoughts on the chances of a terrorist getting their hands on a real nuke. When he was listing the sorts of terrorist movement that would have any interest in using a nuclear weapon on their enemies, concluding that the vast majority of traditional terrorist groups from the IRA to Hesbollah would find nukes counterproductive. The only players on the scene that would use nuclear devices if they had them are nihilist religious fanatics. We think of al Qaeda, and they sure have the history, but they don't have easy access to finished weapons or the ability to make them from fissile materials should they obtain them. Al Qaeda is sort of a franchiser of their name that gives smaller batches of Islamic fundamentalists the color of a much larger group, but each sub unit has its own enemy. The Chechnians would use a nuke on Moscow. Pakistanis would use theirs on India. Saudis would use theirs on the USA. To each their own great satan.
We ignore the most obvious, present and capable group on our shores. The militarist, christian identity follower. We have tens of thousands of these folk within our borders who dream of being Timothy McVeigh and revenging their failed lives. They have small churches with dedicated followers, and many of them work on military bases as civilian employees. The military has preferential hiring policies toward honorable dischargees, and they have no problem getting the jobs available. Some of them are on facilities that store nuclear weapons. Here on the Puget Sound we have a Trident sub base with thousands of active warheads in storage. A majority of the people working at such facilities are civilian employees with experience in handling warheads that they gained during a stint in the Navy. Remember the misplaced nuclear tipped cruse missiles that were left to hang under a B 52 last Fall. If two can be misplaced, they can be stolen by inside men. I recently sat in a local teriyaki shop and overheard two men who I believe worked at the local naval shipyard or sub base argue with each other about how it was their duty as christians to bring about god's prophesy of the end times. Apparently they each had their own church that each had a preacher more insanely hard line than the other. These two gents argued over which preacher was more hard line and what sort of horror would prove their love for christ and purity of god's word.
These guys are here, look as American as Kansas farm boys, have spoken American English since birth and have access to the goods. Anyone with an internet connection can see that they have the will to hit us, but because they hold some ideas in common with other conservative groups are treated with deference.
If that dreaded mushroom cloud ever rises over New York or The District of Columbia I believe we won't have to look far for the villains.
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