Terrorism and WMD: A FOX Fan Expert Forum

In a FOX Fan Exclusive, we've asked an array of experts to tell us what they know, and what they don't, about the WMD threat with respect to terrorism:

Who has the willingness to use WMD's on American assets overseas or here at home?

Mansoor Ijaz
 "...With Iran's enriched uranium program now up and running, and the resolve of Iran's fanatical mullahs to help drive the U.S. out of Iraq, it is not inconceivable that Iranian nuclear materials could be deployed in dirty bomb attacks (with Iranian plastic explosives being currently used in the homicide bombing missions) throughout southern Iraq first, and then possibly in and around Baghdad.

It is conceivable that key elements of biological and chemical weapons programs were transported out of Iraq, but probably not to the obvious countries in the local area (Syria, Sudan, Jordan, etc.). We know, for example, that officials in the U.S. Government have expressed serious concerns about what role Cuba may have played in assisting Saddam to take biological and chemical weapons laboratories and equipment out. To the extent that those efforts by Saddam were successful, Cuba, and other countries adverse to U.S. policies in the Western Hemisphere, could pose intermediate term threats to American citizens."

What is the connection between Iraqi politics and terrorism post-Saddam?

Evan Kohlman
 "...Al-Qaeda has learned its lessons well on how to do battle with America.  In the days of the anti-Soviet jihad during the 1980s, Usama Bin Laden and his top advisors studied how a protracted, low-intensity guerilla war can frustrate even the most determined modern military...Exploiting regional Muslim conflicts is the precise method that the movement has used in the past to organize and recruit future terrorist sleeper cells. The fear now is that, just as in Afghanistan, anti-American militants schooled in Iraq could find a way to eventually direct their aim at targets inside the United States...Consequently, the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction of gravest concern to our future homeland security are the elementary chem-bio recipes and skills that Al-Qaeda recruits picked up in terrorist training camps run by the Kurdish Ansar Al-Islam group."  

  What is the best way to reduce the threat of another catastrophic attack?

Dr. Jim Walsh
 "...The best way to reduce the danger of a WMD attack, particularly a nuclear attack, is to prevent the terrorists from getting access to the materials required for such weapons.For example, there are about 600 metric tons of nuclear bomb material in the former Soviet Union. Without nuclear material, a terrorist cannot make a nuclear bomb.  The government has made some effort in this area, but it has been slow and has lacked political priority...As for biological weapons, the key is early intervention and protection before diseases spread out of control.  An early warning system would help reduce the risks of biological weapons and would have the added benefit of promoting public health in countries around the world.

My concern is that neither the President nor the Congress, neither Democrats nor Republicans, have demonstrated the political will to take the actions that would reduce the risk of a WMD attack."

  How should U.S. forces rearrange to deal with this threat?

Col. David Hunt
"... We cannot fight this type of enemy with a bureaucracy that exceeds the number of some countries' military.We are an elephant fighting sharks. We are out of our element and too slow. We must cut back on the levels of staffing involved in this fight—streamline, focus and commit. We seem to have forgotten about 9/11. The President is clearly leading, but his bureaucracy is in the way. The three-star general in Iraq has a 1,000-man staff or more supporting him. Centcom has twice that. The Pentagon has over 25,000. The shear numbers cry out to be cut. Cutting a bureaucracy is not easy, but since 9/11 it has become literally a matter of life and death."

With regards to the Iranian regime, what is the likelihood that they would transfer WMD to foreign terrorists? Evan Kohlman and Dr. Walsh assert the regime is deterred for the time-being as the U.S. could easily trace an attack back to them.

Alireza Jafarzadeh
 "...Tehran has used terrorism and a vigorous drive to acquire weapons of mass destruction and a nuclear arsenal not only in the context of balance of terror but as means to exact concessions from its international interlocutors.

There is an element of truth in Mr. Kohlman’s view that Iran’s providing of WMD to its surrogate or affiliated groups could be traceable to its origin. That said, let us not forget that the regime deceived the IAEA and the international community for 18 years, pretending that its nuclear activities were benign. Hiding its tracks as far as WMD-related attacks are concerned, while difficult, are not impossible, given Tehran’s long record of deception and denial. If the mullahs are pushed to the brink, whether by internal or external factors, they would not hesitate to breach any red line to survive."