Sunday, May 06, 2007

More about the Nuclear Threat Initiative

My son, Jeff Jonas, creates software that the government uses to detect covert relationships among “bad guys.” He’s respected among counterterrorism experts and co-authored Effective Counterterrorism and the Limited Role of Predictive Data Mining.

Not too long after 9/11, Jeff told me that the “top guys” in our government were very concerned that terrorists would get their hands on nuclear materials, create dirty bombs, and detonate them in this country.

With Jeff’s comment lodged in my brain, I look for articles about the risk of terrorists obtaining nuclear materials.

In the fall of 2005, as I was leafing through the New Yorker, I saw Rain and Fire: “Hendrik Hertzberg on a film that sheds light on the nuclear-terrorism threat.”

Hendrik described a private screening of “Last Best Chance,” (photo), sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and attended by such notables as Ted Turner, Warren Buffett, Senator Lugar, and former Senator Sam Nunn, “now head of a nongovernmental organization called the Nuclear Threat Initiative,” which I mentioned as a source of news in yesterday’s post.

“Last Best Chance” is free, thanks to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and can be ordered at As described by Hertzberg, “It has no sex scenes, no car chases, and no wisecracking sidekicks, and it is only forty-five minutes long, but it lays out a frighteningly plausible narrative of how terrorists might buy or steal the makings of a nuclear bomb, assemble one, smuggle it halfway around the world, and send it on its way to an American city in an S.U.V.”

One more suggestion: Go the Nuclear Threat Initiative website and sign up for its Global Security Newswire e-mail alerts, which I consider one of the best sources of information on a wide range of subjects related to security.

Sidebar: I see that former Senator Fred Thompson, who plays the President in the movie, is a candidate for President in the 08 election!

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