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International Terrorism - The Nuclear Dimension

NCJ Number
Terrorism Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Dated: (1987) Pages: 113-123
J Denton
Date Published
11 pages
This address assesses the threat of nuclear terrorism and existing efforts to counter it, followed by proposals for improving nuclear security.
There are already warning signs that the threat of nuclear terrorism must be addressed. Between 1966 and 1977, 10 terrorist attacks were conducted against European nuclear installations. In 1979, environmental terrorists inflicted heavy damage to a French nuclear plant, and in 1982, five rockets were fired into the French Creys-Malville nuclear facility. Between 1969 and 1975, there were 14 actual and attemped bombings of U.S. nuclear facilities and 240 bomb threats. While being held by the Italian Red Brigades, General Dozier was interrogated about NATO and U.S. nuclear weapon locations, and members of Germany's Red Army Faction have been apprehended with maps and drawings of nuclear storage sites and security patrol routes. The efforts of Libya, a supporter of terrorism, to obtain nuclear weapons have been documented. Although the United States has effective domestic protection of weapons, reactors, enrichment facilities, and reprocessing facilities, security for transporting and storing nuclear waste materials must be upgraded. The Anti-Nuclear Terrorism Act has been introduced in the 99th Congress to enhance the screening of nuclear power plant employees who have unescorted access to the facilities. It would be helpful to have legislation or an executive order clearly delineating jurisdiction in the case of a domestic nuclear terrorist threat.


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