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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dirty bomb attack only matter of time: German Minister

Expatica: BERLIN - Wolfgang Schaeuble, the German minister heading anti-terror forces, said in an interview published Sunday that terrorist use of a "dirty bomb" spreading radioactive fallout was no longer a matter of if, but when.

A dirty bomb has a conventional explosive in it, but spreads a toxic cloud of radioactive material packed in the bomb casing.

Interior Minister Schaeuble told the weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag that German intelligence services believed this was now a realistic option for terrorists.

"The problem is probably no longer whether there are going to be such attacks, but when and where they'll take place," he said. However he said the intelligence services did not know of any actual purchases of radioactive material by terrorists.

A German professor of terrorism studies, Rolf Tophoven, rejected the warning Sunday, accusing the minister of "panic-mongering".

Terrorists did not yet have such know-how, the head of the Essen institute on terrorism studies told the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost.

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