Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Professor Tells New Zealand Audience: Nuclear Attack Against US is Inevitable

A nuclear attack by terrorists against the United States is inevitable, according to an American international relations expert visiting the University of Canterbury.

Professor Terry Nardin, a political scientist from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is using his six-week visit as a Canterbury Fellow to teach theories of international relations.

He will also give two public lectures. The first, this Thursday evening, will look at the influence of religion on international affairs. The second, next Thursday, will consider the cultural impact of the September 11 terror attacks. Last week the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, said credible intelligence from multiple sources indicated that the al Qaeda terror network was planning an attack on the US in the next few months.

Professor Nardin believes that despite the intelligence sources of the US authorities, terrorist organisations such as al Qaeda are still capable of planning and carrying out attacks.

“I see a kind of offence-defence race. We’re busy defending ourselves in ways that we’ve thought of and Al Qaeda people, who are smart, are busy thinking of ways to get around it.

“There are so many weapons floating around, there’s so little control over nuclear material, biological weapons and so forth, I think it’s only a matter of time before there is some catastrophic event.

“It’s not difficult to transport nuclear materials or biological materials around. There may be a gesture of inspecting aircraft luggage and so on but the whole world container trade goes on so people move around and things move around. “

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