Major concern seems to be arising in the Caucasus. Mere days ago, Georgian authorities reported the arrest of an elderly Georgian man and several Armenian nationals — alarmingly suspected of being current or former members of the Armenian Security Service — who were attempting to smuggle and illegally sell some $200 million worth of nuclear-grade materials. The highly radioactive U-238 can be used to produce a myriad of deadly and destructive apparatuses, not the least of which is a dreaded “dirty bomb.” The specter of a dirty bomb is of paramount concern for security services and counterterrorism officials worldwide. Internationally, the deep alarm of officials associated with the discovery of U-238 was compounded earlier this year when a group of individuals was discovered attempting to smuggle Cesium-137, a highly radioactive isotope that is a waste product from nuclear reactors. Some of this material entered Georgia through the separatist Russia-annexed enclave of South Ossetia and was traced back to Russian facilities. This adds much credence to constant complaints by Georgia and Azerbaijan related to the fact that their territories under separatist control, such as Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia, are being used for all manner of illegal smuggling from nuclear material to arms to narcotics.
Washington Times 3rd May 2016 read more »