They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Terror risk from WMD exaggerated, experts say

yahoo/reuters: The threat that militants could develop and use weapons of mass destruction was exaggerated, international experts said on Tuesday as Australia and the United States warned the risk was real and disturbing.

Lawrence Freedman, professor of war studies at London's Kings College, and the Australian National University's (ANU) Robert Ayson, both played down the likelihood that militants could use weapons of mass destruction in an attack.

Speaking in Canberra at a one-day conference on the threat of weapons of mass destruction, they said while chemical, biological or nuclear weapons could not be ruled out, terror groups were more likely to use conventional bombs and weapons.

"The most likely terrorist threat is likely to be more ordinary and familiar, but still deadly in its own way," Freedman told the conference.

He said it would be difficult for militants to develop weapons of mass destruction as they would require more people with extensive expertise, making it difficult to maintain security and increasing the risk they would be detected.

Ayson, director of studies at the ANU's Strategic and Defense Studies Center, said governments should be doing more to ease public fears about weapons of mass destruction.

"We should be disarming our nightmares," he said, adding that governments should separate the debate about terror threats from debate about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"In 10 years' time, we will look back and see the threat as exaggerated." Read more