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Yugoslavia could use nuke-laced arms

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By Bill Gertz


Intelligence agencies warned NATO military commanders last week that Yugoslavia could resort to nuclear-laced weapons in the Balkans conflict, The Washington Times has learned. Nuclear material for a radiological weapon -- also known as a "dirty nuke" -- is being stored at the Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, located about six miles southeast of the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade, according to officials familiar with a Pentagon intelligence report.

A "dirty nuke" does not result in a large explosion but could kill by spreading radioactive material with conventional explosives in lethal doses, the officials said.

NATO bombing planners have taken steps to make sure the facility is not bombed, the officials said.

"This is not on anybody's target list," said one Pentagon official, who noted that NATO war planners know about the facility and the nuclear material there.

The Pentagon report estimates about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of highly enriched uranium --weapons-grade fuel for a nuclear bomb -- are stored at the Vinca center. About seven kilograms would be required for fueling a nuclear bomb.

-- Continued from Front Page --

The research center also has 53 kilograms of freshly irradiated Uranium-235 and about 10 kilograms of spent fuel from a research reactor. That material is not regarded as "weapons grade" fuel but is dangerous because of its radioactivity and its potential use as a contaminating weapon.

"If this were reprocessed, it could be used in a radiological device," said the official.

The warning was contained in a classified report on nuclear material being stored at a poorly guarded Serbian research center near Belgrade.

President Clinton said Thursday after a speech in San Francisco that the use of weapons of mass destruction is a danger known to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Asked how he would respond to the use of such arms, Mr. Clinton said: "My response would be swift and overwhelming, and we have, obviously, intelligence about the Serbs in a number of areas militarily.

"But I think they are quite well aware of the dangers of overly escalating this," Mr. Clinton said. "And I think that's all I should say about it right now."

The president appeared to be restating the Pentagon policy first outlined several years ago by then-Defense Secretary William Perry that the U.S. military response to the use of battlefield nuclear, chemical or biological weapons would be devastating attacks with conventional arms.

The Pentagon intelligence warning said that the nuclear material is vulnerable to theft. Satellite photographs taken recently of the Vinca center reveal the facility is protected with a single guard booth and that it does not appear to be well secured.

A U.S. official said the Belgrade government has documents, equipment and precursor chemicals that could be used in making chemical weapons, as well as production facilities. It is not known whether the Serbs actually have munitions weapons for chemical arms or stockpiles of such weapons, the official said.

The precursor chemicals indicate that the Serbs could produce the deadly nerve agent sarin, the official said. Sarin is extremely toxic; small amounts can disrupt the central nervous system.

Serbian forces also may have capabilities for producing choking agents or blistering agents such as mustard gas, as well as riot-control agents that have weapons potential, the official said.

A 1996 report by the group Human Rights Watch said there were witness testimonies indicating Serbian-backed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina used chemical weapons in carrying out the massacre of Bosnians in Srebrenica in the summer of 1995.

The report stated that the Yugoslav army in 1991 had a chemical weapons program that included stocks of sarin, mustard gas and a psychochemical incapacitant known as BZ.

"There are no indications that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has destroyed its stockpiles of chemical agents or disassembled its chemical agent production equipment since" the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, the report states.

Yugoslav army doctrine, according to report, also called for troops to use chemical weapons "in surrounding and destroying a group," or when army forces are blocked from moving.

Belgrade's biological weapons capabilities, if any, are not known.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 16, 1999


Hi Andy,

FWIW the serbs are much too well informed to go messing up their own front yard with weapons grade nuclear material...personally, if they're gonna get weird I'd expect them to use some sort of chemical agent...


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 16, 1999.

I tend to agree Arlin - but notice that this is Pentagon Intelligence...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 16, 1999.

Charles R.,

How right you are. Check these links for stories about our last use of depleted uranium ammunition against a foe:

The evidence is there. We caused cancer in the Gulf


from agent orange to du

-- Nabi Davidson (nabi7@yahoo.com), April 16, 1999.

Oh, I love this line: "The president appeared to be restating the Pentagon policy first outlined several years ago by then-Defense Secretary William Perry that the U.S. military response to the use of battlefield nuclear, chemical or biological weapons would be devastating attacks with conventional arms. "

I thought we were doing that right now. Isn't that the NATO policy? "Devastating air attacks on Milosevich's ability to wage war?"

What?, are they going to ask for ANOTHER 300 planes if Serbia uses a dirty nuke or other WMD?

Read between the lines folks.

THEY HAVE NO POLICY. They're flying by the seat (or crotch in Clinton's case) of their pants. This is fucking 'Nam deja vu all over again!!

What could be more "devastating" in terms of a conventional response to the use of tactical nukes? Bomb Milo's pad in Belgrade??? Bomb their links to CNN????

This is NUTS!

Then again these are the wonderful leaders that are going to get us through any Y2K problems too.

Lock and load folks....then pray - - FERVENTLY.

-- INVAR (gundark@sw.net), April 16, 1999.

on the other hand guys, this may be a blessing in disguise. After all, what they're currently doing to central Europe they could be doing to us...er, no wait a minute I should have said 'for us' now shouldn't I?

whatever was I thinking?


-- Arlin H. Adams (ahadams@ix.netcom.com), April 16, 1999.

Charles got it, I think: this focus on *their* radiation is to counter the breaking story about *our* promiscuous use of depleted uranium-cased weapons.

I'm not religious, but this war is making me believe in the existence of Satan. I paid my taxes yesterday, and went straight for a long shower - but I still felt dirty...


-- Dano (bookem@blacksand.srf), April 16, 1999.

If the Y2k problem did not exist, the article quoted at the top of this thread would not have to change by a single word, demonstrating that it is not Y2k-related and thus is off-topic for this forum.

The argument that, since the leaders involved in the subject of the article are also involved in Y2k problems, the subject of the article is Y2k-related, is simply a spurious attempt to legitimize this clearly-off-topic stuff.

-- No Spam Please (No_Spam_Please@anon_ymous.com), April 16, 1999.

No Spam Please,

Have you seen your doctor about that craniorectal impaction?


-- Dano (bookem@blacksand.srf), April 16, 1999.

No Spam is blind, deaf and incredibly stupid.

Public school educated by the looks of it.

-- INVAR (gundark@sw.net), April 16, 1999.

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