London, Feb 3: Al-Qaida has been trying to stockpile "dirty" nuclear explosives and recruit rogue scientists to plot 9/11-like terror attacks in world's major cities, secret US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks have revealed.
Tomihiro Taniguchi, the deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has warned the US that the world faces the threat of a "nuclear 9/11", if stores of uranium and plutonium were not secured against terrorists, the Telegraph reported citing the leaked documents.
But the diplomats visiting the IAEA's headquarters in Austria's capital Vienna in April 2008 said that there was "no way to provide perimeter security" to its own laboratory because it has windows that leave it vulnerable to break-ins.
At a Nato meeting in January 2009, security chiefs briefed member states that al-Qaeda was plotting a programme of "dirty radioactive IEDs", makeshift nuclear roadside bombs that could be used against British troops in Afghanistan.
Senior British defence officials have also raised deep concerns that a rogue scientist in the Pakistani nuclear programme "could gradually smuggle enough material out to make a weapons"
Using teddy bears to blow up jets?
Cables leaked by WikiLeaks have revealed terrorist plans to use children's toys such as teddy bears to get bombs onto planes. According to the Telegraph, US intelligence has been urging airport security staff to examine "children's articles" for suspect explosive chemicals. The threat was disclosed at a meeting in Spain between US homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano and European ministers in January 2010. Thomas de Maizière, the German interior minister, noted the possibility of terrorists using children's articles to introduce bombs into airplanes."