UK Security Chief Warns of Dirty Bomb Attack

By Matthew Harwood

In an interview with a British news network, Great Britain's head of domestic security warned of new terrorist attacks, possibly employing a dirty bomb.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told Sky News that the British public should be vigilant over the Christmas season as the threat of a terrorist attack was "growing."

"If we look at the trends it is something that is growing at the moment. If you look at the nature of the sort of attacks that have either been carried out or have been foiled, we are talking about attacks on crowded public places, we are talking about the use potentially of dirty bombs and other things and that is why it is something that we need to take seriously, but we are in terms of the resource and the capability we are putting into it."

Her interview came as Slovak police arrested three men they say were selling enough enriched uranium to build a dirty bomb, reports Agence France Presse.

The traffickers wanted 1.6 million dollars for the 481.4 grammes of material, [Slovak Deputy Police President Michal] Kopcik said. It contained uranium-235, the type used in nuclear reactors and nuclear warheads, and the naturally occurring uranium-238.

"The radioactive uranium was even more dangerous because it was in powder form," Kopcik explained.

The United Kingdom's threat level is currently set at "severe," meaning an attack is highly likely.

During her interview, Smith also tried to ease public concerns over the government's collection of biometric data after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reported it lost the private and sensitive data of over 25 million British citizens last week.


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