Here's an interesting inconsistency, probably
indicating a conflation of classified information
and open-source information. Remember that SADMs
were supposed to be fired by a recoilless rifle.
Now read to the bottom, where the SADMS are said
to be capable of being carried in a backpack.
In his new book Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate
Preventable Catastrophe, Graham Allison reveals
that exactly one month after the 9/11 attacks the
White House received credible intelligence reports
to the effect that Al Qaeda terrorists had
secreted a ten-kiloton nuclear weapon, apparently
stolen from the Soviet arsenal, in Manhattan. That
was only slightly smaller that the bomb which had
destroyed Hiroshima over a half century earlier.
The twin threats of nuclear proliferation and
terrorism which had long been gathering had
finally merged into a potential nightmare on
Allison is a Harvard professor, former Defense
Department advisor, and author of numerous works
dealing with nuclear issues including the 1971
volume Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban
Missile Crisis. In a series of chilling chapters,
his most recent book surveys the state of the
terrorist nuclear threat today: what weapons
terrorists might use, how they could acquire and
deliver them to an American target, and how much
damage they might do.
In May 1997 General Alexander Lebed, Boris
Yeltsin’s national security advisor informed
members of Congress that the Russian government
had lost track of eighty-four suitcase sized
nuclear weapons each with a yield of one-kiloton.
Four months later he told the television show
“Sixty Minutes” that over one hundred of these
weapons could not be accounted for. His claim has
been controversial ever since and has never been
satisfactorily resolved. Some have questioned
whether the Soviets ever developed such weapons,
but Allison contends that they almost certainly
did. The United States itself, he explains, had in
its arsenal a number of Special Atomic Demolition
Munitions (SADMs), each of which could be carried
in a backpack. If any such Soviet weapons are
loose, it is at least possible that one or more of
them have fallen into the hands of terrorists.