A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Background Report: Truck carrying radioactive material stolen in Mexico


Background Report: Truck carrying radioactive material stolen in Mexico

December 9, 2013

The recent theft in Mexico of a truck carrying a potent radiological source (Cobalt-60) has attracted high-profile attention, including from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United States government. Although it appears to have been resolved with no public threat materializing, the incident has raised several questions regarding the security of radiological and nuclear (RN) materials in the Latin American region.

In light of these events, START’s Unconventional Weapons and Technology Research Program compiled information to provide context in regards to the potential nexus between terrorism, transnational crime organizations (TCO) and RN weapons, the potential for radiological terrorism, and previous RN threat and smuggling incidents in Mexico and Latin America.

The Background Report is available here.