April 3, 2008
Research Director Ackerman Testifies on Nuclear Terrorism for Senate Committee
START Research Director and investigator Gary A. Ackerman testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on April 2, 2008, as part of the Committee's hearing on Nuclear Terrorism: Assessing the Threat to the Homeland.
Ackerman's testimony focused on issues related to the "demand-side" of the nuclear terrorism debate--that is, why and when might a terrorist group want to use a nuclear weapon, and which types of groups might be most likely to pursue such weapons technology.
Ackerman summarized the assessment he presented by stating his belief that "at least amongst certain of the more fanatic subsets of our terrorist adversaries, the motivation to use nuclear weapons against the United States certainly exists and shows no signs of diminishing within the coming decades. It can therefore be expected that, barring some dramatic change in either radical ideologies or the amount of fissile material worldwide, we will see additional attempts by terrorists to acquire and perhaps even use nuclear weapons on American soil."
Ackerman's full testimony is available via the Committee's website. The site also includes a Web cast of the full hearing, including questions and answers with the Committee members.