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The president’s top counterterrorism adviser says there is indisputable evidence that dozens of terrorist groups have sought weapons of mass destruction. But a U.S. intelligence official who is not authorized to speak for attribution said although al Qaeda clearly wants a nuclear weapons capability, it hasn’t gotten very far.

“At this point, they don’t appear to have made much progress, but we continue to review every bit of information that comes in to determine whether they’ve advanced their efforts in any way whatsoever,” said the official. “Developing a nuclear device involves a highly sophisticated technical process, and al Qaeda doesn’t seem to have mastered it based on what we know now.”

The concern that terrorists will get hold of nuclear material and use it in an attack is a far greater threat than the older concern of global nuclear war, according to the president’s Nuclear Posture Review.

At a briefing kicking off President Obama’s nuclear security summit on Monday, presidential adviser John Brennan said al Qaeda in particular has been actively trying to acquire a nuclear weapon for the past 15 years.

“Al Qaeda is especially notable for its longstanding interest in weapons (of) useable nuclear material and the requisite expertise that would allow it to develop a yield-producing improvised nuclear device,” said Brennan.

With a nuclear capability, al Qaeda would be able to achieve what Brennan called its sole objective.

“They would have the ability not only to threaten our security and world order in an unprecedented manner, but also to kill and injure many thousands of innocent men, women and children,” he said.

Source: WIBW

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