Israel conducts first civilian exercise to prepare for 'dirty bomb' attack
TEL AVIV — On Sept. 2, the Israeli Defense Ministry launched an exercise meant to
respond to a radiation strike in Tel Aviv. Officials said this was the first
such Israeli exercise and envisioned thousands of casualties, Middle East Newsline reported.
"This is the first time that all of the country's relevant authorities
will be tested in real time on how to respond to a dirty bomb and not a
missile attack," a defense official told the Jerusalem Post.
"There are a
number of scenarios that are all extreme. They include the contamination of
our water system as well as the detonation of a suitcase carrying
Officials said the military has determined that Iran and Syria were
helping insurgency groups assemble radiation bombs in an attempt to conduct
a mass-casualty attack. They said the radiation material could be inserted
into a rocket, missile or placed aboard an unmanned aerial vehicle.
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"Both Iran and Syria have accumulated arsenals of radiation material
that could be used in dirty bombs," an official said.
Officials said Iran and Syria were believed to be preparing squads to
smuggle radiation, chemical or biological weapons for attacks against
Israel. They said such an attack could serve as retaliation for any Israeli
or U.S. strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
"A dirty bomb would have no fingerprints and would be just as damaging
as a missile strike by either Iran or Syria," another official said. "You
could smuggle such a bomb anywhere."