Special to WorldTribune.com
CAIRO — Algeria plans to establish a network to monitor the flow of nuclear material along its borders.
Officials said the government has approved a plan to install equipment to inspect incoming goods for radiation. They said the equipment would be installed at border posts amid concern that Al Qaida or Islamic State of Iraq and Levant could be smuggling nuclear or radioactive material through Algeria to such states as Mali and Libya.
“They will be deployed at port and airport platforms for the monitoring of all product and equipment, which may introduce polluted materials and possibly may represent a radioactive source,” Algerian customs chief Mohammed Abdul Bouderbala said.
In a briefing on Dec. 22, Bouderbala said border posts would include customs units that specialize in detecting nuclear or radioactive material. He said the units would consist of officers trained in cooperation with Algeria’s Atomic Energy Commission.
“The project will result in the purchase of new screening equipment, which will be added to those set up at port and airport checkpoints, requiring qualified personnel for the use of these equipments,” Bouderbala said.
Officials said Al Qaida and ISIL were believed to be seeking to acquire nuclear equipment, including uranium. They said Algeria might serve as a waystation for smuggling efforts from Mali to Libya.
The project to track nuclear material has included the Algerian Army and police. Officials said the new customs units would significantly enhance border security.
“They will be bolstered particularly along the borders of Mali and Libya to deal with threats,” Bouderbala said.