Terrorism in the United States and the Potential Threat to Nuclear Facilities

by Bruce Hoffman

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

This report examines the threat posed by terrorists to U.S. nuclear weapons production and research facilities. It identifies and reviews the activities of three classes of terrorist groups in the United States: (1) ethnic separatist and emigre groups; (2) left-wing radical organizations; and (3) right-wing racist, anti-authority, survivalist-type groups. Although the situation could change suddenly in the future, the historical record suggests that U.S.-based terrorist groups are unlikely to attack a defended site such as a nuclear weapons facility. However, it is not possible to rule out such an attack by a terrorist group operating in the United States at the behest and under the direction of a foreign government. These state-sponsored terrorists have greater resources and fewer political constraints, and therefore pose a potentially greater threat to nuclear weapons sites.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.