"Dirty Bomb" Fears Rise As Belgian Nuclear Facilities Seen As Vulnerable To ISIS Attacks

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: Electrabel says none of its staff or subcontractors were killed, but did say Belgian nuclear sites are under "special protection." 

“Electrabel deplores that its sites are being used regularly this week to illustrate articles without any link to the company or its 5,000 workers," a statement reads.

*  *  *

Hours after brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui and two other men (one of whom may or may not have been bombmaker Najim Laachraoui) detonated explosives-laden vests and luggage at the Brussels airport and metro murdering nearly two dozen people and wounding scores more, we were alarmed but not entirely surprised to see Belgium evacuate the Tihange nuclear power plant.

We say we weren’t entirely surprised because way back on November 30, a raid on an Auvelais home rented by Mohamed Bakkali - who was arrested four days earlier and may have used the residence to shelter the Paris attackers including the supposed leader of the Brussels cell Abdelhamid Abaaoud - turned up an hours-long (some reports had suggested it was a mere 10 minutes long, an apparently incorrect assessment) surveillance tape that appeared to show a top Belgian nuclear official (see here).

“A small video camera stashed in a row of bushes silently recorded the comings and goings of the family of a Brussels-area man with an important scientific pedigree last year, producing a detailed chronology of the family’s movements,” Foreign Policy wrote, late last month. “At one point, two men came under cover of darkness to retrieve the camera, before driving away with their headlamps off, a separate surveillance camera in the area revealed later.”

If, as some suspect, those two men were the Bakraoui brothers, it would suggest that the Brussels cell which is now well on its way to going down in jihadist lore as the most “successful” sleeper cell in the history of radical Islam, was in the advanced stages of trying to procure the materials needed to build a dirty bomb.

Belgian lawmakers were beside themselves when they learned of the video, as it was apparently kept secret for months. “Your services possessed this videotape since Nov. 30, and the nuclear control agency was informed immediately,” said Jean-Marc Nollet, a Parliament member from Ecolo, told interior minister, Jan Jambon. “So I don’t understand how you could have been in possession of this video since Nov. 30, but on Jan. 13, when I questioned you on this, you answered, ‘There is no specific threat to the nuclear facilities.’”

We don’t really understand that either, but we imagine Belgian authorities will be discussing the issue quite a bit in the weeks and months ahead because it’s now emerged that on Thursday, Didier Prospero was shot and killed while walking his dog in Charleroi (about an hour drive from Brussels). Why should you care about Didier? Well, because he is (or “was”) a security guard at Tihange. His security pass was stolen as he lay dying.

“The murder was completely ignored and was committed on Thursday night in the judicial district of Charleroi,” Derniere Heure reported. “A security guard, accompanied by his dog, was shot in the early evening. His badge was stolen.” Electrabel has since denied that any of its staff were killed and is urging the media to avoid "creating confusion" with what it says are "false reports."

The badge itself was immediately deactivated. It’s as yet unclear whether this is connected to Belgian jihadists, but it would certainly be difficult to write it off as a coincidence. Well, it would be difficult to write it off as a coincidence unless you are a Belgian prosecutor. In that case it would be easy. ""A terrorist track is not considered in the case," the Charleroi prosecutor's office told TASS on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is beginning to sound the alarm bells on the threat to Belgium’s nuclear infrastructure. Here, for instance, is The New York Times:

The investigation into this week’s deadly attacks in Brussels has prompted worries that the Islamic State is seeking to attack, infiltrate or sabotage nuclear installations or obtain nuclear or radioactive material. This is especially worrying in a country with a history of security lapses at its nuclear facilities, a weak intelligence apparatus and a deeply rooted terrorist network.


On Friday, the authorities stripped security badges from several workers at one of two plants where all nonessential employees had been sent home hours after the attacks at the Brussels airport and one of the city’s busiest subway stations three days earlier. Video footage of a top official at another Belgian nuclear facility was discovered last year in the apartment of a suspected militant linked to the extremists who unleashed the horror in Paris in November.


Asked on Thursday at a London think tank whether there was a danger of the Islamic State’s obtaining a nuclear weapon, the British defense secretary, Michael Fallon, said that “was a new and emerging threat.”


While the prospect that terrorists can obtain enough highly enriched uranium and then turn it into a nuclear fission bomb seems far-fetched to many experts, they say the fabrication of some kind of dirty bomb from radioactive waste or byproducts is more conceivable. There are a variety of other risks involving Belgium’s facilities, including that terrorists somehow shut down the privately operated plants, which provide nearly half of Belgium’s power.


The fears at the nuclear power plants are of “an accident in which someone explodes a bomb inside the plant,” said Sébastien Berg, the spokesman for Belgium’s federal agency for nuclear control. “The other danger is that they fly something into the plant from outside.” That could stop the cooling process of the used fuel, Mr. Berg explained, and in turn shut down the plant.


The revelation of the video surveillance footage was the first evidence that the Islamic State has a focused interest in nuclear material. But Belgium’s nuclear facilities have long had a worrying track record of breaches, prompting warnings from Washington and other foreign capitals.


Some of these are relatively minor: The Belgian nuclear agency’s computer system was hacked this year and shut down briefly. In 2013, two individuals managed to scale the fence at Belgium’s research reactor in the city of Mol, break into a laboratory and steal equipment.


Others are far more disconcerting. In 2012, two employees at the nuclear plant in Doel quit to join jihadists in Syria, and eventually transferred their allegiances to the Islamic State. Both men fought in a brigade that included dozens of Belgians, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, considered the on-the-ground leader of the Paris attacks.


One of these men is believed to have died fighting in Syria, but the other was convicted of terror-related offenses in Belgium in 2014, and released from prison last year, according to Pieter Van Oestaeyen, a researcher who tracks Belgium’s jihadist networks. It is not known whether they communicated information about their former workplace to their Islamic State comrades.

The reference there is to Ilyass Boughalab, a 26-year old Moroccan man who worked at Doel before travelling to Syria. After passing a background check in 2009 he was given a job inspecting welds. He had access to highly secure areas of the reactor. He was, according to employer AIB-Vincotte, an efficient employee whose work was “flawless.”

One can only assume that Boughalab discussed his time workinig at Doel with other members of Islamic State and it seems entirely likely that someone in the organization would have conveyed his specialized experience up the chain of command. It's easy to imagine that he may very well have met with more senitor members of the group if they indeed learned about his employment history.

Whatever the case, it's fairly clear that there are any number of ways for jihadists to exploit Belgium's notoriously lax nuclear security apparatus and although one would think that the more straightforward approach would be to simply bomb the facilities or have an insider sabotage something, the threat of a dirty bomb is quite real. We'll close with a short quote from Laura Holgate, the National Security Council’s senior director for weapons of mass destruction: "I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet."

*  *  *

As an aside, Belgian authorities have identified the third suspect in the airport bombings. The man is one Faycal Cheffou, a freelance journalist. He was reportedly detained outside the prosecutor's office with two other men on Thursday in the sweeping raids that led to 6 arrests.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Bank_sters's picture

Isn't it time time to nuke Isis? I mean really, IF these reports are true, then why doesn't the military send a couple of tatical nukes into their strong holds with a note saying you lost.   They'll get the message...


Wahooo's picture

It really is time to cut the head off the snake and decapitate the Saudis. Then tell israel we're no longer sending them weapons.

Looney's picture

I dunno about “nookelar” sites, but I would keep an eye on toothpaste and bubblegum manufacturers…  ;-)


DownWithYogaPants's picture

Please explain joke.

And BTW: I don't care how anyone pronounces nuclear.  It's not important as long as the goal of communication is completed satisfactorially. 

Stackers's picture

Well guys we need to decide where to build our 7reactor nuclear plant ..... any ideas ?

How about in the middle of Brussels ?

svayambhu108's picture

2016 - Year of the Fire Monkey aka The Year of the Turning Point

Bokkenrijder's picture


Belgian prosecutors now deny that the murder of the nuclear power plant guard has anything to do with terrorism, and they also deny that a badge was taken. They 'know' it's not related to terrorism, but what it is related to they don't say. I guess they are still working on inventing a convenient excuse... Of course there's nothing suspicious of having a man (and his dog!) murdered in his house, only days after a terrorist attack and also revelations that known terrorists had been spying on the director of a nuclear power plant.

The downplaying and cover up of their own incompetence begins...all in the name of political correctness of course!

Belgian police = incompetent and corrupt! (Marc Dutroux, Bende van Nijvel, Karel van Noppen, André Cools, Army jeep affair, Agusta helicopter affair etc.)

Paveway IV's picture

The 'bomb' part of dirty bomb is deceptive MSM/.gov spew to justify a bigger, stronger Stazi to keep an eye on the little people.

Using any kind of explosive is probably the worst possible way imaginable for radioactive material dispersal. It's like something some clownish villain would try in a comic book. It's going to spread radioactive crap around too sparsely to be much of a problem unless you had access to vast quantities of really high-level radioactive waste. No terrorist would ever use a bomb today - this is just hype that people in the government use to make you think they can protect you.

If ISIS or any other terrorists wanted to poison us with radioactive stuff, they could just as easily dump radioactive powder on floor of a subway or a busy sidewalk. They could dump liquid waste out of a pop bottle or tape a piece of radioactive material under the seat of a bus. Just as dangerous of an exposure to the terrorist as if it was in a bomb - they're getting irradiated no matter what. It would be hours or days before authorities figured out what was going on if NO bombs or explosives were used. An explosion would just draw attention to the event and make detection and immediate containment likely. Kind of stupid if you're trying to spread something dangerous around to terrorize people.

Just seeing the deceptive words 'dirty bomb' so much lately makes me damn suspicious of European authorities. Maybe someone already DID spread some radioactive crap around and they're trying to cover it up now. We would never know because the public radiation monitors are regularly turned off if the readings get too high. This is mostly to protect the image of nuclear plants and the nuke industry. But this censorship could also be used to cover up a radiological terrorist event - we'll never know either way.

That's the problem with cleansing nuke industry PR by 'managing' public radiation monitor readings. You can't trust them for anything now. If they're willing to turn monitors off (or fake the readings) to prevent people from panicking about nuclear power, then why wouldn't they do the same thing in a terrorist attack? 

Let me put it this way: if a terrorist with an IQ over say 60 were to get their hands on any quantity of highly radioactive crap (medical stuff comes to mind), then we are completely fucked. There will be no 'bomb' and no advanced notification. Just some .gov guys in moon suits kicking in your front door at 3 A.M. to scan your house and family because you ate at a certain Taco Bell for lunch two days ago. Then they would shoot your dog just for the hell of it.

Not that radioactivity could possibly be dangerous anyways. They keep assuring us that three melted cores of Fukushima dissolving into the ocean isn't going to be a problem. If all the radioactivity they're finding in the sewers of Tokyo isn't a problem (presumably after passing through a Japanese digestive system), then how dangerous could a little powder be? One banana dose max... maybe two.

daveO's picture

The Brussels' attack has false flag written all over it. It occurred on 3/22, exactly 130 days after Paris where 130 were supposedly killed on 11/13. I asked, on the day of the bombing, if they would revise the number of dead down to 31(the reverse of 13). Well, guess what. They did yesterday. Just google Brussels dead. All the MSM outlets now say 31. How convenient. The dirty bomb has been predicted/promised by Cheney, Hussein and others for years now. 

Even this article has hints. “Your services possessed this videotape since Nov. 30, and the nuclear control agency was informed immediately,” said Jean-Marc Nollet, a Parliament member from Ecolo, told interior minister, Jan Jambon. “So I don’t understand how you could have been in possession of this video since Nov. 30, but on Jan. 13, when I questioned you on this, you answered, ‘There is no specific threat to the nuclear facilities.’”

highly debtful's picture

Jean-Marc Nollet and by extension Ecolo and Groen! in Belgium (the Walloon and Flemish green parties) are by no means a reliable source when it comes to the belgian Jihadi problem. I distinctly remember how Lucas Vander Taelen of Groen! has been warning for more than a decade that extremely serious problems with the muslim community were arising in the part of Brussels where he happened to live. He was ridiculed and vilified by his own party. The french speaking socialists in Brussels were far worse still in their approach of the muslim community in Brussels: turning a blind eye to the problems caused by muslims simply meant more votes and consequently a guarantee to stay in power)

As far as the jihadi problem is concerned, the Belgian environmental and socialist parties should simply shut up: Jan Jambon (Belgian minister/secretary of internal affairs) is confronted with the horrendous task of cleaning up the mess they created throughout these past 40 years.

These people make me puke, for they not only helped cause the problem to an important extent, but now they think they should dictate those that had no part in all of this how to handle the problems. 

Aaronson.Jones.Rutherford's picture

Absolutely agree. No matter that it's just plain silly, this "dirty bomb" nonsense is becoming very prevalent in MSM now so I expect some sort of "dirty" attack to show up somewhere in Europe, be that chem (white powder was found in some terrists house), bio (hazmat suits were robbed) or nuclear (all this Belgium nuclear plant silliness). People are programmed to believe MSM so when it comes, due to the media nonsense saturation, they'll have been expecting it. Like all this insane policing & surveillance can't stop such attacks.

This guy could be crazy, & some of the stuff he writes is, but in fairness he was pretty accurate in predicting the Paris & Belgium attacks the week before each occurred (he predicts plenty that doesn't happen). He says Switzerland is up next. Worth keeping an eye on at least.

daveO's picture

I'd like to have read this article before it happened. He's calling for Switzerland next, to frame him(paranoid?). IDK, we'll see. I'd bet on a UK bombing between now and 6/23, the day of their scheduled Brexit vote. 

logicalman's picture

If a few full-on meltdowns in Fukushima is no big deal, why worry about the possibility of just the one in Belgium?


Parrotile's picture

There are enough old (and not so old) teletherapy machines out there to provide plenty of material. There have been a few well-investigated instances of accidental dispersal (old machines stolen and broken up for scrap metal), and note that one of the more popular radiation sources, Caesium 137, has a nice long half life of 30 years, and is usually packed (as the chloride) in the form of powder - ideal for dispersal, accidental or deliberate. The Goiana incident source was 1700 Curies, and commercial sources (when new) can contain up to 5000 Curies activity. Spread this stuff around the Ticket Lobbies of a few major Metro Stations, and let the travelling public do the dispersal for you. 

Cobalt-60 teletherapy sources can have MUCH higher levels of activity (15,000 Curies), but the source material is usually solid (discs), or pelletised, so covert yet efficient dispersal may be more problematic.












NumberNone's picture

Typical government MO:

1. STFU critics because we got this.
2. Wow what a clusterfuck, who could have anticipated this?
3. Well now that things are a mess that we can't fix, we all just need to adapt to the new status quo with these new laws and restrictions.
4. Rinse and repeat.

Dave Thomas's picture

Don't forget 3.5a "Oh yeah this security shit is expensive, we need more taxes, yanno for the children and shit."


A Nanny Moose's picture

indeed. It's like spelling and grammar trolls. Who gives a fuck. Get on with an actual point.

kant stain's picture

That map is baws.

Tihange is west of Liege, not in the middle of Brussels.  And that red box isn't Brussels (clue, it's where the star is).

Handful of Dust's picture

Just remember the "Arm's Length Rule" of Koln [also known in some circles as The Mayor of Koln Rule] and you'll be just fine.



LoneStarHog's picture

Rotate the large map clockwise...The two have different orientations.

kant stain's picture

No they don't, their orientations are identical

adanata's picture



Wahooo... The snake of which you speak does not reside in Saudi Arabia and the Israelis don't need our weapons... they already have plenty and can restock elsewhere if necessary. I suggest we focus on the Barons of Basel.

Ms No's picture

The fact that they are accusing journalists is a disturbing new development, however, unsurprising.  They are going to have to do a hell of a lot more convincing if they want me to believe that.  Their stories have never panned out and you can always see the angle.  I wonder who is in charge of security at the nuke plants.

What would they have Europe do?  Round up all of the journalists who report against them?  This is the next step to watch for, disappearances.  The dupes will believe it all.

Dup dup dup... fap fap fap.

Techpriest of Mars's picture

you will do everyone a big big big favor.

we will rise as one man in all muslim world to stand besides and face together Zion, the ennemy of mankind.

and finally after defeating the synagogue of satan, together we will build a bright future for us all, a golden age for mankind.

Frankie Carbone's picture

Zionism is just another tool. It is not the cause. 

Techpriest of Mars's picture

When i speak of zionism, i intend the rotschilds moneychangers satanist fucks.

they are the roots of all the evil on this planet, they need to be purged to have a chance for a better future for us

Frankie Carbone's picture

Fair enough, but they still do not represent Zionism. It is not the end goal. So in that regard you just harmlessly misspoke.  I do see that you indeed understand the core problem though. (the Synagogue of Satan, euphemistically and historically speaking) Nice to talk to someone that is not deluded. Used to be common here. Now becoming more and more rare. But there are still a few of us around. 

Frankie Carbone's picture

Such an obvious red flag contradiction of our "apparent" policy of fighting islamic extremism. Yet amazingly, most of the bigoted advocates of the War on "Insert this generations's patsy demographic" of the Human Race, won't even look at this. Is it because they are low intelligent beings, or are themselves morally bankrupt?

Riddle me this: How can the West proclaim to be fighting terrorism, while at the same time guaranteeing the security and prosperity of the #1 source of terrorism on the planet? Does this do nothing, nothing at all to raise a single red flag in their thinking? Any? 


Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

It's almost like mankind has an inherent problem and needs guidance from a higher power, eh?

logicalman's picture

You could be right.

Trouble is I like to think I'm working with verifiable(ish) information, not some crap made up so someone who 'knows better' can claim the right to tell me what to do.

One day I'll go for the dirt nap and none of this will matter any more.

On the subject of higher powers - spent the day out in the woods watching nature waking up from winter hibernation.

That's where you see the 'higher power'.



TeamDepends's picture

If Mecca was hit, two of the five pillars of Islam would instantly vaporize.

Ms No's picture

They have two other meteorites that became rocks in a box that originate from the pegan female diety cult of Al Uzza that they can prostrate themselves to.  One is/was near where the Saudi Royals have their summer capital.  If I remember right the town is called Taif.

One of the rocks in the box was ruined by Mohammad so they have it wired together, put in resin and encased in a metal apparatus that looks like a vagina.  That's the one they are currently prostrating too.  Life is funny.




DeadFred's picture

Oh my, "A terrorist track is not considered in the case", I remember when catching someone in an obvious lie like this could let you peer behind the scenes at what was being covered up. Now the lies are so abundant that they have no information value.

jaap's picture

That is not where Tihange is (within the R0 ring).

Byte Me's picture

The froogle maps have been cunningly edited by Belgian 'intelligence'.

So as to confuse the enemy, dontcha know.....

indygo55's picture

But ISIS is Israeli Security Services. We cant nuke them, can we?



adanata's picture



Connect the dots: Bank for International Settlements controls global banking/currency systems and world governments. The governments work for the banks. ISIS, like Al-CIA-duh, was created by CIA, Mossad and MI6. "Terrorism/Terrorists" are being created/trained by governments on behalf of banks to cover the global banker's business/profiteering activities; to create a smoke screen for the Sheeple so they will cower under their beds, fearing and hating each other; which is a reasonable response to a gang of psychopaths who willingly create 'false flag' events causing multiple/gruesome deaths or the false perception a relatively small group of fanatics are out to getcha... which they are and can because they are so well paid by the government/banksters.

Politicians run around like headless chickens droning platitudes and political policy positions; citizens are terrified and under constant extreme stress; aggression and chaos ensues as planned...

So if you're going to nuke someone... head of the snake people; head of the snake.


Frankie Carbone's picture

Yep, that about sums it up. Everyone else is identifying and fighting the tools of their masters, which are almost infinite in their ability to conjure up new tools. 

Mankind has been fighting the tools for centuries and still, in this era of ubiquituous information what do they do? 

Label the tools as the core problem. 

Need I spell it out for people. The common enemy are the hidden shadow global bankers that own and control the central banks, the BIS, and the interlocked multinationals. THIS is the enemy. Terrorism, zionism, cultural marxism, neoconservatism, neoliberal economics are the TOOL of their oppression and control. They own and control the media, the pharmaceutical industry, the educational establishment, the major churches, most of the non-governmental organizations and all of the agitator groups. The members of the later are clueless and therefore the ultimate useful idiots. They are not the central problem even though at first glance they feel like they are. Because they control all of the credit and all of the commerce they therefore control almost all of the nations and the governmental tools of those nations. Their end goal is a single global political-economic system molded in their image, where they rule as royalty over the masses while keeping both the population and resource exhaustion in check because they feel that they are the only ones that can achieve those objections and they are the only ones worthy of such power. They abhore democratic institutions with a passion. 

But we still fight the tools. Same as it ever was.

Don't think so? Show me a model that better fits the state of history and I will accept it.  

Techpriest of Mars's picture


most "westerners" have been too brainwashed, pussified and dumbed down to understand that.

they still think that we, brownies, are the "ultimate threat" to their future, while in reality we can be their closest ally in their fight against Zion to regain their lost freedom and dignity.

nice to see some peoples with more than 02 brain cells ;-)

Frankie Carbone's picture

You do realize that there are people here that openly proclaim that they want to exterminate you, don't you? 

These are the mutts that I speak of, and I will always treat them like utter shit and like the useless eaters that they are, until they realize the errors of their ways, and turn from it.  

Would I exterminate them? Of course not. I want to do my little imperceptible part in saving them. And wanna make a bet that, that statement will come across as a contradiction to them? They would never understand until they get outside of themselves and put something bigger than their existence into the forefront of their lives. 

Techpriest of Mars's picture

>>"You do realize that there are people here that openly proclaim that they want to exterminate you, don't you? "

yes i know, there are some "tough guys" here who will be delighted to "nuking" us and our holy symbols, just like they are many brownies who just want to reduce you to ashes (more comprehensible after the carnage your armed forces did on my brothers and sisters). Muslims in general are more aware of the behaviors of the synagogue of satan and their lackeys, since they are clearly identified as the ennemy of mankind in our holy book.

Most "westerners" are unaware of that, unaware that we are their best allies in their "struggles" against Zion. My hope is that with the coming western economic collapse, their claws on us will slowly loosen and we will be able to get on our knees and try unite under one bloc and ally ourselves with "true" christians and make a stand together against Zion. it will be a glorious day for mankind, i just hope to leave to see it :-)

Aaronson.Jones.Rutherford's picture

I would suggest that on ZH those who want to exterminate Zionists outweigh those that want to exterminate Muslims, not as much of late, but historically anyway ZHers seem to be more in the know that the general populace. Just my observation anyways.

gonetogalt's picture

you two fuckers need to rent a Halal room.

Techpriest of Mars's picture

listen mongrel, we are trying to have a serious conversation here and im afraid your low level IQ will not bring any constructive addition to our knowledge, so please, take you shitty jewish idiocies and go bother someone else, clueless idiot.


adanata's picture



FrankieC... Now that we've connected the dots, all we have to do is explain it to the other six billion people who don't understand....

Frankie Carbone's picture

Bank_sters. Why not just ask your congressman to cut off funding? With all the open-source intelligence on ISIS, US activity and inactivity, petro funding, secret deals for the Quatari Pipleline through Syria, ect, do you STILL believe that ISIS is an independent entity aligned against the West? Really?? I certainly hope not. 

The more probable scenario is that ISIS is a tool of the West for massive social engineering of consent for policies that the public would otherwise repudiate. 

Everytime one of these boogeymen rears its ugly head the populations of the West are driven deeper into darkness, and it is by their own goddamn governments who make the claim that they "need to do it to assure the security of the public". 

Each and every time this happens, it's like a fucking peach fell into the lap of policymakers. After decades of this bullshit, do you not stop for one minute to question that? 

adanata's picture



Oh Frankie... you're killing me... ROFLMAO... "Ask your congressman.." hahahahahahaha.. seriously, good one!