Peter Neumann, terrorism researcher and founding director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London regards the terrorist attacks in Paris as events in a series of past and possible future attacks.
In an interview given to the newspaper TAZ he said: “I fear that this was not the last event of this kind this year.”
Among the biggest security risks in Europe are the – approximately – 200 nuclear power plants on our continent. Nine of these are based in Germany, 58 in France.
The TV programme, a nuclear double strike, on the channel ARTE on the second and third days after the Paris attacks may have been sheer coincidence: ”Tag der Wahrheit“ (”Day of Truth”) – definitely an anti-nuclear thriller – was the name of the German production, and ”Das gespaltene Dorf“ (“The divided village”) rather a French comedy.
In the German production an assassin captures a nuclear reactor, interrupts the cooling circuit and threatens to cause a nuclear meltdown. In the French production, the villagers are tempted by a lot of money into supporting the construction of a final disposal site, which the mayoress, a feisty eco-activist from Germany, tries to prevent.
Quite suddenly and accidentally this programme on ARTE was dramatically up to date. It made us aware of our nuclear high-risk society.
Terrorism researcher Peter Neumann says on behalf of the terrorist network Al Quaida, which the Paris terrorists were in contact with: “They think they can go on the offensive again by a large and complex attack.” Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) are both competing for leadership within the Islamist terrorist groups.
Is the relationship between terrorism and nuclear safety purely theoretical?
Since October 5, 2014 unidentified drone-like objects have been flying over at least six French nuclear power plants, as reported by the French press agency AFP. Among them is Cattenom, a nuclear power plant neighbouring Germany, as confirmed by the state-run nuclear company Electricité de France, EdF.
Susanne Neubronner, a Greenpeace nuclear expert: “Authorities in France have known for decades that their nuclear power plants are extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The fact that unidentified drones can fly over nuclear facilities without provoking any reaction of the security agencies reveals considerable security risks. An accident or a deliberate attack on Cattenom or Fessenheim would be a devastating blow to French and German populations.”
Meanwhile nuclear company EdF has brought charges versus persons unknown because of unidentified drones above the nuclear facilities of Blays, Graveline, Cattenom, Chooz and Nogent-sur-Seine. Greenpeace has heard of flights over another four nuclear sites, among them Fessenheim, just a few kilometres away from Freiburg. In France flights near nuclear power stations within a radius of five kilometres or below a height of 1,000 meters are prohibited by law.
Greenpeace in Paris calls for immediate clarification by the nuclear safety agency and criticizes the belated reaction of the group EdF.
After the terrorist attacks clarification these days is really urgent. Every nuclear power plant poses a major threat to our security. In “Tag der Wahrheit“ the terrorist gives the operators three hours to prevent the worst-case scenario. The film leaves open what will happen.
For weeks drones have been flying undisturbed over French nuclear power stations – most recently above Melox, the biggest plutonium factory in the country. Proof of a lack of security. The state-owned company confirms the flights over the reactors in Le Blayais, Creys-Malville, Bugey, Gravelines, Chooz, Nogent-sur-Seine, Fessenheim, Tricastin, Golfech, Penly, Flamanville, Dampierre, Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux, Belleville, Saint-Alban, Fessenheim and Cattenom, both close to Germany.On the evening of November 6, 2014, a drone flew over the plutonium plant at Marcoule near Avignon, which is much less protected against terrorist attacks than nuclear power stations. An exploration drone could provide sensitive information about factory procedures that might help to prepare an attack. Drone flights over nuclear facilities are prohibited by law. © Greenpeace