Slovaks make arrest in sale of dirty bomb material

AP/Fox News:

Two Hungarians and a Ukrainian arrested in an attempted sale of uranium were peddling material enriched enough to be used in a radiological "dirty bomb," Slovak authorities said Thursday.

First Slovak Police Vice President Michal Kopcik said the three suspects, who were arrested Wednesday afternoon in eastern Slovakia and Hungary, had just under half a pound of uranium in powder form that investigators believe came from somewhere in the former Soviet Union.

"It was possible to use it in various ways for terrorist attacks," Kopcik told reporters.

Kopcik said investigators were still working to determine who ultimately was trying to buy the uranium, which the trio allegedly was selling for $1 million.

He said police had intelligence suggesting that the suspects — whose names were not released, but were aged 40, 49 and 51 — originally had planned to close the deal sometime between this past Monday and Wednesday. One of the Hungarians had been living in Ukraine.

Police moved in when the sale did not occur as expected, he said.

Kopcik said three other suspects — including a Slovak national identified only as Eugen K. — were detained in the neighboring Czech Republic in mid-October for allegedly trying to sell fake radioactive materials. It was unclear to what degree, if any, they played a role in the thwarted uranium sale.

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It is interesting that the Russian underground is having so much trouble selling illicit materials and that the obvious buyers, i.e. Islamist religious bigots, do not have the cash for the transactions. Both factors are good news considering the desires of the two parties.

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