June 20, 2007

They Sent It Back?

One has to wonder what Georgian border officials were thinking when they encountered a car full of nuclear materials at the Azerbaijan border. Instead of confiscating the car and the materials -- which could have use in weapons -- they sent it back to Azerbaijan instead:

Georgian customs officers sent a car carrying a mixture of plutonium and beryllium back into Azerbaijan after foiling an attempt to smuggle the materials over the border, Georgian television reported.

Customs officials found the materials, which can be used in nuclear bombs, in what appeared to be a routine check as the car was driven over the border from Azerbaijan, the Imedi television station reported.

"Georgian customs detected a high level of radiation," Imedi reported.

Of course, now that the material is back in Azerbaijan, it allows the smugglers to try to get it out again. The rocky economy and the proximity to radical Iran makes this attempt sound rather ominous. Given the fight in the nearby Caucasus between Russian and Islamist forces, the attempt to push the expensive material into Georgia sounds like an organized attempt to help the Islamist terrorists try something spectacular in Chechnya or another Russian state on the Caucasus.

Maybe the next time, Georgia could just confiscate the material instead.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference They Sent It Back?:

» Plutonium + Beryllium + Polonium = Mushroom Cloud from The Strata-Sphere
Ed Morrissey caught sight of what has to be the most insane thing I have seen in all my life. Georgian customs officers sent a car carrying a mixture of plutonium and beryllium back into Azerbaijan after foiling an attempt to smuggle the materials over... [Read More]

Comments (9)

Posted by Tom Shipley | June 20, 2007 7:31 AM

They specifically asked for no beryllium.

Posted by rbj | June 20, 2007 8:06 AM

"Maybe the next time, Georgia could just confiscate the material instead"

Come now, Cap'n. That wouldn't be very sporting now would it. Gotta give them a few tries first.

Posted by feeblemind | June 20, 2007 8:40 AM

I wonder if the story is really true?

Posted by km | June 20, 2007 8:52 AM

I'm sure the noble poor oppressed Islamists have a perfectly good reason for obtaining the plutonium/beryllium mixture; it has so many peaceful uses ... Like ... Uh ... Well ... Let me think ... I'm sure there are thousands of good uses for it ... OK, hundreds ... Um, dozens ... At least one ... Hey, look over there, a zeppelin!

And it is time to focus on truly important things, like impeaching Chimpy McSmirk BusHilter and Cheney.

Posted by Georg Felis | June 20, 2007 10:30 AM

You must consider the border control agent's thoughts on mortality. "Will I get radioactive" and "Will somebody kill me because I stopped this shipment" Brings new meaning to the phrase "Hot potato".

Posted by justsalt | June 20, 2007 11:46 AM

From what I know of that part of the world the Georgian border official's reaction was probably more like: "This is really big time stuff and you are only offering me how much to let you across? Go back and raise some more bribe money, then try again. Remember I have to kick upstairs a large percentage of whatever you give me."

Posted by brooklyn | June 20, 2007 1:37 PM

yikes indeed.

Posted by edncda | June 20, 2007 2:49 PM

Are we to believe that no attempt was made to bribe the border guards? Either an amazing display of stupidity by the would-be 'smugglers' or else selfless dedication and integrity on the part of the border guards. Hmmm......
(Or maybe the smugglers arrived at the border before remembering that it would be a good idea to exchange their Iranian rials for US greenbacks...........)
(Or maybe it makes a good story to show that Georgia 'deserves' more financial incentives from the US for fighting the good fight against terrorism.......er, that would make it blackmail or extortion though...)

Posted by Joe Doe | June 20, 2007 5:13 PM

They realized it was sent to the wrong border - an enforced one - was re-routed to the proper one.

Berillium - very interesting, it is the material used for the nuclear detonator (has some sort of multiplying effect on the very initial fission phase). I wonder how did they determine it was Berillium - being just border agents, that is.