Publication Date

Spring 4-2014


Helms School of Government


International Relations


Defense and Security Studies | International Relations


Al Qaeda and many other terrorist groups have openly stated their intentions to acquire and use some form of nuclear device in an attack on the United States. As many recent terrorist attacks have demonstrated, terrorists will attempt to exploit any weakness in the line of defense in order to execute their stated intentions. The northern border area on and around the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation in Northeastern New York and Canada has been an ongoing smuggling conduit and national security vulnerability. This paper will examine how this area could be exploited in order to smuggle a type of nuclear device known as a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) or “dirty bomb” into the United States and how despite increases in security along the border and within major cities in the United States, terrorists might successfully be able to overcome these security measures and launch an attack.