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Prospect of terrorist getting n-material biggest threat: US

On the eve of the Nuclear Security Summit, the US today said the prospect of terrorists getting nuclear material is the "biggest threat" and that it wants to focus the world's attention on outfits like Al-Qaida trying to get atomic material to cause "terrible havoc."

world Updated: Apr 11, 2010 21:48 IST

On the eve of the Nuclear Security Summit, the US today said the prospect of terrorists getting nuclear material is the "biggest threat" and that it wants to focus the world's attention on outfits like Al-Qaida trying to get atomic material to cause "terrible havoc."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the two-day Summit, an initiative of President Barack Obama, will focus on nuclear terrorism and ways to control it.

The two-day Summit, to be attended by 47 world leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will begin tomorrow in Washington.

"Part of the goal of the nuclear security summit is to focus on the threat from nuclear terrorism. And we don't believe the threat from nuclear terrorism comes from states. Our biggest concern is that terrorists will get nuclear material," she told ABC news in an interview.

"The threat of nuclear attack, as we grew up with in the Cold War, has diminished. The threat of nuclear terrorism has increased.

"We want to get the world's attention focused where we think it needs to be, with these continuing efforts by Al-Qaida and others to get just enough nuclear material to cause terrible havoc, destruction, and loss of life somewhere in the world," she said.

Clinton also explained the administration's position on nuclear summit, the recent US-Russia New START Treaty and Afghanistan.

"We fear North Korea and Iran because their behavior as -- in the first case, North Korea being -- already having nuclear weapons, and Iran seeking them -- is that they are unpredictable.

They have an attitude toward countries like Israel, like their other neighbors in the Gulf, that makes them a danger," she said.

So, she said, the US was focusing on the two states, but it is also very much concerned about nuclear material falling into terrorists' hands.

"That's a concern that we all share," Clinton said.