The Belgian security services completed their background check in 2009 for a new inspector at the Doel nuclear power plant, about an hour’s drive from Brussels. Like other inspectors, Ilyass Boughalab had access to secure areas of the plant. He’d work for three years as a nuclear technician before leaving for Syria in 2012. He was killed there two years later fighting on the side of the Islamic State terrorist group.
As details continue to emerge about the recent terrorist attack in Belgium, one concern long on the mind of international leaders is the risk posed by weapons-usable material that could be fashioned into a dirty bomb or crude nuclear device — and the safety and security of the 440 nuclear power plants in 31 countries. Next week, President Obama and more than 50 world leaders — as well as business luminaries — will gather in Washington for a push to reduce the risk of the most dangerous materials falling into the wrong hands. It could not come at a better time. READ MORE