..One does not want to provide a cookbook for terrorists, he says. None the less, he recommends that I try Russia.
"If I was building a dirty bomb," he says, "that's what I would do. In the nuclear age, they were building nuclear airplanes and nuclear rocket-ships. They were digging canals using nuclear bombs. There was a great deal of nuclear enthusiasm, and now loads of these big, hulking, nasty radioactive sources are scattered around all over. Those are the absolute worst. And loads are still missing in breakaway republics."
He tells me about the Georgian woodcutters who were scouting around the forests of Lja last Christmas. "They saw this thing - the snow was melted all around it - and thought, hey, we'll take it back to our camp site and keep ourselves warm. Whoops." The thing was a thermonuclear generator. The woodcutters were in intensive care for months.
"A lot of the smugglers in Russia," he adds, "are guys who don't know shit from Shinola. We're talking about some guy who works in a power plant hiding some stuff in his pocket and wandering around aimlessly, chatting people up. One guy had an insulated glove filled with uranium in his freezer for months."