various corporations and public agencies in the United States have received
extortion messages involving nuclear devices, materials, and facilities.
Further, although the United States has enjoyed relative freedom from
terrorism, internally, other countries have had to cope with increasing
terrorist activities, including attacks on nuclear facilities. In 1974, the
Energy Research and Development Administration established the Nuclear
Emergency Search Team (NEST) to help deal with deal with peacetime nuclear
accidents and address the technical, behavioral, and operational problems
generated by nuclear extortion threats. NEST is now under the jurisdiction of
the Department of Energy (DOE) .
thorniest problems is deciding if a threat is credible and, thus, merits
deployment of NEST. Then, once the decision to deploy is made, NEST must assist
FBI efforts to locate the threatening substance or device and the
extortionists, and possibly negotiate with them. In 1977, DOE and the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) funded a project that brought together specialists
from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory,
Syracuse Research Corporation, and The Rand Corporation. Under the technical
direction of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, t~is project has
an operational capability to assess the credibility of nuclear threat messages.
This assessment provides the basis for deployment decisions and the initial
operational guidance for the NEST team after deployment.
Stylistic Analysis to Assess Threat Messages, October 1985 [66 Pages,