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Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Yong, William, Worth, Robert, F., “Bombings Hit Atomic Experts in Iran Streets,” November 29, 2010, NYT last checked December 1, 2010.

  1. “Unidentified assailants riding motorcycles carried out separate bomb attacks here on Monday against two of the country’s top nuclear scientists, killing one and prompting accusations that the United States and Israel were again trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.”
  2. “The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, managed a “major project” for the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the semiofficial IRNA news agency. His wounded colleague, Fereydoon Abbasi, is believed to be even more important; he is on the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions list for ties to the Iranian nuclear effort.”
  3. “The two scientists are among the most prominent in the Iranian nuclear world, and the brazen daylight attacks on them seemed certain to worsen tensions over the country’s controversial uranium enrichment efforts.”
  4. “Israel and the United States have often signaled that they will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. Neither has acknowledged pursuing sabotage or assassinations there, but both are widely believed to be pursuing ways to undermine the country’s nuclear program short of bombing reactor sites, including damaging the centrifuges to slow down the production of enriched uranium.”
  5. “Dr. Shahriari published dozens of esoteric conference reports and peer-reviewed articles on nuclear research, at least five of which list Mr. Salehi, the Iranian nuclear agency chief, as a co-author. He was an expert on neutron transport, a field that lies at the heart of nuclear chain reactions in bombs and reactors. Some Iranian media reports said he taught at the Supreme National Defense University, which is run by the Iranian Army.”
  6. “Mr. Ahmadinejad, speaking at a news conference, vowed that the nuclear program would continue, but acknowledged damage from the computer worm. ‘They succeeded in creating problems for a limited number of our centrifuges with the software they had installed in electronic parts,’ he said.”
  7. “A worm known as Stuxnet is believed to have struck Iran over the summer. Experts said that the program, which is precisely calibrated to send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control, was probably developed by technicians working for a government.”
  8. “The motorcycle attackers attached the bombs to the professors’ cars, then drove off, detonating them from a distance, according to Iranian news media reports. Dr. Abbasi’s wife was also hurt, the reports said.”
  9. “Last January, a remote-controlled bomb killed a physics professor, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, outside his home. The Iranian authorities also blamed that attack on the United States and Israel, a charge the State Department dismissed as absurd. In 2007, state television said that another nuclear scientist, Ardeshir Hosseinpour, had died of gas poisoning. Both Dr. Mohammadi and Dr. Shahriari were associated with a nonnuclear scientific research unit, based in Jordan and operating under United Nations auspices, known as Sesame, for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East. Unusually, its nine-member council includes representatives from Israel, along with Iran and other Muslim countries. It was not clear whether the bomb attacks on the two Iranian scientists were linked to their association with the organization.”

Sabotage, Iran, Israel, Nuclear, Academia


Birnbaum, Ben, “Iran Ramps Up Security for Nuclear Scientists”, 18 January 2011, Washington Times Last Checked 19 January 2011.

  1. “Iran has deployed security teams to protect its nuclear scientists from assassinations, the Islamic republic’s interior minister announced.”
  2. “The precautions are being taken weeks after a bomb plot that targeted two top Iranian nuclear scientists, widely assumed to have been the work of Israeli or other Western intelligence agencies.”
  3. “Iran’s intelligence minister said this month that 10 people had been arrested on suspicion of being behind an Israeli plot that killed another nuclear scientist last January.”
  4. “‘Given the emphases laid by the president on guarding and protecting our country’s scientists, a special structure has been developed for protecting the scientists and it has started its operation,’ said Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar.”

Sabotage, Scientist, Iran, Nuclear, Law Enforcement


Editors, “International Involvelment Seen in Iran Kiling,” 27 July 2011, Global Security Newswire Last Checked 27 July 2011.

  1. “Independent experts said Western powers probably had a hand in the fatal shooting of an Iranian academic initially reported to have been tied to the nation’s nuclear program.”
  2. “Iran withdrew early news reports that that scientist Dariush Rezaei had supported atomic activities that have made Tehran a target of international penalties.”
  3. “Iran is calling for the U.N. Human Rights Commission to look into the shooting, United Press International reported.”
  4. “In a letter to the head of the U.N. commission, Larijani alleged that the ‘U.N. Security Council issues a resolution and makes a list of our scientists, then some terrorists who receive money from the CIA and the Mossad kill them.’”
  5. “Multiple Iranian atomic specialists have been killed or injured in targeted strikes in recent years.”
  6. “Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani attributed the attack to Israel and the United States, but Moslehi said it was unclear whether outside powers were involved.”
  7. “A number of experts in Iran said Tehran might perpetrate such killings to deter insiders from becoming informants.”
  8. “Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi and other government figures, though, said the victim of Saturday’s shooting had no ties to Iranian nuclear power efforts.”
  9. “Iran’s Press TV said the attack did not even kill Rezaei, but instead an electronics student named Darioush Rezaeinejad.”
  10. “The government’s conflicting statements suggest the victim did have a role in the nation’s nuclear program.”

Sabotage, Scientist, Iran


Sanger, David, E., & Broard, William, J.,Explosion Seen as Big Setback to Iran’s Missile Program,” New York Times, December 4, 2011,, last checked 12/4/11.

  1. ”The huge explosion that destroyed a major missile-testing site near Tehran three weeks ago was a major setback for Iran’s most advanced long-range missile program, according to American and Israeli intelligence officials and missile technology experts.”
  2. ”It is still unclear what caused the explosion, with American officials saying they believe it was probably an accident, perhaps because of Iran’s inexperience with a volatile, dangerous technology.”
  3. ”If a drone was used for intelligence gathering in Iran, it presumably would not belong to the military — since there are no open hostilities with Iran — but rather to the C.I.A. or another intelligence agency, acting under a presidential finding about the Iranian nuclear program.”
  4. ”Moreover, at a time Iran is being squeezed by sanctions, the country has succeeded in making the solid-fuel engines with indigenous technology. For liquid-fueled engines, many key components come from abroad.”
  5. ”Iran declared it an accident, but subsequent discussions of the episode in the Iranian news media have referred to the chief of Iran’s missile program as one of the “martyrs” killed in the huge explosion.”
  6. ”In its report three weeks ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency laid out, for the first time in public, detailed evidence it says suggests that Iran worked at some point in the past decade on designing a nuclear warhead that would fit atop its missile fleet.”
  7. “Government and private analysts described the blast at the military base, which occurred Nov. 12 and killed Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the head of Iran’s missile program, as a major setback — not just because of the extensive damage to the site but also because of the loss of expertise from the specialists working there.”
  8. ”Partly for that reason, Western officials said, many of the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations Security Council seek to block its import of rocket parts.”

Iran, Sabotage, Export Control, Scientist, Nuclear


Erdbrink, Thomas, Warrick, Joby, “Iranian scientist involved in nuclear program killed in Tehran bomb attack,” Washington Post with Foreign Policy World, January 11, 2012 Last checked 1/14/2012.

  1. ”A scientist linked to Iran’s nuclear program was killed in his car by a bomb-wielding assailant on Wednesday, a bold rush-hour attack that experts say points to a further escalation in a covert campaign targeting the country’s atomic officials and institutions”
  2. ”The precision hit in a northern Tehran neighborhood killed the 32-year-old chemical engineer employed at Iran’s main uranium-enrichment facility and brought to four the number of Iranian scientists killed by bombs in the past two years.”
  3. ”Iranian officials immediately accused the United States and Israel of orchestrating the attack on scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was killed along with his bodyguard when an assailant on a motorcycle slapped a magnetic bomb on his car as he commuted to work, according to Iranian news reports.”
  4. ”The killing bore strong resemblance to two 2010 attacks on nuclear scientists and came on the same day as a ceremony for the second anniversary of the killing of another professor, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, in an explosion.”
  5. ”In recent years, Iran has experienced an increase in mysterious explosions at military and industrial sites and gas transportation lines. A computer virus called Stuxnet also has damaged the nation’s nuclear program.”

Iran, Sabotage, Scientist, Nuclear, Cybersecurity, Academia


Olson, Dean, “Agroterrorism: Threats to America’s Economy and Food Supply,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 81(2), 1-9 Last checked: September 16, 2012

  1. “Terrorists consider America’s agriculture and food production tempting targets. They have noticed that its food supply is among the most vulnerable and least protected of all potential targets of attack.”
  2. “A subset of bioterrorism, agroterrorism is defined as “the deliberate introduction of an animal or plant disease for the purpose of generating fear, causing economic losses, or undermining social stability.”
  3. “The agroterrorism threat emanates from four categories of perpetrators. The foremost threat is posed by transnational groups, like al Qaeda — widely believed to present the most probable threat of inflicting economic harm on the United States,…economic opportunists tempted to manipulate markets,…domestic terrorists who may view the introduction of FMD as a blow against the federal government,…[and] militant animal rights or environmental activists pose a threat because they consider immoral the use of animals for food.”
  4. “Now, al Qaeda places its emphasis on smaller, independent attacks following a “‘death by a thousand cuts” strategy to exhaust, overwhelm, and distract U.S. Department of Homeland Security forces’”
  5. “Usama Bin Ladin consistently had argued that attacking the U.S. economy represented the best way to destroy America’s ability to project military power abroad”
  6. “Analysts believe that al Qaeda’s evolving tactics increasingly will “focus on targets that will yield the most economic damage.”
  7. “The ability to employ cheap and unsophisticated means to undermine America’s economic base, combined with the added payoff to potentially overwhelm its counterterrorism resources, makes livestock-and food-related attacks increasingly attractive”

Agriculture, al-Qaeda, Food Supply, Sabotage, Public Health