Donovan Calls for International Commitments to Securing Nuclear Materials
Staten Island, NY—March 31, 2016….As representatives from dozens of nations are meeting this week in Washington, DC for the sixth annual Nuclear Security Summit, Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) today called for concrete international commitments to boost security at nuclear facilities. Public reports indicate smugglers have sought to sell nuclear material to radical Islamic buyers, including ISIS, for years. Nations, particularly in Eastern Europe, must safeguard their nuclear material to prevent illicit proliferation.
Congressman Donovan said, “ISIS wants to kill as many Westerners as possible, period. Nuclear material in ISIS’s hands is a nightmare scenario, especially for high-risk target cities like New York.”
The President convened the sixth annual Nuclear Security Summit to address the “tons” of nuclear material still vulnerable to theft and misuse by terrorist organizations. Last year the FBI foiled an attempt by smugglers in Eastern Europe to sell nuclear material to ISIS. This was the fourth such attempt by smugglers in the former Soviet Union to sell nuclear material to criminal organizations that the FBI has disrupted in the past five years.
Donovan continued, “The terrorist threats are clear, but the President’s latest budget proposal inexplicably chops in half the funding the NYPD relies on to screen for radiological material. Without that equipment, New York City would be even more vulnerable.”
Donovan, in his role as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, held a hearing earlier this month examining the consequences of the President’s dangerous proposal, and he has committed to fighting the homeland security cuts for as long as necessary.
This is the latest step in Donovan’s work to defend New York City from nuclear and radiological attack. Last year, the House passed Donovan’s first bill, the Securing the Cities Act, to make permanent a separate program that provides high-risk cities with sophisticated radiation detection equipment.