Radiation Weapon Plot Comes to Light
Cold War scheme included assassination, broad contamination
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2007 3:22 PM CDT
The top priorities of the projects were reportedly weapons to contaminate populated areas for long periods of time, possibly enhanced with conventional munitions.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Newly declassified Army documents reveal the US mulled the use of a radioactive weapon to assassinate “important individuals” and contaminate “critical areas for long periods of time.” The heavily censored records date to 1948 and show the weapon was approved for development at the highest levels, reports the AP, which originally requested the documents in 1995.

The secret program was born after the atomic bombing of Japan, when the government noted fission materials could be used for targeted warfare. But the heavily redacted text  doesn’t reveal the extent of the program, which apparently ended around 1954. The AP attributes the censorship to concerns about generation-old plans falling into the hands of modern extremists.