Terror Probe: The Secret Bomb Squad

When the Bush administration was warned after Sept. 11 that Osama bin Laden might have some type of nuclear device, it knew where to turn for help: the Nuclear Emergency Support Team, a secretive unit within the Department of Energy. Last January the Administration quietly ordered NEST to launch periodic searches for a "dirty bomb" in Washington and other large U.S. cities. Administration officials tell TIME that the NEST teams aren't dispatched to urban areas because of any specific threat received. Instead, almost every week the FBI randomly selects several cities for visits by NEST, which comprises some 300 scientists and...

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