Serious question - what would be the impact on humanity, and the future of world events, should terrorists set off a nuke in New York City? Or Mumbai? Or Paris? Or Moscow? And threatened that they had 5 more to go.
First, imagine that it happened.
What would be the impact? On the world economy. On how countries like India, Russia, China, the UK and the US dealt with foreign and domestic terrorists. On how people who lived in big cities felt and behaved. On political discourse in the US.
If one went off in Mumbai, would that be much different than one that went off in New York? Why? If one went off that killed 1 million, would that be much different than one that killed 10 million? Why? If one went off, who would be put to blame?
Because it's not a joke. With loose nukes and loose nuke material, combined with corrupt and incompetent government, military and science officials, the unimaginable could and should be imagined. And when Obama proposes increased efforts and funding to lock down nukes, and when the new START treaty with Russia comes to the Senate, those who oppose for political advantage or profit should be exposed.
It just takes one.
“We know that organizations like al Qaeda are in the process of trying to secure a nuclear weapon -- a weapon of mass destruction that they have no compunction at using... If there was ever a detonation in New York City, or London, or Johannesburg, the ramifications economically, politically, and from a security perspective would be devastating.”
- President Obama, April 2010