Defusing Armageddon: A History of NEST
written by Steven Aftergood
January 12, 2009 | Secrecy News Blog
Federation of American Scientist
“In May 1974, the U.S. government received its first serious nuclear threat”,recalls author Jeffrey T. Richelson. A letter demanding that $200,00 be left at a particular location arrived at the FBI. Failure to comply, it claimed, would result in the [detonation] of a nuclear bomb somewhere in Boston.
The threat was soon exposed as a hoax, but it prompted the creation of a then-secret organization originally known as the Nuclear Emergency Search (later: Source) Team, or NEST, which would be responsible for the “search and identification of lost or stolen nuclear weapons and special nuclear materials, bomb threats, and radiation dispersal threats.
The history of that organization is unveiled by Richelson in his new book “Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America’s Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad” (W.W. Norton, January 2009).