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6. The Geography of Badness: Mapping the Hubs of the Illicit Global Economy

Suppose, for a moment, that you have come into possession of a small quantity of weapons- grade uranium. Perhaps you filched it from one of the casually-guarded facilities scattered across the former Soviet Union. You are desperate, or just unscrupulous, so you decide to take this precious bit of lethal contraband and sell it on the open market. Once you have devised a method for transporting the material without tipping off the authorities or exposing yourself to incapacitating levels of radiation, you will find yourself confronted with a further predicament: where do you transport it to? You are told that there is robust international demand for fissile material and that well-financed terrorist groups, select state governments, and a multitude of shady middlemen and brokers are all seeking precisely the sort of product you have to sell. But where are they? How do you connect with them? In the global black market for the raw ingredients of a nuclear bomb, where do buyers and sellers meet?

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