A top US military official said that al Qaeda and the Taliban leadership are trying to gain access to nuclear weapons. "Terrorist organisations, al Qaeda in particular, have been very open and direct about their desire to get a nuclear device and continue to terrorise people in accordance with their strategic approach, killing as many Americans and westerners as they possibly can with a device like that," said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. "So it is a very dangerous time. Those are very dangerous weapons. And we would like to contain them and see them over time reduced as much as possible," Mullen said in his address to the Junior Statesman Summer School Programme. "It becomes all the more important to make sure no new countries are able to acquire it," he said.