The United States considered using nuclear weapons against Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to German publication Der Spiegel.

Michael Steiner, a former political adviser to Germany’s then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, told Der Spiegel that the nuclear option was one of the possibilities examined after the attacks.

From Israeli publication Haaretz, reporting on the story:

“The papers were written,” Steiner said when asked whether the U.S. [had] considered using nuclear weapons in response to the attacks orchestrated by Al-Qaida’s Osama bin Laden, in which almost 3,000 people were killed. “They had really played through all possibilities.”

Steiner added that Schroder had feared that the U.S., which was in a state of shock following the attacks, would overreact.

Moreover, Steiner said in the interview that Schroder rejected his idea to publish a statement declaring “unconditional support” for the United States.

Tensions between Schroder and U.S. President George Bush intensified in 2003 when the chancellor refused to join U.S.-led coalition in the military campaign against Iraq.

Read more here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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