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In the beginning of Back to the Future, Doc Brown apparently steals plutonium (from a government facility?) to power his time machine.

How does he steal it? Plutonium is a highly sensitive material and it's generally kept under heavy protection.

A yellow metal crate containing vials of plutonium that Doc stole

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He didn't steal it. The Libyan terrorists stole it; he merely agreed to make them a nuclear weapon with it (which he obviously didn't!).

How the Libyan terrorists stole it is not mentioned in the film.

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    It's not like they can punish him for stealing it from THEM. He escaped through TIME. Not like they would even understand how to pursue him to exact their revenge. But it does make for an interesting story idea... Old terrorist lives long enough to see the doctor reappear nearly the same age in the future...JIHAD! May 25, 2012 at 21:25
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    Actually as Cracked pointed out. Nothing happens to the Libyans they crash into a photo booth and are still there after the time travel stuff happens. So they could just climb out of the van and take care of Dr. Brown and Marty. May 25, 2012 at 21:57

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