ISIS Making Dirty Bomb To Attack US & Europe?
Last year, a “highly dangerous” radioactive material had been stolen in Iraq. The concern for the said incident is high as the material can actually be used to make a dirty bomb. Now, the main question is whether ISIS is actually in possession of it and if it is preparing a dirty bomb to attack the U.S. and its coalition allies in Europe.Advertisement
The stolen radioactive material did not look like much. It was said to have been housed inside a protective case that was the size of a laptop computer. Back in November of 2015, it had suddenly gone missing from inside a storage facility that was located in the southern city of Basra in Iraq. This facility is reportedly owned by Weatherford, a U.S. company. Weatherford is an oil field service company and when the incident came to light, a spokesman for the company said they are not responsible for the theft that occurred in its facility. Furthermore, the spokesman clarified, “We do not own, operate or control sources or the bunker where the sources are stored.”
According to a report from Reuters, it turns out the radioactive material in question is not owned by Weatherford after all. Rather, it is the property of a company called SGS Turkey, which is headquartered in Istanbul. The stolen radioactive material is used in a process called industrial gamma radiography, wherein it utilizes gamma rays in order to check for flaws in materials that are used for both oil and gas pipelines. SGS has so far, refused to comment on the matter.
Furthermore, a senior environment ministry official in Basra who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity claimed that the missing material actually contained as much as 10 grams or 0.35 ounces of Ir-192 “capsules.” According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Ir-192 is typically used as medical implants for cancer therapy. Nonetheless, this and other radioactive materials can readily be used to make a radiological dispersal device (RDD), one of which is a dirty bomb. And while Homeland believes it would be “very difficult” to come up with an RDD that would ” deliver radiation doses high enough to cause immediate health effects or fatalities,” it maintains that these harmful devices can readily “contaminate facilities or places where people live and work, disrupting lives and livelihoods.” So far, the U.S. State Department says there is no indication that the stolen material had fallen into the hands of ISIS or any other militant group.