Tags: Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | radioactive | weapons | ISIS | Iraq

Report: US, Iraq Strike Deal on ISIS Radioactive Materials

By    |   Friday, 05 Sep 2014 07:59 PM

The State Department fears the idea of the Islamic State (ISIS) getting its hands on radioactive materials and finding a way to weaponize them enough that it is working with Iraqi officials to prevent the possibility, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday. 

"This is the kind of thing where if ISIL got its hands on enough radioactive sources or radioactive sources of a sufficient radioactivity level, and they decided to turn it into a bomb and blow it up in a market, that would be a very unpleasant thing," the Free Beacon quoted an unnamed State Department official as saying. 

The State Department announced Wednesday that the United States and Iraq have launched a joint task force to combat the "critical" problem of potential nuclear and radioactive smuggling by any criminal or terrorist organizations operating inside the country.

"Iraq's central location and the challenging security environment it faces reinforce the urgency with which these problems must be addressed," a statement read.

The State official told the Free Beacon that "there's no indication" that members of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are currently planning such an operation. 

But ISIS controls large swaths of Iraqi territory and, according to a Reuters report, seized nearly 90 pounds of uranium materials that were kept for scientific research at Mosul University when ISIS fighters overran the city of Mosul.

Because the uranium is mostly depleted or naturally occurring, and would take expertise ISIS currently lacks to be enriched for weaponized use, the State Department believes the threat is not imminent, the Free Beacon reported.

"It continues to be our assessment that there is no indication ISIL has gotten hold of any material that would pose a nonproliferation threat, and no indication frankly that they are actively [seeking it out] … even if they do control some significant portion of territory in Iraq," the official told The Free Beacon.

"And even if they found it, they wouldn't know what to do with it," the official said.

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The State Department fears the idea of the Islamic State (ISIS) getting its hands on radioactive materials and finding a way to weaponize them enough that it is working with with Iraqi officials to prevent the possibility, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Friday.
radioactive, weapons, ISIS, Iraq
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2014-59-05
Friday, 05 Sep 2014 07:59 PM
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