The Growing Threat of ISIS Unleashing a Weapon of Mass Destruction

The apocalyptic ideology that propels the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is by now well known. Much less widely known are the use of chemical weapons by ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the disappearance of radioactive materials in Iraq that could be used in a “dirty bomb,” a radiological weapon of mass destruction (WMD).

Reuters reported the disappearance of 10 grams of a “highly dangerous” radioactive isotope used to test oil and gas pipelines in southern Iraq, which Iraqi authorities fear may have fallen into the hands of ISIS. The Iridium-192 material, classified as a Category 2 radioactive source, could permanently injure people exposed to it for only a few hours, or kill people exposed to it longer.

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