Perhaps the terrorist organization to most successfully use intimidation to scare opponents into submission, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS, now has “low-grade” nuclear material that “would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk,” according to a spokeswoman for the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
ISIS gains low grade uranium
The 90 pounds of uranium compound was among the significant booty the terrorist group captured when they rolled into Iraq virtually unopposed, as Iraqi troops appeared to fall over themselves in retreat without a fight. Also captured were US supplied military equipment and what was said to be over $400 million in cash, making this group now among the most well-funded terrorist organizations as well as the most intimidating.
While the IAEA says there is no significant security risk, from the other side of their mouth they mentioned materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction,” according to a Reuters report.
Although IAEA spokesperson Gill Tudor did not believe the uranium could be converted into a weapon, “nevertheless, any loss of regulatory control over nuclear and other radioactive materials is a cause for concern,” she said.
ISIS’ uranium find in Iraq ironic
It is ironic that ISIS was able to find a rather large stash of nuclear material in Iraq in a matter of only days since they invaded while the US invasion into Iraq, under the pretext of searching for “weapons of mass destruction,” was unable to find such materials after years of intense search.
Word of the seizure first came to light in a letter to the United Nations dated July 8 that was reviewed by Reuters. Also Ironic is that Iraq agreed to demands by the IAEA’s Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, on July 7, one day before the UN letter was revealed. The convention was initially entered into force in 1987 and was strengthened in 2005 to require its 150 signatories to “protect nuclear facilities and material in peaceful domestic use, storage and transport,” IAEA statements, quoted in the New York Times, said.
“Officials at the regulatory body did not immediately say how it was possible to redeem such promises in a land such as Iraq, where large areas are beyond government control and in the hands of insurgents,” the New York Times dryly noted.