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ISIS Making ‘Dirty Bombs’?


The Belgian police discovered a video recording which appeared to be a surveillance footage of a senior nuclear researcher at a Belgian nuclear centre. The tiny surveillance camera was stashed away in a bush and was found by the police in November while they raided the house of a man alleged of ties with the ISIS.

Authorities believe that the ISIS was trying to get access to nuclear material for making dirty bombs by kidnapping the man in the video, who happened to be a researcher at a nuclear centre which produced a significant amount of the world’s supply of isotopes. The investigators believe that the militant group may have also wanted to kidnap one of his family members also, the NBC News reported.

The video showed recordings of the movements of the family.

Nele Scheerlinck, a spokeswoman for Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, said that the militant may have wanted to force the researcher to remove the radioactive materials of such a device for them.

“We know that it would not require a team of nuclear physicists or even a particularly sophisticated criminal network to turn raw material into a deadly weapon,” according to an internal Energy Department report on the threat, designated “Official Use Only,” declared in May 2013, as quoted by Washington Times. “In many cases, a determined lone wolf or a disgruntled insider is all it might take.”

Materials used for making dirty bombs can be found contained in more than 70,000 devices and at least at 13,000 buildings around the world. These materials, in many cases, is being stored at these facilities without proper safeguards.

“The potential for a bad outcome when you have ISIS looking at nuclear people is substantial,” the NBC News quoted William H. Tobey, a former deputy administrator for defence nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, as saying.

The radioisotopes, which are produced at Belgian’s nuclear centre, have the ability to cause radiation poisoning and sickness. The apartment, rented by Muhammed Bakkali, was raided weeks after the Paris attacks in November.

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