Islamic State stopped from getting more materials to make 'dirty bombs'

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Smugglers in Moldova were stopped from getting more materials to the Islamic State from which it could make dirty bombs:

October 7, 2015

CHISINAU, Moldova – In the backwaters of Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted four attempts in the past five years by gangs with suspected Russian connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists, The Associated Press has learned. The latest known case came in February this year, when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium – enough to contaminate several city blocks – and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS).

Criminal organizations, some with ties to the Russian KGB’s successor agency, are driving a thriving black market in nuclear materials in the tiny and impoverished Eastern European country of Moldova, investigators say. The successful busts, however, were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling, AP found.

Moldovan police and judicial authorities shared investigative case files with the AP in an effort to spotlight how dangerous the nuclear black market has become. They say the breakdown in cooperation between Russia and the Westmeans that it has become much harder to know whether smugglers are finding ways to move parts of Russia’s vast store of radioactive materials – an unknown quantity of which has leached into the black market.

“We can expect more of these cases,” said Constantin Malic, a Moldovan police officer who investigated all four cases. “As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it.”http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ap-moldova-fbi-smuggling-gangs-possible-russia-links-nuclear-material/

I have warned for some time that the Islamic State might try to use dirty bombs to cause more terror and destruction.

Here is some information about dirty bombs:

A dirty bomb is a speculative radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area around the dispersal agent/conventional explosion with radioactive material, serving primarily as an area denial device against civilians. It is however not to be confused with a nuclear explosion, such as a fission bomb, which by releasing nuclear energy produces blast effects far in excess of what is achievable by the use of conventional explosives.

Though a radiological dispersal device (RDD) would be designed to disperse radioactive material over a large area, a bomb that uses conventional explosives and produces a blast wave would be far more lethal to people than the hazard posed by radioactive material that may be mixed with the explosive.At levels created from probable sources, not enough radiation would be present to cause severe illness or death. A test explosion and subsequent calculations done by the United States Department of Energy found that assuming nothing is done to clean up the affected area and everyone stays in the affected area for one year, the radiation exposure would be “fairly high”, but not fatal.Recent analysis of the nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster confirms this, showing that the effect on many people in the surrounding area, although not those in close proximity, was almost negligible.

Since a dirty bomb is unlikely to cause many deaths by radiation exposure, many do not consider this to be a weapon of mass destruction. Its purpose would presumably be to create psychological, not physical, harm through ignorance, mass panic, and terror. For this reason dirty bombs are sometimes called “weapons of mass disruption”. Additionally, containment and decontamination of thousands of victims, as well as decontamination of the affected area might require considerable time and expense, rendering areas partly unusable and causing economic damage. (Dirty Bomb, Wikipedia, viewed 07/10/14)

I have been warning that the ISIS/ISIL group, which now calls itself the Islamic State, was a terrorist organization. The acquisition of any nuclear materials by terrorist organizations is dangerous and may well result in the production of dirty bombs some day... read full article

 

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