An expert on chemical warfare has said ISIS terrorists who are coming back to the U.K. could carry out a chlorine gas attack in the London Underground, in trains, or at soccer matches.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, who was a former commanding officer at the Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Regiment, noted there has been marked increase in chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria–the most since the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
“It is very evident that ISIL are putting much time and effort into training its jihadis in the use of chlorine as a terror weapon and in particular in IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” he wrote for 2Paragraphs. He is referring to another name for ISIS.
“Virtually every foreign jihadi who returns to the U.S. or U.K. will have been exposed to training of this sort and will have a reasonable idea on how to use chlorine and other toxic chemicals as a terror weapon. In the U.K., up to 90 tons of chlorine can be purchased without any licenses,” he added.
Speaking with the Mirror newspaper, de Bretton-Gordon added it is “highly likely” ISIS would attempt to carry out such an attack.
“This could happen on a train or tube or even at a big football match,” he said. “Acquiring weapons and ammunition is very difficult in the UK but you can get up to 90,000 tonnes of chlorine without any license. In a confined space if you saw this yellow and green gas cloud and started smelling it the panic would create carnage.”
Just over 20 years ago, a Japanese terrorist organization, Aum Shinrikyo, carried out a gas attack–using sarin–on the Tokyo subway, killing more than 13 people.
“So, yes, ISIS could replicate the Tokyo gas attacks in the UK and US relatively easily … however … Chlorine is not very toxic and the green and yellow clouds are easy to see and avoid, and it is very non-persistent only lasting for a few minutes,” said de Bretton-Gordon.
ISIS seized a large chlorine factory in Mosul last year. There also are fears that ISIS has access to mustard gas and sarin.
Earlier this month, ISIS allegedly attacked Iraqi soldiers with bombs filled with chlorine gas.
“Islamic State are all over these chemical weapons. The big prize is Mosul, its capital in Iraq. Lose it and they lose the country and have to retreat to Syria,” de Bretton-Gordon told the Mirror.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has also been accused of using chemical weapons–including sarin–in the country’s civil war.