Members of the Islamic State, or ISIS, have constructed a dirty bomb from radioactive uranium stolen from Mosul University in Iraq, according to a report.
On Twitter and elsewhere, some members of ISIS were boasting about carrying out an attack in London with a bomb, although it would be next to impossible to transport such a device there, as the Mirror notes.
“O by the way Islamic State does have a Dirty bomb. We found some Radio active material from Mosul university,” ISIS member Hamayun Tariq, who is originally from the UK, wrote online, according to The Mirror. He is now training fellow Brits in Syria to fight for ISIS.
“We’ll find out what dirty bombs are and what they do. We’ll also discuss what might happen if one actually went off in a public area,” he said. “This sort of a bomb would be terribly destructive if went off In LONDON becuz it would be more of a disruptive than a destructive weapon.”
Another person wrote: “This will likely escalate western involvement, but Allah knows best.”
Radioactive uranium was apparently stolen in June, according to a July Reuters report, which said about 88 pounds of uranium compound that were being kept at Mosul University was gone.
Iraq sent a warning to the United Nations at the time, asking for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad.” Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim also said that “terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state.”
“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” added Alhakim.
According to an ABC report last month, President Obama said he would deploy US troops into Iraq or Syria if it was discovered ISIS had obtained a nuclear weapon.
“If we discovered that [ISIS] had gotten possession of a nuclear weapon, and we had to run an operation to get it out of their hands, then, yes,” Obama said during the G20 conference in Australia. “I would order it.”
However, a spokesperson for the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said a few days later that the the material was “low grade” and “would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk.”
A dirty bomb, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), would “probably not create enough radiation exposure to cause immediate serious illness, except to those people who are very close to the blast site,” per RT.com.
It added: “The radioactive dust and smoke spread farther away could be dangerous to health if it is inhaled.”
Meanwhile, the Sunday Express quoted a UK security source as saying there is an “alive and real” unrelated, terrorist bomb plot aimed for the holiday season.
“We’ve been told that five planes are being targeted in a high profile hit before Christmas,” the insider told the publication. “They’ve been waiting for the big one.”