Report: ISIS may have radioactive 'dirty bomb'

Iraqi security forces fear stolen Iridium-192 may have fallen into hands of ISIS.

David Rosenberg,

ISIS flag (illustration)
ISIS flag (illustration)

A unit containing “highly dangerous” radioactive material was stolen from a storage facility in the southern city of Basra, reported Reuters.  

The laptop-sized package carried a sizable quantity of Iridium-192, a radioactive isotope tracked by nuclear safety agencies due to its potential use in radioactive weapons.

The theft of the radioactive material has sparked alarm in the Iraqi government, which fears it may have fallen into the hands of ISIS terrorists.

Radioactive weapons or “dirty bombs” are relatively simple to construct, requiring only standard explosives to weaponize material like Iridium-192. Detonating the radioactive material as part of a dirty bomb could spread dangerous radiation over a wide area, and could be potentially disastrous if used in a major city center.