ISIS recruited experts set to wage chemical and biological attacks

Pierluigi Paganini December 06, 2015

A European Parliament report has warned that the ISIS organization has already smuggled CBRN material into the EU, the risk of WMD attacks is real.

Intelligence experts suspect that the ISIS has recruited experts with chemistry, physics and computer science degrees to wage attacks with weapons of mass destruction.

“ISIS actually has already acquired the knowledge, and in some cases the human expertise, that would allow it to use CBRN materials as weapons of terror.” said Wolfgang Rudischhauser, Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Non-Proliferation Centre at NATO.

The shocking revelation is included in a report of the European Parliament that confirm the ISIS “may be planning to try to use internationally banned weapons of mass destruction in future attacks.”

The report comes after the recent Paris attacks and claims that the ISIS has already smuggled Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) material into Europe.

The report confirms the ISIS in recruiting foreign fighters with specific competencies in physics, chemistry and computer science.

“ISIL/Da’esh has recruited and continues to recruit hundreds of foreign fighters, including some with degrees in physics, chemistry and computer science, who experts believe have the ability to manufacture lethal weapons from raw substances.”

ISIS WMD attack

The British police forces have been conducting specific exercises to train its personnel to face various types of terrorist attacks, including chemical and biological ones.

“The European Union and its Member States must prepare for the possibility of a chemical or biological attack on their territory by the self-styled ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and the Levant (known variously as IS, ISIS or ISIL, and by the Arabic acronym ‘Da’esh’).” states the report. “At present, European citizens are not seriously contemplating the possibility that extremist groups might use chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials during attacks in Europe. Under these circumstances, the impact of such an attack, should it occur, would be even more destabilising.”

European law enforcement agencies are facing the most serious terrorist and well-resourced organization of ever.

“We are dealing with a very serious, well-resourced, determined international terrorist organisation that is now active on the streets of Europe.” explained Rob Wainwright, head of Europol. “This represents the most serious terrorist threat faced in Europe for 10 years.”

Nomi Bar-Yaacov, Associate Fellow in Chatham House’s International Security Department, explained to the DailyMail that the risk is real.

“There is a very real risk of ISIS using unconventional weapons in Europe and beyond.” Nomi Bar-Yaacov.

The Western intelligence is trying to monitor Jihadi fighters, especially the for ‘specialist CBRN knowledge’.

EU governments have been warned to watch out for ‘other radicalised individuals, who have access to, or work in, sensitive areas’.

How is possible to steal  CBRN material in Europe?

According to the 2014 Communication of the European Commission on a new EU approach to the detection and mitigation of CBRN-E risks, terrorist organizations have several opportunities to steal CBRN material.

The Commission confirmed thefts and misplacements of CBRN material occur on hundreds of occasions each year. Among the dangerous substances there is the sarin, ricin and anthrax.

“More than 150 cases of trafficking of radiological and nuclear materials are reported annually to the Incident and Trafficking Database of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);” states the report.

The intelligence is aware that CBRN substances have been illegally smuggled into the European Union, Interpol’s monthly CBRN intelligence reports report numerous examples of attempts to acquire, smuggle or use CBRN materials.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – ISIS, terrorism, CBRN)

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