The monsters can learn: Don't count on ISIS staying stupid on dirty bombs

Iraqi officials are noting with grim satisfaction as its troops retake Mosul that ISIS missed its chance to get its hands on a dirty bomb.  The terror group's grimy terrorists failed to recognize the treasure trove they had in their hands when they took over the University of Mosul, its science facilities, and its stored radioactive materials, including Cobalt-60, used in cancer treatments, which were found intact in one of the university's sealed off radioactive materials rooms.

"They are not that smart," a relieved health ministry official said of the city's former occupiers, in a Washington Post in a report that ran Saturday.

The puzzling thing is why they are publishing the information now.

Terrorists may be filthy and stupid, but they need only a few bright ones to carry out their more diabolical schemes.  The story here for ISIS is that it's not necessary to be taking over whole cities; they can just target some third-world university with poor security, a reasonably hospitable atmosphere for terrorist nests, and grandiose ambitions about developing cancer cures.  Such a place could exist in Africa, Asia, or any place south of Laredo, including even Cuba.  Actually, it could happen here, too, or anywhere in the developed West where security is lax and the local attitudes are such that the terror threat is a distant problem.

Terrorists start out as gangbusters for awhile, get drunk on their success, dance around with their guns, and then fizzle out due to their limited repertoire.  But like some diseases, they can adapt, and they can flare up again.  All it takes is a few smart ones to take the lessons from this frightening episode and try again now at some new university that thinks the terror war is someone else's problem.

Now they have their template.  And we are not particularly safer now that the Mosul trove has been located and we all have news of it.  The monsters can learn.

Iraqi officials are noting with grim satisfaction as its troops retake Mosul that ISIS missed its chance to get its hands on a dirty bomb.  The terror group's grimy terrorists failed to recognize the treasure trove they had in their hands when they took over the University of Mosul, its science facilities, and its stored radioactive materials, including Cobalt-60, used in cancer treatments, which were found intact in one of the university's sealed off radioactive materials rooms.

"They are not that smart," a relieved health ministry official said of the city's former occupiers, in a Washington Post in a report that ran Saturday.

The puzzling thing is why they are publishing the information now.

Terrorists may be filthy and stupid, but they need only a few bright ones to carry out their more diabolical schemes.  The story here for ISIS is that it's not necessary to be taking over whole cities; they can just target some third-world university with poor security, a reasonably hospitable atmosphere for terrorist nests, and grandiose ambitions about developing cancer cures.  Such a place could exist in Africa, Asia, or any place south of Laredo, including even Cuba.  Actually, it could happen here, too, or anywhere in the developed West where security is lax and the local attitudes are such that the terror threat is a distant problem.

Terrorists start out as gangbusters for awhile, get drunk on their success, dance around with their guns, and then fizzle out due to their limited repertoire.  But like some diseases, they can adapt, and they can flare up again.  All it takes is a few smart ones to take the lessons from this frightening episode and try again now at some new university that thinks the terror war is someone else's problem.

Now they have their template.  And we are not particularly safer now that the Mosul trove has been located and we all have news of it.  The monsters can learn.

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