ISIS has smuggled WMD materials into Europe: EU report

We all know that Europe is in big trouble.  Now it appears that the situation is even worse than most of us suspected.

A report by the European Union Parliament states that the Islamic State has been recruiting dozens of chemists, biologists, and nuclear physicists to build weapons of mass destruction – materials for which have already been smuggled into Europe.

Daily Mail:

The terror organisation, according to the briefing document, 'may be planning to try to use internationally banned weapons of mass destruction in future attacks'.

The document, which was compiled in the aftermath of the deadly attacks on Paris claimed that ISIS has already smuggled WMD material into Europe.  

Experts fear that ISIS will be able to exploit a failure of EU governments to share information on possible terrorists.  

Already, British police forces have been conducting exercises on how to deal with various types of terrorist attack. But the EU report claims that government should 'consider publicly addressing the possibility of terrorist attack using chemical, biological, radiological or even nuclear materials'.

The report, ISIL/Da'esh and 'non-conventional' weapons of terror warns: '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.' 

Rob Wainwright, head of Europol said after the attacks on Paris: 'We are dealing with a very serious, well-resourced, determined international terrorist organisation that is now active on the streets of Europe. 

'This represents the most serious terrorist threat faced in Europe for 10 years.' 

We shouldn't doubt that ISIS has smuggled the raw materials to make WMD into Europe.  But the challenges facing ISIS to actually carry out an actual WMD attack are, thankfully, daunting.

The problem for the terrorists is how to construct a dispersal system that would kill the largest number of people.  While chemical weapons might be fairly easy to build, finding a way to disperse the gas to affect dozens or hundreds of people is a lot harder.  One obvious target is subway systems, where the closed space coupled with massive numbers of people could lead to a horrific event.  But authorities are aware of this and have radically increased security at targets like the underground in Great Britain.

Constructing bio-weapons demands an expertise that few biologists possess.  Weaponizing the bugs is even harder.  This would not be the WMD of choice by ISIS.

The biggest danger is from a radiological, or "dirty," bombs.  While efforts to secure nuclear waste from hospitals and research labs have improved in recent years, experts say there is still a vulnerability there.  In fact, the EU study makes some startling claims:

The shocking study claims that 150 cases of nuclear or radiological trafficking are reported annually. 

Worse still: 'CBRN substances have been carried undetected into the European Union. 

'Interpol's monthly CBRN intelligence reports show numerous examples of attempts to acquire, smuggle or use CBRN materials.'  

The bottom line is that ISIS are not dummies and will eventually figure it all out.  In the meantime, authorities race to stop an attack before one is carried out.  But as we all know, in order to be safe, we have to get it right 100% of the time.  ISIS has to get lucky only once.

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