May 20, 2016
ISIS and the Dirty Bomb Scenario – Dr. Barak Ben Zur (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
According to the 9/11 Commission’s report, Osama bin Laden paid $1.5 million to a former Sudanese general who claimed he could provide nuclear material, only to find that the offer was a fraud. But the episode taught us about bin Laden’s intentions.
ISIS, which emerged from al-Qaeda, is much closer to securing and using unconventional weapons. It has access to the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) installations in suburbs of Aleppo and al-Safirah.
This scientific institution, functioning since 1969, was fully engaged in the development of chemical and biological agents and a variety of studies in the atomic field.
We should assume that despite Syrian army efforts in mid-2015 to transport or destroy the laboratories’ contents, ISIS may have succeeded in capturing at least some of it.
To meet this challenge, a secret intelligence effort is needed for tracking, arresting, and/or targeting individuals linked to global terror, including criminal groups offering fissile materiel on the black market.
Col. (res.) Barak Ben-Zur served as the head of the terrorism branch of IDF Military Intelligence and as head of the research unit of the Israel Security Agency.