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February 17, 2016

Radioactive Material Stolen in Iraq; Plus, The "Belgian Brotherhood" Believed Responsible for the November Paris Bataclan Attacks Were Spying on an Official in the Nuclear Industry

The dirty bomb is less an "if" than a "when."

Iraq is searching for "highly dangerous" radioactive material stolen last year amid fears it could have fallen the hands of Isis jihadis.

The material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop, went missing from a US-owned storage facility in Basra last November, according to leaked environment ministry documents.

An unnamed senior security official with knowledge of the theft said: "We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of Daesh (Isis).

...

An anonymous senior environment ministry official based in the city told Reuters the device contained up to 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of Ir-192 "capsules", a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.

That doesn't sound like very much radioactive material. But I'm sure they've collected other odds and ends. Plus, add into this the American Health Paranoia, where people freak out about vapor from e-cigs... Maybe not the most deadly weapon, but a real terror weapon nonetheless.

Such a weapon could also be a powerful economic weapon -- what happens to the property values of buildings near where the dirty bomb is set off?

Meanwhile, again from Le Fig, the investigation into the Bataclan massacre has turned up evidence the terrorists were spying, for some reason, on an official in Belgium's nuclear sector.

During a raid in Belgium in the middle of the investigation into the attacks of 13 November, police discovered a video [surveillance] of a high official of the nuclear industry, filmed without his knowledge at his home over a period of "around twelve hours."

It's a highly troubling discovery which the investigators charged with looking into the "Belgian Brotherhood," suspected of masterminding the attacks that had killed 130 in Paris and Saint-Denis last November 13, have made.

During a raid on the home of a suspect, they got their hands on a video in which appears a top official of the Belgian nuclear industry. The news was revealed Wednesday morning by the daily paper Le Derniere Heure and relayed afterwards by the federal prosecutor of the country. The prosecutor, which limited itself to confirming the "existence of images concerning a person linked to the nuclear industry," refused however to reveal the identity of the person filmed, "for obvious reasons of security and respect for privacy."

This afternoon, the agency charged with overseeing the nuclear industry in Belgium reacted in a statement, insisting as well on the need of "not releasing the name of the person or the installation targeted" in order to not "put in danger the investigation or nuclear security" or "the person concerned or his family."

The Belgian daily (which broke the story) is going, however, beyond these revelations. The video, lasting "a dozen or so hours," would show a fixed angle shot [of] "the front door of a house in Flanders." According to the same source, the owner of the house, who appears several times in the images coming and going from his house, is none other than the "director of the research program of the nuclear development in Belgium."

It is not known when the video was taken.

They don't say this, but it seems to me the most likely reason for this is to kidnap the official, or his family, in order to compel him to deliver nuclear material to the terrorists.


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posted by Ace at 02:12 PM

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