Smugglers Caught with Nuke Material Meant for ISIS
Nuclear smugglers in Eastern Europe have been caught trying to sell radioactive material to Islamic State terrorists.
Intense police videos show the smugglers being caught in several sting operations in Moldova, a small country to the west of Ukraine.
For several years, police have been working to capture them, arresting them with materials that could have been used to create a nuclear "dirty bomb."
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"We are very concerned by these different incidents of terrorists trying to acquire either nuclear or radiological material. We know that the threat is real," said Andrew Bieniawski, head of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
The smuggling gangs have Russian ties. An exclusive Associated Press investigation reveals they have been shopping their radioactive material across Eastern Europe where there's a thriving black market in nuclear materials.
In February, one smuggler was looking to sell radioactive cesium to a buyer from the Islamic State.
"If terrorists acquire HEU (highly enriched uranium), they will essentially have overcome one of the most difficult obstacles on the pathway to make what we call an improvised nuclear device, or an IND," Bieniawski said.
So far, European authorities working with the FBI have thwarted four attempts by the gangs to sell the radioactive material.