Stolen uranium compounds not only dirty bomb ingredients within ISIS’ grasp, say experts By Perry Chiaramonte July 15, 2014 FoxNews.com Plenty of materials for a potential dirty bomb are likely scattered throughout the area of Iraq controlled by ISIS, and pulling off an attack that spreads even a minor amount of radiation could be a huge PR coup for the terror group, experts told FoxNews.com.
Last week, the Iraqi government in Baghdad warned the UN that ISIS operatives had stolen 88 pounds of uranium compounds from Mosul University. Even though many experts said the research materials were not enough to cause widespread harm, spreading fear is even more important to terrorists than a big body count, one terrorism expert said. And with ISIS in control of a huge swath of northern Iraq and parts of Syria that includes research labs, hospitals and industrial sites, ingredients for radiation-spreading bombs are within its grasp.
“Obtaining radiological material from places like universities or hospitals is relatively easy if you have the firepower, a chaotic situation and jihadists willing to sacrifice their health handling it,” said Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for The Clarion Project, a think tank that studies Islamic extremism. “We aren’t talking about producing a nuclear bomb; just combining an explosive with radioactive material.”……..
the risk posed by the lower-level nuclear materials potentially within ISIS’ reach is shared by the group itself. Handling of nuclear materials is extremely dangerous, a fact underscored last December when a truck containing highly radioactive cobalt-60 was stolen en route from a Mexican hospital to a disposal site. The theft triggered alerts throughout Mexico, as well as international notifications to the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and stoked fears the material could have been stolen to make a dirty bomb. …..http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/07/15/stolen-uranium-compounds-not-only-dirty-bomb-ingredients-within-isis-grasp/
Stolen Iraqi uranium could make dirty bomb THE AUSTRALIAN THE TIMES JULY 12, 2014 INTERNATIONAL fears increased yesterday as it was revealed that Islamic State terrorists have seized 40kg of radioactive uranium in Iraq, which some experts say could be used to make a dirty bomb.
The revelation followed reports this week that they may have obtained chemical weapons when they seized a factory in Iraq.
The jihadists from the Islamic State (known formerly as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) seized the uranium after they overran a university complex in the city of Mosul, in their swift offensive across northern Iraq.
The Iraqi government has appealed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for international help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”……http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/stolen-iraqi-uranium-could-make-dirty-bomb/story-fnb64oi6-1226986185204
Iraq tells UN that ‘terrorist groups’ have seized nuclear materials SMH, July 10, 2014 – Michelle Nichols New York: ISIL insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq has told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”.
Nearly 40 kilograms of uranium compounds were kept at Mosul University, Iraq’s UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter this week.
“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Mr Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction”. However, US security sources said it would be difficult to make weapons from the material.
“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” Mr Alhakim said.
He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.
A US government source familiar with the matter said the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium and therefore would be difficult to use to manufacture into a weapon………http://www.smh.com.au/world/iraq-tells-un-that-terrorist-groups-have-seized-nuclear-materials-20140710-zt2eb.html#ixzz378WRoppD
Depleted Uranium And The Iraq War’s Legacy Of Cancer, Mint Press News, Depleted uranium was used in Iraq warzone weaponry, and now kids are playing in contaminated fields and the spent weapons are being sold as scrap metal. By Frederick Reese @FrederickReese | July 2, 2014 As instability in Iraq is forcing the United States to consider a third invasion of the Middle Eastern nation, the consequences of the first two invasions are coming into focus. For large sectors of the Iraqi population, American intervention has led to sharp spikes in the rates of congenital birth defects, premature births, miscarriages and leukemia cases.
According to Iraqi government statistics, the rate of cancer in the country has skyrocketed from 40 per 100,000 people prior to the First Gulf War in 1991, to 800 per 100,000 in 1995, to at least 1,600 per 100,000 in 2005.
The culprit behind all of these health issues is depleted uranium, a byproduct of uranium enrichment. With a mass fraction a third of what fissile uranium would have, depleted uranium emits less alpha radiation — up to 60 percent less than natural uranium, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. This “relative” safety offered a rationale for many nations — particularly, the U.S. — to put the waste material to use.
As depleted uranium is 1.67 times denser than lead, a depleted uranium projectile can be smaller than an equivalent lead projectile but produce similar results. This smaller size means a smaller diameter, less aerodynamic drag and a smaller area of impact, meaning that depleted uranium bullets can travel faster and inflict more pressure on impact, causing deeper penetration. Additionally, depleted uranium is incendiary and self-sharpening, making depleted uranium ideal for anti-tank ammunition. It is also used as armor plating for much of America’s tank fleet.
The problem with using depleted uranium, however, lies in the fact that depleted uranium is mostly de-energized. In practical terms, depleted uranium can have — at a minimum — 40 percent the radioactivity of natural uranium with a half-life that can be measured in millennia (between 703 million to 4.468 billion years). While the depleted uranium presents little to no risk to health via radiation due to its relatively weak radioactivity, direct internal contact with the heavy metal can have chemical toxicity effects on the nervous system, liver, heart and kidneys, with DNA mutations and RNA transcription errors being reported in the case of depleted uranium dust being absorbed in vitro.
While depleted uranium is not as toxic as other heavy metals, such as mercury or lead, pronounced toxicity is still possible through repeated or chronic exposure………http://www.mintpressnews.com/depleted-uranium-iraq-wars-legacy-cancer/193338/
US fired depleted uranium rounds in civilian areas during 2003 Iraq campaign – report http://rt.com/news/167220-depleted-uranium-us-iraq/ June 20, 2014 US-led forces in Iraq used depleted uranium weapons in civilian-populated areas during the 2003 military campaign, according to a new Dutch NGO study that also exposes a lack of adequate cleanup efforts by the invading troops.
For the first time the location of several sites where the invaders fired some 10,000 depleted uranium rounds were released by the Dutch Defense Ministry, and published in a study by Dutch peace group PAX.
Most of the DU rounds fired by the US-led coalition were in heavily populated areas, the group says. Samawah, Nasiriyah and Basrah are just some urban areas where ammunition was deployed – with around 1,500 anti-armor rounds fired directly at Saddam Hussein’s infantry forces. The GPS coordinates of DU rounds were initially handed over to the Dutch Defense Ministry because the Netherlands was worried about the potential contamination of its own troops in the country. The ministry later shared the information with PAX under a freedom of information law.
Most of the firing locations remain unknown, as more than 300,000 DU rounds are believed to have been fired by US-led coalition.
NGO says that the health risks of more than 440,000 kg of DU fired by Western forces remains unclear, as “neither coalition forces nor the Iraqi government have supported health research into civilian DU exposure.”
“Coalition forces were aware of the potential health and environmental impact of DU munitions, yet refrained from undertaking the necessary clean-up of DU outside their own bases,” a summary of the report reads.
Wim Zwijnenburg, the author of the report, said the US Air Force knew of the consequences of using DU ammunition.
“The use of DU against these targets questions the adherence of coalition forces to their own principles and guidelines. They should be held accountable for the consequences,” Zwijnenburg said, citing a 1975 memo from the Air Force Office of the Judge Advocate that restricted the use of such ammunition.
“Use of this munition solely against personnel is prohibited if alternative weapons are available,” the memo said, because of “unnecessary suffering and poison.”
According to an earlier PAX report, more than 300 sites in Iraq are currently contaminated with depleted uranium and it would cost at least $30 million to clean up.
there are signs that the WHO has sought to distance itself from the findings. The interim report, which was published on September 11th, is unsigned by its authors and, while published on the WHO’s website, is apparently the sole responsibility of the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
Fresh revelations cast doubt over reliability of Iraq birth defect study http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/fresh-doubts-over-reliability-iraq-study 16 Oct 13 Trust in the findings of a study into rates of congenital birth defects in Iraq, undertaken by the WHO and Iraqi Ministry of Health, has continued to decline after interventions from three former UN officials. ICBUW continues to argue that full transparency is the only way for the WHO and Iraqi Ministry of Health to rebuild the study’s credibility. Continue reading
The publication of this ‘summary document’ on the World Health Organisation’s website has raised questions from independent experts and former United Nations and WHO officials, who question the validity of its findings and its anonymous authorship.
“There is definitive evidence of an alarming rise in birth defects, leukaemia, cancer and other carcinogenic diseases in Iraq after the war. Looking at the stark difference between previous descriptions of the WHO study’s findings and this new report, it seems that someone, somewhere clumsily decided that they would not release these damning findings, but instead obscure them.”
How the World Health Organisation covered up Iraq’s nuclear nightmare http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2013/oct/13/world-health-organisation-iraq-war-depleted-uranium by Nafeez Ahmed Ex-UN, WHO officials reveal political interference to suppress scientific evidence of postwar environmental health catastrophe
Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a long awaited document summarising the findings of an in-depth investigation into the prevalence of congenital birth defects (CBD) in Iraq, which many experts believe is linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by Allied forces. According to the ‘summary report’:
“The rates for spontaneous abortion, stillbirths and congenital birth defects found in the study are consistent with or even lower than international estimates. The study provides no clear evidence to suggest an unusually high rate of congenital birth defects in Iraq.”
Jaffar Hussain, WHO’s Head of Mission in Iraq, said that the report is based on survey techniques that are “renowned worldwide” and that the study was peer reviewed “extensively” by international experts.
But the conclusions contrasted dramatically from previous statements about the research findings from Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH) officials involved in the study. Earlier this year, BBC Newsspoke to MOH researchers who confirmed the joint report would furnish “damning evidence” that rates of birth defects are higher in areas experiencing heavy fighting in the 2003 war. In an earlypress release, WHO similarly acknowledged “existing MOH statistics showing high number of CBD cases” in the “high risk” areas selected for study. Continue reading
Last week, U.K. foreign secretary William Hague, said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is “not something that a humane or civilized world can ignore.” Ironically, Western countries such as the U.K. and their allies have appeared to ignore the use of weapons that are equally vicious.
When “non-Westerners” make use of weapons of mass destruction, there is outrage and calls for military intervention from “the West,” but when “Westerners” themselves use them, it is totally permissible and the world can hardly react.
U.S. DEPLETED URANIUM AS MALICIOUS AS SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS HTTPS://CRAIGCONSIDINETCD.WORDPRESS.COM/2013/08/25/U-S-DEPLETED-URANIUM-AS-MALICIOUS-AS-SYRIAN-CHEMICAL-WEAPONS/ CRAIG CONSIDINE
By this time you have likely heard of the atrocity that recently took place in which over 1,000 Syrian civilians reportedly died at the hands of a chemical weapon attack. Seeing the video and images of dead or helpless Syrian civilians struggling for life reminds me of another terrible weapon of war – depleted uranium.
It is no secret that the U.S., with the assistance of OTHER GOVERNMENTS, used depleted uranium in the Gulf and Iraq War. A simple Google search of this topic can produce dozens and dozens of credible reports or stories to confirm these war crimes. For example, an important REPORT on Harvard University’s website discusses the fallout of depleted uranium contamination in Iraq. Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi, who authored the report after the GULF WAR, wrote that:
“DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) WEAPONRY HAS BEEN USED AGAINST IRAQ FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF RECENT WARS. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE COMPLICATIONS AND DAMAGE RELATED TO THE USE OF SUCH RADIOACTIVE AND TOXIC WEAPONS ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE HUMAN POPULATION MOSTLY RESULTS FROM THE INTENDED CONCEALMENT, DENIAL AND MISLEADING INFORMATION RELEASED BY THE PENTAGON ABOUT THE QUANTITIES, CHARACTERISTICS AND THE AREA’S IN IRAQ, IN WHICH THESE WEAPONS HAVE BEEN USED.”
Similarly, as Democracy Now! REPORTED in an interview with Al Jazeera reporter Dahr Jamail, ”the U.S. INVASION OF IRAQ has left behind a legacy of cancer and birth defects suspected of being caused by the U.S. military’s extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus.” Democracy Now! wrote: Continue reading
In March 2013, BBC World broadcast a documentary on the story. As with other media reports, Born Under A Bad Sign visited the hospitals and spoke with parents and doctors – all of whom were convinced that the health problems they were witnessing were linked to the war.
Broadcast of the BBC report in March was followed by updates to the WHO’s FAQ. Gone was the petulant ‘No, absolutely not’ from the line on depleted uranium and the first of a series of procedural delays was announced as committees were formed and new analyses proposed. For campaigners seeking disclosure of the data as a first step towards focused research and humanitarian assistance in Iraq, the delays were worrying.
So how can civil society and individuals influence an organisation as monolithic and apparently compromised as the WHO? On the 31st July, Dr Al’aani launched an online petition through Change.org (with the associated twitter hashtag of #Act4Iraq) calling for the WHO to immediately publish the collected data for independent peer review, so that scientific conclusions can be drawn and the affected parents can finally understand what has happened to their children
Birth Defects: Did The Occupation of Iraq Leave a Toxic Legacy? http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/birth_defects_did_the_occupation_of_iraq_leave_a_toxic_legacy 6 Aug 13, During the occupation of Iraq, the city of Fallujah bore witness to some of the most intense US combat operations since Vietnam, with 2004’s OperationPhantom Fury widely condemned for its ferocity and disregard for international law.
Paediatrician Dr Samira Al’aani has worked in the city since 1997. In 2006 she began to notice an increase in the number of babies being born with congenital birth defects (CBD). Concerned, she began to log the cases that she saw. Through careful record keeping she has determined that at Fallujah General Hospital, 144 babies are now born with a deformity for every 1000 live births. This is nearly six times higher than the average rate in the UK between 2006 and 2010, and one strong suspicion is that contamination from the toxic constituents of munitions used by occupying forces could be the cause. (photo of Dr A;’aani by Donna Mulhearn)
Now a new nationwide study by the Iraqi Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, has the potential to catalyse efforts to understand and confront the issue, but only if science can be allowed to rise above politics. Continue reading
The withholding of the WHO report suggests extreme pressure on the World Health Organization by nations which have something terrible to hide. It would be difficult for the report to sidestep epidemic rates of cancer in Iraq regions where depleted uranium was used. Chowdhury’s article, “WHO’s Iraq Birth Defect Study Omits Causation,” indicates the WHO report purposefully avoids considering the causes of the overwhelming birth defects, disease, and death rates.
Syria, Iraq and Depleted Uranium http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-iraq-and-depleted-uranium/5343806 By John Bart Gerald
Global Research, July 25, 2013 As the U.S.considers expanding its war on Syria to overt military aggression, Iraq provides some warning of the human cost of accepting the policies of madmen. In Iraq military action starting with “Desert Storm” in 1991, caused the near total destruction of Iraq’s society, culture, environment and eventual losses of millions of innocent people. Health and mortality information risks heavy suppression and manipulation since it provides evidence concerning a crime. In Spain, theBrussells Tribunal‘s cogent case attempting to prosecute George Bush, Tony Blair and others for genocide inIraq was rejected by the court. Lack of legal recourse for the people of Iraq before a non-partisan international court marks the International Criminal Court’s failure to bend the major powers from illegal wars of aggression.
Primary alleged crimes of the U.S. and NATO coalition’s war on Iraq remain unaddressed:
1. aggression and the betrayal of Iraq’s sovereignty.
2. massive military bombardment of civilian areas.
3. intentional destruction of the civilian infrastructure and water supply.
4. use of depleted uranium weaponry to cause the slow death of civilian populations and render portions of the land unable to sustain health and life in the future.
While these points are neglected by the media, current information concerning use of depleted uranium is so notably missing there may be an attempt to remove the issue from the public’s awareness (1 and 2). While depleted uranium is a lethal radiological weapon, relevant public information is suppressed, excised, falsely countered and ignored. Continue reading
What’s delaying the WHO report on Iraqi birth defects http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/06/201365101540408281.html A 2012 World Health Organization study on congenital birth defects in Iraq has still not been released to the public. 06 Jun 2013 Mozhgan Savabieasfahani Dr Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, a native of Iran, is an environmental toxicologist based in Michigan. She is the author of over two dozen peer reviewed articles and the book, Pollution and Reproductive Damage (DVM 2009).
Iraq is poisoned. Thirty-five million Iraqis wake up every morning to a living nightmare of childhood cancers, adult cancers and birth defects. Familial cancers, cluster cancers and multiple cancers in the same individual have become frequent in Iraq.
Sterility, repeated miscarriages, stillbirths and severe birth defects – some never described in any medical books – are all around, in increasing numbers. Trapped in this hellish nightmare, millions of Iraqis struggle to survive, and they and they call for help.
At long last, public pressure and media attention to this public health catastrophe prompted a joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Iraqi Ministry of Health to determine the prevalence of birth defects in Iraq. This study began in May-June 2012 and was completed in early October 2012. Continue reading
Scientists detect high levels of uranium contamination that increases cancers, birth defects in Iraq http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130521/Scientists-detect-high-levels-of-uranium-contamination-that-increases-cancers-birth-defects-in-Iraq.aspx May 21, 2013 Ten years after the Iraq war of 2003 a team of scientists based in Mosul, northern Iraq, have detected high levels of uranium contamination in soil samples at three sites in the province of Nineveh which, coupled with dramatically increasing rates of childhood cancers and birth defects at local hospitals, highlight the ongoing legacy of modern warfare to civilians in conflict zones. The radioactive element uranium is widely dispersed throughout the earth’s crust and is much sought after as a fuel for nuclear power plants and for use in weapons. Depleted uranium (DU), commonly used in modern munitions such as defensive armour plating and armour-piercing projectiles, is 40 per cent less radioactive than natural uranium, but remains a significant and controversial danger to human health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets a maximum uranium exposure of 1 millisievert (mSv) per year for the general public, but environmental scientists at the University of Mosul and the Institute of Forest Ecology, Universitaet für Bodenkultur (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, led by Riyad Abdullah Fathi have measured significant levels of uranium in soil samples from three sites in the province of Nineveh in the north of Iraq. Writing in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Fathi and colleagues link their findings with dramatic increases in cancers reported to the Mosul Cancer Registry and the Iraqi national cancer registry (which began collecting data in 1975).
They conclude that:
“The Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003 left a legacy of pollution with DU in many regions of Iraq. The effects of these munitions may be affecting the general health of Iraqi citizens, manifesting in an increase in cancers and birth defects.”
They also warn that, even though some of the contamination measured in this study is specifically linked to known sites, it can be easily spread widely in the air, soil and water, particularly as dust in windstorms.
Their report “Environmental pollution by depleted uranium in Iraq with special reference to Mosul and possible effects on cancer and birth defect rates” begins with a literature review that collates health-related data from a range of sources, including a report by the WHO (in 2003), which states that childhood cancers – particularly leukaemia – are ten times higher in Iraq than in other industrialised countries. Continue reading
while our many soldiers’ DU-related health problems is terrible enough on its own, we’ve also left Iraq covered in radioactive munitions fragments that, by the very virtue of having exploded, are essentially impossible to clean up. That is a huge, if overlooked, legacy of the United States’ wars in Iraq: Not only does Iraq have to deal with the physical toll of a decade-plus of war, it’s also been left with a huge, and ongoing, health crisis.
Video (skip the ad) America’s Terrible History of Depleted Uranium http://motherboard.vice.com/read/americas-terrible-history-of-depleted-uranium By Derek Mead 24 April 13, The United States has left its mark on Iraq in myriad ways in its two wars in the Persian Gulf, but one of the least-discussed is the effects of the US military’s use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. DU is a munitions designer’s dream: projectiles using DU alloys are armor-piercing and incendiary, which means it’s ideal for obliterating and burning tanks and other armored vehicles. But its use has left the Gulf’s battlefields blanketed with radioactive material.
DU is byproduct of the production of the enriched uranium used in nuclear reactors, and as such has relatively low levels of radiation. But Gulf War soldiers were regularly exposed to it, not least when DU used in munitions converted into an aerosol form after explosions. That means that Gulf War soldiers may have been exposed without realizing it, and has long been blamed for contributing to Gulf War Syndrome, Continue reading
Depleted Uranium: The BBC’s John Simpson does a hatchet job on Fallujah’s genetically damaged children by William Bowles http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/depleted-uranium-the-bbcs-john-simpson-does-a-hatchet-job-on-fallujahs-genetically-damaged-children-by-william-bowles/
Under the title ‘Fallujah’s children’s ‘genetic damage’ that old war horse ‘literally’ of the BBC’s foreign propaganda service, John Simpson, manages not to mention the phrase ‘depleted uranium’ when allegedly reporting on the alarming rise in birth defects that include cancer, leukaemia and a horrific rise in child mortality since the US demolished the city of Fallujah in 2004. And it’s not until right at the end of the piece that the US attack on Fallujah is even mentioned, let alone depleted uranium! Continue reading
‘Falluja Babies’ and Depleted Uranium — America’s Toxic Legacy in Iraq http://www.alternet.org/world/falluja-babies-and-depleted-uranium-americas-toxic-legacy-iraq Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tons of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes. March 18, 2013 |
Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.
There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.
Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing. Continue reading
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