In the latest issue of its propaganda magazine, Dabiq, the Islamic State (ISIS) has that it will buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year. The threat comes mere days after Saudi Arabia was reported to be in the process of acquiring Pakistani nukes, having already purchased them through a multi-year payment arrangement.
And while there is no doubt that ISIS has surpassed its roots as “the most explosive Islamic ‘group’ in the modern world” to evolve into “the most explosive Islamic movement the modern world has ever seen” over the last twelve months, dreams of a nuke appear far fetched.
In the piece, titled “The Perfect Storm”, the terrorist group mentions other terrorist organisations such as Boko Haram, which recently joined forces with ISIS, uniting across the Middle East, Asia and Africa to create one global movement.
The article claims this arrangement of groups has coincided with ISIS militants seizing “tanks, rocket launchers, missile systems, anti-aircraft systems,” from the U.S. and Iran and then goes on to detail a deluded desire for nuclear weapons.
“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” the article states. “The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region.”
“It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.
“And if not a nuke, what about a few thousand tons of ammonia nitrate explosive? That’s easy enough to make.”
An attack launched by ISIS against the United States would ridicule “the attacks of the past”.
And yet a nuclear armed ISIS would be subject to an attack that would ridicule the international response to date. Pentagon staffers are meeting all weekend to work out a plan to deal with ISIS and the terrorist outfit is widely condemned by major superpowers, inlcuding Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UK, virtually all of Europe, Australia and of course the United States.
While ISIS may have high hopes of getting a bomb it is unlikely. The terror outfit is enjoying some recent success but expect a harsh set of counterattacks by western forces in the coming weeks and months. Such attacks will notable weaken the state and could even lead to ground troops.