The ISIS juggernaut continues to gather strength each day as Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed that the militants have used chlorine gas weapons and are actively recruiting highly trained scientists in order to grow their chemical weapons program.
Bish called ISIS "one of the gravest security threats we face today," at a forum for international cooperation on security.
"Apart from some crude and small scale endeavors, the conventional wisdom has been that the terrorist intention to acquire and weaponize chemical agents has been largely aspirational," Bishop said in a speech on Friday.
"The use of chlorine by Daish [ISIS], and its recruitment of highly technically trained professionals, including from the West, have revealed far more serious efforts in chemical weapons development," she said.
"Daish is likely to have amongst its tens of thousands of recruits the technical expertise necessary to further refine precursor materials and build chemical weapons," Bishop said.
The first reports of ISIS using chemical weapons came in January, when Iraqi Kurdish authorities found evidence the weapons were used against their peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.
Soil and clothing samples taken after an ISIS bombing attack couldn't be independently verified as containing traces of the deadly gas.
Chlorine gas shokes victims and first used in World War One. It is banned under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, although ISIS does not observe internationally accepted rules of war.