The Associated Press is reporting that authorities working with the FBI in Eastern Europe have interrupted four attempts in the past five years of gangs trying to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists. The AP believes that some of the suspected gangs have ties to the former Russian KGB’s successor agency.
According to what the AP discovered, there is a lucrative black market in nuclear materials in a small and economically poor country of Moldova, in Eastern Europe.
The latest attempt to sell the materials occurred in February of this year. The seller was looking specifically for a buyer from the Islamic State and offered to sell a large cache of deadly cesium, according to reports.
Moldovan authorities are worried about how the strained relationship between Russia and the United States is making it harder to know if the smugglers are finding ways to “move parts of Russia’s vast store of radioactive materials” and believe that an unknown quantity has already been moved into the black market.
“We can expect more of these cases,” said Constantin Malic, a Moldovan police officer who worked on all four cases associated with the failed attempts to sell nuclear materials. “As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it.”
Why should any of this be troubling to us?
There are reports that those who have attempted to sell radioactive material on the black market have escaped perhaps with nuclear material. Since these groups are typically searching for buyers that want to do the U.S. harm, these materials may have gotten into the hands of the Islamic State.
It’s not the first time, according to reports, that the U.S. has been targeted by our enemies in this way.
Pursuant to the AP report, in 2011, a Russian believed to be an officer with the Russian FSB, previously known as the KGB, led a group that was allegedly seeking to sell bomb-grade uranium, U-235 and blueprints for a dirty bomb to a Sudanese man.
According to wiretaps, the smuggler desperately wanted an Islamic buyer because “they will bomb the Americans.” The kingpin of the operation is still at large. His partner, who wanted to “annihilate America,” is reportedly out of prison. No doubt he may be back in business in no time trying to bring death and destruction to the U.S.
This information from the Moldovan police and judicial authorities should send chills down the spine of every American.
As we have seen with this administration, the steps that are taken in matters of foreign policy do not illustrate a cautious approach to a serious issue with possible catastrophic consequences to Americans.
President Barack Obama is opening the doors to Syrian refugees with the intent of resettling them in the U.S. These same refugees could potentially be carrying radioactive materials into this country that were initially bought from Moldova.
In addition, this administration has been aware of the threat to America from the sale of these materials in Moldova for the past several years. Only now, however, is the American public learning more about this potential threat associated with allowing those from Muslim countries into the U.S.
The release of this information is even more reason for Americans to voice their concerns over Obama’s increased influx of Muslim refugees into this country and his intentions of taking in 100,000 more Syrian Refugees in 2017.
There are still other reasons to be concerned.
President Vladimir Putin is in Syria. If there is a Russian connection to the black market sale of these nuclear materials then what would prevent the exchange of these materials to Iran, Russia’s strongest ally in Syria?
Thanks to this administration, under the provisions of the recent Iran nuclear deal, Iran will have approximately $150 billion to spend on the black market for these materials.
The lax provisions of the nuclear deal regarding verification of nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranians will in no way prevent Iran from moving forward with a purchase if they deem it appropriate.
Also, since Iran and Russia are both in Syria, there is really nothing stopping Iran from stockpiling these nuclear weapons in Syria for safe keeping.
Should other countries be concerned about the black market sale of nuclear weapons?
Perhaps due to its close proximity to Syria and the Russian-Iranian alliance currently in Syria, Israel may also be at risk.
It is conceivable that if Iran or Russia wanted to move into Israel for its gas fields, these materials could play a role in the takeover. Only time will tell.
But for now, the clear target from these reports, if they are to be believed, is the U.S. and the smugglers want nothing more than to see the U.S. destroyed.