Report: ISIS Trying to Develop Chemical Weapons

Katie Pavlich
|
Posted: Nov 19, 2015 3:30 PM
Report: ISIS Trying to Develop Chemical Weapons

As the world grapples with how to take on ISIS after the attacks in Paris, new information is surfacing about just how far the terror army is willing to go. 

According to multiple reports, ISIS is "aggressively" pursuing chemical weapons and plans to use them on western targets. From AP

The Islamic State group is aggressively pursuing development of chemical weapons, setting up a branch dedicated to research and experiments with the help of scientists from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region, according to Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officials.

Their quest raises an alarming scenario for the West, given the determination to strike major cities that the group showed with its bloody attack last week in Paris. On Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that Islamic extremists might at some point use chemical or biological weapons.

"Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria ... but for what it is," Valls told the lower house of Parliament. "We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons," he added, though he did not talk of a specific threat.

U.S. intelligence officials don't believe IS has the capability to develop sophisticated weapons like nerve gas that are most suited for a terrorist attack on a civilian target. So far the group has used mustard gas on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.

But Iraqi officials expressed concern that the large safe haven the extremists control since overrunning parts of Iraq and Syria last year has left Iraqi authorities largely in the dark over the IS program.

"They now have complete freedom to select locations for their labs and production sites and have a wide range of experts, both civilians and military, to aid them," a senior Iraqi intelligence official told The Associated Press.

Keep in mind that just two months ago the Pentagon reported ISIS had used chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters.