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Report: ISIS Teams Up with Iraqi Scientists to Obtain Chemical Weapons

Πηγή: Breitbart
19 Nov 2015

Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officers claim the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is trying to obtain or make chemical weapons in a branch they developed with Iraqi scientists. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls recently told the lower House of Parliament that ISIS could use chemical weapons against the West.

“Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is,” he declared. “We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons.”

He did not specify how the government came to the conclusion. A senior Iraqi intelligence official told the Associated Press the authorities are “largely in the dark” about any ISIS program due to the large amount of ground they control.

“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,” said the official.

Hakim al-Zamili, head of the Iraqi Parliament’s security and defense committee, allegedly viewed top secret reports that state the group not only possesses chemical weapons, but also has scientists who once worked for former dictator Saddam Hussein.

“Daesh is working very seriously to reach production of chemical weapons, particularly nerve gas,” he said. “That would threaten not just Iraq but the whole world.”

In November, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) showedReuters a report that claims ISIS and another rebel group in Syria used chemical weapons. The report concluded that “at least two people were exposed to sulphur mustard” in Marea on August 21.

“It is very likely that the effects of sulphur mustard resulted in the death of a baby,” read the report.

It is the first time a report has claimed rebels used sulfur mustard, also known as mustard gas, during the civil war. The Syrian regime promised to destroy its chemical weapons and allegedly handed over its “toxic chemicals 18 months ago.”

The media reported in June 2014, when ISIS expanded its Caliphate into Iraq, the terrorist group captured weapons that belonged to dictator Saddam Hussein.

A month later, the Kurdish Peshmerga told Kurdish media outlets that ISIS used these weapons in Syrian Kurdistan:

Kobanê canton has been exposed to the cruel attacks of the terrorist ISIS militants for some time. In these attacks, ISIS gangs are using all kinds of weapons, including the thermal missiles of USA. Nonetheless, after the first researches and medical control which was done by health team of Kobanê canton and experts on the wounded and martyred fighters, it has been proved that the ISIS gangs have used chemical weapons. Doctors found burns and white dots on the bodies of the martyrs.

These forces made the same claims in March. The Kurdish Regional Security Council saidISIS attacked the Kurds in January when they drove a truck full of chemical weapons past the troops on a road near the border of Syria. When the Kurds hit the truck, it released gas into the air, causing soldiers to suffer from “dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and general weakness.” This led officials to conclude ISIS used chlorine gas.

In July, two U.K. organizations reported that ISIS used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria. A mortar at the Mosul Dam was still leaking a dark yellow liquid after the attack. Those who came close to the liquid suffered similar symptoms. The groups also looked at weapons used in an attack on Tel Brak and Hasakah.

“Nine days later, when researchers examined fragments of munitions at Tel Brak, they were covered in a chemical residue which still had an acrid odor and caused powerful throat and eye irritation,” stated CNN. “At a hospital in Qamishli, several of the affected fighters tested positive for PH3, a phosphine-based chemical used as an insecticide or fumigating compound.”

1.3m illicit arms circulating in Ghana

Πηγή: GhanaWeb
18 Nov 2015

Over 1.3 million weapons believed to have been smuggled into Ghana are not registered, according to preliminary investigations conducted by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center.

Chairman of the commission on small arms and light weapons, Brigadier General Francis Agyemfra is concerned about the security of the state and wants measures in place to retrieve the weapons.

“We are very much concerned about the spread of illicit arms and their possible impact on our democracy especially those that could be triggered by violence," Brigadier Gen Francis Agyemfra (RTD) said.

Executive Secretary of the Small Arms Commission, Jones Aplerh, says the finding by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre is worrying.

“As at 2004 the number of illicit weapons was around 240,000”, said Mr Aplerh, stressing the recent figures is cause for concern.

He however, explained that the methodology used by the Kofi Annan centre could have well overblown the current situation.

He said the Kofi Annan centre made its assessment of the number of small arms weapons based on civilian weapons that we have licensed on the database of the Small Arms Commission.

He said current number of registered civilian arms stood at 1.2 million.

“It may give a clear picture, or it may even more than [the 1.3 million figure] or less than that,” he said about the figure quoted by the report.

According to Mr Aplerh, the number of weapons in the country should not be the source of concern.

"What we need to worry about is the demand-driven factors; the long-standing land and cheiftaincy issues", he pointed out.

He said government agencies and other stakeholders must work together to settle desputes in violence hotspots.

Mexican drug gangs, an Argentinian tycoon and the illicit trade of uranium to China

Argentine-born Mexican businessman Carlos Ahumada (R), accompained by his wife Cecilia Gurza, is interviewed by reporters in Mexico City, 08 May 2007. Ahumada has been implicated in illegal trade of Uranium by the leader of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang. (ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images) (2007 AFP)

Πηγή: Fox News Latino
By Gardenia Mendoza
13 Nov 2015

MEXICO CITY – A gang-related arrest in Mexico took a surprising twist last week when a portion of the suspect's testimony was leaked, revealing that the criminal organization La Familia Michoacana is also involved in the illegal trade of uranium to China.

Sidronio Casarrubias – the head of the Guerreros Unidos crime gang who was arrested last year and interrogated about his alleged involvement in the disappearance of 43 college students from Iguala, in the state of Guerrero in September 2014 – said the uranium operation in Mexico is being carried out under the orders of mogul Carlos Ahumada, a prominent Argentinian-born businessman who spent a couple of years in jail in a bribery scandal.

Casarrubias said Ahumada, who holds a dual Mexican-Argentinian citizenship, owns two uranium mines in Guerrero.

“The cargo is moved by small boats,” said Casarrubias shortly after he was arrested, but whose testimony was released only recently and published by Milenio newspaper.

“Ahumada traffics uranium … hidden among other metals,” he said, according to a Ministry of Public Security agent quoted by Milenio. “[Familia Michoacana members] take it to the port in Lázaro Cárdenas, but the majority is taken to the port of Colima [both in Michoacán], where it’s handed over to the Chinese.”

The Mexican government considers Guerreros Unidos a regional splinter group of La Familia Michoacana.

Mexico has one of the world's biggest reserves of uranium, but very little is used by the country's only nuclear energy plant, Laguna Verde. Under existing laws, all sources of uranium can be exploited only by the Mexican government. When a private company finds uranium while mining for other metals, it is required to report it to the government and shut down the mine.

It's believed that the price of a kilo can hit $6 million.

Casarrubias' testimony is alarming in a couple of ways. That the destination of the ore is China is a potential point of friction with the United States, and the possible involvement of drug gangs in the trade of material that could be used in an atomic bomb is worrisome, to say the least.

Chinese and Mexican groups have been linked in the past. In April 2014, Mexican Marines seized 300,000 tons of illicitly-acquired iron on four ships at the port of Lázaro Cárdenas that was bound for Hong Kong.

José Fernández Santillán, a security expert at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), explained to FNL that the transnational competition for illegally-trafficked substances and chemical elements has been boosted by the rise of small Asian companies that are "difficult to control" compared to bigger enterprises.

"These companies, what they do is take advantage of legally weak countries along the Asian coast to set up their illegal operations," Fernández Santillán said. "And on this side of the Pacific, Mexico is a key piece, because it's also part of a corrupt and weak legal state."

Mexico is a signatory to the 1969 Treaty of Tlatelolco, aimed at the denuclearization of all of Latin America, and 40 years later then-President Felipe Calderón signed onto an International Atomic Energy Agency treaty promising to wipe out all highly enriched uranium in the country.

"The trafficking of any substance or product [in Mexico] can't be understood without acknowledging corruption at three levels of government: the federal, which controls the ports and mines, and the state and municipal [levels] in Michoacán, through where the uranium supposedly circulates,” said Gerardo Rodríguez, an analyst at the University of the Americas in Mexico.

Besides Guerreros Unidos, drug cartels like La Familia Michoacana have also been implicated in the illegal trafficking of the radioactive ore.

Shortly before Casarrubias, drug trafficker José María "El Pony" Chávez testified that Ahumada had failed to report discovery of uranium at a METAL mine Campo Morado he co-owned in Guerrero. Chavez said Ahumada had members of Familia Michoacana cartel sell it quietly to the black market.

According to Casarrubias testimony, the Familia Michoacana leader, Jonny Hurtado, who goes by the nickname “El Pescado” or "The Fish," would get rides on helicopters provided by Ahumada – sometimes just to go watch a soccer game, or when federal police were closing in on him.

The Attorney General’s Office was sufficiently concerned to open an investigation of the businessman, who made his fortune from real estate, soccer teams and, most recently, mining.

Fox News Latino was unable to reach Ahumada for comment.

This is not the first time that the Mexican government has targeted the businessman. In 2004, the businessman got caught up in a Mexico City influence-peddling scandal that stemmed from a romantic affair he was having with the mayor’s cabinet chief, Rosario Robles.

Ahumada was taped with top aides to the leftist presidential candidate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, handing out bundles of U.S. dollars.

He was arrested in Havana and extradited to Mexico as part of the subsequent investigation and was incarcerated until May 2007, when he was cleared of all charges.