The storage facility in question was located in the southern Iraq city of Basra, and with no signs of forced entry could signal an inside job. Additionally, investigators believe the perpetrator knew how to handle the material which was in a protective case the size of a laptop.
An anonymous senior environment ministry official based in the city told Reuters the device contained up to 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of Ir-192 “capsules”, a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.
The material is classed as a Category 2 radioactive by the International Atomic Energy Agency – meaning it can be fatal to anyone in close proximity to it in a matter of days or even hours.
The fears are now that as ISIS has proven they are willing to use chemical weapons, as they did in August killing 35 Kurds with mustard gas – they would love to get their hands on material to make a dirty bomb.
A dirty bomb is radioactive material strapped to conventional explosives with the intent of spreading the contaminant over a large area.
Iraqi officials urged calm staying that they are working tirelessly to get back the nuclear material.