IS fighters in Syria have unleashed a new weapon on the civilian populations of Syria and northern Iraq.
The Express reports that bomb canisters have been packed with live scorpions designed to fling the venomous creatures into towns and villages, according to a British military expert.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former head of chemical and biological weapons for NATO and the British army said the new weapons were devised to create panic.
“It’s madness” he said. “IS have improvised devices to launch them. They promote the fact that they are doing it and it creates panic.”
“Scorpions are robust – even if they are launched a couple of miles, when the canister breaks thousands are flung out and start crawling all around.”
While the 24 inch scorpions are not designed to cause mass casualties they do have a psychological impact on the villagers.
Mr de Bretton-Gordon, who has been in Iraq advising troops on the ground explained that “The main thing is creating fear.”
The use of such devices is covered by weapons law which is applicable even for armed non-state actors which IS forces are considered to be.
“There is a long standing and well established customary ban on the use of poisons in armed conflict,” Professor Steven Haines of Greenwich University told Breitbart London.
Senior officials in Iraq have reported scorpions being used against civilian targets in northern parts of the country.
There are 25 known species of scorpion with venom capable of killing a human being.
Meanwhile, a 15 year old girl who had boarded a plane to join IS fighters was stopped by police moments before take off.
The teenager from Tower Hamlets had been secretly saving money to pay for a flight from London to Turkey, unbeknown to her parents.
From there, it is understood she planned to take the journey into Syria to join the Islamic extremists in a route an alarming number of Brits have been taking.
Earlier in the month, Prime Minister David Cameron met with Turkish leaders to discuss greater intelligence sharing to stop Turkey being a gateway for the radicalised jihadis.
Sky News revealed that she had been reported missing by her family who had no idea of her intentions.
Police checks of the manifests for flights leaving London Heathrow Airport revealed the girl was on the aircraft. Officers managed to get the plane stopped when it was taxiing on the runway.
The teenager is believed to be back home and living with her family after the incident earlier this month and the operation is believed to be a demonstration of how the Government’s Prevention strategy to combat terrorism and extremist in the UK is working.
However it is still a considerable concern that British fighters are making the journey to join the jihadi militants demonstrating that there is still a problem with radicalisation in certain areas of the country in particular.