The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claims it has access to nuclear weapons through the nation of Pakistan, according to an article by longtime ISIS captive John Cantlie in the latest issue of their official magazine, Dabiq.
In “The Perfect Storm,” allegedly penned by the British Cantlie, the group asserts that they possess billions, enough to buy a nuclear bomb “’from weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials’ in Pakistan.” If they cannot buy the weapon, Cantlie writes, the group would be satisfied with buying a “few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive.”
“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” Cantlie allegedly writes. “The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilāyah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region. It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.
“And if not a nuke, what about a few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive? That’s easy enough to make.”
Analysts believe the black-market sales of artifacts and antiques have generated billions for the Islamic State. The militants have destroyed dozens of ancient shrines, churches, and museums, claiming that they promote idolatry. But people within cities tell media outlets these same militants ransack the places of their priceless items to sell on the black market. The terrorist group also forces people within their caliphate to pay enormous fines and taxes. When they captured Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, they told the Christians to leave, convert to Islam, or pay a protection tax (jizya).
“They’ll [Isis] be looking to do something big, something that would make any past operation look like a squirrel shoot, and the more groups that pledge allegiance the more possible it becomes to pull off something truly epic,” continued the article. “Remember, all of this has happened in less than a year. How more dangerous will be the lines of communication and supply a year on from today?”
There is no way to confirm that Cantlie wrote the text of the article. ISIS kidnapped the British photojournalist two years ago. He has appeared in many propaganda videos, mainly those intended to show Muslims in the West that life in the Islamic State is normal, if not better, than life for Muslims in the West. The latest video was about Aleppo, Syria, to portray the city “as functional and productive.” However, Cantlie said this video was the last in his series. The militant group did not comment on the video or release any information as to whether Cantlie is still alive.