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ISIS Turns to Chemical Weapons As It Loses Ground in Iraq

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A few weeks ago, the US Central Command announced that an air raid had killed an ISIS chemical weapon expert in Mosul. The ISIS operative, Iraqi engineer Mahmoud al-Sabawi, used to work at Saddam Husseins chemical weapons program before he joined al-Qaeda in Iraq after the 2003 US led invasion.

If ISIS jihadists have a stash of chemical weapons, they wont hesitate to use them on the Kurdish people or anyone else who has challenged their authority. Since President Obama has just asked Congress to for additional war powers to fight ISIS, it is important to know if the enemy has such weapons.

When the Americans invaded Iraq in March 2003, they raided the camps of Ansar al-Islam in northern Iraq and uncovered labs where the group was experimenting with chemicals and poisons. In the meantime, Zarqawi rose up to be the leader of the deadliest insurgency group, named in 2004 to lead al-Qaeda branch in Iraq. Zarqawi was by then able to acquire more resources to continue his chemical weapons program, which included access to Saddam Husseins former engineers, funding from several sources including hostage taking and taxes on businesses, materials from Saddam Husseins looted factories and weapons caches, and lands that insurgents who reported to him controlled.

Zarqawi assigned Abu Mohammed al-Lubnani and an engineer called Ammar al-Ani to handle the chemical weapons profile, said Hisham al-Hashimi, ISIS analyst at the Iraqi National Security Advisor office. Al-Lubnani was Zarqawis second in command.

Special development units were built on farmsto the north of Baghdad. However, all the development experiments failed due to difficulties in acquiring basic manufacturing materials or local replacements. They were also unable to control the strength of the explosion once the chemicals or poisonous stuff burned or melted, added al-Hashimi.


So, we may still find those WMD's the last American President was looking for.

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