Iraqi officials are looking for “highly dangerous” radioactive material after it was allegedly stolen from a facility near the southern city of Basra, Reuters reports.
Security authorities are concerned that the material’s thief could be making a dirty bomb, which combines nuclear material with other explosives to contaminate an area with radiation.
The material is Category 2 radioactive, which means it could permanently injure or kill a person in close proximity to it for minutes or hours.
“We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of [ISIS],” a senior security official told Reuters.
The material has been missing since November, authorities have said, and it was taken from a U.S. oilfield-services company’s storage facility. It was stored in a case about the size of a laptop. Read more.