New Delhi, June 1: Last week an in-house magazine of the ISIS claimed that it would obtain nuclear weapons from Pakistan. While there is not an iota of doubt that rogue scientists in Pakistan are capable of selling nuclear technology to terrorist groups, it still is a difficult proposition, security experts in India say.
India has, however, expressed a great deal of concern and at an event in Singapore, India's Minister of State for Defence, Rao Inderjit Singh said that ISIS could obtain a nuclear weapon from states like Pakistan.
"With the rise of the ISIS in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear arsenal from states like Pakistan," the minister also pointed out.
Can the ISIS really buy nuclear weapons?
The ISIS has termed the purchasing of nuclear weapons as a "hypothetical operation." It had stated last week in an in-house magazine that it could procure nuclear weapons from corrupt officials and scientists in Pakistan.
While there is no doubt that there are rogue officials in Pakistan who could sell nuclear weapons to the ISIS, the other issue on hand is how much is the terror group willing to shell out. The group is worth 2 billion dollars in terms of assets and has 400 million dollars in cash.
This would mean that they would buy the smaller nuclear weapons. It would also largely depend on how they will be able to strike a deal with the rogue scientists and corrupt officials in Pakistan.
The ISIS, like the Taliban in Afghanistan, seeks to go beyond a terrorist group. They want to rule a country and not sit on the sidelines like the Al-Qaeda and carry out specific attacks. Hence for an ISIS or a Taliban it becomes all the more necessary to talk big and as part of its propaganda claim that it can access nuclear weapons too.
The Taliban had made a similar claim when the US attacked it in Afghanistan. The Taliban had claimed that the Stealth Bombers from the US would need to watch out as they had with them nuclear power.
However, during the duration of the entire war not once did they use their nuclear power and only later on did the world realized that the Taliban was pulling a fast one as part of its propaganda war.
Why is India concerned?
India has every reason to be concerned about the claim by the ISIS that it is able to source nuclear weapons. Although top officials in Delhi part of the intelligence circles know that this claim is only part of the propaganda, there is still a need to keep a close watch.
Security experts say that there are rogues in Pakistan capable of selling smaller weapons with nuclear capabilities to the ISIS. Pakistan may just turn a blind eye to such deals if they are able to use the ISIS as a proxy against India. Moreover the ISIS is also attempting to establish itself in Afghanistan and if they are on board with the Pakistan's ISI then there is a good chance of the weapons being made available to them.
However for now India needs to keep a close watch. In the immediate future, there may be no weapons deal between the Pakistani scientists and the ISIS. A lot would depend on how the ISI plans on handling the ISIS. At the moment both are not on the same page.
What has the ISIS claimed:
In an article published by the ISIS, it claims that it is collecting billions of dollars to buy nuclear weapons. The ISIS says that it would buy the weapons from Pakistan and has contacted several corrupt officials and arms dealers who would provide them with these weapons.
Further the ISIS also says that the weapons would be transported through Libya an Nigera. If these routes can be used to move arms and drugs, then there is no problem to transport nuclear weapons also the ISIS claims.
The ISIS also claims that the nuclear devise would land in South America and then be taken to Mexico. It would then moved to the United States of America where it would be used, the ISIS has also claimed.