London: After carrying out numerous chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the Islamic State now wants to strike Europe with a 'dirty nuclear bomb', a leading international think-tank on proliferation has said.
The threat of such an attack on Europe using nuclear material is the highest since the end of the Cold War, the International Luxembourg Forum said.
“We know it (ISIS) wants to go further by carrying out a nuclear attack in the heart of Europe,” the Independent quoted the Forum's president Moshe Kantor as saying.
“Poor levels of security at a host of nuclear research centres in the former Soviet Union mean the threat of a possible 'dirty-bomb' attack on a Western capital is high," he added.
The warning comes amid deep concerns that terrorists will try to carry out attacks during the upcoming Euro 2016 football championship in France.
Kantor said that the ISIS cell which carried out the Brussels attacks were believed to be monitoring security arrangements at a Belgian nuclear facility.
"It isn't that hard to build a 'dirty bomb'. They may not kill that many people with such a bomb, but the effect on the environment, the infrastructure and the psychological impact on people would be devastating,” the report quoted ex-British defence secretary Des Browne and a member of the forum as saying.
Around 2,000 metric tons of highly enriched uranium that is being used internationally in civilian and military programmes, could be turned into a nuclear bomb if stolen or diverted, citing the US.