KUWAIT CITY, Feb 20: The missing radioactive material in the Iraqi city of Basra — as reported by Iraqi offi cials and confi rmed by the United States (US), does not only put the Iraqi security agencies on high alert but the security agencies in neighboring countries, reports Al-Rai daily. In Kuwait, the security apparatus and other departments concerned with border security have beefed up security at the borders, lest the radioactive material that could be used in creating an atomic bomb is smuggled into the country.
The revelation also sparked fears over the dangerous materials falling in the hands of terrorist groups such as ISIL.
Therefore, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in cooperation with Kuwait National Guard and the Civil Defense Force has increased the presence at Abdali border entry to prevent possible smuggling of the deadly materials into the country. Sources have said the materials can be smuggled through passengers who exit Iraq and try to enter Kuwait via the land border, noting it could be concealed easily due to its small size.
The same sources noted radioactive equipment have been installed at Kuwait’s border entry, and concerned security personnel and customs officers at Abdali Border Entry are taking no chances in executing their duties.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi security officials in November notified the Atomic Energy Agency about the missing industrial radiography device, which was in a shielded container inside a storage bunker belonging to a US oilfield service company in the southern city of Iraq, Basra.
Iraqi security agencies have since launched extensive search and investigation to determine the circumstances behind the disappearance of the material, which has been classified as Category 2 radioactive material by IAEA.
The US State Department said it was aware of the reports, but there’s no indication that terrorist or other militant groups have ability to acquire.