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ISIS seizes Saddam's WMD storage facility: British officials

Islamist rebels fighting in Iraq invaded a facility that many suspect was one of former Saddam Hussein's warehouses for old chemical weapons, according to British officials on Thursday.

The Iraqi military and police appear to be unable to withstand the onslaught of jihadists.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Officials from the Obama administration attempted play down the threat by saying the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) won't be able to use anything they found in the Al Muthanna complex. The claimed on Friday that any suspected WMD (weapons of mass destruction) is contaminated and useless as weapons.

"We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible to safely move the materials," the State Department's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

But Psaki also cautioned that Obama officials are still "concerned about the seizure of any military site by the ISIS."

However, some counterterrorism and weapons experts are wary of Psaki's statement. "I'm more concerned with the prospect that these Muslim terrorists have access to formulas or precursors that would enable them to create their own WMD," said former police bomb squad detective Paul Perrone, who specialized in WMD.

According to Britain's MI5 (domestic intelligence), the chemical weapons site was at one time a manufacturing facility for WMD and conventional weapons and ammunition.

The compound was Saddam's secret facility in which his scientists manufactured and warehoused chemical weapons such as sarin gas and mustard gas.

According to one intelligence report, the WMD and the complex's ability to produce chemical or biological agents have been severely reduced as a result of the Iraq wars waged by President George H.W. Bush and later by his son President George W. Bush.

The complex is reportedly now in the hands of ISIS, which is on a jihadi rampage in Iraq and who are supported by the Sunni minority and the national socialists with the Ba'ath Party, from which Saddam Hussein emanated as does Syria's current ruler, Bashar al-Assad.

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