NEW DELHI: Following an Intelligence Bureau alert, the Ministry of Home Affairs has warned all state governments that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may attempt to procure a chemical called thallium sulfate from a Gujarat-based company in order to carry out a chemical attack.The IB’s communication to the MHA said the terror outfit might employ a Turkey-based middleman to purchase the chemical, according to the letter accessed by TNIE.
“Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) may attempt to purchase thallium sulfate from the Indian firm (name withheld). ISIS may also attempt to obscure the true end-user of the transfer by using an Istanbul, Turkey-based middleman named Mohammad Yasir al-Shuma,” the communication said.
According to the note, thallium sulfate is a common source of thallium for use in laboratories but it can also be used to poison food and water.
Security forces fighting the ISIS terrorists in Mosul had found documents suggesting the terrorists had tested thallium sulfate on prisoners.“Thallium sulfate is also used as rodenticide and is poisonous to humans. During the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control, coalition forces discovered ISIS documents indicating the group had experimented with using thallium sulfate to poison food and water supplies,” the Intelligence Bureau note said.
“It is assessed that ISIS may divert any thallium sulfate purchased from an Indian firm for future chemical attacks. The issue may be investigated and this firm and other Indian chemical firms be sensitised to the proliferation potential of supplying toxic chemicals to end-users in and around ISIS-controlled territory,” the IB warned.
Thallium sulfate is widely regarded as a very poisonous chemical and it has been banned by many western countries in products for home use.The chemical was used in Israel to control the rodent population in 1950. A dosage in excess of 500 mg can be fatal. Thallium sulfate, after entering the bloodstream, concentrates itself in the kidney, liver, brain, and tissues of the body.