Iraq is searching for “highly dangerous” radioactive material stolen last year, according to an environment ministry document and seven security, environmental and provincial officials who fear it could be used as a weapon if acquired by Isis.
The material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, went missing in November from a storage facility near the southern city of Basra belonging to US oilfield services company Weatherford, the document obtained by Reuters showed and officials confirmed.
A spokesman for Iraq’s environment ministry said he could not discuss the issue, citing national security concerns. A Weatherford spokesman in Iraq declined to comment, and the company’s Houston headquarters did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
The material, which uses gamma rays to test flaws in materials used for oil and gas pipelines in a process called industrial gamma radiography, is owned by Istanbul-based SGS Turkey, according to the document and officials.