U.S. President Barack Obama urged world leaders on Friday to keep up efforts to safeguard vulnerable nuclear facilities to prevent terrorist groups like Islamic State from getting their hands on an atomic weapon or a radioactive “dirty bomb.”
Speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Obama said no group has succeeded in obtaining nuclear bomb materials, but al-Qaida has long sought them and Islamic State has already used chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq.
Obama hosted more than 50 leaders from around the globe for his fourth and final summit focused on efforts to lock down atomic materials to guard against nuclear terrorism.
The U.S. president urged fellow leaders not to be complacent about the risk of catastrophe, saying that a nuclear attack by Islamic State or a another terrorist group would “change our world.”
Regarding Islamic State, Obama warned, “There is no doubt that if these madmen ever got their hands on a nuclear bomb or nuclear material, they most certainly would use it to continue to kill as many innocent people as possible.”
The British Daily Telegraph reported on Friday that Islamic State is planning to use drones to spray nuclear material over Western cities in a “dirty bomb” attack.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz traveled to Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit.