Given Enough Time, Could ISIS Get A Nuclear Weapon?

Secular Talk

The Islamic State group claims its financial situation is flourishing to the point that it is in a position to obtain a nuclear bomb within the coming year, according to the latest issue of the extremist group’s online propaganda magazine Dabiq.

An article is purportedly authored by British ISIS captive John Cantlie, and it concedes that the scenario is a “far-fetched” one, but that the militant group could actually obtain a nuclear device through Pakistan, writes the International Business Times.

“Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table,” writes the ISIS hostage Cantlie.

“The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilayah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region,” writes Cantlie, according to the British newspaper The Independent.

Suicide bombers Kill 14 Outside Pakistani Churches


According to the Associated Press, Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up near two churches in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were inside.  14 people were killed, officials said, and it was the latest attack against religious minorities in the increasingly fractured country.  Zee News of India reports that more than 80 people were injured.

In the tense aftermath, angry mobs lashed out at people they suspected were behind the attacks, and one person was burned to death, according to the Associated Press.

Christian crowds set fire to cars in a show of defiance in the country’s second largest city and the prime minister’s seat of power.

Life in Pakistan is increasingly riddled with danger for religious minorities, especially Christians. They have been targeted by extremist Sunni Muslim militants who object to their faith.

They are also discriminated against in the wider society where they can often only get menial jobs like garbage collection, and are frequently targets of blasphemy accusations, claims the Associated Press.

Militants appear to be targeting minorities more intensively recently, states the AP.  There have been attacks on a string of mosques belonging to members of the Shiite Muslim minority sect.  In 2013, twin blasts at a church in Peshawar killed 85 people.

“There will be more of such attacks,” warned Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for the assault, in a statement emailed to reporters.

Pakistan Authorities Arrest Taliban Militants Involved In School Massacre, Give Credit To Afghanistan For Help

A Pakistani army spokesperson said Thursday that 12 local Taliban militants have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the deadly school attack last year that killed at least 148 people.

The militants were part of what is believed to be a 27-member cell, of which nine others have been killed, according to

Pakistan credited the cooperation of Afghanistan, where six of the militants were arrested.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan has been working closely with the Afghan government to search for the Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, who allegedly ordered the school attack and assigned commanders.

The Pakistani Taliban have a history of fighting against the Pakistani government and have tried to overthrow the authorities and impose Sharia. Since it is the main place of operations of the Taliban, Pakistan has been a focal point of global anti-terrorism efforts.

The Washington Post states that NATO played a role:  “At a news conference on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, the chief spokesman for the Pakistani military announced that six Taliban militants were arrested recently during a joint mission by NATO and Afghan troops in eastern Afghanistan.”


NYT Letter Emphasizes Role Of Pakistan In Helping Afghanistan

A letter to the International New York Times emphasizes the importance of Pakistan in helping Afghanistan. It also mentions the low volume of trade between Iran and Afghanistan due to the American sanctions on Iran.

“America has finally ended its prolonged war in Afghanistan. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan, however, does not mean that US interests in the region will wane. America wants a prosperous, peaceful and stable Afghanistan and knows that after its withdrawal from the region, a war of influence will break out among Pakistan, Iran and India.

“The Afghan state is seeking the holistic support of neighbours to fight terrorist elements, to ensure the continuity of democracy in the country and the stability of its economy. America wants to give a special role to Pakistan to carry out counterterrorism exercises in the region, as it appreciates serious efforts made by Pakistan against terrorism. Americans also know that the presence of India in Afghanistan will damage peace efforts, something which the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, also made clear during the Saarc summit and other forums when he said that ‘Afghanistan will not let its lands be used for proxy war.’

“Pakistan and Iran can play important role in post-Nato Afghanistan for peace and stability of the country as Pakistan has great influence in the Pashtun-dominated areas of southern Afghanistan while Iran enjoys influence in the Tajik and Uzbek populated areas in western Afghanistan.

“But Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations are not ideal due to certain factors, such as the suspended Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, activities of drug mafia near the Pakistan-Iran border, cross-border raids by militants near the Balochistan border and the low trade volume due to American sanctions on Iran. Without resolving these issues, Pakistan and Iran cannot work on mutual defence practices in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s armed forces are making serious efforts to defeat and eradicate terrorism and extremism from the country, their endeavours backed by Afghanistan’s intelligence.

“The new Afghan president aimed to confront security dilemmas faced by Pakistan and Afghanistan during his recent visit to Islamabad. President Ghani wants to bolster security and defence ties with Pakistan, including cooperation in training and border management.

“He is also seeking Pakistan’s help in talks with the Taliban to avoid any instability in post-Nato Afghanistan. Improved bilateral ties with Afghanistan will help Pakistan defeat the TTP and other terrorists who have shelters in Afghan territory. Afghanistan’s recent handover of prominent senior commander of the TTP, Latif Mehsud to the Pakistan government and Afghan military’s operation against the TTP in Kunar are the initial benefits enjoyed by Pakistan which is the result of improving relations between the neighbours.”

Malala Yousafzai Donates $50K To Rebuild Gaza Schools

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Prize. She also just won money for her human rights advocacy, and she’s giving it all away to help children in Gaza rebuild their schools.

Wikipedia states: “On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, Yousafzai boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. One bullet hit the left side of Yousafzai’s forehead, travelled under her skin through the length of her face, and then went into her shoulder.

“In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation.”

Anyone who has been following her story knows that this sort of display of compassion is no surprise.

Floods In Kashmir

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In Indian-administered Kashmir, heavy monsoon rains led to surging floodwaters and the deaths of at least 175 people. Across the disputed border in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, the floods have claimed more than 60 lives, in addition to 131 in Punjab province.  It is the mountainous region’s worst flooding in six decades, submerging hundreds of villages and prompting a crisis that has led to a brief co-operation between India and Pakistan. 

Both countries’ armies have rushed to rescue those stranded. Although rain slowed down over the weekend, thousands of people remain trapped in their homes, and there was initial anger at the lack of warning and government preparedness for the floods, which have become an annual phenomenon.

In the Kashmir Valley, people have been stranded in homes, hospitals, hotels and houseboats, at schools and on highways, many going for days without food.  

Kashmir is an area divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. They have fought three wars, two of them over control of Kashmir, since winning independence from Britain in 1947.  Kashmir has an agrarian economy and there are three main religions in the area: Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  Islam claims the most people.    

In recent history, there was an Islamist-led insurgency that broke out in 1989. India gave the army additional authority to end the insurgency under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The AFSPA still remains in force in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

India has been accused of using chemical weapons in the Kashmir area.  In June 1999, military sources within Pakistan alleged that India had launched shells containing chemical weapons at a Pakistani army position on the Line of Control between the two countries.  India has denied the claims.  

In the summer of 2010, pro-Pakistan and pro-independence public protests erupted, and clashes with Indian security forces left more than 100 people dead.

Historically, Kashmir became known worldwide when Cashmere wool was exported to other regions and nations.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi flew to Kashmir on Sunday and promised about $200 million in relief efforts and compensation for the flood victims.

Behind the current floods is the larger reality of climate change, according to Indian environmentalist Sunita Narain.

Both India and Pakistan are struggling with inadequate infrastructure to deal with such natural disasters.  That has been compounded by a monsoon that each year grows more unpredictable and delivers more and more rain.  “This makes for a double whammy,” said Narain.

Apparently, the American “left” are not the only ones who believe in climate change.