(FOX News) -- Iraqi jihadists have grabbed 88 pounds of uranium compounds from a Mosul University science lab, but U.S. and international weapons experts are downplaying the possibility the deadly toxins could be used to make a so-called "dirty bomb."
The material, believed to be low-grade, unenriched uranium mixed with other elements, was taken from a science lab at Mosul University by ISIS, the terrorist group that took over Iraq's second-largest city last month and has vowed to attack Baghdad. Iraq notified the UN in a July 8 letter which sought international help to "stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad," according to Reuters, which saw the letter.
Although the material is not believed to be weaponized, and ISIS does not have known missile delivery capability, the theft stoked fear that a dirty bomb - a primitive explosive used to disseminate radioactive material - could be fashioned from the uranium compounds.
"There is theoretically the potential for a dirty bomb,” Daryl Kimball, of the Arms Control Association in Washington, told FoxNews.com, explaining that such bombs are more effective at scaring people than killing them. "It explodes and the terrorist is banking on the fear factor of radiation. That’s what we are looking at here at worst.”