After a recent Islamic State English magazine article claimed that the terrorist group could buy nuclear arms from Pakistan, India's defense minister warned last weekend that ISIS does have the connections and resources needed to purchase nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
At a security conference in Singapore last Saturday, Rao Inderjit Singh, India's Minister of State for Defence, said he's "afraid" that ISIS could possibly gain nuclear capabilities, Bloomberg reported.
"With the rise of ISIS in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear weapon from states like Pakistan," Singh asserted.
The 64-year-old's comments come a week after an ISIS Dabiq article — allegedly written by British hostage John Cantlie — stated that ISIS is "infinitely" closer to purchasing a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and added that the group was capable of smuggling it into the United States.
"The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilayah [province] in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region," the article claims.
The ISIS article further explained that once the group acquired a nuclear weapon, it could transport it to West Africa, ship it over to South America and then smuggle it up to the U.S. border, where militants would blend in with the millions of other illegal immigrants trying to get into the U.S. through the porous southern border.
"Perhaps such a scenario is far-fetched but it's the sum of all fears for western intelligence agencies and it's infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago," the article states. "And if not a nuke, what about a few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive? That's easy enough to make."
Although Singh thinks it is plausible for ISIS to acquire a nuclear weapon from Pakistan, Anthony Glees, director of University of Buckingham's Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said last week that it makes little sense for Pakistan to sell ISIS nuclear weapons.
"It would be suicidal for Pakistan to supply them and suicidal for ISIS to seek to acquire them — it would lead to immediate military intervention," Glees said. "However, it is possible that ISIS might try to acquire nukes from somewhere, but if so, all western intelligence agencies would be on the highest alert to prevent this."
Singh's comments could be an attempt to take the international community's eyes off of the security concerns of India's own nuclear program.
According to Bloomberg, India has been the subject of criticism over its nuclear security, as the Washington-based think tank Nuclear Threat Initiative cited concerns last year over the quantity of India's nuclear material and corruption among government officials.