Fact or fiction: Is ISIS using chemical weapons against its enemies? New headlines echo plot lines of “The Third Target.”

Fact or fiction? Releases January 6th.

Fact or fiction? Releases January 6th.

Chilling new headlines — and gruesome new photographs — from the Middle East increasingly suggest ISIS not only has chemical weapons, but may already be using them against its enemies in the region.

Thus, disturbing new questions are being raised:

  • Are these reports and photographs legit?
  • If so, where did ISIS get the weapons?
  • How many WMDs do they have?
  • What are their next targets?
  • Could the U.S. and Israel bit hit with chemical weapons soon?

As readers of this blog know, these are fictional plot lines in my forthcoming thriller, The Third Target, which releases in the U.S. and Canada on January 6th.

In the novel, a New York Times reporter pursues rumors that ISIS has captured chemical weapons in Syria and is preparing a genocidal attack against an unknown target.

In August, however, it appeared the premise of my novel had been overtaken by events. The U.S. government declared that it had completed the destruction of all of Syria’s chemical weapons. Thus, it seemed impossible that ISIS could capture such weapons.

But in September, officials in the Obama administration began to backpedal. They started to publicly express doubts that all the Syrian WMDs had been disclosed and destroyed. This raised fears that that Assad regime or ISIS or other Radical jihadist groups could seize such weapons and use them against their enemies. That led me to write a blog on September 11th headlined, “What If ISIS Obtains Chemical Weapons?”

Now, in mid-October, we are getting reports that ISIS has indeed captured chemical warheads, and may be using them against the Kurds in Iraq.

What’s more, we’re hearing reports that even though for more than a decade the Western media told us there were no WMD in Iraq, that such weapons were there after all. A newly published New York Times investigation this week reports the following: “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

There are also reports that ISIS forces have captured a chemical weapons production facility in Iraq, and may be using Iraqi WMD against the Kurds.

At the moment, I’m not sure we can say definitively whether ISIS has such deadly weapons. But I wanted to bring the latest headlines to your attention.

For my part, I pray the reports are not true, and that The Third Target remains merely a work of fiction.

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