On June 23rd, the Security and Intelligence Service of The Republic of Moldova (SIS,) disrupted another group of misguided criminal entrepreneurs who have sought to move nuclear materials through Moldova.

Last year, the FBI assisted Moldovan authorities  to interdict smugglers moving nuclear and radiological materials through Moldova who were attempting to sell nuclear materials to Daesh (ISIS) and other Middle Eastern extremists and terrorists. The nuclear material in these cases would serve as a devastating component for a dirty-bomb. The attempt was one five known occasions since 2010, that’s one per year.

Russian Federation intelligence services have remained the primary suspect supplying the Moldovan criminal smuggler networks with nuclear and radiological materials.

Alexandr Agheenco, AKA, “The Colonel,”  a Russian citizen and officer with the Russian FSB, previously known as the KGB – linked by investigators. The Colonel has been at the center of these ongoing smuggling efforts of Russian nuclear and radiological materials and with the highest possible bidders in mind, the networks of well-funded Jihadist groups, such as Daesh and al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, we only know of the cases that have been thwarted, such as the attempted sale of Russian weapons-grade uranium, U-235, and the ‘how-to’ blueprints to construct a dirty bomb to a Sudanese Jihadist, according to Moldovan authorities.

U.S. Representative, Adam Schiff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on the previously recovered materials released a statement,

We know that these radical Islamic groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS would love to get their hands on radioactive materials to fashion some sort of bomb.
We’ve had a number of scenarios since the collapse of the Soviet Union where there have been sales or purported sales. This is a concern with us very much today and unfortunately into the future.

In the vehicle, SIS agents uncovered what they were looking for – dangerous nuclear material, which was even more dangerously transported, in aluminum foil.

SIS agents also recovered counterfeit identification documents, guns and knives. Thus far, the Chisinau Prosecutor has only released that two of the arrested were Moldovan citizens, and the pair will face ten years on the radioactive smuggling charges alone.

The methods of these criminals are not safe, sound and the payoff is most likely not going to cover the lifetime of medical bills for exposure. The ‘fails to long-term plan gang,’ was set to collect only $210,000 and besides the risks, and poor judgment – that amount of money split between them was not going to cover much long-term cancer treatment.