London: Security experts have warned of a “growing threat” of chlorine bomb attacks by British jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria.

Counterterrorism police believe bombs laced with chlorine, available to buy in large quantities in Britain, have become the “chemical weapon of choice” for Isis fighters.

The chemical can be lethal if inhaled and is strictly controlled in Iraq, but in Britain anyone is allowed to buy 90 tonnes of chlorine without a license.

A quarter of roadside bombs in Tikrit, the city north of Baghdad that was recaptured this year from Isis (also known as Islamic state) by Iraqi forces, contained chlorine.

The chlorine that can be used in bombs is often found in the cylinder on the back of household fridges, prompting calls for ministers to tighten controls on chlorine sales and waste disposal.

Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, who left the military in 2011, told The Times: “Somebody could go to a waste site where people chuck away fridges and get a whole bunch of these things and blow them up”.

Courtesy The Independent