The possibility of terrorists acquiring and using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons has become a matter of serious concern, in light of reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has used chemical weapons; that it could be in possession of radiological materials and could also be contemplating to buy a nuclear weapon as claimed in an article in ISIS’ magazine Dabiq. This issue of CTTA examines the possibility of the acquisition or development of CBRN weapons by terrorists and what concerned agencies need to do to not only prevent the same, but to also manage the consequences in the event of an attack.
Shahzeb Ali Rathore discusses how ISIS might succeed in doing what Al Qaeda could not in terms of its ability to carry out a CBRN attack. He argues that ISIS might succeed in assembling a crude dirty bomb, i.e., a bomb which relies on conventional explosives combined with radiological material, by using dual-use material stolen from sensitive facilities.
Using prospect theory, Kyler Ong examines the probability of North Korea selling or supplying nuclear materials to terrorists especially to groups like ISIS.
Benjamin E. Martin’s article highlights the deficiencies in the current regimes, especially the Nuclear non- proliferation Treaty (NPT), in preventing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists. The threat is further amplified by the physical and logistical vulnerability of nuclear stockpile facilities in a number of countries.
Devi Kalyan Mishra provides an overview of the threat of bioterrorism from a public health perspective, highlighting the need for promotive, preventive and curative intervention mechanisms to mitigate the consequences of a bio-terror attack. He further notes that the effectiveness of such a response is contingent upon the availability of resources and the existing public health infrastructure, including the presence of well-trained responders and effective coordination across the various concerned agencies.
Commentaries / Conflict and Stability / Cybersecurity, Biosecurity and Nuclear Safety / East Asia and Asia Pacific / Global / Middle East and North Africa (MENA) / South Asia / Southeast Asia and ASEAN / Terrorism Studies
Last updated on 14/03/2018