Atommateriale, gass og mikrober som terrorvåpen? - en undersøkelse av terrorgruppers interesse for og bruk av ikke-konvensjonelle våpen
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This report analyses empirical evidence of terrorist and rebel groups’ efforts at acquiring and using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) substances as ‘weapons’. The significant technical and political-ideological obstacles to acquiring and/or developing an effective weapon of mass destruction, based on CBRN substances are described and discussed. Drawing upon the WMD Terrorism Database, produced by Center for Non-Proliferation, Monterey, 41 incidents of serious acquisition attempts and/or use of WMD by non-state groups have been selected, based on specific criteria, and examined in detail. Although the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo alone accounts for a significant number of the recorded incidents (and admittedly the most serious ones), serious cases of CBRN acquisition and/or use by terrorist and rebel groups have occurred in as many as 11 countries. Our analysis shows that religious groups, while representing only a fraction of conventional terrorism, are greatly over-represented among the perpetrating groups, followed by ethnic-separatist groups. Chemical substances constitute the weapon of choice, accounting for more than half of the incidents, followed by biological substances, and radiological material. There are no recorded incidents of terrorist acquisition of weapon grade nuclear substances. Domestic groups account for nearly all attacks. The study also offers a series of case studies of non-state acquisition and/or use of CBRN substances, including Japanese cult ‘Aum Shinrikyo’, radical Islamist al-Qa‘ida (or the bin Laden group). The report recommends increased policy attention to improve national response capacity and preparedness to counter and handle low-scale CBRN terrorist incidents.