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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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British Officials See Need for Stronger Biological Strike Preparations

Bolstering the United Kingdom's biological-weapon identification, medical response and cleanup capabilities is a priority among the country's intelligence and security staff, the British Home Office said on Tuesday in findings reported by the London Telegraph.

The danger of violence from Islamic extremists has expanded internationally and demands "very significant resources" to battle, the yearly review indicates.

The United Kingdom in 2012 started to implement controls on an updated catalog of biological materials in a bid to “ensure that dangerous pathogens and toxins that are required in important medical and scientific research are used and held securely," the document says.

“Biological [attacks] will get easier from a terrorist point of view,” Charles Farr, head of the United Kingdom's interagency Security and Counterterrorism Office, said in separate comments coinciding with the assessment's publication. He cited factors including the "greater availability of technology" and related knowledge.

Meanwhile, British authorities uncovered chlorine and cyanide precursors while searching the residence of a man who told his therapist he harbored "violent fantasies" and was planning a biological strike, the Press Association reported, citing trial proceedings.

The computer of 41-year-old Duncan Railton purportedly included records from Internet research into chlorine, cyanide and VX nerve agent production methods.

NTI Analysis

  • Sub-Saharan Africa 1540 Reporting

    Jan. 9, 2014

    The UNSCR 1540 implementation process in sub-Saharan Africa has been slow. As of October 2011, 26 of the 48 states in the region have submitted 1540 national reports.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean 1540 Reporting

    Nov. 8, 2013

    This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to-date.

Country Profile

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United Kingdom

This article provides an overview of the United Kingdom’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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