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.