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Global Security Newswire

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

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EU Officials Propose Plan for Preventing WMD Terrorism

The executive branch of the European Union has moved to bolster the coalition's capabilities to prevent and respond to potential terrorist strikes involving weapons of mass destruction, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday (see GSN, May 19).

A set of proposals from the European Commission are intended to block criminals from acquiring sensitive material, tracking such substances before they can be put to bad uses, and minimizing damage if such a weapon is ever employed.

The plan calls for improving mechanisms used to keep tabs on hazardous material, as well as bettering information-sharing by EU states and training for their emergency responders. It includes 130 separate measures that would be integrated over three years.

"Terrorist groups acquiring weapons of mass destruction, including CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) materials is the most frightening scenario," said EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot.

One EU analyst said it would be difficult to deploy a weapon of mass destruction.

"The risks are not that big because it's very difficult to prepare and weaponize these sorts of materials in most cases," the analyst said.

"The seriousness of the potential consequences for our societies is such that we cannot be complacent," advised Barrot in support of the commission's proposed plan (Agence France-Presse/EUbusiness.com, June 24)

NTI Analysis