Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Interpol Stands Up Nuclear Counterterrorism Unit
Interpol on Wednesday said it has a established a unit to take on terrorism threats involving nuclear, radiological and other unconventional materials (see GSN, Sept. 28, 2010).
The Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit "crucially will expand the world police body’s antibioterrorism activities to take in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) threats by using an integrated approach that leverages international partnerships and expertise across all sectors," according to an Interpol release (see GSN, Feb. 24, 2010).
The update acknowledges the dangers that weapons of mass destruction pose to the 188 nations that participate in Interpol, organization Secretary General Ronald Noble said during a conference in Lyon, France, on preventing nuclear and radiological terrorism.
“Only one week after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States was struck once again with the ‘anthrax case’, in which a single individual with scientific knowledge and access to the right biological strain was able to murder five people, injure 17 and temporarily shut down the entire mail system of the United States for an estimated loss of $1 billion, while terrorizing other countries in the process,” he said.
The primary goal of the event and of the new unit, Noble said, is “to build police capacity globally, to prevent the next bioterrorist attack. This objective requires police to have at its side the public, private and scientific sectors together as one in order to successfully address the whole threat spectrum."
One database developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Interpol and other organizations lists in excess of 2,500 incidents linked to the illicit movement of nuclear and radiological materials, the Interpol release states.
The updated counter-WMD effort at Interpol "will combine intelligence analysis via global information sharing, capacity building and training, and will also provide operational support through the deployment of specialized teams," the organization said (Interpol release, May 18).
March 20, 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.
March 5, 2013