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NCJ Number: 182457 Find in a Library
Title: Combating Terrorism: Observations on the Threat of Chemical and Biological Terrorism -- Testimony
Author(s): Henry L. Hinton Jr.
Corporate Author: US Government Accountability Office
National Security and International Affairs Division
United States of America
Date Published: October 20, 1999
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20013
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
Publication Number: GAO/T-NSIAD-00-50
Sale Source: US Government Accountability Office
P.O. Box 37050
Washington, DC 20013
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This testimony before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, presents observations on the threat of chemical and biological terrorism.
Abstract: In most cases terrorists would need to overcome significant technical and operational challenges to successfully make and release chemical or biological agents of sufficient quality and quantity to kill or injure large numbers of people without substantial assistance from a state sponsor. With the exception of toxic industrial chemicals such as chlorine, most chemical and nearly all biological agents that could be used in terrorist attacks require specialized knowledge for their manufacture. Improvising effective delivery devices also requires specialized knowledge. Moreover, some of the necessary components of chemical agents and highly infective strains of biological agents are difficult to obtain. Finally, for a successful attack terrorists may need to overcome other obstacles, such as unfavorable environmental conditions and personal safety risks. A national-level assessment of the risk of chemical and biological terrorism, based on analyses of both the foreign- and domestic-origin threats, could help determine the requirements and priorities for combating terrorism and help target resources where most needed. Notes, figure, references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Counter-terrorism intelligence; Domestic terrorism; International terrorism; State sponsored terrorism; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Terrorist tactics; Terrorist weapons; Threat assessment
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