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NCJ Number: 201422 Find in a Library
Title: Challenge of Biological Terrorism (From Bioterrorism in the United States: Threat, Preparedness, and Response, P 1-26, 2000, Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute, -- See NCJ-201421)
Corporate Author: Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI)
United States of America
Project Director: Michael Moodie
Date Published: November 2000
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI)
Washington, DC 20009
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
Contract Number: 200-1999-00132
Sale Source: Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute (CBACI)
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview; Technical Assistance
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper proposes elements for a multi-factor assessment of the threat of biological terrorism.
Abstract: It advises that a threat assessment of biological terrorism is required to reduce the uncertainty that currently permeates the debate over bioterrorism. A cost-effective, coordinated plan of defense requires that the nature of the threat be systematically addressed after a thorough analysis of its complexity. A good threat assessment will create a "threat envelope" that describes the most plausible contingencies and identifies those possibilities that fall within it, as well as those that lie outside. A framework for thinking about the bioterrorism threat requires that the threat be cast more in the nature of a forecast than a prediction; i.e., it should identify the ranges of probability of something happening, while recognizing that those ranges can sometimes be quite wide. An analytical framework for thinking about the biological terrorism threat must be composed of several elements, since the threat is not unidimensional. This paper identifies the key elements of the bioterrorism threat as the "who" (the actor), the "what" (the agent), the "where" (the target), and the "how" (the mode of attack). Each of these elements, in turn, entails a significant number of possibilities. These key components of the threat assessment must be pulled together into an integrated assessment that provides the basis for formulating policy and program requirements for an effective national response. The analysis that constitutes such an integration, however, must be informed by several important considerations that include the impact of change, the "lessons" of history, and the evaluation of bioterrorism "pathways." The latter issue involves a systematic identification of plausible relationships between factors and outcomes. The application of the "pathways" methodology for the purposes of this report yielded several important findings that should inform efforts to develop an effective health and medical dimension to the Nation's overall capabilities to respond to bioterrorism. These findings are presented and discussed.
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Biological weapons; Counter-terrorism tactics; Terrorist tactics; Terrorist weapons; Threat assessment
Note: Downloaded July 31, 2003.
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