Browse Content

Access to all available CNS-related nonproliferation material online and in print.
Updated: Sep 28, 2011

Terrorism

All CNS nonproliferation content on terrorism, including nuclear terrorism.

Jump to: Books | WMD Terrorism | U.S. Response | Group Profiles | Chronologies | Agroterrorism | Database

Books

Cover image The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism
Warns that substandard security at nuclear facilities in Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and Pakistan increases the risk of terrorists seizing highly enriched uranium to make crude, but devastating, nuclear explosives.
By Charles D. Ferguson, William C. Potter, Amy Sands, Leonard S. Spector, and Fred L. Wehling.
Top

WMD Terrorism

Outside Publications
Two treaties. One Congress. No time to wait.
Congress has a chance to take real steps to reduce the risks of nuclear terrorism -- if only they would act.
Watch video [ Image: Dr. Michael Freeman ]
Video | Seminar
Understanding the Rationality of Terrorist Violence
Dr. Michael Freeman, Assistant Professor, Defense Analysis Department, Naval Postgraduate School.
Nuclear Terrorism Threats and Responses
A paper by Cristina Hansell is part of a forthcoming publication entitled Future of the Nuclear Security Environment in 2015: Proceedings.
Beyond UNSCR 1540: the Forging of a WMD Terrorism Treaty
A number of factors, including US presidential elections, may open opportunities to negotiate a treaty combating WMD terrorism and initiate steps toward nuclear weapons disarmament.
A CNS Feature Story by Johan Bergenäs.
CNS Researcher Speaks on Nuclear Terrorism at Russian Duma
On September 27, an international seminar on Countering Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism was held at the Russian State Duma. CNS researcher Cristina Chuen provides an overview of the presentations and recommendations made at the event.
A CNS Feature Story by Cristina Chuen.
From the Horse's Mouth: Unraveling Al-Qa`ida's Target Selection Calculus
Al-Qa`idas primarily selects economic targets to derail the American economy, to sever American and Muslim alliances, and to remove all Western influence from the Middle East.
A CNS Feature Story by Sammy Salama and David Wheeler
Recent Weapons Grade Uranium Smuggling Case: Nuclear Materials are Still on the Loose
Recent reports of the seizure of weapons-grade uranium from traffickers in Georgia raise concerns about poor cooperation against nuclear terrorism.
A CNS Feature Story
Special Report: Manual for Producing Chemical Weapon to Be Used in New York Subway Plot Available on Al-Qaeda Websites Since Late 2005
an article by Sammy Salama for WMD Insights.
WMD Commission Report
The WMD Commission Chairman Hans Blix recently presented the Commission's report to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The full report is available on the WMDC website. CNS researchers contributed numerous papers and studies to the proceedings of the Commission.
The real chemical threat
An op-ed by Paul F. Walker and Jonathan B. Tucker for the Los Angeles Times.
Does Intent Equal Capability? Al-Qaeda and Weapons of Mass Destruction [PDF format]
A report by Sammy Salama and Lydia Hansell for the Fall-Winter 2005 issue of The Nonproliferation Review.
Chart: Al-Qa`ida's WMD Activities
The following table provides a comprehensive listing of reports concerning al-Qa`ida's involvement with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons in the period between 1997 and 2005.
Osmium Tetroxide - a New Chemical Terrorism Weapon?
Serving legitimate functions in biological research and in specialized chemical industry, osmium tetroxide's suitability as a terrorist agent - a dual use compound - is limited, despite the characterizations of it generating "chemical fallout."
CNS Feature Story by Michelle Baker and Dr. Margaret E. Kosal.
Chronology of Incidents Involving Ricin
The use of ricin, a deadly toxin derived from the castor bean, marks the second case in three years where someone has sent mail containing a toxic substance to the offices of the country's most senior lawmakers.
The Historical Roots of Current Terrorist Tactics and Methods
To best understand these tactics, one needs to return to the roots of the Shi'i-Sunni conflict and explore how early Islamic history continues to impact the attitudes and religious interpretations of militant extremist Islamist groups.
Feature Story by Sammy Salama and Kathleen Thompson.
2002 Conventional Terrorism Chronology: Incidents Involving Sub-National Actors Resulting in Death or Injury [PDF]
By Wayne Turnbull
2002 WMD Terrorism Chronology: Incidents Involving Sub-National Actors and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Materials [PDF]
By Wayne Turnbull and Praveen Abhayaratne.
This chronology covers incidents worldwide involving criminal or ideological motivations, including hoaxes and pranks.
Ricin Found in London: An al-Qa`ida Connection?
In January, British authorities arrested seven men suspected of producing ricin in their north London apartment. At least one had attended an al-Qa`ida training camp in Afghanistan.
Islamist Terrorist Threat in the Tri-Border Region
The tri-border region of South America received little attention as a locus of terrorist activity despite a recent history of Islamist terrorist activity. But this region, which already has a history of mass casualty Islamic terrorism, is also an area of concern.
An issue brief by Jeffrey Fields for the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
"Suitcase Nukes": A Reassessment
Attention to portable nuclear devices ("suitcase nukes") peaked in 1997-early 1998 following well-publicized allegations that an unknown number of these weapons could not be accounted for. This paper assesses the threat that a number of them could have fallen into the hands of terrorists or states that support them.
Feature Story.
2001 WMD Terrorism Chronology
By Adam Dolnik and Jason Pate.
This chronology covers incidents worldwide involving criminal or ideological motivations, including hoaxes and pranks.
"Dirty Bomb" Threat Awakens Dormant Disarmament Conference
"If an international institution's efficiency is partly determined by its ability to respond to external shocks and crises, the Jose Padilla controversy may help revive the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD)."
Feature Story by Daniil Kobyakov and Nicolas Florquin.
The Real Sum of All Fears
An op-ed for the Los Angeles Times by William Potter and Leonard Spector.
Occasional Paper #8: After 9/11: Preventing Mass-Destruction Terrorism and Weapons Proliferation
The papers in this collection examine the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, and analyze U.S. and international responses to 9/11. They also propose measures to avert terrorism and to reduce mass-destruction threats to U.S. and international security.
Michael Barletta, ed.
Keeping Track of Anthrax: The Case for a Biosecurity Convention
An article by Michael Barletta, Amy Sands, and Jonathan B. Tucker, for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Major Conventional Terrorist Incidents 1980s to 2000
Would They If They Could?
An article on WMD terrorism by Gary Ackerman and Laura Snyder for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Deconstructing the Chem-Bio Threat
Testimony by Amy Sands for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen
A book by Eric Croddy.
Testimony of Leonard S. Spector
The November 14, 2001 testimony of Leonard S. Spector before the Subcommittee on International Security, Nonproliferation, and Federal Services, on improving the effectiveness of U.S. nonproliferation programs in the successor states of the former Soviet Union.
Future Security Threats & Capabilities
Listen to a Commonwealth Club talk with Jason Pate (Scroll down to recent forums).
CBW Terrorism Additional Resources
Anthrax: Background Report
Roundtable on the Implications of the September 11, 2001, Terrorist Attacks for Nonproliferation and Arms Control
A special report for the Nonproliferation Review, CNS, Vol. 8.3.
Strengthening Nuclear Security Against Terrorists and Thieves Through Better Training [PDF format]
A report for the Nonproliferation Review, CNS, Vol. 8.3.
by George Bunn, Fritz Steinhausler, and Lyudmila Zaitseva
Overview of Weapons of Mass Destruction Capabilities in the Middle East and South Asia
If the United States starts military actions against either Afghanistan or Iraq, its forces will be operating in a region of the world where many countries have weapons of mass destruction (WMD), or are seeking to develop them.
United States Seeks Pakistan's Assistance
Attention is turning to the role Pakistan can play in assisting a U.S. military strike on Afghanistan and in capturing alleged terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden.
February 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City
"The February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City marked the beginning of an ugly new phase of terrorism involving the indiscriminate killing of civilians."
Issues and Analysis: Assessing the Threat of WMD Terrorism
Jason Pate and Gary Ackerman
2000 WMD Terrorism Chronology: Incidents Involving Sub-National Actors and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear Materials
Jason Pate, Gary Ackerman, and Kimberly McCloud
This chronology covers incidents worldwide involving criminal or ideological motivations, including hoaxes and pranks.
Bioterrorism: Legal Initiatives for Prevention/Deterrence
Washington D.C. Office 2001 Briefing Series, April 17, 2001.
Will We Be Ready?
"Whether it's a bioterrorist hoax or the real thing, Canada is unprepared." An op-ed by Gary Ackerman and Jeffrey Allan for The Globe and Mail.
Chronology of Aum Shinrikyo's CBW Activities
"Six years ago, on March 20, 1995, five members of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) boarded subway trains in Tokyo, Japan, and released the deadly chemical nerve agent sarin." A report by Tim Ballard, Jason Pate, Gary Ackerman, and Sean Lawson.
Allegations of WMD Terrorism
Washington D.C. Office 2001 Briefing Series, March 13, 2001.
WMD Terrorism and Usama Bin Laden
"The current trial of Usama Bin Laden and others for the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar al-Salaam, Tanzania, has shed new light on the efforts of Bin Laden and his terrorist organization, Al-Qa'ida ("The Base"), to acquire weapons of mass destruction."
1999 WMD Terrorism Chronology: Incidents Involving Sub-National Actors and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Materials
by Gavin Cameron, Jason Pate, Diana McCauley, & Lindsay DeFazio, Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 2000
Mass Casualty Terrorism: Myths & Realities
Washington D.C. Office 2000 Briefing Series, April 14, 2000.
Toxic Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons
Assessing the Risk of Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation to Terrorists
Jean Pascal Zanders, Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 6, No. 4, Fall 1999
Historical Trends Related to Bioterrorism: An Empirical Analysis
Emerging Infectious Diseases, July/August 1999
by Jonathan B. Tucker
Are Suitcase Nukes on the Loose?
A paper analyzing Alexander Lebed's claim that 100 suitcase-sized atomic weapons were unaccounted for in the Russian nuclear arsenal.
Information Warfare: Hype or Reality? [PDF format]
A viewpoint for the Nonproliferation Review, CNS, Vol. 6.3.
by E. Anders Eriksson.
Top

U.S. Domestic Preparedness and Response to Terrorism

Literature Review of Existing Terrorist Behavior Modeling (PDF format, 1.7 MB)
Art or Bioterrorism? The Implications of the Kurtz Case
In the war against terrorism, neither art, science, nor democracy should be an unintended casualty.
CNS Feature Story by Margaret E. Kosal.
Bioterrorism Threat Assessment and Risk Management Workshop [PDF]
Final Report and Commentary presented to the U.S. Department of Energy on June 24, 2003 by Raymond A. Zilinskas (Rapporteur).
Biosecurity Measures for Preventing Bioterrorism
This essay and the companion research collection provide an introduction to biosecurity measures, a key element among policy efforts to address the threat of bioterrorism.
Feature Story by Michael Barletta.
Legislative Response to Potential Bioterrorist Threat
On June 12, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the "Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002." The new law seeks to significantly increase America's ability to prepare for, prevent, detect and respond to bioterrorism in an efficient and coordinated manner.
Feature Story by Kristin Thompson.
Vaccinate Saddam Against Invasion?
An Op-Ed for the International Herald Tribune by Leonard S. Spector.
Anthrax And Mass-Casualty Terrorism: What is the Bioterrorist Threat After September 11?
An article by Jason Pate for the U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, Vol. 6, No. 3, November 2001.
Future Security Threats & Capabilities
Listen to a Commonwealth Club talk with Jason Pate (Scroll down to recent forums).
Improving Infectious Disease Surveillance to Combat Bioterrorism and Natural Emerging Infections
Testimony by Jonathan B. Tucker, Ph.D, before the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.
Assessing the Threat of Mass-Casualty Bioterrorism
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have shown that the threat of mass-casualty terrorism has reached the United States. The subsequent series of anthrax letters has demonstrated that biological terrorism is a reality. These two developmentsmass-casualty attacks and the use of biological agentshave signaled a new era in terrorism in the United States. An issue brief by Jason Pate and Gary Ackerman for the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
Special Section on the September 11, 2001, Attacks: Interview with Ambassador Robert G. Joseph
An interview for the Nonproliferation Review, CNS, Vol. 8.3.
by Leonard S. Spector
U.S. Federal Funding to Combat Terrorism
Lists funding to various federal agencies in order to combat terrorism, including defense against weapons of mass destruction.
Better Plan Needed for Curbing Epidemics
"Even though the United States has the most extensive disease surveillance and response system in the world, there are gaps in its ability to detect outbreaks early, as the 1999 West Nile virus outbreak illustrated." An Op-Ed for Newsday by Jason Pate.
America and the "New Terrorism": Reassessing the Threat
Washington D.C. Office 2000 Briefing Series, August 9, 2000.
Combating Terrorism: Assessing Threats, Risk Management, and Establishing Priorities
Testimony by John Parachini before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations.
Combating Terrorism: Assessing the Threat
Congressional Testimony by John V. Parachini
Assessing the Threat of Bioterrorism
Congressional Testimony by Raymond Zilinskas
Top

Terrorist Group Profiles

In light of the U.S. focus on Afghanistan and the Taliban in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, CNS has developed profiles of selected terrorist organizations operating in Afghanistan.

Chart: Al-Qa`ida's WMD Activities
The following table provides a comprehensive listing of reports concerning al-Qa`ida's involvement with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons in the period between 1997 and 2005.
Al-Qa`ida and Weapons of Mass Destruction
The world's media have reported no less than 56 separate incidents involving al-Qa`ida and WMD, 36 of which have come to light since September 2001.
Debunk the myth of Al Qaeda
WMD Terrorism and Usama Bin Laden
Al-Qaida
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Al-Jihad al-Islami
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya
Top

Terrorism Chronologies

2002 Conventional Terrorism Chronology
WMD Terrorism Chronologies:
2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999
Top

Agroterrorism

Agroterrorism Resource Page
Resources on Agroterrorism, including state-programs and chronology of incidents involving agroterrorism since 1915.
Biological Terrorism Targeted at Agriculture: The Threat to US National Security [PDF format]
A viewpoint for the Nonproliferation Review, CNS, Vol. 7.3.
by Rocco Casagrande
Top

Terrorism Database

WMD Terrorism Database Access Page
Systematically monitors incidents around the world involving the acquisition and/or use by sub-state actors of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), defined as chemical, biological, or nuclear materials.
Contact MonTREP (wmdt@miis.edu) for subscriptions or other information.
Return to Top