NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

12 Oct. 201014 Oct. 2010

NATO looks at chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear aspects in combating terrorism

From 12 to 14 October, some 50 experts are meeting in Brno, the Czech Republic, to discuss chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) aspects in defending against terrorism. One of the central aims is to share information and experiences in CBRN resources used by terrorists and technological developments in protecting against CBR substances.

Presentations are being given on live chemical agents training, training facilities and Czech CBRN-defence products. Participants are also discussing possible military responses in CBR protection and reactions in case of terrorists incidents, as well as the potential for military-civilian cooperation.

Ambassador Jacek Bylica, Head of NATO’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Non-Proliferation Centre, Emerging Security Challenges Division, gave a presentation on current and future threats posed by the potential acquisition and use of WMD and CBRN materials by terrorists.

"The spread of WMD and their means of delivery, and the possibility that terrorists acquire them, are the principal threats facing the Alliance over the next 10-15 years," he said.

"The safety and security of existing CBRN materials remain tentative in many corners of the world. There are indications that terrorists intend to acquire them for malicious purposes."

Improved intelligence sharing, information exchange and cooperation among and between NATO civil-military bodies, NATO and partner countries and international organizations were just some of the ways he said that NATO could enhance its capabilities to defend against CBRN terrorism.

Other steps could include developing highly mobile CBRN defence units and a greater ability to quickly respond to national requests for assistance in protecting against and dealing with the consequences of attacks.

The event, organized by the NATO Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (JCBRN) Defence Centre of Excellence, is being held under the umbrella of NATO’s Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT – POW).

Officially opened in July 2007, this multi-national Centre of Excellence provides advice related to all CBRN defence-related areas, develops CBRN defence doctrines and standards to help improve capabilities and interoperability, provides training, and develops and disseminates lessons learned from operations, exercises and experiments.