By: Dr. Marian Kolencik, PhD. President of the Management Board, International Security and Emergency Management Institute


In terms of scale, a CBRN incident may be local but also vast and trans-border and, as such, it may require a fast international reaction. The need of the knowledge related to CBRN threats is evident and strategic to develop adequate countering strategies. Therefore, the Consortium where International Security and Emergency Management Institute was leading partner of the project “Gap analysis on detection of CBRN threats and organization of cross-border exercise” has been assigned by the European Commission within the framework contract to provide a good overview of the scenarios of possible CBRN terrorist attacks and to provide a gap analysis in relation to detection capabilities. The full extent and context of the CBRN threat and the modus operandi of terrorist using a CBRN agent cannot be predicted due to a number of external factors, like the flow of goods, migration, economic and social situation, meteorological conditions, technological development, previous unknown skills of terrorists etc. Despite this fact, the consortium has used all its professional sources and experience to develop 74 potential CBRN realistic worst-case terrorist scenarios. They explore different degrees of realism on how offenders might obtain or produce a CBRN agent and how they might conduct the planned attack by spreading selected agent to the target. In modeling CBRN terrorist scenarios and impact factors, we encountered a higher level of uncertainty. In addition to the undefined factors essential in threats of a natural or technological disaster, terrorist CBRN threats entail new factors of uncertainty emerging from the complexity of evaluating terrorist group approach and values, behavioral logic, type of CBRN agent used, way of their spreading as well as their organizational potential and other resources at their disposal.

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