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Violent non-state actors (VNSA) continue to weaponize Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear materials (CBRN). Rising to infamy with al-Qaeda, the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is a significant objective for VNSA. Al-Qaeda looked to achieve this capability through state sponsorship, due to inability to advance unassisted. Similarly, the Aum Shinrikyo group was able to develop CBRN capabilities with assistance. WMD once again emerged as a primary concern during the Syrian Civil War. According to available information, VNSA have been unable to produce a deliverable CBRN weapon on their own. Currently, neither UN nor White House’s policies address developing gaps in WMD acquisition prevention. This paper will address growing concerns about the United States’ ability to counter the acquisition of WMD by VNSA while offering several options for policy makers.
Article by: Adam Schmitz