The goal of the desk is to engage in research in the field of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism in all its aspects (strategic, operative and technological); to monitor continuously the data concerning events and developments in the field of CBRN terrorism; and help in the education and training on this subject at IDC and elsewhere.
Dr. Ely Karmon is head of the desk; Dr. Gad Frishman is ICT Senior Researcher with expertise in the scientific and technological aspects; Ms. Alexandra David and Mr. Alon Mandel are assistant researchers following at the same time a PhD track. The desk receives support from ICT's Jihadi Monitoring Team headed by Mr. Michael Barak.
Dr. Karmon is also teaching an M.A. CBRN terrorism course at The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) assisted by Ms. Alexandra David. The course can serve as a pool of interns and volunteers to support research at ICT.
At present the CBRN Team is engaged in a long term research concerning the threat of chemical and biological terrorism stemming from the situation in the Syrian civil war. In this framework the ICT has published two papers: "Syria's Chemical Weapons - The Terrorism Threat," by the CBRN Team and "Foreign Fighter Involvement In Syria," by ICT Research Assistant Ms. J. Skidmore.
ICT has entered in cooperation with the Institute for Security Policy (ISPK) in Kiel, Germany for the research of the phenomena of Foreign Fighters in Syria, which will possibly include also the CBRN aspects.
The plan to disarm Syrian chemical weapons is unrealistic, not least because they are the Assad regime's doomsday weapon to preserve the survival of its own Alawite community.
First published by Haaretz
This report is the first part of an ICT project intended to evaluate the threat of proliferation of Syrian chemical weapons to local and regional terrorist organizations and beyond. The report includes information on the status of chemical weapons in Syria and their use updated to mid-June 2013 and an addendum presenting the main points of the United States and French intelligence communities' evaluation concerning the August 21, 2013 chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus.
Since the uprising began in Syria in March 2011, more than 100,000 people have been killed, 1.6 million people have fled the country becoming refugees, and 4.25 million people are internally displaced. President Assad faces opposition from the Free Syrian Army as well as a coalition opposition group called the Syrian National Coalition. The United States military believes that there are 50 chemical weapon and production sites across the country with one of the main centers at Al Safir that could be at risk
In light of the revolutionary events and the growing instability in much of the Greater Middle East and South Asia and the growing threat of failing states losing control on their chemical, biological and nuclear assets, an international effort to monitor, control and foil CBRN terrorist attacks is vital for the security of the international community.
IDSA 14th Asian Security Conference: Non-Traditional Security Challenges - Today and Tomorrow (New –Delhi, India 13-15 February 2012)