Toxic Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons

Paperback | February 28, 2000

EditorJonathan B. Tucker

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Policymakers, scholars, and the news media have been alarmed by the potential for chemical and biological weapons (CBW) terrorism, and the U.S. Congress has allocated billions of dollars for counterterrorism and "consequence management" programs. Driving these concerns are the global spread of scientific knowledge and technology relevant to CBW terrorism and the vulnerability of civilian populations to chemical and biological attacks.

Notably lacking from the analysis, however, has been a careful assessment of the terrorists themselves. What types of terrorist groups or individuals are both capable of acquiring chemical and biological weapons and motivated to use them, and for what purposes? Further, what types of toxic agents would probably be produced, and how would they be delivered?

Answers to these questions would enable policymakers to prepare for the most likely contingencies. To this end, Toxic Terror provides in-depth case studies of twelve terrorist groups and individuals who, from 1946 to 1998, allegedly acquired or employed CBW agents. The cases were researched from primary sources, including court documents, interviews, and declassified government files.

By comparing the twelve cases, the book identifies characteristic motivations and patterns of behavior associated with CBW terrorism and provides an empirical basis for prudent, cost-effective strategies of prevention and response.

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From Our Editors

The potential for chemical and biological weapons — CBW — terrorism is alarming, and the U.S. Congress has allocated billions of dollars for counter-terrorism and "consequence management" programs. Lacking from the analysis, however, is a careful assessment of the terrorists themselves. What types of groups or individuals acquire these...

From the Publisher

Policymakers, scholars, and the news media have been alarmed by the potential for chemical and biological weapons (CBW) terrorism, and the U.S. Congress has allocated billions of dollars for counterterrorism and "consequence management" programs. Driving these concerns are the global spread of scientific knowledge and technology releva...

The late Jonathan B. Tucker was a Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists. He was the editor of Toxic Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons (MIT Press, 2000) and the author of Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox and War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from World War I to Al-Qaeda.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.56 inPublished:February 28, 2000Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262700719

ISBN - 13:9780262700719

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From Our Editors

The potential for chemical and biological weapons — CBW — terrorism is alarming, and the U.S. Congress has allocated billions of dollars for counter-terrorism and "consequence management" programs. Lacking from the analysis, however, is a careful assessment of the terrorists themselves. What types of groups or individuals acquire these weapons and motivates their usage? Why? What types of toxic agents would they produce and how would they deliver them? CBW scholar, Jonathan B. Tucker provides some answers in Toxic Terror , identifying motivations and patterns of behaviour associated with this brand of terrorism.

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Toxic Terror is a balanced and insightful assessment of the most serious threat facing the United States at the dawn of the twenty-first century.