Weapons of Mass destruction Charles Feer WMD Instructor Center for Domestic Preparedness Instructor of Criminal Justice Bakersfield College
Weapons of Mass Destruction • Have been around since the 1700s • United Nations classifies three types of WMD • 1) Chemical • 2) Biological • 3) Nuclear
Chemical Weapons • Use various chemical substances, dispersed in liquid, vapor and gas or aerosol form. • Cause sickness, paralysis, unconsciousness or death as a result of physical contact or inhalation.
Biological Weapons • Biological Warfare, also known as Germ Warfare, is the use of any organism (bacteria, virus or other disease-causing organism) or toxin found in nature, as a weapon of war. • It is meant to incapacitate or kill an adversary. • The level of damage depends primarily on the biological agent’s transmissibility, lethality and susceptibility to countermeasures.
Nuclear Weapons • Derive energy from the nuclear reactions of fission and/or fusion to produce large explosions and hazardous radioactive materials. • Nuclear weapons can be delivered by artillery, plane, ship, ballistic missile, etc. and can be either tactical or strategic weapons. • Radiation and radioactive debris affect large populations in surrounding areas, depending on weather conditions.
Radiological Weapons • Also called “dirty bombs” (a type of nuclear weapon) and radiological dispersion devices designed to spread radioactive contamination consisting of a nuclear or conventional explosive and causing radiation sickness, cancer, death and contamination to the target.
Terrorist WMD Aspirations • Extremist organizations continue to seek to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction. • “Terrorist are seeking to get access to facilities and technologies of chemical and bacteriological weapons, radioactive, toxic agents and biological formulas.” • According to Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.
Terrorist WMD Aspirations • Osama Bin Laden has made no secret of his intention to use a weapon of mass destruction. • He has proclaimed it a “religious duty” for Muslim states to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to attack the West. • Insurgents have increased their expertise in making homemade bombs in Afghanistan, thereby adding to the prospect of a “dirty bomb”.
Terrorist WMD Aspirations • If smugglers can smuggle drugs and people into America… • Terrorist groups will smuggle trained terrorists and transport WMDs into the U.S. • “Terrorist groups including al-Qaeda are pursuing the materials to build a nuclear weapon and we know that they have the intent to use one.” • According to Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser.
Terrorist WMD Aspirations • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland and called for immediate global action, to prevent nuclear bomb-making fissile material from falling into the hands of terrorists. • 1993 an al-Qaeda defector (who became a FBI source) revealed that bin Laden tried to buy uranium in Sudan. • 2007 video, bin Laden repeated his promise to use WMD to destroy capitalism and help create an Islamic caliphate.
Nuclear Energy • There are 430 nuclear power reactors in operation in 32 countries. • Radioactive materials are also used extensively in medicine, agriculture, research, manufacturing, non-destructive testing and minerals exploration. • On average, 20 million consignments of all sizes containing radioactive materials are routinely transported worldwide annually on public roads, railways and ships.