13 Apr 2022


Terrorism and WMDs Threat Agents

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1125

Pages: 3

Downloads: 0

In this modern age, the greatest challenge that may arise within a country’s strategy is as a result of terrorism both local and international terrorism. Terrorism has become more rampant in these days, with the ability to cross the borders thus causing terror throughout the world. As a result of the 11th of September 2001 attacks, terror groups were able to gain a completely renewed focus. Today it is possible that terror groups such as the Al-Qaeda and ISIS among other groups can access deadly weapons such as weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). WMD encompasses nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological weapons, which not only vary regarding their availability but also their effects. Terrorists may prefer to use chemical and biological weapons simply because they may be easy to make ( Khan, et al. 2000) . This is because after an invasion in Afghanistan by the American Forces in an Al-Qaida base they discovered that the group was in the process of making biological and chemical weapons which are both WMDs. So far chemical weapons have already caused huge damages, for instance, the attacks at Aum Shinrikyo nerve gas Tokyo subway attacks in 1997 among others. Also, an arrest was made by the FBI in the year 2008 of one Roger Bergendorff. Roger was found with anarchist literature and ricin. Ricin inhibits synthesis of proteins thus killing the cells. Within a few days of contact with racin, the kidneys, spleen and the liver of an individual ingesting or inhaling ricin fail thus causing death. If terrorists manage to use it, the worlds’ population will be at risk since WMDs wipe out scores of people thus cause complications to human system as well. In this context analyzing the WMDs used by terror groups will be of great value. 

One of the most potentially devastating WMDs that are used by terrorists is Chemical weapons, which is a global threat. Chemical weapons are among the easiest WMDs to be made simply because they have simple requirements to be built. Chemical agents which are toxic such as phosgene and chlorine (the first ones to be used ever in history during World War One) are readily available. Resources needed and the skills to build and acquire this WMD are also available especially in the states that are already industrialized. Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) defines chemical weapons as toxic substances that are contained within any delivery system such as shell or bomb. A chemical weapon includes all the precursors that are capable of causing injury, death, sensory irritation, or temporary incapacitation via the chemical action that it has (Abramson III, 2012). Chemical weapons may include VX, tabun, mustard gas, soman (GD), and sarin (GB). More chemical agents may include, choking agents including phosgene, chlorine, and diphosgene; blood agents including arsine, hydrogen chloride, cyanide, and cyanogen chloride. Also, there are others known as vesicants and nerve agents which include nitrogen mustard forms, ethyldichloroarsine, distilled mustard, and a mixture of mustard-lewisite (Weapons of Mass Destruction Handbook, 2006). Each agent has a different effect in the body, for instance, Vesicants (blistering agents), Bloods agents (cyanogenic agents), Choking agents (pulmonary agents), and Riot-control agents (tear gasses) (Ganesan, Raza, and Vijayaraghavan, 2010). 

It’s time to jumpstart your paper!

Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.

Get custom essay

Chemical weapons just like any other WMDs can be detected early thus prevent them from going off and cause havoc to the nation. Warning or intelligence concerning WMDs application may come from multitudes of sources such as federal agencies, local and state public departments of safety. Also, the information may come from the organizations that have a worldwide responsibility like the U.S. Department of State and CIA among others (Thurman, 2011). Usually, protective garments are always the priority for the specific team which may be assigned to inspect the presence of a chemical weapon. For onsite verification for the agents of a chemical weapon, a number of handheld devices used in detecting are always available. They include Water Poison Detection Kit (WPDK), Residual Vapor Detection (RVD) Kit, Three Color Detector (TCD) paper, and other agent monitors used in detecting the presence of chemical weapons (CW). As much they are handy in detecting CWs, they come with a number of limitations such as being unable to detect all the agents of a chemical weapon and having a specificity which is low. The process of identifying an agent present is always done onsite laboratory which is mobile and takes a long time (hours) before giving the results (Ganesan et al., 2010). In exposed individuals, the signs and symptoms may give a clear indication of the agent present in the CW thus allowing the use of TCD paper. This paper usually reacts with the agents of the CW thus producing three different colors, red for mustard agent, green for nerve agent, and yellow for the G-nerve agent, these process is usually fast and takes about 30seconds only. Its limitation is the feedback that it gives since the result may be false-positive with several other agents. On the other hand, the RVD kit detects the vapors from the CW that are present within the air that has high specificity. Silica color change means that a certain agent is present. This kit can detect almost every chemical agent of a CW that is in air. Many detection equipment are there to help in the identification of the CW agents that are present within the environment. They have at least three principles namely, gas chromatograph (GCs), surface acoustic wave sensors (SAWS), and ion mobility spectrometers (IMS) (Ganesan et al., 2010).

As much as the terror groups may get access to the WMDs threat agents they may not be able to use all of them the way they want. Even the chemical weapons that they have used in a number of their attacks already they pose a risk to them as well. This is because they depend on the flow of air and they are around the place they might be their own victim as. The use of WMDs is a risky thing to the terrorists simply because they cannot test the weapon in advance. Another thing is that they do not know what the resultant effect will be (Schwalbe, 2016). On the other hand, some weapons are so advanced and thus need proper and advanced methods to launch them which the terrorist groups will and might never afford. The exact reason why they may prefer chemical weapons is that the delivery is fast for instance it can be delivered through edibles and water among other things.

If terrorists manage to get their hand on the advanced WMDs and their machinery, then the worlds' population will be at risk since WMDs wipe out large numbers of people thus cause complications to human system as well. This is because WMDs are capable of causing large-scale devastations when compared to other weapons of the world. It is, therefore, important to take care of the WMDs and ensure they do not land in the hands of terror groups. To ensure that nothing is at fault in the case of an attack there is need to improve the systems that are used to detect traces of WMD agents. This will ensure that there is no false information regarding the agent's presence thus allowing for the appropriate treatment to be offered.


Abramson III, A. F. (2012). Biological Weapons – Still a Relevant Threat. Pennsylvania: United States Army War College Class of 2012. 

Ganesan, K., Raza, S. K., & Vijayaraghavan, R. (2010). Chemical warfare agents. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences , 2(3), 166–178. http://doi.org/10.4103/0975-7406.68498

Khan, A. S. et al. (2000). Biological and Chemical Terrorism: Strategic Plan for Preparedness and Response: Recommendations of the CDC Strategic Planning Workgroup. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 49(RR04); 1-14

Schwalbe, S. (2016, October 7). Where are the Terrorist WMD Attacks? Homeland Security . Retrieved from http://inhomelandsecurity.com/where-are-the-terrorist-wmd-attacks/

Thurman, T. J. (2011). Practical Bomb Scence Investigation. 2nd Ed. New York, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group 

Weapons of Mass Destruction Handbook. (2006, June 20). Fox News . Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/06/20/weapons-mass-destruction-handbook.html .

Cite this page

Select style:


StudyBounty. (2023, September 16). Terrorism and WMDs Threat Agents.


Related essays

We post free essay examples for college on a regular basis. Stay in the know!

Cruel and Unusual Punishments

Since the beginning of society, human behaviour has remained to be explained by the social forces that take control. Be it negative or positive, the significance of social forces extend to explain the behaviour of...

Words: 1329

Pages: 5

Views: 104

Serial Killers Phenomena: The Predisposing Factors

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION _Background information _ Ronald and Stephen Holmes in their article _Contemporary Perspective on Serial Murder_ define a serial killer as anyone who murders more than 3 people in a span...

Words: 3648

Pages: 14

Views: 442

Patent Protection Problem

A patent offers inventors the right for a limited period to prevent other people from using or sharing an invention without their authorization. When a patent right is granted to inventors, they are given a limited...

Words: 1707

Pages: 6

Views: 275

General Aspects of Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations are prone to the long and tedious legal process of start-up as compared to their for-profit organizations. However, there are similar rules that govern the startup and the existence of both...

Words: 294

Pages: 1

Views: 73

Contract Performance, Breach, and Remedies: Contract Discharge

1\. State whether you conclude the Amended Warehouse Lease is enforceable by Guettinger, or alternatively, whether the Amended Warehouse Lease is null and void, and Smith, therefore, does not have to pay the full...

Words: 291

Pages: 1

Views: 134

US Customs Border Control

Introduction The United States Border Patrol is the federal security law enforcement agency with the task to protect America from illegal immigrants, terrorism and the weapons of mass destruction from entering...

Words: 1371

Pages: 7

Views: 118


Running out of time?

Entrust your assignment to proficient writers and receive TOP-quality paper before the deadline is over.