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Reports and Papers

The CBRN System: Assessing the threat of terrorist use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons in the UK

Chatham House Report
Dr Paul Cornish, February 2007

This paper draws upon material available in the public domain to address three questions:

  • What are chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, and how available are they?
  • What could terrorists do with CBRN, and why?
  • How serious is the danger overall?

The Report concludes that the CBRN system offers all that might be required for a range of terrorist groups from the largest to the smallest, from the almost casual to the most determined and organized, and from the poorest to the best funded.

It follows that the CBRN threat should be understood as well and as widely as possible.

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