EUROPOL has recently published the ‘European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) 2020’. The report notes that “in 2019 EU Member States reported no terrorist incidents with chemical, biological, radioactive or other nuclear (CBRN) materials. The intention to carry out terrorist attacks using CBRN materials continued to appear on terrorist online forums and social media. Closed online forums were used to discuss possible modi operandi and to share knowledge via handbooks, manuals, posters and infographics containing recipes to produce and disseminate various agents. Suggestions and encouraging statements are also part of terrorist propaganda.

The handling and containment of biological agents has been a challenge for terrorists. Nevertheless, technological advances along with knowledge shared online have reduced these barriers. During 2019, a pro-IS group launched a campaign via a cloud-based instant messaging service promoting the use of biological weapons. Some of the content provided instructions on how to produce biological weapons and suggested how and where to deploy them.

No incidents using radiological isotopes for terrorist purposes were reported in 2019. However, stolen or lost nuclear and radioactive materials, known as ‘out of regulatory control’, continued to be a long-standing global concern. Criminals continued to attempt to exploit the illicit demand for nuclear and radioactive material. In such cases they claimed to be able to supply non-existent radionuclides or misrepresented the nature or quantity of the trafficked material.” (emphases added)

The full text of the report is available here.


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