Tag Archive for Chemical Warfare

French Republic Assessment of Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria April 2018

The French services analysed the testimonies, photos and videos that spontaneously appeared on specialized websites, in the press and on social media in the hours and days following the attack. Testimonies obtained by the French services were also analysed. After examining the videos and images of victims published online, they were able to conclude with a high degree of confidence that the vast majority are recent and not fabricated. The spontaneous circulation of these images across all social networks confirms that they were not video montages or recycled images. Lastly, some of the entities that published this information are generally considered reliable.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI-NCTC Bulletin: Online Information May Provide Potential Roadmap for Crude Chemical-Biological Attacks

The late 2016 arrest of two California teenagers for allegedly planning a “mass casualty event” by carrying out a chemical attack at a local high school pep rally highlights how individuals can use online resources to plan crude chemical or biological attacks. Violent extremists continue to circulate often ineffective or misleading how-to instructions for producing and disseminating poisons, crude biological toxins, and toxic industrial chemicals that in many cases are commercially available and easy to obtain. While we have no indication the suspects in this case subscribed to or consumed material related to violent extremist ideologies, their activity highlights one path to conducting a potential chemical or biological attack.

OSAC Bulletin: Mustard Agent Likely Used in ISIL Attack in Iraq August 2015

Early tests show that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) used chemical agents during an attack on Kurdish Peshmerga forces on August 11 in Makhmour, Iraq. U.S. government officials reported that preliminary tests on shell fragments indicated a presence of chemical agents, although additional analyses would be necessary to determine the full composition. Early media reports have pointed to the use of mustard agent. Overall, ISIL’s use of mustard agent appears to be largely undeveloped – although the group is likely seeking to advance its capabilities – and there is no evidence that they have used mustard agent (also known as mustard gas) against civilian interests at this point.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Indicators of Suspicious Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Activity

Law enforcement and first responders may encounter chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) related material or equipment at private residences, businesses, or other sites not normally associated with such activities. There are legitimate reasons for possessing such material or equipment, but in some cases their presence can indicate intent or capability to build CBR weapons, particularly when other suspicious circumstances exist.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Cyanide Awareness

Terrorist groups, including al-Qa‘ida, and violent extremists have considered using or have possessed cyanide compounds. Cyanides probably appeal to terrorists because of their toxicity, availability, and ease of dissemination. Some of the cyanide tactics that have been considered by terrorists include mixing it with oils and lotions for use as a contact poison, contaminating food or water supplies, or by using it in an improvised chemical dispersal device.

Restricted U.S. Army Drills for Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) Domestic Support Missions

This drill book provides platoon, squad, and team leaders with standardized drills that are designed for use by trainers at the platoon and squad level. Standardized drills are essential to the success of platoon leaders, trainers, and small-unit leaders. These drills provide the performance measures, standards, and sequential procedures that will help guide the unit through training tasks for which doctrine is just now being developed. Chemical Corps platoons and squads must be able to perform these drills quickly, effectively, and to standard at all times.

Restricted Army Special Operations Forces Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Operations Manual

This publication describes ARSOF CBRN missions and tasks for the chemical reconnaissance detachment (CRD), chemical decontamination detachments (CDDs), ARSOF CBRN reconnaissance and survey operations, decontamination and reconnaissance teams (DRTs), and ARSOF sensitive site exploitation (SSE), and discusses reachback capability. This publication provides a basis for understanding the requirements of individual special operations forces (SOF) personnel operating in CBRN environments, as well as the requirements of ARSOF staff planners across the range of military operations. The manual also provides guidance for commanders who determine force structure, equipment, material, and operational requirements necessary to conduct SOF CBRN missions described herein.

(U//FOUO) FBI Indicators for Terrorist Use of Toxic Industrial Chemicals

The release of a toxic industrial chemical (TIC) by a terrorist group or lone actor represents a significant threat. TICs are readily available in large quantities, routinely shipped by commercial carriers, and often stored in bulk containers. Most TICs are generally less toxic than chemical warfare (CW) agents, but a large volume of TICs can be equally dangerous. The release of a TIC in a populated area is capable of generating numerous casualties and deaths; the toxic effects would be more dangerous if release occurred in an enclosed space.

(U//FOUO) DHS Identifying Clandestine Biological, Chemical, Explosives, and Methamphetamine Laboratories

The purpose of this assessment is to assist members of the law enforcement and public safety communities in differentiating among four types of clandestine laboratories: biological, chemical, explosives, and methamphetamine. It provides descriptions, distinguishing features, and hazards of each type of laboratory and includes four reference guides for distribution to public safety personnel. This assessment expands on a related product—Distinguishing a Biological Agent Production Laboratory from a Methamphetamine Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 22 January 2008—by including indicators and warning signs associated with clandestine chemical and explosives laboratories.

(U//LES) FBI Second Issue of Inspire Magazine Encourages Use of WMDs

An article in the second issue of the English-language jihadist magazine “Inspire” emphasizes the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD); however the article did not provide specific instructions. In the article entitled “Tips for Our Brothers in the United Snakes of America,” the author encourages those with microbiology and chemistry degrees to develop biological or chemical toxins such as botulism, ricin, or cyanide. WMD was referred to as the “next stage… [in] the war with America.” It is also stated in the article that upcoming issues of “Inspire” will cover WMD in greater detail.

(U//FOUO) DHS Mubtakar Improvised Cyanide Gas Device Warning

(U//FOUO) Terrorists have shown considerable interest in an improvised chemical device called the mubtakar, which is designed to release lethal quantities of hydrogen cyanide, cyanogen chloride, and chlorine gases. One or more devices could be used in attacks in enclosed spaces, such as restaurants, theaters, or train cars. The mubtakar is small and could be transported in a bag or box, or assembled at the attack site. DHS and FBI encourage recipients of this document to report information about suspicious devices and the acquisition or possession of mubtakar precursor chemicals or components (see figures for details) to the nearest state and local fusion center and to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.