(U//FOUO/LES) FBI Improvised Chemical and Biological Agent Production Indicators

Indicators and Warnings of Improvised Chemical and Biological Agent Production

  • 60 pages
  • For Official Use Only
  • Law Enforcement Sensitive
  • July 2005


The Technical Support Working Group’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Countermeasures (CBRNC) Subgroup, in cooperation with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, conducts comprehensive assessments of chemical and biological materials, devices, and countermeasures. As part of their efforts, they evaluated the potential effectiveness of production methods found in the form of recipes from open-source improvised production handbooks that may be used by extremists groups. They assessed the skill level required to follow the instructions and determined the availability of the necessary equipment and ingredients.

The purpose of this handbook is to provide information about general indicators and
warnings, production setups, and end products that are representative of plausible
improvised production methods of chemical and biological agents following methods found in
openly available improvised production literature. The handbook contains mock-up pictures
to assist security and response personnel in recognizing chemical or biological agent
production. The handbook contains specific information on the key indicators of agent
production, including chemicals required for production. It will be noted if a chemical required
for production is also regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a List I or
List II chemical (U.S. Department of Justice. DEA, Chemical Handlers Manual, January,
2004). List I and II chemicals are those that, in addition to having legitimate uses, are used in
manufacturing a controlled substance in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. List I
chemicals generally are precursors and have been determined by the DEA to require a level
of control greater than other listed chemicals. List II chemicals generally are reagents and

The information in this handbook should be used in conjunction with previous training and

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