Blog #8 Terrorist Organizations and Weapons of Mass destruction

http://Al Qaeda’s Pursuit of Weapons of Mass Destruction


In 1998, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden declared that acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was his Islamic duty — an integral part of his jihad. This declaration by the then most wanted man in the world sent chills down the spine of all western countries. Systemically, over the course of decades, he dispatched his top lieutenants to attempt to purchase or develop nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD). He never gave up on that goal; indeed, in 2007 he sent a video, where he repeated his promise to use weapons of mass destruction to change the global status quo, destroy the capitalist hegemony, and help create an Islamic caliphate. This acquisition program was handled at the very top of the echelons of the Al-Qaeda organization. For instance, Al-Qaeda deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahiri personally shepherded the group’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to set off an anthrax attack in the United States.  Al-Qaeda concentrated its efforts on nuclear devices in the run-up to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Based on the timing and nature of its WMD-related activity in the 1990s, al Qaeda hoped to use such weapons in the United States during an intensified campaign following the 9/11 attacks. There is no indication that the fundamental objectives that lie behind its Weapons of Mass Destruction intent have changed over time. Even though the organization has lost a lot of support and resources do to the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they still pose a viable threat to the national security of the United States and its allies. But a further particular risk could become a major threat to Western societies. There is a very real – but not yet fully identified risk – of foreign fighters in ISIL’s ranks using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials as “weapons of terror” against the West. there is another risk that often gets overlooked by the experts and by the public at large. that is the threat that this WMD’s pose to the security of Arabic countries as well. Hundreds of foreign fighters, some with solid academic and educational backgrounds and intellectual knowledge, have joined the cause and continue to do so every day. Furthermore, ISIL’s success is based on an effective media strategy of looking at the utmost possible “news effect” of their attacks. Together with their access to high levels of funding, these three elements bear the real risk of the group turning into practice what up to now has been largely a theoretical possibility: to actually employ weapons of mass destruction or CBRN material in terrorist attacks. The most likely targets for the deployment of CBRN’s could be countries in the middle-east. this would affect the world economy to unprecedented levels. This type of attack on Arabic countries or even Israel could launch further attacks by states bent on retaliation and protection, sparking further nuclear exchange.

In 2006 in the middle-east, the First Committee for Disarmament and International Security approved 12 draft texts aimed at strengthening regional disarmament measures and reducing the global threat of the use of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons. The Committee approved a draft on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. That draft would have the Assembly appeal to all Member States to consider signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, in order to bring about its early entry into force and have the Assembly urge all Member States to strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

I believe that at the present moment the terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS still have a vested interest in acquiring these weapons of mass destruction or even some material for a “dirty bomb.” the greatest impact or more damage that these groups could inflict on the west would be through the middle-east. tThey could achieve their political goal (according to their own mentality) of evicting Western influence from the Middle-East and creating a Caliphate that stretches from Spain to Afganistan. ISIS at the current moment has achieved territorial gained in Iraq and Syria without the use of such weapons so, we can only imagine the damage that these type of groups could do with such capabilities at hand. Furthermore, the extortion possibilities of such capability is immense.



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