Potential Threats: A Summary Analysis of the Acquisition and Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction by Terrorist Groups (2009)

Abstract

In an attempt to prevent mass-casualty attacks against the United States, analysis of terrorist groups must include their potential for the acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This paper presents such a summary analysis by asking questions of a logistical and/or tactical nature and then applies the answers to both international and domestic interests. The ideology and political motivations of terrorist groups is next compared to their capabilities to formalize the likelihood of actually using WMD. Finally, a summary is offered with suggestions of preventive countermeasures. Of note are the findings that the potential threat from actors possessing WMD has greater military and political influence compared to actual deployment and use of such weapons.