Included in this month’s bulletin:

Far-Right Extremists: A New CBRN Threat?

In February 2019, a serving US Coast Guard, Christopher Hasson, was arrested following a plot to assassinate a number of US politicians and media figures. During the subsequent investigation, it was found that Hasson, a white nationalist, was looking to acquire the means for a large-scale CBRN attack. This incident follows other recent plots by far-right individuals and groups to conduct attacks using CBRN agents. In this article, we examine how this trend is developing and identify what the implications are for businesses.

 

Toxic Extortion: Delivery of CBRN Agents in the Mail.

In January 2019, numerous private organisations in Japan received doses of potassium cyanide in the mail. The toxic chemical was accompanied by a ransom letter demanding payment in exchange for not contaminating the products of the targeted firms, which included pharmaceutical and food and beverage companies. While delivery of CBRN agents via mail is not a new threat, the increased targeting of commercial entities alongside demands for money is a concerning development that presents risks for private industry.

 

New Official Guidance for Responding to a Chemical Attack: Use Dry Decontamination

In February 2019, the US Government introduced science-based guidelines for quickly decontaminating people following a chemical attack. These guidelines are the first in the US to be based on extensive research and testing. Importantly, the research placed new importance of the need for dry decontamination as a first step after being exposed to a chemical agent – this would involve removing the substance from skin using a dry, absorbent material.