Israel is the only modern nation that has not signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (refusal to engage in offensive biological warfare, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons). Israel is also the only modern nation that has signed but not ratified the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (refusal to produce, stockpile and use chemical weapons). Should a future biological terror attack hit America or any other nation, the state of Israel and its citizens will be prime suspects.
The following government and non-government agencies, institutions and organizations also appear to be intimately involved in some aspect of the upcoming bio-terror attack: BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), CDC (Center for Disease Control), Center for Biosecurity of UPMC, EIS (Epidemic Intelligence Service), INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization), NBACC (National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center), NIAID (National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases), NIH (National Institutes of Health), OBFS (Organization of Biological Field Stations), USAMRICD (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense), USAMRIID (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases) and the WHO (World Health Organization).
Abstract: Interpol, whose full name is the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL, is an organization facilitating international police cooperation. It was established as the International Criminal Police Commission in 1923 and adopted its telegraphic address as its common name in 1956.
Its membership of 190 countries provides finance of around €59 million through annual contributions. The organization's headquarters is in Lyon, France. It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, in terms of number of member states.
Its current Secretary-General is Ronald Noble, a former United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement. Its current President is Singapore's Senior Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and former Commissioner of Police Khoo Boon Hui; the President before that, Jackie Selebi, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, held his term from 2004 till his resignation on 13 January 2008, after which he was charged in South Africa on three counts of corruption and one of defeating the course of justice, and replaced by Arturo Herrera Verdugo, current National Commissioner of Investigations Police of Chile and former vice president for the American Zone, who remained acting president until the organization meeting in October 2008.
In order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids it to undertake any interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature. Its work focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, organized crime, crimes against humanity, environmental crime, genocide, war crimes, piracy, illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.
In 2008, the Interpol General Secretariat employed a staff of 588, representing 84 member countries. The Interpol public website received an average of 2.2 million page visits every month. Interpol issued 3,126 red notices for the year 2008 which led to the arrest of 718 people (Wikipedia, 2012).
Title: INTERPOL CBRNE Programme
Abstract: Terrorism that makes use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNe) materials is commonly conceived as the worst case scenario of all terrorist attacks.
Although CBRNe terrorism is a low incidence crime, national and global implications of a successful attack are tremendously disturbing. Not only does this type of terrorism pose a clear threat to large-scale public health and safety, but such an event would have alarming ramifications for national security and economic and political stability on a global level. Accordingly, the prevention of such incidents is of the highest priority.
The threat of CBRNe terrorism is evolving and, with it, the risk of incidents intended to maximize the number of victims on a global scale. We know that terrorist groups are working hard to acquire CBRNe materials and the expertise to use them in their operations.
At INTERPOL, our CBRNe Terrorism Prevention Programme specializes in the prevention of the different aspects of CBRNe.
The possibility of terrorist attacks using biological agents represents a growing concern for law enforcement bodies, governments and public health officials around the world. Biological agents – such as bacteria, viruses and fungi – are significantly cheaper and easier to produce, handle and transport than nuclear or conventional weapons. They are difficult to detect and symptoms from exposure may not appear for hours or days.
Recent trends in terrorism show a heightened interest in the use of bio-weapons which are an effective means of instilling widespread fear among the public. There have been numerous historical events involving the use or threatened use of toxins and pathogens and there is clear evidence that, in recent times, a number of individuals and terrorist organizations have carried out research into, or attempted to acquire, biological agents and toxins.
Our strategy for countering the threat posed by Bioterrorism consists of three main pillars:
- Intelligence analysis for police services;
- Programmes preventing the dispersal of biological materials in any form;
- Responding to and investigating any legitimate biological threat or incident.
We register the major biological incidents occurring around the world in a “Biocrimes Database”. The recording goes from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. The data is analysed through threat and risk assessment methodologies in order to reach concrete and real results that help INTERPOL’s member countries prevent and respond more efficiently to biological attacks.
1. Regional Training Workshops in Chile, Oman, Singapore, South Africa and Ukraine have brought together hundreds of participants to reinforce the messages of the international conference.
2. Regional Train-The-Trainer Sessions help participants develop their own training capabilities and response units, and promote increased collaboration among national agencies in different sectors (law enforcement, public health, customs and prosecution). From 2007 to 2011, nine sessions were organized covering most regions of the world and including nearly 400 participants.
3. International Tabletop Exercises, which assess national capabilities for preventing bio-crimes and help to identify issues critical to a coordinated response, have been organized in France, Malaysia, Poland and Argentina, with 120 participants from more than 30 countries.
4. A Fellowship Programme, for active police officers working in the field of counterterrorism and bioterrorism preparedness enhances their ability to develop, implement and/or integrate a bioterrorism prevention and response strategy in their country of origin. Five fellowship sessions have been completed by law enforcement officers from the Czech Republic, Mauritius, Oman, Peru and Vietnam.
1. A Bioterrorism Incident Pre-Planning and Response Guide (BIRG) contains information on bioterrorism preparedness activities and operational response, in order to assist member countries in addressing the unique aspects of intentional biological threats and conducting a forensic investigation in a bioterrorism-related case. Now in its second edition in all four INTERPOL languages (Arabic, English, French and Spanish) and Russian, the Guide is available to INTERPOL's member countries.
2. An online Bioterrorism Prevention Resource Centre assesses the vast amount of bioterrorism-related data that is increasingly available, and provides links to the most useful websites, as well as other INTERPOL resources in this area.
3. A set of e-Learning modules are available for law enforcement officers. This computer-based training curriculum that can be accessed through INTERPOL’s secured training website, or by CD-Roms distributed by bioterrorism training points of contact in member states. The e-learning package consists of several modules that cover CBRN materials, biological agents, law enforcement response and personal protective equipment, with basic awareness information for police officers.
Following a workshop in October 2010 that gathered experts from 23 countries, an innovative common curriculum for bioterrorism prevention training for use at police academies worldwide has been launched. The curriculum addresses three different levels that are concerned with responding to bioterrorism threat and incidents: law enforcement first responders level, CBRNe specialist responders level, and strategic management level.
In the case of an imminent threat or actual incident, INTERPOL will provide operational support to its member countries through:
1. Deploying an Incident Response Team (IRT) with biological expertise
to support law enforcement authorities in their criminal investigations;
2. Conducting searches of INTERPOL's databases of nominal data, fingerprints, DNA profiles, and travel documents, upon request;
3. Issuing notices, which are used to alert the international law
enforcement community to wanted persons (red notices) or devices and
weapons that pose a threat to public safety (orange notices);
4. Providing strategic and tactical analytical expertise, upon request.
Bioterrorism is a global threat with transnational consequences. Therefore, international cooperation between nations and between international organizations is a crucial element in INTERPOL’s global strategy.
maintain a close relationship with other international organizations
working in the same field, such as the World Health Organization and
EUROPOL (Interpol. 2012).
Title: The 1st Interpol Global Conference To Strengthen Law Enforcement Preparedness And Develop Effective Police Training
Date: March 1, 2005
Abstract: Bioterrorism is inherently a matter for international attention. Bio-weapons threaten mass casualties in addition to other disastrous long term consequences. Criminal networks can covertly transport lethal agents across borders and terrorists have already proven that anthrax can be fatally deployed.
UN Security Council Resolution 1540 - adopted on 28 April 2004 - recognises the serious threat to international peace and security posed by biological weapons and urges greater co-ordination, nationally and internationally, to strengthen the global response.
Law enforcement agencies have a crucial role to play - with significant support from, and in collaboration with, a range of other bodies - in preventing and responding to bioterrorism (INTERPOL, 2005).Title: Selebi Opens International Conference On Bioterrorism
Date: November 21, 2005
Source: Bua News
Abstract: As part of its programme against bioterrorism, Interpol opened its first bioterrorism workshop in Cape Town today, with national police Commissioner Jackie Selebi calling for multi-agency co-operation to combat this threat to global security.
"We as policemen cannot effectively face the problem of bioterrorism or the proliferation of biological weapons without building strong partnerships with scientists, educators and public health practitioners," Mr Selebi told more than 90 delegates from Africa and around the world.
Combating bioterrorism said Commissioner Selebi, who is also president of the international police organisation, "requires communities unaccustomed to working with one another to learn a common language, and a common way of thinking."
The workshop is the first of three regional workshops that Interpol is holding to improve capacity among its members to prevent, prepare for and deal with the possibility of a bioterrorist attack.
Another workshop is planned for the Asia region and will be held in Singapore next year. The third will be held in Chile for the Americas region, also next year.
Interpol's programme to combat bioterrorism was launched at its headquarters in Lyon, France, last year. In March this year it staged the largest-ever gathering of police and security officials when it hosted the Global Congress on preventing Bioterrorism.
This gathering was attended by more than 500 delegates from 155 countries. The current regional workshop being held at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town has drawn delegates from 41 African countries as well as security and health experts from around the world.
"No country can regard itself as immune [from a bioterrorist attack] and all countries need to be prepared," said Interpol chairperson John Abbott.
An announcement of a "train the trainer" project for the National Central Bureaus in Interpol's 184 member countries was made.
Commissioner Selebi said the emphasis at the Africa regional workshop was on "training, training, training".
"What we pick up here we are going to use," the commissioner told journalists.
He added that the African regional workshop aimed to strengthen regional co-operation and enable all agencies to "immediately identify and work closely with the right partners at the right time, to establish a common response against biological weapons, and to resolve the consequences of bio-attacks."
Ronald Noble, Interpol's secretary-general, said: "Defence measures against biological attack are neither well known nor easily implemented, so there is a natural tendency for law enforcement services to put them aside in favour of 'more urgent' problems that they are comfortable dealing with."
"Political support and funding for security programmes tends to be orientated towards the traditional areas of crime which affect citizens on a daily basis," Mr Noble said.
However, he said Interpol strongly believed that the risks of bioterrorism were "so momentous that the police and the public health communities must break down the barriers preventing close collaboration, locally, nationally and internationally" (Bua News, 2005).
Title: INTERPOL Trains Asian And South Pacific
Officials In Bioterror Threat Prevention
Date: February 25, 2010
Source: Bio Prep Watch
Abstract: A recent "Train-the-Trainer" session for the prevention of bioterrorism presented by INTERPOL was attended by law enforcement, customs and public health officials from Asia and the South Pacific.
The course, which carried a goal of enhancing the capacity of regional INTERPOL member countries to prevent and prepare for bioterror threats, was attended by 38 participants from 16 countries.
Attending nations included American Samoa, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Laos, Maldives, Macao, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste.
Trainers from INTERPOL, the World Health Organization, the Australian Federal Police, the United States Sandia Laboratories, the New South Wales Police in Australia, the FBI, the U.K. Metropolitan Police and the United States Center for Disease Control led the course, which was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
John Abbot, chairman of the INTERPOL Bioterrorism Steering Group Committee, called preparation and planning for bioterrorism threats the key to preventing them, noting that knowing what to do if a bioterror attack happens, is suspected or threatened, is an essential part of every country’s counterterrorism strategy.
“Terrorist groups have talked of developing the capability of using biological weapons," Abbot said. "There is evidence of terrorist groups and individuals experimenting and using bio-weapons, and the increasing development of the bio-sciences is providing a range of potential opportunities for such people or groups.”
“This is what the INTERPOL prevention of bioterrorism programme is about. Supporting and assisting countries to be better prepared to prevent bioterrorism. To help them understand the issues better; to assist in developing their national plans, to train all staff and to exercise all the agencies and government departments that will be involved. And to understand what assistance can be expected internationally” (Bio Prep Watch, 2010).