Law enforcement around the world faces the growing threat of both domestic and international terrorists. As Police and Military strive to counter terror threats at multiple locations, the subversives have suddenly changed their game plan. They are gradually shifting their targets from malls, airports and stadiums and taking their terror assaults to restaurants, marathons and national celebrations as witnessed in Nice, France.
The newest tactic is the ambush and killing of Policemen as seen in Baton Rouge, Cleveland. Some opine that the concept of the suicide bomber is fading as these newer methods are supposedly easier to carry out, guaranteeing a greater death toll, while causing a ripple effect of mass paranoia. Prime on this new terror list is CBRNE – Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives.
The global Police network, Interpol, continues to monitor the threat of the use of the CBRNE. The Interpol has started a series of programmes for member nations to identify, analyze and counter this threat. Priority is being given to protecting the borders and points of entry into countries. This is a great risk for nations that have been infested with sympathizers of the ISIS and other Jihadist influenced terror groups, who are presently operating as sleeper cells and logistics hubs. Granting visas to tourists must be made strict, with vetting process in place, than simply thinking of boosting tourist arrivals.
The easiest way for a terror agent to enter a country is under the guise of a tourist. Countries like Pakistan, India and Afghanistan face a daily challenge of filtering people who enter their borders. Interpol has set up a special unit, Counter Terrorism Fusion Centre, which is tasked with disrupting the recruitment of foreign terrorists. As immigration screening becomes tougher there are steps in place to share information, photos in particular, of wanted terrorists. The Interpol issues three notices within member nations –
1. Red notices are issued to track down and arrest wanted persons with a view to extradition
2. Blue notices are issued to collect information/verify ID on persons related to a crime
3. Green notices are issued to provide warning and intelligence on criminals and terrorists
To further strengthen the enforcement of these notices, United Nations Security Council resolution 1267 is empowered to issue notice about the freezing of assets and travel bans on those who have links with terror networks such as the Al Qaida. To facilitate positive cooperation between member countries, the Security Council adopted a resolution to provide support to members via an IRT (Incident Response Team).
The new trend of using the CBRNE is a massive threat to public safety, economic stability and national security of every nation. It poses a risk to international summits and conferences when high profile foreign dignitaries gather at one venue. The CBRNE is capable of causing mass death if unleashed on an event like that of a visiting Pope who would draw thousands of devotees to one venue within a short time frame, making it hard for Police to search every individual. Terrorist networks are also on the lookout to recruit disgruntled scientists and technicians to use their knowledge to produce and assemble the CBRNE arsenal.
Terrorist groups can obtain radioactive and nuclear materials for malicious use. They continue to scout for locations where they can procure and transport radioactive substances. A disaster of such a magnitude can have severe ramifications to the security of an entire region.
Initiated by Interpol Project Geiger is a programme that collects and analyses information on incidents where radioactive materials were used in an illicit manner. The project also gets data from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The project works to combine Police, Customs and Public Health officials. Steps must be taken to educate Airport Security, Customs and Aviation Police Units to detect the smuggling of radioactive materials.
Health officials and Police are showing concern for the malicious use of biological agents such as bacteria, viruses and toxins. These are cheaper to produce. They are easier to transport without raising suspicion. Once released, they are difficult to detect and can take hours to develop fatal symptoms. Some toxins and viruses can even take weeks to show signs. Even a hoax of a biological attack is sufficient to trigger panic waves at a public place and create a stampede and can be used even as a diversion tactic before a more lethal calculated attack.
Chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial material are another great danger in the hands of terrorists. They can be used to poison reservoirs that deliver drinking water and cause a massive hazard in an entire district. To detect and mitigate these risks, the Interpol has a project codenamed Operation Watch Maker which aims to track and warn member nations of those who use improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Steps must be taken by every nation to train their first responders to carefully enter a contaminated crime scene and carry out rescue missions and process the area.