On 4 March the world watched in bewilderment as reports of the attempted assassination of former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his adult daughter Yulia, began to flow in from the UK. In the days that followed a low constant chatter about the incident pervaded START’s offices at the University of Maryland. As more details emerged, we became convinced that the chosen weapon was a nerve agent and our hushed discussions turned into intense speculation about what it could be. G-agents? No, not nearly persistent enough for the number of responders exposed. V-agents? The symptoms didn’t seem to match up. “Could it have been…- no - it’s never been used before…it couldn’t be Novichok,” one researcher muttered in confusion. The Skripal incident was just the latest in an accelerating surge of chemical attacks over the past five years.
Binder, Markus K., Rebecca L. Earnhart, and Jillian M. Quigley. 2018. "The Curious Incident of the Bench in the Daylight." CBRNe World (April). http://www.cbrneworld.com/_uploads/download_magazines/The_curious_incident.pdf