A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

WMD Terrorism: The Once and Future Threat


The specter of terrorists and other violent non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction is perhaps an even greater concern than acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by states. Given how terrorists periodically target civilians on a large-scale, usually lack a return address, and generally fail to subscribe to traditional notions of deterrence, it is not surprising that terrorists are sometimes portrayed as Bondian supervillians capable of casually constructing doomsday plots. This over-magnification, however, ignores the hurdles inherent in such malignant enterprises. Despite clear interest on the part of some non-state adversaries, a true WMD is at present likely out of their reach in all but a select set of scenarios. Changes in technology, however, could augur a dramatic shift in the WMD terrorism threat picture.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Ackerman, Gary and Michelle Jacome. 2018. "WMD Terrorism: The Once and Future Threat." PRISM: A Journal of the Center for Complex Operations 7 (May): 22-37. https://search.proquest.com/openview/730c08cc59941c586dd06e483e4ad615/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1036428

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