Terrorism that makes use of CBRNE materials (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives) poses a clear threat to public health and safety, 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.

Chemical and explosives terrorism

The use of chemical and explosive materials by criminals and terrorist groups poses a significant threat in every country. As well as endangering public safety on a large-scale, such attacks can severely impact economic and political stability.

High-profile incidents have affected all regions of the world – such as bombings in Abuja, Boston, London, Madrid, Moscow, Mumbai and Oklahoma, and chemical attacks on the Tokyo subway and in Syria.

At INTERPOL, we support the efforts of member countries to deter, detect and disrupt the use of chemicals in terrorist incidents. We work to prevent criminals from diverting, smuggling and using chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals and explosive precursor chemicals.  

Sharing and analysing information

INTERPOL carries out the following activities related to information and intelligence:

  • Collecting and sharing information on terrorist attacks involving the use of  chemical and explosive materials;
  • Analysing the methodologies of terrorist groups;
  • Identifying emerging threats;
  • Contributing details of chemical and explosive incidents to the INTERPOL CBRNE Monthly Digest, along with analysts’ commentaries;
  • Producing analytical reports at the request of member countries or international organizations. 

Capacity building

No single government or organization is able to address alone the problem of chemical and explosive terrorism. Education and awareness programmes targeting government authorities, police services and the chemical industry form the cornerstone of INTERPOL’s chemical and explosives terrorism prevention efforts.

INTERPOL’s capacity building programmes promote countermeasure activities designed to identify, interdict and investigate the illicit diversion of chemicals. The training courses are designed to improve member countries’ chemical security both within their national borders and in cooperation with neighbouring countries in order to prevent the smuggling of chemicals across international borders. Other training courses develop the knowledge and leadership skills of senior law enforcement officials based in border and chemical security agencies.

Chemical Anti-Smuggling Enforcement (CHASE) Programme

The INTERPOL CHASE Programme is a global effort to counter the international smuggling of chemicals used to manufacture chemical and explosive devices. It increases the capacity of police, customs, border forces, immigration and security agencies to work collaboratively, and builds on the strengths of individual organizations to expand their information exchange networks. 

Programme CHASE uses a multi-agency and multinational approach to deliver advanced chemical, explosive and investigative training to member countries. In a practical application of the skills developed through the CHASE training initiatives, INTERPOL coordinates operations in the field and provides practical support with range of databases, tools and services. The ultimate goal is to identify, interdict and investigate the movement of criminals and the chemical materials they smuggle.  

International cooperation

INTERPOL represents the interests of the worldwide law enforcement community and cooperates with a range of partners in the fight against chemical and explosive terrorism. INTERPOL cooperates on a regular basis with other international organizations including:

  • Europol
  • World Customs Organization (WCO)
  • Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee
  • Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
  • United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
  • EU CBRN Centers of Excellence
  • International Centre for Chemical Safety and Security (ICCSS).

World Customs Organization – Programme Global Shield

Programme Global Shield is a joint initiative of INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It targets the illicit diversion and trafficking of 14 chemical precursors used by terrorist and other non-state actors in manufacturing improvised explosive devices.

INTERPOL Chemical and Explosives Countermeasure Programme

This Programme is aimed at key law enforcement authorities, government bodies and chemical industry partners. It provides them with the knowledge and tools to implement a national chemical security programme.

By engaging directly with all sections of the chemical industry – including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and retail – the law enforcement community can play a pivotal role in the prevention and early detection of criminals and terrorists seeking to obtain materials to undertake an attack.   

29 January 2016

INTERPOL nuclear trafficking conference looks ahead to 2016 Nuclear Summit

27 January 2016

INTERPOL conference targets global nuclear trafficking

22 January 2016

INTERPOL training course targets chemical smuggling

13 November 2015

Cross-border collaboration on biological incident investigations focus of INTERPOL workshop

23 October 2015

INTERPOL course aims to boost efforts against chemical attacks

22 October 2015

Nuclear and radiological terrorism focus of INTERPOL exercise in Thailand

02 October 2015

Cambodia hosts INTERPOL training against smuggling of chemicals

23 September 2015

INTERPOL and FBI to forge closer ties against terrorism and cybercrime

04 September 2015

International Leaders’ Forum backs creation of Global Alliance to combat IED threat

02 September 2015

Tackling global threat of improvised explosive devices focus of international forum

23 July 2015

Enhancing law enforcement response capability for disease outbreaks focus of INTERPOL workshop

07 May 2015

Identifying biological threats to strengthen response capability focus of workshop

29 April 2015

Addressing threat of agroterrorism focus of INTERPOL meeting

09 April 2015

Operation targeting chemical smuggling in Asia nets hijacked ship

13 March 2015

US Congressional visit to INTERPOL focuses on combating terrorism

10 March 2015

Jordan hosts bioterrorism preparedness table top exercise

12 December 2014

Enhancing resilience against biological threats focus of INTERPOL workshop

11 December 2014

Moldova police arrest seven suspected uranium smugglers

09 December 2014

United Nations counter-terrorism task force set to strengthen cooperation with INTERPOL

26 September 2014

INTERPOL workshop in Ethiopia supports efforts to boost resilience against biological threats

08 July 2014

FBI-INTERPOL symposium to enhance global preparedness in securing critical infrastructure

25 June 2014

Investigating and preventing chemical and explosives terrorism focus of INTERPOL conference in Thailand

25 March 2014

Nuclear Security Summit calls for greater information-sharing with INTERPOL

21 February 2014

Workshop builds cooperation in enhancing radiological and nuclear security