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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 information and analysing intelligence

Among our initiatives is Project Watchmaker which offers specialized support to member countries through the use of INTERPOL’s notices and diffusions on people using or manufacturing improvised explosive devices.

Capacity building and training

Our education and awareness programmes are targeted for government authorities, police services and the chemical industry. They promote measures to identify, interdict and investigate the illicit diversion of chemicals.

The training courses are designed to improve chemical security in member 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.

  • Project Chasm
  • Project Crimp
  • Project Litmus

Operational and investigative support

  • Operation Chase (Chemical Anti-Smuggling Enforcement)

International cooperation

We cooperate on a regular basis with other international organizations including:

Global Shield is a joint initiative of INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It targets the illicit diversion and trafficking of 14 chemical precursors used by terrorist and other criminals in manufacturing improvised explosive devices.

  • World Customs Organization
  • Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • UNICRI
  • International Centre for Chemical Safety and Security

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