The threat from bioterrorism is real, with current reports indicating that individuals, terrorist groups and criminals have both the capability and intention to use biological agents to cause harm to society.
Access to knowledge and data is also increasingly available through the Internet, and criminals use hidden and anonymous streams of communication, such as the Darknet, to buy, sell and share data and communicate with each other.
The damage caused by such an event could reach untold magnitude, causing widespread illness and death, and instilling fear and panic on a global scale.
Prevent, prepare, respond
The spread of an infectious or toxic biological agent can happen without warning, while the response to a biological event, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberate, relies on coordination across multiple sectors. Clearly, the need for structured prevention, preparedness and response strategies is critical.
INTERPOL Bioterrorism Prevention Unit aims to enable law enforcement agencies to prevent, prepare and respond to the deliberate use of bacteria, viruses or biological toxins that threaten or cause harm to humans, animals or agriculture.
As well as cooperation at the international and regional levels, we also work with national law enforcement agencies, health, academia and industry, to tackle this challenging crime and we are engaged in a number of projects and activities designed to reduce the threat of a bioterrorism act and establish effective countermeasures as part of a global security strategy.
In addition to our trifold of activities, INTERPOL Bioterrorism Prevention unit prepares and contributes to the writing of many documents, including guidelines, training videos and standard operating procedures.