International table top exercise to prevent chemical weapon terror attacks hosted by the Netherlands

15 November 2011

More than 120 representatives from 35 countries took part in Chemshield 2011, an international table top exercise focusing on preventing terrorist attacks with chemical weapons, organized by the Netherlands National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security.

The four-day event (8-11 November) which follows the successful international nuclear exercise Cobalt 2009 and BIOSHIELD Global 2010 took place at the Field Lab of the Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague, Netherlands in cooperation with UNICRI/the European Commission, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), INTERPOL and the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI).

Participants from various sectors including chemical experts, intelligence services and police/customs organizations took part in the exercise which aimed to:

  • Increase awareness on the risks of chemical threats;
  • Examine intersectoral and international coordination;
  • Enhance the communication and cooperation between participating sectors and countries;
  • Build a trusted community.

The various roles within the exercise included Player, Trusted Agent and Active Observer, with the scenario tasking Players to prevent a chemical weapon based terrorist attack, with each team assigned a Trusted Agent to assist during the scenario with the Active Observers following the activities of the Players and performing assignments as a group that could influence the exercise.