Proliferation of Chemical and Biological Weapons




Suzanne K. Sukkar

December 11, 1998


University of Michigan

Political Science 472: Professor Raymond Tanter





Osama bin Laden

Timothy McVeigh

Shoko Asahara


The Puzzle: Why freelance terrorists seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction: specifically chemical and biological weapons, despite efforts at non-proliferation.



Freelance terrorists are individuals that commit acts of terrorism based on their political, ideological, or religious beliefs. Freelancers have become a rising group of terrorists across the globe. Many freelancers are acquiring strong support and are becoming an increasing threat to international security. Above all, freelancers are successfully having a voice in the politics of failed rogue states. However, some do work individually, but have wide support. Osama bin Laden has support from al-Qaida "the Military base", Timothy McVeigh could have had support from militia members, and Aum Shinrikyo, a Japanese cult, supported Shoko Asahara. These freelancers are powerful in their own regions. If the proliferation is not contained, they could excel to a level that would endanger international security. The threat is more consequential because freelancers are willing to acquire their goals by any means, due to the lack of value they place on their lives. Many innocent people have already died at the hands of these terrorists.


Furthermore, freelancers are acquiring chemical and biological weapons (CBW) as the answer to their "cause." Bin Laden used chemical weapons (CW) in the East Africa bombings. Timothy McVeigh did not use CBW, but did use explosives and chemical agents, in the Oklahoma City Bombing. Shoko Asahara, was developing biological weapons (BW), and used chemical weapons in the release of sarin gas in the Tokyo subway station. These freelancers have various motivations for acquiring CBW, but the main focus is on the ideological, political and religious values of proliferation.


The motivation to acquire chemical and biological weapons are, first, freelancers can attack states without being penalized. This means the state under attack cannot respond with CBW because international laws regulate the use of weapons against groups. Hence, the lack of accountability allows them the freedom to escape reprimand. Second the ease of attacking soft targets, such as shopping centers, buildings, and commercial areas. Terrorists can reach a myriad of individuals and make certain their message is heard. Third, CBW has a low cost, are easy to acquire, and are difficult to detect.1


An explanatory factor of the behavior of freelancers is theory. One theory is Rational Choice Theory. A question that follows is what is a rational actor? A rational actor examines a situation in terms of a cost-benefit analysis: maximizing gains and minimizing losses. A rational actor would account for an optimal search and look at alternative solutions to problems. The actor would evaluate a situation and consider the best outcome. However, values are not attached to the rationality of a character. Freelancers typically do not value their life because their cause is more important, thus taking more risky options. If an actor does not value life, then the cost of an action are low, moreover remaining within the cost-benefit analysis of rationality.


However, Rational Choice Theory cannot serve as an explanation for the behavior of freelancers, because their cognitive biases and values bind the actors. The cognitive perspective of decision-making incorporates the psychology of these actors in reference to Prospect Theory. Hence, the cognition is an explanatory factor because it allows for the motivated and unmotivated biases and perceptions. Therefore, freelancers are in a domain of loss because they view a situation from the perspective of their ideology, politics, or religious belief. Accordingly, their perception of a situation dictates the outcome. The actor completes a sub-optimal search and incomplete evaluation using cognitive biases, which excludes other options. This theory helps answer the puzzle of why freelancers seek to proliferate and acquire CBW.


One key aspect in determining proliferation is the charismatic characteristics of freelancers. The charisma and risk-taking propensity help analyze the freelancer and the decision-making process. Indeed, the role a freelancer assumes in the international arena allows for a faithful following. Many of the followers are disenchanted with their own country laws and seek the refuge provided by freelancers, whom have similar views and perspectives of these individuals.


One of the most important characteristics to consider of freelancers is their personality in their decision-making. Unlike leaders of states, freelancers are not held accountable to the international forum. Hence, they are more willing to take risks to accomplish their ideological, political, and religious goals. The lack of accountability and increased risk propensity allows freelancers more leverage and make them an increasing threat.


Osama bin Laden One of the most sought after terrorists is Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden. What does this man have that almost half the globe is chasing after him? What are his objectives and how does he plan on achieving his goals?


Born in Riyadh in 1957, bin Laden is known to have between $200 and $400 million under his control. Unlike the common western stereotype of the Middle Eastern person--uneducated, militaristic and aggressive--bin Laden received a top-notch education. Bin Laden attended the King Abdul Aziz University in Jedda studying economics and management. He is a skilled businessman and fundraiser. Bin Laden uses his skills to raise funds for Islamic educational organizations and also "invests in about 60 legitimate companies, varying from agriculture to banking and construction." 2 With such an impressive track record, why is bin Laden one of the most wanted terrorists?


The answer to this question is simple. In August 1996, bin Laden issued a "declaration of war" against the United States. 3 His anti-American agenda is one reason to the chase after this man. However, going beyond the surface, there is an intricate level to be unraveled. Bin Laden's network has a worldwide presence and is multi-national. He supports and funds many terrorist groups. The list is extensive ranging from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Somalia, Tajikistan, Yemen to Algeria, Eritrea, and the Philippines. 4 Bin Laden trains and funds these networks devoted to terrorism. With the support that bin Laden gives, a strong following is natural. Naturally, one does not bite the hand that feeds you. The Taliban, which controls Afghanistan, had the ultimate militia leader Mullah Mohammad Omar say "even if all the countries of the world unite, we would defend Osama by our blood." 5 This strong and undying support for bin Laden shows the strength of his character and his strong committed following of thousands.


What are the objectives and goals of Osama bin Laden? He has four basic goals. First, to establish an international organization or government uniting all Muslims supporting the rule of the caliphs-"Khalifa", an Islamic concept meaning a leader chosen by the most knowledgeable Muslims--to lead the "umma" or worldwide Muslim community. 6 Second, to liberate Islam's three holiest places: Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. Third, to drive the western influence--mainly the United States--from all Muslim countries, especially in the Arab region. Bin Laden eventually wants to abolish all state boundaries, in order to form a large rectangular state. Fourth, overthrowing nearly all Muslim governments. Bin Laden believes the countries that are under Muslim rule, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, and Pakistan are under western influence. Therefore, they have become corrupt and deterred from following Islam.


Bin Laden's main motivation behind his actions is his belief that the West is controlling and believes they are the "master of this world." He stated in a CNN Interview with Peter Arnett that he wants to "bring an end to the occupation and the western and American influence on our countries." Bin Laden also stated that "we declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation of the Prophet's Night Travel Land (Palestine)." 7 Bin Laden's anti-US agenda is a reflection of his credence that America exists to usurp power and wreak havoc on the Muslim countries. His train of thought is shared among his large trail of followers.


Proliferation of Chemical and Biological Weapons

The State Department briefer, James B. Foley, said "as to where Mr. bin Laden has now suddenly eschewed interest in obtaining WMD, to include chemical weapons, we have no illusions on that score."


However, the State Department fails to incorporate the motivations and interests of Osama bin Laden in their analysis of the proliferation of CBW. Bin Laden is motivated to commit terrorist attacks because he wants a rectangular state and to get rid of the western influence that he believes has corrupted the Muslim countries.


The State Department has evidence that bin Laden is acquiring chemical weapons. The US has physical evidence of Chemical Weapons from the Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum Sudan. The physical evidence is "related to a precursor which is not used in commercial applications, does not occur naturally in the environment and is not a byproduct of another chemical process." 8 The precursor is an agent for VX nerve gas. Agents were able to acquire samples from the soil and test the soil in laboratories in the United States. Bin Laden is associated with the plant because it has been found that he is a substantial contributor to an enterprise of the pharmaceutical plant called the Military Industrial Complex. He has been a financial donor to this military enterprise in Sudan. He has also had a close relationship with the government of Sudan and the industrial sector. 9 Thus reliable US intelligence sources have been able to monitor and track his activities and have traced his network to actively acquiring CW. This information led to the US strike on facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan. The attack was designed to disrupt their infrastructure because that is where the bin Laden network is centered.


The training camps and the infrastructure have been used to execute terrorist attacks. The infrastructure contains the equipment, munitions, people, and training facilities. By destroying the heart of the organization, the US had hoped to halt the planning and execution of terrorist attacks. The training camps in Khost Afghanistan, south of the capital Kabul, provided refuge for the terrorists and housed the infrastructure for their funding and international travel. The training bases also provided training and tactics for the terrorists in the assembly and use of a wide variety of weapons; among them chemical weapons. 10 Therefore, the terrorist organizations look to the bin Laden network bases for inspiration, guidance, and investment.



Analysis of theory

Osama bin Laden is in a domain of loss and therefore risk-acceptant. He is willing to take risks because he has nothing to lose since his resources cannot be traced. His finances are tied deeply into legitimate companies and not lying around in bank accounts, therefore making it difficult to track his monetary resources and more difficult to destroy his power. He will be able to continue terrorist attacks, without the subjection of penalties by the superpowers because they cannot hold him accountable. He is not a leader of a country or of a formal group, to have the opposing actor make legitimate claims in the international arena. He does not obey the international laws and cannot be held to the same principles. Therefore, since the West has the advantage--strategically, financially, influentially and powerfully--he is more willing to take risks by attacking countries that have input in the Middle East.


The evidence for the domain of loss is his continuing reference to attack the West. He views the reference point as the (domineering) West overriding the principles of Islam; which he believes should rule the region of the Middle East. Bin Laden has not renormalized his perspective to incorporate the changing views (the new status quo), but rather holds on to the ideal of a continuing strong presence of Islam. By stating in an interview that the US "wants to occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose on us agents to rule us based not on what God has revealed and wants us to agree on all these," he is clearly showing his sense of a subordinate status.


Osama bin Laden is in a black box. The other actors cannot assume mirror imaging because bin Laden's personality, values and characteristics are different then the other actors. The box must be opened in order to see his cognitive constraints. Therefore, it can be assumed that he does not act rationally. If he did, then he would assume the opposing actor would mirror image his actions and be able to correctly perceive his motivations.


Rational decision making would entail value maximization, extensive search, evaluation and optimal revision. 11 He does not always act rationally because he is constrained by his motivated and unmotivated biases. Bin Laden uses a cognitive decision making process that incorporates his beliefs, values, an incomplete evaluation of the situation and a sub-optimal revision. He is bounded by his cognitive structures; he sees what he wants, which is a constraint. "The rationality of an individual is independent of values they hold and pursue." 12 However, bin Laden's values are directly related to his actions, and therefore irrational. Analysis of his behavior and actions needs to be interpreted to make reasonable assumptions as to what bin Laden may pursue.


The four waves of deterrence theory: The first wave of deterrence theory, capabilities, assumes the defender will comply. The second wave adds resolve. The third wave adds controllability and calculabilityof risk. The fourth wave adds misperception. The waves create a theory that presupposes the actor will use capabilities and resolve to deter the opponent. If the capabilities and the resolve of the actor are credible, the actor will succeed. However, if the defender misperceives the situation, then the actor will not be deterred. Bin Laden has the capabilities and the resolve to acquire chemical and biological weapons. Since he is a freelancer and is always on the move, he can better control and calculate the risk of his actions. The only plausible halt to his quests would be if the defender would misperceive his threat. However, it would be difficult for the defender to misperceive his threat because bin Laden's values are clearly portrayed in the US media. His intentions are to defray the western influence and to acquire CBW to drive forth his cause.


Timothy McVeigh On April 19, 1995 at 9:02 a.m. the unthinkable happened in one of the most powerful countries of the world: an American terrorist blew up half of the nine story Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A Ryder truck carrying explosives detonated inside the building killing 168 children, women and men while injuring over 500. Ninety minutes after the explosion, Timothy McVeigh was pulled over by an Oklahoma Highway patrol officer for driving without a license plate. Without knowing that McVeigh was the mastermind of the bombing, he was taken into custody.


Subsequently, McVeigh was tied to the bombing and the physical evidence found by Steve Burmeister, a supervisory special agent at the FBI crime laboratory in Washington, D.C. incriminated him further. Burmeister found "traces of the high-explosive PETN, contained in detonating cord, in his pants pocket, on two shirts he was wearing and on a set of ear plugs." 13 Traces of nitroglycerin and EDGN were also found on the earplugs. The incriminating evidence that undeniably placed McVeigh as the key suspect was the ammonium nitrate crystals found in the truck that he drove. Ammonium nitrate is the key chemical that composes the bomb's main charge. Traces of this chemical were found on McVeigh's clothing and in the truck. 14 Further evidence that Louis Hupp, FBI fingerprint expert, discovered was McVeigh's prints on a receipt for one ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. 15 Also, Gregory Pfaff, a former gun dealer and a friend of McVeigh's testified that McVeigh urgently sought to buy detonator cord, which is used to set off large explosives. 16


The evidence linking McVeigh to the bombing is a prototype of the rise in freelance terrorism. Even though McVeigh used a bomb as his source of weapon, the possibility that he could have used CBW is strong. Actors such as McVeigh who believe they are saving their country are not going to be as easily deterred from committing acts of terrorism. He has the resolve and capability to commit terrorist acts. He is willing to put his life on the line, or spend the rest of his life in jail for principles he believes in. An actor with such determination and willingness to purse a path of destruction is certainly not going to pause and become concerned with the innocent victim. The tragedy lies in the depth of the perception of the actor's intentions and motivations to create the greatest harm, the easiest and most effective way; the acquisition and proliferation of CBW.


Looking inside the mind set of Timothy McVeigh

McVeigh was a prominent soldier who fought in the Gulf War. He earned the Bronze Star, the army commendation medal, while also receiving honor and distinction. How could a dedicated soldier to the United States completely reconstruct his perspectives on his government and become the mastermind of the largest terrorist attack in America? McVeigh led a normal childhood, but eventually his innocent character developed into one that acquired weapons and became angry with the US government. Prosecutors in the trial explained that "McVeigh's American dream was a nightmare-to blow up a building full of government workers to forment a second American Revolution." 17 Other's had testified of McVeigh's obsession with the "Turner Diaries," a racist, anti-Semitic novel in which the FBI headquarters is destroyed in order to start a second American Revolution. 18 Even though the knowledge that McVeigh was obsessed with this novel, he claims that he is absolutely not anti-Semitic.


Why would McVeigh blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma? This question leads directly to the values and ideology of McVeigh. He believes that the government is corrupt and has gone against the principals of the founding fathers: to allow each individual the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By contradicting the foundation of this country, McVeigh felt betrayed and ready to take action to correct the definitive measures of the government.


In an interview with Time, McVeigh expressed his views on the government and said that the government has misconceived its obligation or authority to deny the civil liberties. "We've gotten away from the principle that they were only created to secure those rights. And that's where, I believe, much of the trouble has surfaced." 19 He feels that the government is too powerful and that the system of checks and balances is ineffective. "I believe there are many checks and balances built into our system of government. However, I think many of them have been circumvented and right now you have an arrogance of attitude, an omnipotent attitude." 20 The driving force that pushed McVeigh into action is the death of the 80 Branch Davidian members in Waco, Texas. McVeigh felt that the government was responsible for their death after the FBI failed raid on April 19, 1993, exactly two years before the Oklahoma City Bombing. McVeigh's friend Pfaff also explained in the trial how McVeigh was agitated and outraged over the Waco incident. "He couldn't believe it was happening - couldn't believe that the government was doing what it was doing. He said it could be the start of the government going house-to-house to retrieve weapons." 21 As a result, McVeigh sought retribution.


Analysis of Theory

As a freelancer, McVeigh would perceive himself in a domain of loss. The actor that gains is the government and he perceives the government as the force that has the power and the authority to make decisions. Hence, he wants a decentralized government with all individuals having the option to choose their own course in life. His ideology and political objectives motivate him.

The high benefit is the vengeance of the US government and making his statement. The low cost to his decision is death or the possibility of spending the rest of his life in jail. McVeigh would be willing to risk his life in order to fulfill his goals. As McVeigh wrote in a letter to The Dallas Morning News, "I have no fear of execution. If anything, death by execution is much more predictable than normal life or combat -- because I at least know when and how I'm checking out." 22 Life is a low cost to McVeigh because it is not of value.


McVeigh can be explained in terms of prospect theory because he is in a domain of loss. His reference point is the ultimate control and power that the government holds. McVeigh is more concerned with the loss of his individual rights, then of gain. From this perspective and from the Waco incident, McVeigh is anchored into a position of believing that the United State's government is intent on causing harm. His rationale is that the Federal Intelligence Agency (FBI) had killed 80 US citizens before, therefore it is probable that the government could kill more Americans. By committing the Oklahoma City Bombing, McVeigh did not consider other alternatives to fulfill his ideological and political beliefs. His search was limited and the evaluation of the circumstances incomplete. McVeigh did maximize his gains and minimize the losses, nevertheless did not complete an optimal search and evaluation of the situation.



McVeigh's use of explosives and of the chemical ammonium nitrate is indicative of the increasing acquisition of weapons by terrorists. Consider this scenario. McVeigh acquiring CBW to blow up the Oklahoma City Bombing. The possibility is not inconceivable. It would be easy for McVeigh, a war veteran, to acquire the materials and create a recipe for the weapons. It may be far simpler then using explosives. The reality is that anyone has access to the advanced technology. The bomb had destroyed half of a nine story building killing 168 people. However, if CBW was used, more damage could have been caused, creating a larger catastrophe.


Shoko Asahara The first terrorist group to extensively use chemical weapons was Aum Shinrikyo,

translating into "Supreme Truth", a religious Japanese cult formed in 1987. Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, is the mastermind of the crimes. On March 20, 1995 members of Aum Shinrikyo released the deadly chemical nerve agent sarin on five trains that passed through the Kasumigaseki subway station in central Tokyo. Members of the cult released the poisonous gas by puncturing the containers that enclosed the sarin into the trains and the subway station. Twelve people died and 5,500 were injured. The fatality of the attack could have been significantly greater if the cultists had properly mixed the agent. However, because of the impure mixture, many had escaped death. 23 The lethal component of sarin gas can kill a person within minutes of merely one drop by skin contact or inhalation of the vapor. Sarin inhibits the response of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses. 24


Aum Shinrikyo was not only developing chemical weapons, but was also collectively working towards developing biological agents. The cult believed in an apocalyptic end between Japan and the United States and therefore accelerated their efforts by acquiring CBW. The danger of the biological weapons is the possibility of the viruses, bacteria, fungi and other agents multiplying in the environment. Not only are these agents contagious, but they are reproductive as well. Consequently making biological weapons one of the most dangerous.


The evidence that the Aum Shinrikyo Cult is acquiring CBW ensures that the threat is credible. Freelancers and groups can acquire the materials, the knowledge, and technology to proliferate. Individual members are educated and have scientific and technological expertise. Many have access to substantial economic resources. Also some cultists were members of the government, in addition to the military. Furthermore, Asahara, as the leader, was able to delegate assignments to the members. Aum is an extensive cult with many defining functions, therefore members were assigned to certain tasks depending on their knowledge of the topic. Assignments ranged from acquiring materials, constructing facilities, and operational training to producing agents. The cultists were the core support of the group: they researched, developed, practiced, and tested CBW. 25


The cultists also provided the financing of the group. The group obtaining the legal chemical procurement for companies established the resources. Once the Aum cult had purchased enough precursor for chemicals, the company would shut down. Other funds continually came into the businesses established by Aum Shinrikyo and the funds from members who relinquished their accounts and properties to the group. Shinrikyo's total assets reached a high of $2 billion. 26 The Cult was not lacking resources and consequently had plenty of money to commit acts of terrorism. Now Aum has been dissolved, its members dispersed and its assets confiscated.


Inside the Mindset of the Mastermind Guru

Andrew Marshalls, co-author of "The Cult at the End of the World," describes in detail the mindset of Asahara and of his apocalyptic cult. Marshall believes the driving force of the cult was Asahara's massive ego. Marshall said Asahara "wanted to take over Japan and then eventually world domination. And this seems laughable to us, but the serious part was that Aum had this armory and it was clearly willing to use it to make the guru's prediction of death and destruction come true." 27 Aum's leader was clearly a man who used religion as a means to gain control and power. All members were trying to fulfill their religious spirituality and used a religious group as a means to express their release. The law enforcement agencies could not hold Aum accountable because it was a religious chartered organization. Hence, Asahara was able to retain control of the cult. 28


Born in 1955, Asahara is a well-educated intellectual. However, his thirst for power had a controlling characteristic that prevented members from leaving the Cult of their own free will. On the contrary, Asahara expected cultists to work irrevocably for what he assured them was in the best interest of the group and the individual. Indeed, Aum's most brutal castigation from the "penal code" was ostracism, which was considered worse than physical punishment. 29 Hence, members were forced to think in terms of the society created by Asahara, reflected in his preaching for survival of the cult; isolation, groupism, and self-reliance. Consequently, followers abdicated their wealth and identity to the cult. Members eventually relied on the group for their sustenance, identity and religious liberation. Subsequently, Asahara was viewed as the apostle saving his people from ruin.


Analysis of Theory

Like other freelancers, Shoko Asahara is in a domain of loss. Asahara has an apocalyptic view of the world; accordingly, his reference point is firstly the regional control and secondly the global domination. He uses the religious cult as a supportive unit to his cause. The religion places into perspective the values. Asahara is motivated by his ideological and religious beliefs. He wants to see a world controlled under the old system of Japan. He has not renormalized to the new status quo of the more modern government. The endowment he places on the old government, escalates the movement towards acquiring CBW.


Asahara is limited in his scope of the world because he does not take into consideration other alternatives. His view is only focused on the apocalyptic image. Consequently, he is not a rational-decision maker. By taking into consideration the cognition and psychology, he has not been able to perform an optimal search and revision of the situation. Hence, the acquisition of CBW can be attributed to Prospect Theory due to the values associated with the situation.





Currently freelancers are a threat to international security, however, there are shortcomings that prevent them from achieving the maximum potential level of terrorism. Consider a situation that capitalizes on the knowledge and technological level of freelancers to make them a larger looming threat. The threat is real, however, mistakes made such as the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway station prevented the attack from achieving its fullest capabilities. How would freelancer's amelioration of knowledge, resources, and technology change the nature of the threat?


How can Osama bin Laden be any wealthier than he is now? His resources are rich. His use of technology-computers, encryption software, and satellite use of phones-has allowed him to be successful in his terrorist operations. However, the level of knowledge in the development and use of chemical and biological weapons could be further enhanced to reach an optimal stockpile of weapons. Bin Laden would then have the power to successfully commit acts of terrorism against his enemies. He would be beyond the realm of control. Bin Laden's passion of destroying the West gives him an even larger motivation to excel. If he were to acquire help from Russian scientists that have been out of work since the fall of the Soviet Union, he would have a stronger team to develop the weapons. The potency of this affect would be increased amounts of terrorist attacks with more effective and consequential results.


Timothy McVeigh was not using CBW, but if he had the knowledge, resources, and technology, he could have successfully utilized these weapons in the Oklahoma City Bombing. The bombing he had already committed destroyed half of a nine story building and killed hundreds of people. If he had the capabilities to use CBW he could have created a massive destruction of much more then half the building, but could have killed more innocent people. Making CBW is relatively easy. There are instructions on the internet that are simple and easy to follow. Not only are they easy to make, but they have a low cost. However, if McVeigh were to use CBW in the Oklahoma City Bombing, the level of domestic terrorism could potentially rise. If the United States did seek punitive actions against the individuals, then perhaps the efforts could be contained and individuals deterred. However, the danger would remain eminent.


Shoko Asahara had already used both chemical and biological weapons. He had an elaborate practice developed with individuals performing specific duties. Asahara definitely had the knowledge, resources, and technological capability. Members of the cult were all educated and had the knowledge to produce the weapons. The only shortcoming Aum had was the faulty mixture of the chemicals. If they were able to accurately mix the chemicals, then the fatality of the subway attack would have been massive. If the cult had not been stopped, the nature of the threat would have excelled to new proportions. High scale terrorist attacks are still in the making, and the Aum Shinrikyo cult is an example of the danger that they possess. Luckily, the Japanese government was able to intervene, thus dispersing the cult.


Even though freelancers are already capable of committing apocalyptic situations, they are still not developed at the level of a state. They are beginning to establish themselves which is exemplified in the terrorist attacks across the globe. Terrorism is not limited to a specific region, but is spreading to incorporate individuals who are seeking vengeance for various ideological, political and religious causes. All the freelancers discussed in this paper explore the proliferation of CBW and have produced weapons to fulfill their objectives. A scenario where they are able to come close to perfecting their stockpile is not a rare likelihood. The possibility is strong and could happen if the freelancers are persistent and consistent in materializing the resources.



The United States and its allies are not going to tolerate any terrorism. Terrorists will be sought out and a war on terrorism will be induced. An attempt will be made to demolish the source of all terrorists. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said "terrorists should know that we will not simply play passive defense. America will defend itself and its interests through active measures." 30 Other options could be economic sanctions against the freelancers. Hence, counterterrorism actions will accelerate in an attempt to prevent freelancers from disrupting the international security.


The actual response to these measures by freelancers will be to ignore them. Freelancers do not care about these measures because they are targeting the countries that are attempting to stop them. Freelancers are committing acts of terrorism for causes they believe in, therefore, any measure created by opposing forces will be dismissed. Freelancers do not place a value on their life; furthermore, they would not be concerned with the counterterrorism efforts. The threat of terrorism is a reality. The targets of the terrorism are attempting to contain the acquisition of chemical and biological weapons, however are not able to deter individuals. Freelancers are going to be determined in proliferating and the targets are going to continue to initiate policies and activities to try to put an end to the terrorism.



1 Tanter, Raymond. Rogue Regimes: Chapter Seven [Online]. 2 November 1998. Available: WWW. URL:

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2 Coddington, Anne and Pat Carr. Osama bin Laden: Reign of Terror [Online]. 1998. Available: WWW. URL:

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3 US Department of State. Fact Sheet: Usama bin Laden [Online]. 21 August 1998. Available: WWW. URL:

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4 Ibid.

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5 See endnote 1.

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6 See endnote 1.

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7 CNN Interview by Peter Arnett. Transcript of Osama bin Laden interview [Online]. March 1997. Available: WWW.


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8 Foley, James B. US Department of State: Daily Press Briefing [Online]. 26 August 1998.

Available: WWW. URL:

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9 Albright, Madeline K. and Sandy Berger. Press Briefing on US Strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan [Online]. 20 August 1998. Available: WWW. URL:

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10 Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Department of State. Fact Sheet: Usama bin Laden [Online]. 21 August 1998. Available: WWW. URL:

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11 Tanter, Raymond. International Security Affairs Note 1 [Online]. 8 September 1998. Available: WWW.


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12 Ibid.

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13 Flynn, Kevin and Karen Abbot. Inside Denver. Bomb traces linked to McVeigh [Online]. 20 May 1997. Available: WWW. URL:

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14 Abbot, Karen and Lynn Bartels. Inside Denver. FBI chemist casts doubt on evidence. 28 May 1995. Available: WWW. URL:

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15 Pankratz, Howard and Peter G. Chronis. McVeigh Obsessed with Weapons [Online]. 2 May 1995. Available: WWW. URL:

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16 Ibid.

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17 Reuters. Timothy McVeigh: Decorated war veteran, domestic terrorist [Online]. 2 June 1997. Available: WWW. URL:

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18 Ibid.

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19 Times Interview. McVeigh Interview [Online]. 25 April 1995. Available: WWW.


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20 Ibid.

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21 See endnote 15.

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22 Nando Net. McVeigh not afraid of dying [Online]. 18 December 1997. Available: WWW.


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23 US Department of State. Security Resource Net: 1995 Patterns of Global Terrorism. April 1996. Available: WWW. URL:

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24 Cole, Leonard. Scientific American: The Specter of Biological Weapons. December 1996. Available: WWW. URL:

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25 Department of Defense. The Transnational Threat [Online]. 1 May 1997. Available: WWW.


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26 Ibid.

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27 Lee, May. CNN. Japan's 'trial of the century' begins [Online]. 24 April 1996. Available: WWW.


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 28 Ibid.

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 29 No Author. The Evil that is Aum [Online]. 12 January 1997. Available: WWW.


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30 Cohen, William. Countering terrorism and protecting our forces. Available: WWW.


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Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Suzanne K. Sukkar

This page is intended for academic use only. No images seen herein are subject to copyright laws.

Special thanks to Professor Raymond Tanter.