2019 has been a relatively stable year in terms of CBRN attacks. However, this is not necessarily indicative of the international threat still posed by CBRN agents.
This latest bulletin considers the issues surrounding the perpetuation of the myth of Red Mercury, despite the wealth of evidence to suggest it does not exist. Alongside this, we look at the threat posed by North Korea’s chemical weapons programme and what it means for access to CBRN weapons in the future. It also includes a roundup of CBRN related incidents from the past 12 months in our interactive map.
Red Mercury: Fact or Fiction
‘Red Mercury’ is an unproven chemical compound which can supposedly be used to create a nuclear bomb. While most nuclear scientists agree that Red Mercury is a myth, the persistent hoax of its existence has the potential to cause mass panic. It is known that ISIS, at one point, tried to source the compound and there are numerous rumours circulating the internet regarding both its existence and its ability to help create a nuclear weapon. Read the article
CBRN: Weapons Proliferation from North Korea
With continued tensions between North Korea and most of the rest of the world, there has been significant reporting on the success and dangers of their nuclear weapons programme. They are also known to possess chemical weapons. With the state’s history for disregarding international norms, the development of nuclear and chemical weapons for subsequent sale to terrorist organisations is a real possibility. This could potentially be a game changer in providing access to these weapons on a scale we have not seen before. Read the article