Part A: When asked a few years ago what the single most serious threat to national security might be, both President Obama and his predecessor, President Bush, were in agreement: nuclear terrorism. Robert Gates, the only Secretary of Defense to have served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, was recently asked, “What keeps you awake at night?” His response: “It’s the thought of a terrorist ending up with a weapon of mass destruction, especially nuclear.” Al Qaeda has made it clear and Osama bin Laden (before his death) declared it a “religious duty” to acquire and use nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to kill the infidels. Despite the remarks made by Presidents Obama and Bush, skeptics abound proclaiming that that it is far beyond the capability of Al Qaeda, ISIL, or leaderless jihadists to commit WMD terrorism.
Now then, please consider carefully before answering the following questions:
- How serious is the threat of mass violence caused by WMD terrorism by non-state actors? Is it really a real and imminent threat or fear mongering?
- With all the worries about nuclear terrorism from our leaders and the intelligence community, in your mind how would you rank biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism in terms of which would most likely be and less likely be used to cause mass violence by non-state actors? Explain your ranking and rationale.
- What is the modus operandi of Al Qaeda? What is the modus operandi of ISIL/ISIS? Compare its organization with the state/nation you sponsored in the ‘Regimes of Secrecy’ conference.
- Name and discuss another non-state terrorist organization that you believe is a growing threat in the world today.
Part B: Please watch the following short video: U.S. Has Al Qaeda Concerns Over Ricin Bomb Attacks, do some further research and consider the following:
- There have been other discoveries of ricin in the past found in the caves of Afghanistan, London apartments and Capital Hill. Is this news published a few years ago concerning ricin bombs worrisome in light of your ranking of WMDs in Part A? Explain. Anything new with ricin in the U.S. or the world recently?
- What are the state-of-the-art technologies for detecting ricin? Is there a biosensor field test for this extremely toxic plant lectin? After all, this stuff ends up in caves. Is ricin an enzyme? What is its mechanism of action? What is a lectin? What therapies exist for ricin poisoning today? Can anyone find an approved vaccine for ricin, well can you?
- Post some recent news about Al Qaeda, ISIL or another non-state actor that you find interesting, troubling or disturbing—they are out there and there are several! Please provide a reference or link relating to your news.
APA format, in-text citation, references include, 2 pages, answers all the requirement.