Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, known as “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD), pose a daunting challenge to homeland security because of their potentially catastrophic consequences. It is widely believed that terrorists are actively seeking to acquire, build, and use a WMD against the U.S. homeland. Countering the WMD threat requires a risk-based, layered approach, where we aim to understand and anticipate the threat, control access to and movement of weapons, and expand and strengthen our capabilities to detect, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from an attack.
The Committee will continue to work to ensure that the intelligence, detection, medical countermeasures, medical surge capacity, and other key measures are in place to effectively prevent and prepare for a potential WMD attack. The Securing the Cities Initiative – an initiative that combines Federal, State and local resources to protect the New York City metropolitan area against the threat of a radiological or nuclear attack – exemplifies the type of risk-based, collaborative approach needed to build robust regional capabilities and national assets equipped to counter the WMD threat.