The Risk of Skilled Scientist Radicalization and Emerging Biological Warfare Threats


Martellini, M.,
Rao, J.

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Skilled scientists are not immune to the appeal of terrorist groups, indeed recent studies indicate that engineers and medical doctors are over-represented within terrorist organizations. Also of particular concern with regard to the potential radicalization of scientists is the issue of the ‘lone wolf’; an individual who prepares and commits violence alone, outside of any command structure and without material assistance from any group.

This book presents papers from the NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) entitled ‘The Risk of Skilled Scientist Radicalization and Emerging Biological Warfare Threats’, held in Como, Italy, from 29 November to 2 December 2016. The aim of this ARW was to assess the risks surrounding the ability of radical terrorist groups to recruit highly skilled scientists. The ARW was unique in that it brought together acknowledged experts from the social science community and the scientific technical community to discuss their perspectives on the risk of radicalization of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) skilled scientists.

Countering terrorist organizations requires a comprehensive approach characterized by international cooperation across the military, intelligence, policy-making and scientific communities. The book provides an overview of the situation, as well as recommendations for how such cooperation can be achieved, and will be of interest to all those involved in the counter-terrorism process.

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