UNICRI and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) organized the “Chemical and Biological Weapon Mobile Laboratory Prevention” workshop held on June 27-28, 2019 at the Palais de Nations in Geneva.
The aim of the workshop was to build enduring partnerships and foster coordination between representatives of local industry, academia and law enforcement from Algeria and Tunisia in order to enhance capabilities to disrupt the development of mobile chemical and biological weapons (CBW) laboratories by non-state actors. Twenty-four participants from Algeria and Tunisia, as well as a representative from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, attended the workshop.
The specific focus was to raise awareness of the dual-use of laboratory equipment with manufacturers and resellers, as well as within academia, by illustrating their potential to be utilized to develop CBW for conducting devastating terrorist attacks. Real laboratory equipment was provided and configured for the workshop to enhance law enforcement’s capability to recognize a CBW laboratory, if encountered in the field.
The workshop enabled participants to rapidly recognize and investigate instances where key laboratory equipment was sought after, purchased, or illegitimately acquired with the intent of CBW production.
The UNICRI Office in Geneva analyzes the global impacts, opportunities and challenges of technological change and seeks innovative solutions to address emerging risks. The workshop was an opportunity to share the FBI’s best practices to detect and identify risk scenarios in which terrorist groups attempt to use laboratory equipment for CBW development.