47 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 20 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
The prospects of politically violent non-state actors utilizing chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons has captured the imaginations of not only public officials and the news media, but also a sizeable group of scholars who have sought to better define and characterize this apparent threat. Yet little of this work is quantitative in nature and global in scope. This study presents an analysis of the decision to pursue CBRN weapons that leverages data from the Monterey Weapons of Mass Destruction dataset and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT). Our findings suggest that organizations embedded in alliance structures and based in authoritarian countries with relatively strong connections to a globalized world are more likely to seek to develop or acquire CBRN weapons. Contrary to previous studies, we failed to find a significant relationship between CBRN pursuit and either religious ideology or two measures of organizational capabilities.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Asal, Victor and Rethemeyer, R. Karl and Ackerman, Gary and Park, Hyun Hee, Connections Can Be Toxic: Terrorist Organizational Factors and the Pursuit of CBRN Terrorism (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1644255