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by Charles P. Blair, Senior Fellow on State and Non-State Threats, Federation of American Scientists
August 7, 2012 (TSR) - Ten years after the events of 9/11, it is often forgotten that high fatality terrorist incidents remain a rarity. Indeed, prior to 9/11 the single deadliest terrorist attack was the 1978 Iranian theatre firebombing perpetrated by Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK: People’s Majahedin of Iran) with 470 fatalities. Since 1970, only 118 incidents of terrorism have killed more than 100 people—0.12 percent of the 98,000 terrorist events encompassing that four decade span.
As the death toll of the July 22 attacks in Norway killed 77 and 242 injured, it is useful to appreciate this fact. In addition to recognizing their uncommonly deadly outcomes, two other features related to the attack are salient. First, significant elements of Anders Breivik’s treatise—the 1500 page 2083: A European Declaration of Independence 2 —address the acquisition, weaponization, and use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) agents or devices against Breivik’s perceived enemies.
Second, his ideological platform, said by Breivik to represent his role as “Justiciar Knight Commander for Knights Templar Europe and one of several leaders of the National and pan-European Patriotic Resistance Movement,” is largely informed by European racist ideology that first emerged in the nineteenth century and continues to this day. This report principally evaluates the CBRN elements of Breivik’s treatise. A subsequent report (released in late 2011) will orient Breivik’s ideological underpinnings within the broader historical milieu of European racist thinking. First, however, it is useful to place Breivik’s attack in perspective.
While the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) used in the Oslo attack warrants attention for its size and deliverability, the Utoya Island attack represents a true outlier in regard to incidents of terrorism. As noted above, attacks generating high levels of death (more than 50) are a rarity.3 As Figure 1 illustrates, less than 0.5 percent of allterrorist attacks since 1970—over 98,000—generated more than 50 fatalities.4 With the exception of suicide bombings, all of these attacks, when the perpetrator was known, were conducted by more than one person. In short, if Breivik was the sole shooter, with at least 68 people killed, the Utoya Island incident is unprecedented.
When considering the use of firearms in incidents of terrorism (as opposed, for example, to bombings), the events on Utoya Island are also unique.5 Figure 2 demonstrates that in terrorist events utilizing firearms, either as the only weapon type or in combination with other weapon types, just over 0.5 percent result in more than 50 fatalities.6 Furthermore, if the death toll from the Utoya Island shooting remains at 68 then it becomes evident that only 97 attacks utilizing solely firearms have generated equal or greater casualties in the time period 1970-2010—0.25 percent of all attacks.
Moreover, of the 209 incidents involving firearms that generated more than 50 casualties, 112 utilized firearms and other weapons. Reportedly utilizing a customized Ruger Mini-14 rifle, a Glock 17 pistol, and a Benelli Nova pump-action shotgun 7 the Utoya Island attack is a true anomaly in the history of recorded terrorism.
As unprecedented as the attacks themselves were, Breivik’s treatise predicts that greater acts of violence are forthcoming. Significantly, Breivik warns of the use—by his unnamed confederate Knight Templars—of CBRN agents and/or devices against the “cultural Marxists” and “multiculturalists” responsible for the Islamic “colonization” of Europe. While it is tempting to dismiss his threats as hyperbole from a “crazy loner” it is entirely possible that Breivik is, as he claims to be, a member of a neo-Templar group. As Jeffrey M. Bale, a terrorism expert with decades of experience researching and analyzing, inter alia, elitist, conspiratorial, right-wing, exterminationist, and apocalyptic millenarian ideologies with overt political overtones, asks:
“[D]oes [Breivik] have organizational connections to any of the dozens (if not hundreds) of small neo-Templar groups that nowadays exist throughout Europe? … Most such groups are utterly harmless inasmuch as their members mainly like to wear medieval garb, participate in elaborate rituals, network with each other, and imagine themselves to be the aristocratic heirs of the Templars, but at times various neo-Templar groups have been involved in serious acts of violence (e.g., certain groups reportedly linked to the Service d’Action Civique, a Gaullist parallel police apparatus in France, and the cult-like Ordre du Temple Solaire).”8
In short, revelations in the last few days suggest that Breivik may not have been acting alone. Moreover, Breivik may have links to clandestine, well-funded, sophisticated, and violent non-state groups. Oslo District Court Judge Kim Heger stated that Breivik claimed to be part of an “organization” (ostensibly a splinter of the Knights Templar) and that there were “two more cells in [Breivik’s] organization.”9 Ominously, Breivik states that, “There are cells that are already in the process of attempting to acquire chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials.”10 Given these claims and the operational security Breivik (and, possibly, others) maintained—as well as the obvious tactical sophistication of the attacks and a clear lack of compunction instigating mass-casualty terrorism incidents —it is prudent to consider his threats of forthcoming CBRN use seriously.11
In his treatise, Breivik elaborates in great detail about the perceived need for Muslims living in Europe to either “assimilate” or leave the continent. The deadline for his “Assimilation policy/demand” expires on January 1, 2020.12 The timing for possible first use of chemical and/or biological weapons (CBW) however, is not explicitly identified. Breivik appears to leave the door open for CBW use by noting that, “We will not initiate any nuclear power plant attacks until the deadline has passed … we will instead focus on non-nuclear attacks until then.”13 As noted below, CBW attacks may be precipitated according to Breivik, “if we feel that conventional approaches are fruitless or if the … Western European regimes successfully manage to neutralize our long term efforts…”14
The effective use of CBRN is an understandable aspiration for Breivik and his putative Templar “brothers” (whoever, if anyone, they might actually be) given the ideology outlined in the former’s treatise. Breivik writes that, “We will not allow our corrupt and traitorous EU elites to sell the European people in to Muslim slavery,” adding, “We will not allow them to annihilate Western civilisation[sic], our identities and culture by allowing them to continue to institutionalise[sic] and implement multiculturalism.”… “We demand their full surrender- nothing more, nothing less..”15 Of great significance is the fact that Breivik calls not for the systematic destruction of Muslims but, rather, for the elimination of their European enablers and apologists:
“Make no mistake. These Muslims must be considered as wild animals. Do not blame the wild animals but rather the multiculturalist category … traitors who allowed these animals to enter our lands, and continue to facilitate them. This is nothing less than a genocide aided and abetted by our own elites, primarily Marxist, suicidal humanist and capitalist globalist politicians and journalists. They will eventually pay the ultimate price for their war crimes. Judgment day is coming closer for each and every … traitor. No mercy will be shown to them because they know what they have done and continue to do.”16
The threat of use and the actual employment of CBRN, therefore, is perceived by Breivik as facilitating his goals in at least four ways:
1. Compel/coerce: forcing his perceived enemies—“the criminal multiculturalist regimes of Western Europe”—to capitulate.17
2. Undermine the power base of perceived enemies: “Just imagine how much ideological, psychological and economical damage it would cause the criminal French cultural Marxist/multicultural regime if they had to abandon the Eiffel tower [sic] and create a 1km containment zone around it for several decades to come.”18
3. Resolve asymmetric tactical/strategic imbalances: CBRN “might be an option if we feel that conventional approaches are fruitless or if the intelligence agencies/system protectors working for the Western European regimes successfully manage to neutralize our long term efforts to liberate our countries.”19
4. Punish perceived European enemies: “They will eventually pay the ultimate price for their war crimes… No mercy will be shown to them because they know what they have done and continue to do.”20
Breivik carefully qualifies the means of achieving “surrender” from his foes by noting that “our objective” is not to kill hundreds of thousands of people, “[o]ur aim is to execute surgically precise attacks with a medium to low amount of casualties ([on specific] concentrations of … cultural Marxists / multiculturalists.”21 CBRN attacks are to be utilized against the two echelons of European traitors: so-called “Category A” and “Category B” groups. The former—said to number ten per 1 million citizens—represent “usually any current Heads of State, ministers/senators, directors and leaders of certain organizations/boards etc. who are guilty of [certain] charges…” These charges range from, “Aiding and abetting the cultural genocide against the indigenous peoples of Europe” to “Contributing to institutionalised [sic] persecution, discrimination, harassment, illegal monitoring, incarceration, torture and/or mental/physical abuse of any and all individuals who attempt to resist or oppose the Islamic invasion/colonisation [sic] of Europe through demographic warfare and/or cultural genocide.”22 Breivik estimates that “Category B traitors” represent 1,000 out of every 1 million Europeans. “Category B traitors” are also deemed appropriate targets for CBRN. This category includes “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist politicians, primarily from the alliance of European political parties known as ‘the MA 100’ (parties who support multiculturalism) and EU parliamentarians.”23
Breivik writes that the use of chemical warfare (CW) agents is desirable when executing “surgically precise attacks with a medium to low amount of casualties (concentrations of category A and B cultural Marxists/multiculturalists).”24 The utility of CW is enhanced, Breivik notes, “as it will leave the infrastructure intact.” Alleged sources for CW agents, according to Breivik, include the Russian mafia, various jihadist groups, and legitimate Austrian chemical companies. While references to Russian black market “sources” are in line with common misperceptions, Breivik’s advocacy for CBRN cooperation with “the enemies of our enemies” (i.e., jihadists) is noteworthy.25 Breivik warns:
“…Knights Templar will for the future consider working with the enemies of the EU/US hegemony such as Iran (South Korea is unlikely 26), al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab or the rest of the devout fractions of the Islamic Ummah with the intention for deployment of small nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical weapons in Western European capitals and other high priority locations. Justiciar Knights and other European Christian martyrs can avoid the scrutiny normally reserved for individuals of Arab descent and we can ensure successful deployment and detonation in the location of our choice.”27
URAGAN D2: Breivik believes that this blood agent—a hydrogen cyanide also referred to as Zyclon B—is “easily obtainable.”28 Moreover, he states that “[t]hree kilogram[sic] is enough to kill as many as 40 000 people,” a claim chemical weapon expert Jonathan Tucker describes as “absurd.”29
OTHER CW AGENTS: Also briefly noted in the treatise are “nerve agents, ricin, lewisite and mustard gas.”30
As noted earlier, Breivik considers CW useful in “surgically precise attacks.” Accordingly, he advocated the use of “chemical bullets” (see “Biological Weapons” section below for “poison bullets”) or the dispersal of chemical agents “through ventilation systems of buildings where there are concentrations of category A and B traitors.”31 As noted above, Breivik conceives of CW use if “conventional approaches are fruitless or if the intelligence agencies/system protectors working for the Western European regimes successfully manage to neutralize our long term efforts to liberate our countries.”32 With regard to “acceptable” death tolls from CW attacks, Breivik notes that “Certain target building complexes can contain as many as 30-50 category A traitors, 200-300 category B traitors and 2000-3000 category C traitors with an acceptable amount of civilians.”33 Outside of Western Europe the use of CW is also identified as a specific option in the “liberation” of “Greek Western Anatolia, Northern Cyprus and Armenian Eastern Anatolia” from Turkish control.34
Along with other CBRN, Breivik calls for the use of biological weapons (BW) and toxins against the “cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites,” stressing that “Efforts must be made to obtain [them].” 35 Despite claiming his “aim is to execute surgically precise attacks with a medium to low amount of casualties…” Breivik intended to use CBRN to cause mass casualties. In his treatise he defines “surgically precise” in a manner that is anything but:
“The number of civilian loses will be acceptable for certain targets. Certain target building complexes can contain as many as 30-50 category A traitors, 200-300 category B traitors and 2000-3000 category C traitors with an acceptable amount of civilians.”36
Weapons of mass destruction are intended for just that purpose—mass destruction. In calling for the surgical use of weapons to cause thousands of deaths—by no means a low casualty count–one can see the disparity between his stated purpose and his intended results.
As noted earlier, Breivik claims nuclear or radiological weapons will not be used by himself or his followers until at least 2020 37 and until then he urges his followers to use conventional, biological, and chemical weapons. To incentivize the use of BWs, he created a commendation system explicitly laid out within the treatise. For example, the ‘Lord of War Commendation: Silver Sword’ is to be awarded to individuals who “execut[ed]/kill[ed] at least 10 category A, B or C traitors… [with] a biological or chemical WMD…” and the ‘Commendation of Clandestine Logistical Excellence: Gold Sword’ to be awarded for “…exceptional logistical skills in a military operation… involving conventional weapons with an unconventional WMD, biological, nuclear, etc.”38
Breivik’s treatise focused on Bacillus anthracis (the causative agent of anthrax), ricin, and concentrated liquid nicotine. Fortunately, Breivik neglected the obvious and relatively easy to acquire BWs such as botulinum neurotoxin and Foot and Mouth Disease—both of which could have massive social and economic ramifications if deployed effectively. Aeorsolized anthrax, nicotine, and ricin are considered deadly BWs,39 but Breivik only mentions the use of aersolized anthrax. He focuses instead on using un-aerosolized ricin and nicotine for armed assaults.40 Breivik’s understanding of the social implications of BW attacks is well grounded and he is capable of making and/or obtaining ricin and nicotine for assault use. However, Breivik’s ability to obtain weapons grade anthrax and toxins is less likely.
ANTHRAX: While Breivik discusses Bacillus anthracis at great length, he lacks the necessary knowledge to culture and weaponize the spores himself. For example, his laboratory equipment list does not include basic bacterial culturing equipment, such as incubators, centrifuges, and fermentors. Breivik also recommends getting an anthrax vaccination, but does not appear to understand that the vaccine is not available to the general public.41
Breivik understands that the technology required to weaponize B. anthracis spores is likely too costly and involved to allow for a single individual to successfully accomplish the task alone.42 Therefore, he recommends contacting the “Christian Nationalists” in the Middle East for sympathetic “… scientists or any other competent individuals who might be of assistance in developing biological/chemical compounds or whom are willing to use their networks to obtain high grade anthrax etc.”43 Breivik also recommends the Russian Mafia 44 and to a much lesser degree, jihadist groups and Iran 45 as possible sources for acquiring BW capability.
In terms of B. anthracis deployment, Breivik identifies the 2001 anthrax attacks as “a good anthrax campaign”46 and advocates similar targeted anthrax mailing campaigns across Europe, including targets in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. Breivik’s plan seems logical and could be devastating if accomplished. The main barrier to his plan is acquiring the large amounts of anthrax he calculated for the attacks (409 – 818 kilograms). Breivik seems to understand this barrier, and supports using a hoax powder as a scare tactic. Breivik muses that in the hoax aftermath:
“Many cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites will defect, quit politics, their media, university, artist position as a result. Some may even realise [sic] what they are doing/have done and may join our struggle. Many of the so called “category A and B” traitors aren’t truly cultural Marxists/ multiculturalists. Many are just “going with the flow” and will therefore reevaluate their involvement in future activities.”47
TOXINS: Breivik was capable of safe, crude extraction of the deadly toxins ricin48 and nicotine49 from, respectively, the Castor bean and dried tobacco leaf. However, these extraction methods do not create weapons grade toxins.
Ricin: Breivik’s limited knowledge hinders his ability to even identify an average lethal dose of ricin. He cites four different sources for this dose, with estimates ranging from 1mg to about 70mg. Part of his confusion stems from the fact that a toxin’s route of entry (aerosol, ingestion, injection) affects the amount needed for a lethal dose. This amount is quantified by the LD50 (the lethal dose at which 50% of people will die if exposed). He lists the LD50 for ricin at 60mg for a 75kg man (about 165 lbs),50 which is a few orders of magnitude off for any entry route. For a 75 kg man, the LD50 should be about 1,500mg if the toxin was ingested, and it would be around 0.4mg if the toxin was injected or inhaled.51
Nicotine: In addition to the available crude extraction methods, Breivik recommends purchasing pure or diluted liquid nicotine (for boiling down).52 Breivik details how he created a cover identity as an e-cigarette researcher to obtain 50mL of pure liquid nicotine from a Chinese company with “… no complications whatsoever.”53 This information is unsettling as we may see more people similarly acquiring this toxin for nefarious purposes.
Poison bullets: Breivik planned to create ‘poison bullets’54 to ensure the death of his victims. The poisons—ricin and nicotine—were to be injected into the tips of hollow point bullets. However, Breivik seems more fascinated with the idea of poison bullets than their practicality since the quickest, cheapest, and least labor intensive method to ensure a victim’s death would be to just shoot them again.
It is also questionable whether or not a lethal dose of toxin would even survive the heat generated by firing a round. According to infrared data for a .30 caliber round,55 the tip of a bullet can reach 170°C (338°F), and the portions in contact with the gun barrel can reach 320°C (608°F).56 It is therefore possible that a toxin within a hollow point bullet could reach temperatures near 170°C for approximately one second.57 Even during this short time frame, one could expect some loss of toxicity based on the thermostability of ricin58 and nicotine.59
More worrisome than the assault scenario presented above is the scenario Breivik described of releasing chemical and/or biological agents into a building’s ventilation system.60 This mass casualty scenario, at least for biological agents and toxins, is luckily hindered by the technology involved and his ability to acquire weapons grade materials from outside sources.
Breivik understands that along with possible high fatality rates (without the loss of infrastructure), massive media coverage, economic damage, and intense psychological effects, there are other ‘good’ reasons for attempting a BW attack.61 For many technical reasons,62 Breivik himself was not capable of creating and deploying biological weapons, but his planning and resolve to manipulate people and organizations in order to acquire weaponized biological materials is troubling.
The technical section of Breivik’s treatise dealing with radiological agents and weapons lifts verbatim from Wikipedia (Breivik does not explicitly note his source nor does he use quotation marks).63 Despite this lack of originality, Brevik’s appreciation for the utility of radiological weapons reflects a clear understanding of their limitations; specifically their usefulness as a weapon of mass disruption as opposed to a weapon of mass destruction. Breivik predicts, “… Our radiological attacks (RDDs) will cause minimal to no civilian casualties but it will create devastating ideological, physiological and economical damage on the targeted cultural Marxist/multicultural regime.64.”
In harmony with Wikipedia’s entry entitled, “Dirty Bomb,” Breivik notes that Russia, other former Soviet republics, and the U.S. all possess large quantities of radiological material, “unsecured… [and] in the strangest of places.” Breivik considers it:
“… relatively easy to acquire at least one [high-risk radioisotope] if you have a minimum of information in regards to appropriate sources. It is therefore likely that any Justiciar Knight cell attempting to acquire radiological material will be successful. We, the PCCTS, Knights Templar or any allied liberation organization is likely to obtain radioactive material through the “black market” or by going directly to the sources ourselves. Due to the nature of our hierarchical structure it is unlikely that we can afford purchasing it from criminal organization as the prize [sic] would simply be too steep. In any case, the black market remains as one viable option for acquirement.”65
Ten high-risk commercial radioactive sources are briefly mentioned in the treatise:66
- Americium-241 (Am-241)
- Californium-252 (Cf-252)
- Caesium-137 (Cs-137)
- Cobalt-60 (Co-60)
- Iodine-131 (I-131)
- Iridium-192 (Ir-192)
- Plutonium-238, 239 (Pu-238 and Pu 239)
- Polonium-210 (Po-210)
- Radium-226 (Ra-226)
- Strontium-90 (Sr-90)
Significantly, Breivik demonstrates an appreciation for the typical radioactivity levels of individual radioisotopes and the differences between, and sources of, high-energy alpha(?), beta (?) and gamma (?) emitters.
While writing about the possibility of the Knights Templar working in cohesion with jihadist groups , Breivik notes their potential utility in deploying radiological weapons in Western European capitals and other vital locations (as noted above, he specifically cites the contamination of the Eifel Tower as an effective means for “ideological, psychological and economical damage”67. The actual delivery of radiological weapon is portrayed by Breivik as a likely suicide mission:
“Let there be no doubt; the cost and complexity of using protective systems needed to protect the handler from radiation is not realistic. Our goal is therefore to use protective systems (hazmat suits, improvised and relatively inexpensive lead containers) that allow the builder/transporter of the bomb to survive long enough in order to successfully deploy and detonate it […] [They] are therefore sacrificing themselves and will die as martyrs for the cause..”68
In contrast to several prominent jihadist sources,69 Breivik’s treatise displays a broad understanding of the technologies underlying nuclear weapons. While entire sections are lifted from Wikipedia (for example, the nuclear fuel cycle), his analysis is sound. Fabrication of an improvised nuclear device (IND) is understood to be an unattainable goal for the foreseeable future (recall that the treatise only calls for the use of nuclear weapons after 2020).70 Theft or unauthorized access to nuclear weapons remains the goal for Breivik’s putative Templar co-revolutionists, both extant and emerging.71 Consequently, readers familiar with The Turner Diaries will find similarities between that work of fiction and Breivik’s treatise.72
According to Breivik, future (so-called “Phase 2 or 3”—2030-207073) sources for intact nuclear weapons hinge on whether “European cultural conservative” forces are able to “seize control of a British or French nuclear storage facility or if we manage to negotiate with the Russians, Indians, or Israelis.”74 As is the case with chemical, biological, and radiological stratagems explored by Breivik, jihadist groups are seen as a potential source vis-à-vis a cooperative effort in the acquisition of nuclear weapons.75
As noted above, Breivik’s assertion that CBRN are to be employed chiefly in “surgically precise attacks” runs counter to the effect of some CBRN weapons and agents.76 Nowhere is this more so than with regard to nuclear weapons. The treatise recognizes this fact, noting that, “Using nuclear weapons would normally inflict too many civilian casualties and therefore it is hard to imagine how nuclear weapons could benefit our cause.”77 Thus, Breivik concludes that only nuclear devices with “a very small charge (0,05-0,1 kt yield [sic])” are desirable.78 Looking toward the Phase 2-3 period, the treatise outlines a strategy in which 24 such low-yield nuclear weapons are procured by “the patriotic pan-European resistance movement79:
“We threaten to detonate the charges in a specific European capital (major government buildings only, with minimal civilian casualties) unless the Multicultural establishment capitulate and transfers all military and political mandates to a tribunal lead by Cultural Conservatives. Obviously, each country operates independently so it will be a country by country effort starting with France, the UK or Germany (France is the natural choice due to the advancement of the Islamisation [sic]. They will refuse the first time because they assume we will not be willing to detonate. They will however most likely capitulate when we threaten to detonate the second charge. […] Even the smallest nuclear detonation would therefore inflict massive ideological, psychological and economical damage on the target Multicultural regime and is likely to result in full surrender and collapse of the system. […]The conclusion is; the threat and willingness to use small nuclear devices can end the European civil war faster and thus save up to hundreds of thousands of lives. However, it will prove more or less impossible to obtain in Phase 1. A well organised [sic] resistance group with military contacts will however be able to raid either a UK or French cache/facility during phase 2. This operation alone might end the civil war sooner than we anticipated with us as the victors.”80
Plutonium: Breivik only mentions plutonium in the context of the nuclear fuel cycle and in the context of possible agents for use in radiological weapons (both types of references are lifted verbatim from Wikipedia).
Uranium: Similar to his handling of plutonium, uranium is mentioned in the context of the nuclear fuel cycle. Additionally, the treatise briefly explores the use of depleted uranium (useless as a nuclear weapon’s primary fuel) in conventional munitions.
Other fissile materials are not identified by Breivik (e.g., neptunium-237).
As explored earlier, Breivik’s treatise limits the employment of nuclear weapons to 2020 at the earliest. The treatise assumes the procurement of intact nuclear weapons, putatively obviating the need to weaponize or otherwise “enable” the devices before use. As noted, European cities are the primary targets although Breivik repeatedly emphasizes the need to only employ low-yield warheads. In his treatise, Breivik states that, “We threaten to detonate the charges in a specific European capital (major government buildings only, with minimal civilian casualties)…”80 Furthermore, Breivik uses Brussels, London, and Paris as examples of European capitals to be targeted by “A nuclear warhead launched from a medium range missile or in an air craft and detonated 20 miles above”82 for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. Breivik also states that “…when the civil war has been won and the focus will be on the re-conquering of Anatolia nuclear EMP attacks would be favourable.”83 Finally, Breivik’s treatise provides detailed plans for attacks on European nuclear power plants.84 Entitled “Operation Regime Ender,”85 Breivik claims that “A new Chernobyl disaster in the heart of Western Europe will break the back of the EUSSR, have no doubt. Causing a new Chernobyl disaster on a multiculturalist regime would completely cripple them and might eventually lead to the collapse of the EU altogether or any targeted individual regime.”86
The acquisition and use of nuclear weapons by Breivik’s supposed Knights Templar allies is obviously the least likely outcome with regard to CBRN writ large. Breivik clearly acknowledges this; caveats are infused with all of his planning for future nuclear events. Still, the treatise’s handling of nuclear weapons is unique. First, it carefully considers the preservation of Breivik’s alleged constituency through the employment of only low-yield warheads. Second, the treatise is unique in that it considers multiple state sources for nuclear weapons, many in the context of cells working with Knights Templar. This includes India, Israel, and Russia.
Even when considered in isolation of the Oslo bombing and the rampage of death visited upon Utoya Island, Breivik’s treatise precipitates profound concerns. First, the question of co-conspirators. Numerous sections of the treatise mention ideologically aligned clandestine military cells that, within the larger struggle of resisting the Islamization of Europe, presently seek CBRN capabilities. Assuming the existence of such cells, it is entirely possible that the attacks in Oslo and Utoya Island and supposed extant and forthcoming attempts to secure, weaponize, and deliver certain CBRN agents are directly linked in a campaign of violent revolution the opening salvos of which began in earnest on July 22.
Second, and far more plausible, is the likely role Breivik’s treatise will serve imparting CBRN knowledge, tactics, and goals to others. Unlike other extremist manuals dealing with the acquisition, handling, and delivery of CBRN agents,87 Breivik’s writings lay bare a poorly kept yet supremely important “secret”: that the use—or credible threat of use—of even non-lethal CBRN agents (either due to the agents quantity or quality) is likely enough to generate widespread panic and devastating regional and global economic consequences. Moreover, Breivik correctly challenges conventional thinking by observing that CBRN can be used on a tactical level. Indeed, two of the most notable instances of CBRN terrorism, the 1984 Salmonella poisoning (Salmonellosis) incident perpetrated by members of the Rajneeshee group and Aum Shinriky?’s 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack, were triggered by the perceived need to address immediate concerns (as opposed to the groups’ strategic goals.)88 Dismissing Breivik’s “WMD idea” as “not realistic” dangerously overlooks important nuances that give his CBRN impulses added validity and applicability to subsequent violent extremists.89
Finally, it is important to note that the comprehensiveness of Breivik’s treatise far exceeds other modern day manifestos and related revolutionary manuals. For example, the manifesto of Dr. Theodore Kaczynski (the so-called “Unabomber”) was limited in size to 35,000 words in order to accommodate publication in leading U.S. newspapers.90 While Kaczynski’s ideology is explored in depth by his manifesto, his writings offer no practical application to anyone sympathetic with his neo-luddite weltanschauung. Similarly, the works of William Pierce91 and Ben Klassen92 —most of them only available in book or pamphlet format—fail to match Breivik’s scope with its blend of ideology and practical application. Of course, the overarching power of Breivik’s treatise is its unprecedented manifestation and dissemination: the Oslo bombing and the Utoya Island shootings are a grim yet ideal announcement of its arrival while its spread on the Internet lends it to an unlimited audience. The “narrative” of Breivik’s actions and treatise has largely been established by Breivik himself with little hope of containment at this late stage.
AUTHORS: Charles P. Blair, with contributions by Kelsey Gregg and Jonathan Garbose
Charles P. Blair is the Senior Fellow on State and Non-State Threats. He explores the perceptions of new disruptive technologies (e.g., WMD) and specific indicators of emerging and future-oriented Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Conventional Explosive (CBRNE) proliferation, with regard to both states and VNSAs. Mr. Blair also focuses on the technical dimensions of CBRNE agents and their potential weaponization by VNSAs. In addition to his role at FAS, Mr. Blair is a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University where he instructs graduate students about the technologies underlying WMD; at George Mason University Mr. Blair lectures on the nexus of terrorism and WMD. Before joining FAS, he was a research associate with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) where, among other projects, he managed the Global Terrorism Database GTD), the largest open-source compilation of terrorist events in the world. A noted scholar with deep appreciation and experience with qualitative methodologies, Mr. Blair is known for his effective and pioneering use of quantitative methodological approaches as well. These include the design, creation and utilization of a variety of widely utilized data sets and databases exploring, inter alia, state and non-state involvement with WMD. From 2006-2009 Mr. Blair helped to design and implement the GTD. Studies possessing both robust qualitative and quantitative considerations can be seen in Mr. Blair’s current work and his recent (open-source) red teaming activities. Mr. Blair spent two years exploring elements of the Pakistani Neo-Taliban. For almost a decade he has studied U.S. right-wing “White” nationalist groups, apocalyptic millenarian ideologies writ large, and other groups with interest and, in some cases, experiences with WMD. Mr. Blair has also worked with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS)
First published in Federation of American Scientists and updated/edited by TSR.