ASSESSMENTS

Assessing Libya's Chemical Weapons Threat

MIN READFeb 15, 2016 | 09:30 GMT

For the Islamic State, poisons and nerve agents are hard to produce and even harder to use.

Missiles and shells lie among the stones outside the town of Waddan, in southern Libya. The fall of Libya's government in 2011 left various weapons, potentially including chemical agents, available for the taking by rebel and jihadist groups.

(PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

Jihadist groups have long had a fixation with chemical and biological weapons, from al Qaeda's pre-9/11 programs, in places such as the Deronta training camp in Afghanistan, to its 2003 plot to deploy improvised cyanide weapons on subways. Now there are growing fears that Islamic State militants in Libya have access to such weapons and could use them in battle or in terrorist attacks against the West. However, these fears are overblown. C...

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