The worldwide CBRN threat – especially by Islamist jihadists — is increasing with the use of CBRN in Syriaand Iraq by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad Regime and the Islamic State (ISIS), and could be replicated by ISIS outside these countries and by individuals wanting to create fear and inertia. North Korea’s extensive CBRN arsenal also is a major concern for the Asia Pacific rim.
“Given the use of chemical weapons in Syria and Iraq in the last two and a half years and the rise of the Islamic State, the likelihood of the use of CBRN weapons has never been higher, probably improvised, poor quality and non-persistent, calculated to create terror and inertia – ‘Psychological WMD,’” said Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, managing director of CBRN programs at Avon Protection who served 23 years in the British Army, including service as commanding officer of the UK CBRN Regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion.
Bretton-Gordon’s operational deployments included the first Gulf War, Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. His considerable experience in the field dealing with CBRN threats makes him one of the world’s leading and most current experts in chemical and biological counter terrorism and warfare. In 2005, he was appointed an OBE for his exceptional performance.
His worked in Syria and Iraq during the current conflict advising the UK-based charity Syria Relief on treating the victims of chemical weapons attacks, and recently returned from North West Syria where he was training doctors and medics to survive chlorine attacks. In mid-April, he collected and analysed samples from the chlorine attack in Sarmin Syria which was presented to the UN Security Council by US Ambassador Samantha Powell.