Terrorism activities are aimed at maximizing destruction and casualties. A radical terrorist cell planning to engage in terrorism activities in the Southwest region of the United States will prefer a chemical attack on areas frequented by a high number of individuals such as stadiums. A chemical agent with high volatility and rate of action will be the preferred chemical agent to be used during the attacks. Thus, a terrorist cell planning an attack in the Southwest region will most likely employ sarin gas as their preferred chemical agent. Sarin gas is highly volatile and has a rapid rate of action and therefore can result in maximum casualties on ill-equipped individuals (Pita, Romero, & Kuca, 2020). Moreover, the terrorist cell is highly likely to disburse sarin gas through the use of binary munitions which can be fired, sprayed, or released into a ventilation system. The terrorist cell will have to overcome laser detection which is quite effective in detecting binary munitions and is installed in all most all sporting and political arenas in the Southwestern region. Contingency measures such as checking of all buildings surrounding possible target areas and safeguarding ventilation systems of stadiums have to be undertaken to ensure maximum safety.
The high level of technology used by the American security apparatus severely limits the risk of cross-border terrorist attacks in the country. The U.S. border patrol unit has modern surveillance technology that enables them to counter not only illegal immigration into the country but also terrorism. International terror cells can utilize the proximity of the U.S. to Mexico to try and orchestrate a foreign-based chemical attack in U.S. territory. Using small planes flown from a Mexican town near the American border such as Tamaulipas, terrorists can try to unleash chemical agents against specific targets in the U.S. However, this is not feasible as the U.S. has invested in robust border surveillance and protection mechanisms. The U.S. utilizes unmanned aerostats that utilize state of the art radar systems and infrared technology to detect planes flying from Mexico (Pita et al., 2020). The aerostats can also be used to shoot down suspicious planes approaching American airspace. The U.S. also has thousands of border surveillance drones that can be utilized to survey and shoot down illegal planes flying from Mexico. The U.S. can still strengthen its aerial border protection mechanisms by investing in all terrain and weather surveillance equipment as both drones and aerostats are ineffective in bad weather.
A well-planned chemical attack based on the use of sarin gas by terrorists can be used to eliminate the presence of the United Nations (UN) military personnel in Afghanistan. To prevent sarin gas attacks, the UN military personnel in Afghanistan should develop a pervasive intelligence body to help them gather data on any existing chemical weapons cache in the region. In case of a sarin gas attack on UN military personnel, several contingencies have to be put in place. First, the military camps have to be relocated to high altitude areas as sarin is heavier than air; thus, will concentrate in low altitude areas. Moreover, the UN should equip each military camp with laser scanners that are quite effective in detecting binary munitions used to disburse sarin gas. The military camps should also be equipped with appropriate sarin gas antidotes to allow for quick medical attention to soldiers exposed to the gas. Lastly, the UN should also equip all soldiers in Afghanistan with full-body chemical gas protective gear including gas masks.
Pita, R., Anadón, A., Romero, A., & Kuca, K. (2020). Chemical weapons of mass destruction and terrorism: a threat analysis. In Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents (pp. 79-94). Academic Press.