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Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

The prevention of a weapon of mass destruction incident is among the FBI’s highest priorities. To that end, on July 26, 2006, the FBI established the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD) to create a unique combination of law enforcement authorities, intelligence analysis capabilities, and technical subject matter expertise that exists nowhere else in the U.S. government. Creation of the WMDD enabled the FBI to bring its WMD preparedness, prevention, and response capabilities into a single, focused organization.

The WMDD aligns its priorities with a defined strategy to address emerging threats and risk-based vulnerabilities. A strategic approach ensures that the WMDD can better communicate its purpose and goals to internal and external audiences, including other FBI divisions, other U.S. government agencies, Congress, and the American public. These key relationships afford the WMDD opportunities for collaboration and integration that help maintain the safety and security of our country.

Significant Recent Accomplishments

  • 2007: A team of experts was sent to New Scotland Yard in the United Kingdom to assist in the investigation of the Polonium 210 case involving Alexandre Litvinenko. As a result, the FBI developed a protocol to deal with similar issues if necessary.
  • 2008: The international WMD coordinator program was launched, and the program’s first assistant legal attaché was assigned to Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. This provided an international platform to prevent the proliferation of WMD material.
  • 2009: The WMDD expanded its workforce to the FBI’s 56 field offices to focus on WMD matters across all risk areas. Thus, every part of the country benefits from the presence of agents with specific subject matter expertise.
  • 2010: The WMDD successfully interdicted the export of technological items from the United States to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and U.S. sanctions.
  • 2010: The WMDD received accolades from the Department of Justice/Office of Inspector General Report on WMD Readiness, which stated, “The FBI has taken appropriate steps to prepare and respond to a potential WMD attack.”
  • 2011: To prevent the potential misuse of modern biological techniques, the WMDD has become a partner with the synthetic biology community to safeguard the American public.

September 2011


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