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  3. Preventing Terrorism and Targeted Violence
  4. Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction

The United States faces a rising danger from terrorists and rogue states seeking to use weapons of mass destruction.  A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.  The Department of Homeland Security works every day to prevent terrorists and other threat actors from using these weapons to harm Americans.

Strengthening Defenses

As terrorism evolves, the Department of Homeland Security must evolve as well in order to stay ahead of the enemy.  We analyze the United States’ defenses and determine how they can be improved.  For example, we conduct research and development (R&D) to build new equipment for detecting smuggled threat material or weapons.

Through careful coordination with officials at all levels of government, we have increased the prevention and response capabilities of public safety personnel across the United States.  We have accomplished this through training, exercises, and other support to operational partners.

The Department also works to strengthen the Nation’s ability to collect and analyze forensic evidence from WMD attacks in order to identify the perpetrators.  The ability to determine who is responsible for an attack is critical to preventing follow-on attacks.

Additional Information

Last Updated: 11/01/2022