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Conference on Combatting the Chemical Security Threat of Returning Foreign Fighters

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, UK, January 2019 (TBC)

Description: The United States Department of State’s Chemical Security Program is organizing a series of two-day conferences on combatting chemical threats from returning foreign fighters. Tentatively scheduled for January 2019, the inaugural conference will convene stakeholders from government, law enforcement, chemical industry, and academic sectors to develop best practices for strengthening chemical security and addressing the terrorism threat posed by returning foreign fighters. These conferences seek to build the capacity of cross-sector stakeholders from Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries, including Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey to detect indicators of chemical attack planning, preparation, and execution. Tentative locations for these conferences include Vienna, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, and London. In addition to MENA participants, local European stakeholders from law enforcement, government, industry, and academia will be invited to attend these conferences. European participants will network and share perspectives with their MENA counterparts, leading to the exchange of ideas for combatting the shared chemical terrorism threat posed by returning ISIS fighters in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.


  • Approximately 35 government, law enforcement, first responders, chemical industry, and academia stakeholders from MENA countries.
  • Approximately 25 European partners from government, law enforcement, first responders, chemical industry, and academia.


  • The conference aims to raise awareness of the threats posed by returning foreign fighters to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, particularly the chemical security threat posed by former ISIS fighters.
  • Participants will share strategies to detect and prevent attacks against public transportation targets using toxic gas and crude chemical weapons attacks using commercially available material.
  • Participants will learn how to develop action plans that they can implement at their home institutions to help address the chemical security vulnerabilities they face, as well as the training and tools they will need to accomplish the action plan objectives.

Potential Topics:

  • Public Transportation Security
  •  Countering Insider Threats
  • Chemical Security Awareness Building
  • Tracking Foreign Fighters
  • Incident Command Systems
  • Chemical Site Safety and Security Practices
  • Preparation and Preplanning for Response to Chemical Release Incident

Proposed Date:

  • January 2019 (TBC); additional conferences to follow

Points of Contact:

Mr. Timothy Brown
Program Officer
U.S. Department of State
Ms. Leslie Adkins
Project Manager
CRDF Global