Actionable Knowledge and Strategic Decision Making for Bio- and Agroterrorism Threats: Building a Collaborative Early Warning Culture

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Current trends in biosecurity and cybersecurity include (1) the wide availability of technology and specialized knowledge that previously were available only to governments; (2) the global economic recession, which may increase the spread of radical non-state actors; and (3) recent US and EU commission reports that reflect concerns about non-state actors in asymmetric threats. The intersectoral and international nature of bioterrorism and agroterrorism threats requires collaboration across several sectors including intelligence, police, forensics, customs, and other law enforcement organizations who must work together with public and animal health organizations as well as environmental and social science organizations. This requires coordinated decision making among these organizations, based on actionable knowledge and information sharing. The risk of not sharing information among organizations compared to the benefit of sharing information can be considered in an “information sharing risk-benefit analysis” to prevent a terrorism incident from occurring and to build a rapid response capability. In the EU project AniBioThreat, early warning is the main topic in work package 3 (WP 3). A strategy has been generated based on an iterative approach to bring law enforcement agencies and human and animal health institutes together. Workshops and exercises have taken place during the first half of the project, and spin-off activities include new preparedness plans for institutes and the formation of a legal adviser network for decision making. In addition, a seminar on actionable knowledge was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2012, which identified the need to bring various agency cultures together to work on developing a resilient capability to identify early signs of bio- and agroterrorism threats. The seminar concluded that there are a number of challenges in building a collaborative culture, including developing an education program that supports collaboration and shared situational awareness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiosecurity and Bioterrorism
Volume11
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)S46-S54
ISSN1538-7135
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI
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