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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism


The Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism reduces the threat of WMD terrorism by establishing, strengthening, and maintaining the capabilities of international partners to deter, detect, defeat, and respond to terrorist attempts to use chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials.

Key Missions:

Countering Nuclear Smuggling: WMDT leads the State Department’s efforts to help foreign governments counter the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive materials. Despite successful efforts by governments to lock down nuclear and radioactive material under their control, seizures of weapon-usable nuclear material in 2010 and 2011 suggest that dangerous nuclear and radioactive materials continue to be smuggled on the black market. To address this threat WMDT leads diplomatic efforts to partner with key countries around the world with the goal of strengthening their capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents of nuclear smuggling, and to remove nuclear and radioactive material from the black market. WMDT negotiates government-to-government Joint Action Plans that identify steps both sides will take to improve a foreign partner’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to such incidents. WMDT also works with the international community to coordinate assistance to countries with joint action plans. WMDT manages the preventing nuclear smuggling program, which addresses the most critical gaps in front-line states by improving their investigative and prosecutorial capacities to prosecute nuclear smugglers, supporting better international collaboration through joint training and exercises, developing national response plans to nuclear smuggling incidents, and encouraging governments to establish national teams of countering nuclear smuggling experts. Within the U.S. Government, WMDT chairs the forensics engagement working group, which coordinates and facilitates U.S. Government outreach, engagement and policy development on nuclear forensics cooperation, directly supporting the President’s Nuclear Security Summit objectives. WMDT also chairs the nuclear trafficking response group (NTRG), an interagency body established by Presidential Directive that is responsible for coordinating the U.S. Government response to nuclear and radiological smuggling incidents overseas. The NTRG supports foreign government efforts to secure smuggled material, prosecute those responsible, and develop information on smuggling-related threats.

Foreign Consequence Management (FCM): The FCM program coordinates U.S. Government consequence management engagement activities with partner nations to improve their national chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incident response capabilities, with a focus on minimizing the impact of the contaminant on people and mitigating casualties.

The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT): GICNT is an international partnership of 85 nations and four official observers who are committed to working individually and collectively to implement a set of shared nuclear security principles. The mission of the GICNT is to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism by conducting multilateral activities that strengthen the plans, policies, procedures, and interoperability of partner nations. The United States and Russia serve as co-chairs of the GICNT, and the Republic of Korea is the coordinator of the implementation and assessment group.

To date, GICNT partners have conducted more than 60 multilateral activities and eight senior-level meetings in support of these nuclear security objectives. The GICNT is open to nations that share in its common goals and are committed to combating nuclear terrorism on a determined and systematic basis.

Questions? Contact Globalinitiative@state.gov.


Office Director: Geoff Odlum
Deputy Director: Renee Sonderman


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