Could incapacitating chemical weapons start an arms race? | ESRC press coverage | Scoop.it

On October 26 2002, to end a three-day siege on a theatre in Moscow by Chechen terrorists, Russian security forces used a secret incapacitating chemical agent (ICA) weapon believed to affect the central nervous system. Although most of the 900 people being held hostage were freed, well over 100 of them were killed by the chemical agent; many more continue to suffer long-term health problems.


To this day, the Russian authorities refuse to disclose what weapon they used. Nor will they provide any details of the nature and levels of any incapacitating chemical weapons they may have developed or stockpiled.


But despite the official silence, a new report by the universities of Bradford and Bath documents evidence of continued Russian research into these chemical agents. That research includes computer modelling of “calmative gas” flows in enclosed spaces, as well as studies of the interaction of potential ICAs with human receptor sites.