Under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, a 4-day inter-agency Chemical, Biological, Radiologica and Nuclear (CBRN) field exercise “ARZ 2021” took place on 6-9 December 2021 in Beirut, Lebanon.
ARZ 2021, which focuses on countering CBRN terrorism, has been carried out under the leadership of the CBRN National Coordinator and the European Union Centres of Excellence (EU CBRN CoE) National Focal Point of Lebanon. The event was organized by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in collaboration with the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), Fondazione SAFE and the on-site assistance expert of the EU CBRN CoE.
The exercise was funded by the Directorate General FPI (Foreign Policy Instrument) of the European Commission within the framework of the EU CBRN CoE Initiative and aimed at testing the capacities of relevant stakeholders and promoting interagency coordination and cooperation to prevent, detect and counter CBRN terrorism at the national level.
The exercise involved 210 participants, including representatives from different sectors, institutions and agencies, including the Beirut Fire Fighters, the Civil Defence, the Internal Security Forces, the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission, the, Lebanese Armed Forces and the Red Cross. Each participant played a specific role in the simulation of real incidents, showing the different phases of a terrorism emergency which involve chemical, radiological and nuclear materials.
The two scenarios of the exercise simulated the following situations:
Illicit hazardous material storage and terrorist laboratory to produce chemical and biological warfare agents, dirty bombs and explosive devices.
Attack on a VIP convoy using chemical materials and explosive devices.
The overall development and implementation of the field exercise was evaluated by representatives from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), INTERPOL, NATO School, the French Police and the Italian Armed Forces.
Representatives from international partner organizations and countries attended as observers, namely from the European Union, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), the CBRN CoE network, Canada, the United States, the League of Arab States and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS).