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Weapons of Mass Destruction Capabilities in the Middle East

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Nuclear Biological Chemical
Algeria Research Research Development?
Egypt Research Development? Stockpiled
Used in 1963-67
Iran Development Development Deployed
Used in 1984-88
Iraq Weaponization Stockpiled? Stockpiled?
Used in 1983,1987-88
Israel Deployed Production capability Production capability
Libya Research Development? Deployed
Used in 1987
Saudi Arabia None? None None?
Sudan None None None?
Syria Research Development? Deployed
Turkey Research None None
Yemen None None None?
United States Deployed Terminated Dismantling


This chart summarizes data available from public sources. Precise estimation of states’ capabilities is difficult, because most weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs remain secret and cannot be verified independently. Based on open-source information, this chart uses the following terms to categorize states' capabilities:

Deployed: Nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) weapons integrated in military forces and ready for use in the event of conflict.

Stockpiled: Produced significant quantity of NBC weapons, but these are not stored in close proximity to military units that would employ them.

Weaponization: In the process of integrating nuclear explosives or chemical/biological (CB) agents with delivery systems, such as aerial bombs, missile warheads, etc.

Production capability: Able to produce significant quantity of fissile nuclear material or CB agents, but not known to have done so.

Development: Engaged in laboratory- or pilot-scale activities to develop production capability for fissile material or CB agents.

Research: Engaged in dual-use research with peaceful civilian applications, but that can also be used to build technical capacity and/or infrastructure necessary for NBC development and production.

Dismantling: Removing NBC weapons from deployment to storage areas and destroying agents and munitions.

Terminated: Produced NBC weapons, but subsequently ended and dismantled program.

None: No confirmed open-source evidence of capability.

Where assessments are uncertain or conflicting reports raise questions about a state's capabilities, the term used is followed by "?".

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Terrorist Organisations
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
* al-Qa'ida (Al-Qaeda)
Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
Aum Shinrikyo
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
Gama'a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group, IG)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
* Hizballah
Japanese Red Army (JRA)
Kach and Kahane Chai
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE)
Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO)
National Liberation Army (ELN)
Palestine Islamic Jihad-Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ)
Palestine Liberation Front-Abu Abbas Faction (PLF)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17 November)
Revolutionary People's Liberation Army/Front (DHKP/C)
Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA)
Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
Usama Bin Laden
Ramzi Yousef
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