Blog Post - Nuclear Security Matters

Elbe Group Members Urge More Cooperation to Combat Nuclear Terrorism

Mar. 30, 2016

At a meeting 23 and 24 March in Belgrade, US and Russian members of the Elbe Group – retired general officers from the military and intelligence services – declared that the risk of terrorism, both conventional and nuclear, is growing.  They urged that special attention must be given to preventing Daesh, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations which have declared openly their desire to gain weapons of mass destruction, from obtaining them.  

The Elbe Group, which includes former heads of some of the world’s largest military and intelligence agencies, has been meeting since 2010 to discuss and recommend solutions to the problem of nuclear terrorism. The group worked with Harvard Belfer Center and Russian Academy of Sciences USA-Canada Institute to draft the first ever US-Russia Joint Threat Assessment of the dangers of nuclear terrorism.  

According to the Elbe Group, despite successes such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, “there is insufficient operational cooperation, information sharing and planning between governments to provide adequate warning and response to a nuclear attack by terrorists.”

The Elbe Group said in 2010, “There are many terrorist threats that are more likely than nuclear terrorism but none are more dangerous.”  This threat remains today and invites much better cooperation among nations. 

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Elbe Group Members Urge More Cooperation to Combat Nuclear Terrorism .” Nuclear Security Matters, March 30, 2016,