WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke in congerssional testimony said the new CWMD office aimed to consolidate and elevate US efforts to guard against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. Nielsen’s official roll out of the program on Thursday comes a day after the US Senate confirmed her as the new department head.
"The United States faces rising danger from terrorist groups and rogue nation states," Nielsen said on the first day of her job as the DHS chief. "That’s why DHS is moving towards a more integrated approach, bringing together intelligence, operations, interagency engagement, and international action."
The DHS in the same press release cited recent intelligence analyses indicating that terrorist groups are now testing WMD capabilities in ways "not seen previously."
"Certain weapons of mass destruction, once viewed as out-of-reach for all but nation states, are now closer to being attained by non-state actors," the release said.
The CWMD office will be led by James McDonnell, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in June 2017 to serve as the Director of the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, according to the release.