SYDNEY, Australia – A multinational group met Monday in Sydney (search) to discuss how to stop terrorists from getting their hands on chemical and biological weapons.
Terrorists are intent on developing such weapons and "proliferators are using increasingly sophisticated means to source the ingredients," Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (search) said in a statement ahead of the Australia Group meeting.
The group is made up of 38 governments including the United States (search), Britain, Japan and France as well as the European Commission, and was set up in 1985.
This year's 20th anniversary meeting will focus on combating chemical and biological terrorism and a further tightening of controls on exports that could be used for such weapons, Downer said.
"Chemical and biological weapons present a real and deadly threat," Downer said. "They can incite terror and cause mass casualties — as demonstrated by the sarin gas attacks in Tokyo in 1995 and the anthrax attacks in the United States in late 2001."
At past meetings, members of the group have agreed to strengthen their export controls on material and equipment that can be used in chemical and biological weapons programs.