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The international community was recently rocked by the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in Malaysia.

The early investigation into how that plot was carried out has revealed that Nam was killed by a nerve agent known as VX.

While not involved directly in this investigation, a pair of UT institutions have helped agencies around the world learn how to conduct investigations such as this and how to detect and handle highly toxic substances such as VX.

With the case now focused on locating the source of the VX, experts from the Law Enforcement Innovation Center and the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy’s Institute for Nuclear Security can talk about how the investigation is being conducted, what procedures help identify the initial substance involved, and how agencies go about finding its source.

The LEIC and the INS developed training for the US State Department that has been adopted and implemented in Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Philippines for use in cases similar to this one.

The LEIC was formed in 1997 as part of UT’s Institute for Public Service and is a leading training and assistance provider for the law enforcement community, with more than 30,000 law enforcement officers, criminal justice practitioners, public safety workers, public school personnel, and community members having completed its training and educational programs.

The INS, housed within UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, brings together UT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities to shape the role of the United States in combating terrorism and providing nuclear security and safety.

The LEIC can be contacted locally at 865-946-3201, toll free at 866-449-5342, or by email at

The INS can be contacted at 865-974-0931 or


David Goddard (865-974-0683,