September 2019
From the Editors

An upcoming issue of this journal will include the article "Computational Forensic Analysis for the Chemical Weapons Attack at Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April 2017" by Goong Chen, Cong Gu, Theodore A. Postol, Alexey Sergeev, Sanyang Liu, Pengfei Yao and Marlan O. Scully. Even though it is as yet unpublished, this article has become the subject of criticism by the Bellingcat group in an extensive blog post and a series of messages, some of which have been directed at this journal.

Science & Global Security is an independent international journal for peer-reviewed scientific and technical studies. It should be understood that any article we publish in the journal represents the views of its authors and not those of the journal's editors or editorial board, or its publisher Taylor & Francis, or of Princeton University where the journal is based.

We are, of course, aware of the politically charged debate surrounding the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the attribution of responsibility for the resulting deaths and suffering. We believe that this article contributes to the debate on some specific aspects of the attack at Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April 2017, through the use of computational tools.

Regrettably, the Bellingcat group blog post contains a number of incorrect statements about the contents and conclusions of the paper to be published. Some of the statements appear to refer to an earlier manuscript and do not take account of all the changes made during the peer review and editorial process managed by this journal.

International security issues are often strongly contested, and we fully expect that some of the papers published in the journal may be considered controversial. We understand that while no analysis in this field can be completely dissociated from its political context, the scientific community has well established practices for dealing with this challenge. Once the article is published we would welcome a critical and constructive scientific consideration of its arguments in the form of new article submissions or letters to the editors of this journal or in other relevant scholarly publications.

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