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An urgent need exists for the development of inexpensive, highly selective, and extremely sensitive sensors to help combat terrorism. If such sensors can be made miniature, they could be deployed in virtually any situation. Terrorists have a wide variety of potential agents and delivery means to choose from for chemical, biological, radiological, or explosive attacks. Detecting terrorist weapons has become a complex and expensive endeavor, because a multitude of sensor platforms is currently needed to detect the various types of threats. The ability to mass produce and cost effectively deploy a single type of sensor that can detect a wide range of threats is essential in winning the war on terrorism. Silicon-based microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) represent an ideal sensor platform for combating terrorism because these miniature sensors are inexpensive and can be deployed almost anywhere. Recently, the high sensitivity of MEMS-based microcantilever sensors has been demonstrated in the detection of a variety of threats. Therefore, the critical requirements for a single, miniature sensor platform have been met and the realization of an integrated, widely deployable MEMS sensor could be near.