While I was being searched and patted down by TSA prior to my flight this morning, America continued to take a rabbit's foot approach to the scariest threats to national security. “Syria is positioned to launch a biological attack on Israel or Europe should the U.S. attack Iran. The Syrians are embedding their biological weapons program into their commercial pharmaceuticals business and their veterinary vaccine-research facilities…” she said. (1) Bellamy-Dorsey anticipates cryptosporidium as the agent Syria would use probably by infecting water supplies. Cryptosporidium causes a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever, the symptoms of which could last for weeks. The resulting mass illness would greatly inhibit the ability of any nation to defend itself. It is believed that the Syrians have tested their biological weapons in Darfur and that the Syrian military is planning the eventual integration of these weapons into its tactical and strategic arsenals by mounting biological warheads on its long-range surface-to-surface missiles and using them against military and civilian targets". Check out Jacksonian's: Syrian WMD capability and lest we not forget - Khan 'Offered Nukes to Syrians'(The Australian)
It must be read ........all of it. Go
AMERICA'S BIO-TERRORISM NIGHTMARE International Analyst Network hat
But that was only the beginning of the nightmare scenario. On April 13, 2005, Kamel Bourgass, al Qaeda-trained Algerian, was convicted of plotting to launch chemical and bomb attacks in London and there have been other such planned attacks broken up by British intelligence since then. Police had raided Bourgass's small flat in north London in January 2003 after receiving the tip-off in December 2002. Inside, they found recipes and the raw ingredients for making the deadly toxins ricin, cyanide and botulinum with instructions on how to make nicotine poison, rotting meat poison, potato poison and details on making explosives. There were also instructions explaining how to turn the poisons into gases with the detail that once gaseous, rotting meat poison was 1,000 times more deadly than nerve gas. Bourgass’s fingerprints were found on a cup containing apple seeds and paper containing cherry stones. Both can be used to produce cyanide. His fingerprints were also found on a bottle of acetone, which can be used to extract poison from the seeds as detailed in instructions found in the flat at Wood Green. The search also found more than twenty castor beans, the base ingredient for ricin. Bourgass and other British plotters were keeping the deadly ricin poison in a jar of skin cream and planned to smear it on the handles of cars and buildings in North London. Although police did not find the poison, they did find recipes to make it and that was enough to cause a national stir. (3)
These fears became reality on April 13, 2004. On that day, Bin Laden’s terror network targeted a Jordanian Military Intelligence installation, a luxury hotel, and the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan for its first poison gas attack designed to kill thousands of people. Fortunately, Jordanian security authorities intercepted one of the pickups loaded with the explosives and poison gas containers as it crossed from Syria into Jordan. Their cargoes of explosives combined with twenty tons of nerve and blister agents could have killed an estimated 80,000 people within a half-mile radius had the cargo detonated as planned. (4) The cell was later identified to be linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
With the knowledge that al Qaeda is also working to produce weaponized anthrax and other biological weapons, each moment that passes brings America or Europe closer to a national biological or chemical nightmare. (5) The Jordan episode sent shock waves through every Western capital. Warnings have been issued from the Director General of MI5 in Britain who spoke on the inevitability of such an attack in a Western city. It did not take long for the British to react. On April 22, 2004, Peter Hain, Leader of the House of Commons, told MPs that MI5 had issued a "clear intelligence" warning of the possibility of an anthrax or ricin attack on the heart of British democracy, and called on MPs to approve a permanent glass screen to prevent terror attacks on the chamber. Hain said, "If an al-Qaeda group managed to throw a phial of anthrax or ricin down into the chamber, or even worse a suicide agent released it without anybody noticing, which we have been advised is quite feasible, the particles would immediately begin spreading throughout the chamber.” In typical British understatement, he added: “Within minutes total contamination could occur." (6)
The fear of a biological or chemical attack in America or Europe also extends well-beyond the known range of known chemical and biological agents. Anne Applebaum writing in the Washington Post (7) analyzed the easy way in which “designer viruses” could be constructed and the catastrophe that such viruses could cause if released on an unsuspecting population. She noted that “there are already 20,000 labs in the world where a single person could synthesize any existing virus within the next decade. In the same 20,000 labs, five people with $2 million would be able to create an enhanced pathogen - a virus that could infect people who have been immunized with conventional vaccines - and kill perhaps a billion of them. With an additional $3 million, the same five people could build a lab from scratch, using equipment purchased online. The threat, then, is not merely from the diseases we know about - anthrax, smallpox, and plague - but from the diseases that haven't been invented yet. It isn't possible to distinguish "safe" lines of biological engineering research from "dangerous" ones, since they are identical.”
This is especially troubling in view of a recent report prepared by a panel of outside experts that warned the CIA that technology emanating from genomic research could produce diseases “worse than any known to man” - a pandemic - and “the most frightening” biological weapons. The report titled “The Darker Bio-Weapons Future” summed up a January 2003 workshop which discussed with the CIA potential threats from new biological weapons. Growth in biotechnology and a knowledge explosion due to the genomic revolution have provided an understanding that genes can be used in unpredictable ways, say the experts.
Thus, the same science that may cure some of our worst diseases can also be used to create the world’s most frightening weapons - “designer” diseases created to be antibiotic resistant or evade immune response. The experts warned that traditional intelligence methods could prove inadequate to deal with this development. Detection will increasingly depend on human intelligence and require a closer working relationship between the intelligence and science communities.