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Title: Future Forms of Terrorism: Threat of Biological Weapons and Bio-Terrorism


1
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-Terrorism Assoc. Prof. MUSTAFA
KIBAROGLU Department of International
RelationsBILKENT UNIVERSITY 27 January 2006
  • DEFINITION, DIMENSION CATEGORIES OF TERRORISM
  • CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE DEFENCE AGAINST TERRORISM
  • TURKISH GENERAL STAFF
  • ANKARA - TURKEY
  • 23 - 27 January 2006

2
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • We stand on the threshold of a new era in which
    hundreds of millions of people will at least be
    safe from some form of the worlds most terrible
    diseases We also stand on the brink of a global
    crisis in infectious diseases. No country is safe
    from them. No country can any longer afford to
    ignore their threat.
  •  
  • Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima
  • Former Director General
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  •  
  •  
  • Biological warfare is the deliberate spreading
    of (infectious) diseases among humans, animals,
    and plants in order to cause incapacitation or
    death of the target population.
  • Hon. Prof. Graham S. Pearson CB
  • Former Director General
  • Chemical Biological Defence Establishment
  • Porton Down, Salisbury, England

3
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Topics of the Day
  • Biological Agents of Military Significance
  •  
  • Characteristics and Symptoms of Some Anti-Human
    Biological Agents
  •  
  • Past Record of Uses of Biological Agents for
    Military Purposes
  •  
  • Knowledge Required to Manufacture Biological
    Weapons
  •  
  • Military-Strategic Advantages Drawbacks of
    Biological Weapons
  •  
  • An Emerging Threat Bio-Terrorism
  •  
  • Means of Protection Active Passive Defences
  •  
  • International Efforts to Counter the Threat of
    Biological Weapons

4
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Biological Agents of Military Significance
  •  
  • Bacteria Single-cell organisms that cause
    diseases as anthrax, plague, and tularemia.
    Although many pathogenic bacteria are susceptible
    to antibiotic drugs, strains can be selected that
    are resistant to antibiotic and occur naturally.
    Bacteria can be readily grown in artificial media
    using facilities similar to those found in the
    brewery industry
  •  
  • Virus 100 times smaller than bacteria and occur
    in large numbers in nature. Among
    disease-producing viruses are smallpox, Ebola,
    and Venezuelan equine encephalitis. Viruses must
    be grown on living tissue and they can mutate
    naturally or be genetically engineered to
    increase their effectiveness
  • Rickettsiae Similar to bacteria in structure and
    form but must be grown on living tissue. Diseases
    caused by rickettsiae include Q-fever, typhus,
    and Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  •  
  • Fungi Occur greatly in nature and could be used
    to destroy crops. Relatively few species appear
    to have potential for deliberate use against
    humans. The fungal pathogens that cause hardship
    and famine are potato blight and cereal rust
  •  
  • Toxins Non-living products of micro-organisms,
    plants or living creatures such as botulinum
    toxin, ricin from castor beans, or saxitoxin from
    shellfish. Toxins can only affect those exposed
    to the toxin and cannot produce transmissible
    diseases.

5
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Characteristics and Symptoms of Some Anti-Human
    Biological Agents
  • Type of Name of Incubation Length
    of Effective Symptoms
  • Agent Agent Period
    Illness Dosage Effects
  •  
  • Bacteria Bacillus Anthracis 1 to 6 day
    3 to 5 days 10,000 Fever and fatigue often
    (anthrax) spores followed by improvement,
    then abrupt onset of severe
    respiratory problems shock
    pneumonia and death within 2-3 days
  •  
  • Yersinia pestis 2 to 10 day 1 to 2 days
    100 to Malaise, high fever, can lead
    (bubonic plague) 20,000 to
    hemorrhage (shed blood),
    organisms circulatory failure and death
  •  
  • Brucella Suis 1 to 3 week days
    1,300 Fever and chills, headache,
    (brucellosis) organisms loss
    of appetite, mental depression, extreme
    fatigue
  •  
  • Pasteurella 3 to 5 days half of 10 to
    50 General pain, an irritant, tularensis
    victims die organisms
    cough, feeling of general (tularemia)
    in 30 days illness

6
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Characteristics and Symptoms of Some Anti-Human
    Biological Agents (continued)
  • Type of Name of Incubation Length of
    Effective Symptoms
  • Agent Agent Period Illness
    Dosage Effects
  •  
  • Viruses Venezulean 1 to 5 days days to
    25 Fever, chills, gastro- equine
    weeks infectious intestinal
    hemorrage, encephalitis
    units severe headache, nausea, vomiting,
    can lead to coma, shock and death
  • Rickettsiae Coxiella burnetii 10 to 20 days 2
    days to 10 or less Pneumonia, cough, chest
    (Q-fever) 2 weeks organisms pain
  • Toxins Saxitoxin minutes to fatal after
    150 Dizziness, paralysis of
    hours inhalation micrograms
    muscles of respiration, and causes death
    in minutes
  • Botulinum Toxin hours to days 1 to 3 days
    70 Dizziness, dry throat
    nanograms mouth, blurred
    vision abrupt respiratory failure,
    and causes death
  •  
  • Ricin hours days
    200 Rapid onset of nausea,
    micrograms
    vomiting, cramps, vascular
    collapse, fever and cough

7
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Potential Effects of Biological Agents If Used
    for Military or Terrorist Purposes
  •  
  • Disseminating by airplane of 50 kg of an agent
    Along a 2 km line upwind of a population of
    500,000.
  •  
  • Agent Downwind Reach (km) Dead
    Incapacitated
  •  
  • Tick-Borne Encephalitis 1 9,500 35,000
  •  
  • Typhus 5 19,000 85,000
  •  
  • Brucellosis 10 500 100,000
  •  
  • Q-fever gt 20 150 125,000
  •  
  • Tularemia gt 20 30,000 125,000
  •  
  • Anthrax gtgt 20 95,000 125,000
  •  

8
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Past Record of Military Uses of Biological
    Warfare Agents
  •  
  • 1346-1347 Mongols catapult corpses contaminated
    with plague over the walls into Kaffa (in
    Crimea), forcing besieged Genovans to flee
  •  
  • 1710 Russian troops allegedly used
    plague-infected corpses against Swedes
  •  
  • 1767 During the French and Indian Wars, the
    British gave blankets used to wrap British
    smallpox victims to hostile Indian tribes
  •  
  • 1916-1918 German agents used anthrax and the
    equine disease glanders to infect livestock and
    feed for export to Allied forces. Incidents
    include the infection of Romanian sheep with
    anthrax and glanders for export to Russia,
    Argentinian mules with anthrax for export to
    Allied troops, and American horses fed with
    glanders for export to France
  •  
  • 1937 Japan began its offensive biological
    weapons program. Over the course of the program,
    at least 10,000 prisoners are killed in Japanese
    experiments
  •  
  • 1939 Nomonhan Incident - Japanese poisoned
    Soviet water supply with intestinal typhoid
    bacteria at former Mongolian border. First use of
    biological weapons by Japanese

9
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Past Record of Military Uses of Biological
    Warfare Agents (continued)
  •  
  • 1940 The Japanese dropped rice and wheat mixed
    with plague-carrying fleas over China and
    Manchuria
  •  
  • 1942-1943 Great Britain conducted trials on
    Gruinard Island off the northwest coast of
    Scotland to investigate the feasibility of
    biological warfare. The British government
    decontaminated the Gruinard Island in 1986 and
    returned the island to its original owners in
    1990
  •  
  • June, 1966 The United States conducted a test of
    vulnerability to covert BW attack by releasing a
    harmless biological simulant into the New York
    City subway system
  • April 2, 1979 Outbreak of pulmonary anthrax in
    Sverdlovsk, Soviet Union. In 1992, Russian
    president Boris Yeltsin acknowledges that the
    outbreak was caused by an accidental release of
    anthrax spores from a Soviet military
    microbiological facility

10
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Knowledge Required to Manufacture Biological
    Weapons
  •  
  • ...The most elemental step for the production of
    biological agents is acquisition of a seedstock
    of agent. This step is easy to accomplish.
    Biological agents can be isolated from their
    natural sources, or a seedstock can be requested
    from culture collections, or obtained from anyone
    who has micro-organisms for medical or research
    purposes. The next step is to grow the amount
    desired. Actual production of agent requires
    simple equipment such as fermenters and other
    containers and an understanding of microbiology
    and how growth media work. The scientific
    know-how and equipment to culture micro-organisms
    are essential capabilities pervasive in the
    biotechnology industry all over the world.
  •  
  • The infective dose of the potential biological
    agent
  •  
  • The method of attack on the target population
    (e.g., inhalation, ingestion, or by an insect
    vector)
  •  
  • The means of dispersion of the biological agent
  •  
  • The ability of the biological agent to survive
    until it reaches the target
  •  
  • The time to effect or cause disease in the
    target population
  •  
  • The biological agent needs to be producible.

11
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Military-Strategic Advantages Drawbacks of
    Biological Weapons
  •  
  • Advantages
  •  
  • Since biological agents (except toxins) multiply
    inside the host bodies, small amounts --just a
    few micro-organisms of a biological agent-- may
    be sufficient to devastate a crop, a herd of
    animals, and a citys inhabitants
  •  
  • Effects of biological agents take time to
    develop. A number of days or weeks must
    transpire, depending on the micro-organism and
    the rate at which it multiplies in the body
  • Due to delayed effects of biological agents they
    can be used for attacking fixed targets such as
    airbases, ports, naval headquarters, troop
    assembly areas, and logistic concentrations
  •  
  • The delayed effect of biological agents makes
    attribution difficult, especially when an endemic
    disease is used. Hence, it is plausible to both
    hide and deny biological weapons attack
  •  
  • The cost of establishing a biological weapons
    program has steadily reduced with the advances in
    microbiology and biotechnology that make agent
    production much easier. The comparative cost of
    civilian casualties is 2,000/km2 with
    conventional weapons, 800 with nuclear weapons,
    and 1 with biological weapons (poor mans
    atomic bomb)

12
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Military-Strategic Advantages Drawbacks of
    Biological Weapons (continued)
  •  
  • Drawbacks
  • Because of the delayed effects of biological
    agents they may not be effectively used in the
    battlefield
  •  
  • The area that will be contaminated by biological
    weapons will have to be decontaminated by proper
    methods while the result may not be assuring.
    Hence, military victory over the combatant may
    not be coupled with territorial gain
  •  
  • Effective dissemination of biological weapons is
    a challenging task because the biological agent
    is a fragile living organism that has to survive
    until it reaches the target. If bombs or rockets
    are employed to disseminate the agent, the heat
    and shock produced by the detonation of the
    explosive may kill the living micro-organisms
  •  
  • Once living micro-organisms are dispersed into
    the atmosphere, the agents will then be exposed
    to environmental and climatic conditions. Hence,
    effectiveness of biological weapons will be
    determined, among others, by meteorological
    conditions. The distance downwind at which an
    effective dose will be delivered to the target
    population will be determined by local weather
    condition. For instance, under ideal conditions,
    such as calm night with steady wind, the agent
    will probably be disseminated over hundreds of
    kilometers, while under turbulent, sunny
    conditions the distance that the agent will be
    carried downwind will be greatly reduced, and a
    proportion of the agents may be killed before
    reaching the target population

13
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • An Emerging Threat Bio-Terrorism
  •  
  • Since weaponization of biological agents does
    not require extremely demanding high technology
    and since biological agents are rather easily
    accessible, well organized terrorist groups
    including members from various scientific fields
    have the potential to produce biological weapons.
    For instance the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo
    which is responsible for the Sarin attack in the
    Tokyo subway in March 1995 is known to have a
    cadre of thousands of scientists, engineers,
    technicians and experts in various disciplines
  •  
  • Because of the low cost of producing biological
    weapons, terrorist groups can afford such a
    lethal weapon which may cause mass casualties
  •  
  • Biological agents can be dispersed by simple
    non-military vehicles such as civilian aircraft,
    agricultural sprayers, a van equipped with a fan
    and specialized ventilators, or by simply
    choosing an upwind location close to population
    areas
  •  
  • As rivalry between big country - small country
    sharpens, small countries may resort to war by
    proxy strategy by giving wide support to
    terrorist groups equipped with biological agents
    produced by the sponsor state
  •  
  • For the time being the likelihood of a
    biological terrorist attack is not high. However,
    this is a typical low probability high
    consequences scenario. Thus, states need to take
    elaborate and costly counter-measures.

14
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Means of Protection Active Passive Defenses
  •  
  • Active Defense
  •  
  • Preventing delivery systems by military means
    reaching the vicinity of the target population by
    intercepting and destroying incoming delivery
    vehicles
  •  
  • Preemptive strike against the potential
    aggressors biological weapons facilities
  •  
  •  
  • Passive Defense
  •  
  • Conducting hazard assessment by evaluating the
    area and the size of the population at risk in
    the event of the biological attack
  •  
  • Increasing the detection capability by
    furnishing an alarm system alerting officials
    that a biological attack is imminent. Ideally,
    detection systems are situated a sufficient
    distance upwind of the asset being produced to
    enable sufficient warning before the agent cloud
    arrives over the target downwind

15
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Means of Protection Active Passive Defenses
    (continued)
  • Increasing physical protection capability such
    as using physical barriers to protect the target
    population from exposure to a biological agent
  •  
  • Since the risks of illness from skin exposure to
    biological agents are minimal, respirators and
    masks are the principal personal protective gear
  •  
  • Medical counter-measures can negate or blunt the
    effects of some biological agents. Therefore,
    personnel can be vaccinated against some agents.
    Vaccinations are available to counteract against
    some biological agents such as anthrax, Plague,
    Q-fever, and tularemia
  •  
  • Medical counter-measures can also be
    administered after exposure to a biological agent
    such as applying antibiotics The effectiveness
    of medical treatment depends on the availability
    of advance knowledge of the specific biological
    agent involved.

16
Future Forms of Terrorism Threat of Biological
Weapons and Bio-TerrorismSeminar byAssoc. Prof.
Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • International Efforts to Counter the Threat of
    Biological Weapons
  •  
  • Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
    signed in 1972 and entered into force in 1975
    prohibits countries from developing, producing,
    acquiring, stockpiling and retaining an entire
    class of biological and toxin weapons
  •  
  • The major weakness of the BTWC is that it does
    not have a verification mechanism. Therefore, it
    is not possible to verify that no such an
    activity takes place in suspect countries some of
    which are in the Middle East
  •  
  • Negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament
    (CD) in the United Nations Offices in Geneva
    resulted in a full-fledged and effective
    verification mechanism in the Spring of 2001,
    which was however objected by the United States
    in July the same year
  •  
  • Informal cooperation and collaboration among
    states, especially in the field of intelligence,
    is probable. However, there is reluctance in most
    states in sharing sensitive national intelligence
    with other states unless there exists a common
    interest or there is a strategic partnership
    between the states.
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