“They already have,” the defense contractor said. Then he told the story of how, just last January, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) had bungled a WMD experiment using bubonic plague.
An al-Qaeda cell killed by the Black Death may have been developing biological weapons when it was infected, it has been reported.
Dr Igor Khrupinov, a biological weapons expert at Georgia University, told The Sun: “Al-Qaeda is known to experiment with biological weapons. And this group has direct communication with other cells around the world.
“Contagious diseases, like ebola and anthrax, occur in northern Africa. It makes sense that people are trying to use them against Western governments.”
Dr Khrupinov, who was once a weapons adviser to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, added: “Instead of using bombs, people with infectious diseases could be walking through cities.”
It was reported last year that up to 100 potential terrorists had attempted to become postgraduate students in Britain in an attempt to use laboratories
From the Times Online: A French physicist with the European atomic research centre near Geneva was charged with terrorism offences by a Paris judge last night after investigators said that he offered to work with the North African branch of al-Qaeda.
Adlène Hicheur, 32, who is of Algerian origin, was arrested last week with his younger brother after intelligence agents intercepted his alleged internet contacts with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The physicist, who works at the giant atomic collider at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), which straddles Swiss and French territory, told the Islamic group that he was interested in committing an attack but had not begun any material preparation, according to police sources. He had acknowledged contacting the militant organisation, they said.
Terrorists and Biological Weapons
Terrorists would find it “relatively easy” to launch a devastating attack using swarms of insects to spread a deadly disease, an academic has warned.
Jeffrey Lockwood, professor of entomology at Wyoming University and author of Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War, said such Rift Valley Fever or other diseases could be transported into a country by a terrorist with a suitcase.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think a small terrorist cell could very easily develop an insect-based weapon.”
Defending Against Biological Weapons
Defense against bioterrorism involves several factors: intelligence to disrupt the terrorists before they can use the weapons, early detection, availability of protective antibiotics, and vaccination of selected populations (eg, the military).