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February 1, 2013

Biological weapons are a serious threat to the US and Israel

Scent of ‘germ’ warfare

By JILL BELLAMY VAN AALST, CLARE LOPEZ, REZA KAHLILI

The sectarian war in Syria has reportedly claimed more than 60,000 lives and spawned concerns in the Middle East and the West about access to chemical weapons by non-state actors such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas. Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are of immediate concern to Israel, Jordan and the United States, whether in Syrian President Bashar Assad’s hands or those of terrorist organizations. Yet the locations of chemical weapons munitions and Scud missiles equipped with chemical warheads in Syria have been identified and are continually monitored. That is not the case with the arguably even more dangerous biological weapons being developed by the nexus of Iran, Syria and North Korea.


More than 167 nations have signed the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention. Syria is a signatory, but has not ratified the treaty. Iran, also a signatory, has ratified it, but is pursuing development of microbial agents with the aid of Russian and North Korean scientists who may be graduates of the Sovietera Biopreparat program that created some of these dangerous biological agents.

Among the more than 16 biological agents that Iran is reportedly developing are anthrax, Ebola, encephalitis, biological toxins, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, smallpox and plague.

Worse yet, Iran, with North Korea’s help, has genetically altered the smallpox virus in ways that may make current vaccinations ineffective.

The Islamists ruling Iran may think their planned microbial attacks cannot be traced to them. Biological weapons pose a risk that other weapon classes (nuclear, radiological and chemical) do not. They are living organisms, some of which are highly infectious and transmissible, depending on the strain. Some have lengthy incubation periods that make early detection exceptionally difficult.

Genetically modified, weaponized biological agents would pose threats for which there are no known medical countermeasures. Biological weapons are silent until they explode in epidemics or pandemics.

Calculating kill ratios and controlling strikes as with chemical weapons and nuclear weapons are nearly impossible with biological weapons.

Intelligence analyst Andrew O’Neil said in a 2003 article in the Australian Journal of International Affairs that terrorists would prefer to use biological weapons for three reasons: “First, [biological weapons] agents are far easier to acquire than nuclear weapons and produce the same killing impact as [chemical weapons]. Moreover, on a pound-for-pound basis, [biological weapon] agents are far more potent than any of the most deadly [chemical weapon] agents, which must be ‘delivered in massive quantities to inflict lethal concentrations over large areas.’ “Second, the effects of biological weapons on a target population would be extremely hard to counter.

“Third, the insidious nature of [biological weapon] agents – composed as they are of living microorganisms with the capacity to reproduce and mutate – has the potential to psychologically ‘unhinge’ target populations.”

Iran and Syria are reported to be among regimes that have received variations of such deadly biological weapons agents and developed their own domestic programs. Each of these countries also has an extensive medical and pharmaceutical research and development infrastructure within which to produce and conceal its biological weapons programs. Iran and Syria also have shared artillery, ballistic missile and munitions technology with each other and likely with Hezbollah for delivery of such pathogens.

Middle East threat reduction requires a far more aggressive and comprehensive approach to deter the proliferation of biological weapons.

Once again, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his powerful clerical and military regime continue to use deceitful tactics to conceal development of an arsenal of virtually untraceable deadly biological weapons that could result in tens of millions of deaths. And they are doing it while Israel and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – are contending with the Islamic Republic approaching the “red lines” of nuclear enrichment and weapons development.

The threats from these deadly microbial agents are alarming and real. The unleashing of bio-warfare agents against Israel and the United States could bring both countries to their knees. These deadly biological weapons programs in Iran and Syria must be stopped.

Jill Bellamy van Aalst is a biological warfare threat analyst. Clare Lopez is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Reza Kahlili, author of A Time to Betray (Threshold, 2010), is a former CIA operative and serves on the US Task Force on National and Homeland Security.

Posted by Ted Belman @ 6:56 am | 2 Comments »



2 Responses to Biological weapons are a serious threat to the US and Israel

  1. Laura says:

    At this point, nothing less than putting an end to this regime in Tehran will prevent such a catastrophe.

  2. More BS fear mongering from 2 “former” CIA functionaries and a “biological warfare threat analyst” who have, for some reason, neglected to outline their methods of analysis or to provide evidence for their claims.

    Iran, also a signatory, has ratified it, but is pursuing development of microbial agents with the aid of Russian and North Korean scientists who may be graduates of the Sovietera Biopreparat program that created some of these dangerous biological agents.

    While this may possibly be true, not a skerrick of evidence has been provided to support the assertion. Why not?

    Among the more than 16 biological agents that Iran is reportedly developing are anthrax, Ebola, encephalitis, biological toxins, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, smallpox and plague.

    “Reportedly developing”? What is the source(s) of these alleged reports?
    Remember that this article has been written by 3 supposed experts, yet it’s written in a tabloid-esque style One may expect from a standard journalist/reporter simply repeating things they’ve been told.
    Surely, higher standards should be expected if not demanded from “experts”?

    I would like to put the following possibilities on the table for the reader’s consideration:-

    That these 3 individuals are serving in a counter-intelligence capacity and are primarily targeting the so-called counter-jihad movement, and secondarily targeting ostensible opponents of the imperialistic designs of the US/EU/NATO foreign policy Elite.
    That this propaganda piece is designed inter alia to:
    a) Deflect the energy of counter-jihadists onto a red herring. That is, a decoy.
    b) Re-install the meme that many a Geopolitical spectacle has repeatedly nurtured, namely – to put it colloquially – “the Iranians are baaaaddd muthas! Be very afraid!”.
    c) Distract readers – both those who ostensibly oppose Global Jihad, and those who ostensibly oppose US/EU/NATO foreign policy – from the abundance of evidence available about the Geopolitical realities of the relationship between the US/EU/NATO, the Iranian Establishment, and Israel. (Much of which can be gleaned from the video “The Laws of Moses: Why the NWO and Globalists Seek Israel’s Destruction” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smNSMUg4Zfg )
    d) Provide ostensible opponents of US/EU/NATO foreign policy with “evidence” that counter-jihadists are foolish beLIEvers of this kind of fear mongering propaganda which has been discredited many times before, and thus aren’t to be taken seriously.

    One of the key effects of all this is the maintenance of a political narrative in which those who oppose Islamisation and those who oppose US/EU/NATO foreign policy are effectively rendered incapable of working together to effectively oppose both and are instead kept deadlocked in a puppet show of squabbling with each other. Or, ignoring each other.

    The article also deploys disinformation about the nature of biological warfare itself, embedded in the sentence

    “Worse yet, Iran, with North Korea’s help, has genetically altered the smallpox virus in ways that may make current vaccinations ineffective.”

    Unfortunately, a detailed expose of the role of vaccines as delivery systems for biological agents is beyond the scope of this comment. However, for those who wish to learn more about this topic, I recommend the 1996 book “Emerging Viruses: AIDS And Ebola : Nature, Accident or Intentional?” by Dr. Len Horowitz.

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