ISIS Developing Plague Bio Weapon — Pentagon Believes ISIS Used Chemical Weapons
By Amber William
I know it sounds crazy, but reliable reports claim that ISIS now is using chemical weapons, but worse than that, it has biological weapons under development at well-funded labs in Syria.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday and confirmed that ISIS not only has produced a chemical weapon, but has now used it.
According to former Navy Seal, Rob O’Neill – the man who shot Osama bin Laden – the new chemical weapon is an colorless, odorless blistering agent. He explained on Fox News this morning that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that even more deadly weapons are under development.
The Pentagon confirms to CBS News that it has deemed credible reports that ISIS used chemical weapons against Kurdish peshmerga fighters in Iraq. Chris Harmer, senior naval analyst for the Institute for the Study of War, explains the attack to CBSN's Vladimir Duthiers.
THE BIOLOGICAL THREAT
Biological weapons are particularly attractive to governments and other organizations in developing nations due to their low production cost. In 1969 dollars, biological weapons only require a one-dollar expenditure to produce fifty percent casualties per square kilometer. In comparison, conventional weapons would require an expenditure of two thousand dollars, and nuclear weapons would cost eight hundred dollars to produce comparable results. Because of their low cost, it is easy for terrorist groups to buy them. The obtainment of biological agents is aided by wide availability, since academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies typically carry them.
When choosing a pathogen to use as a biological weapon, toxicity, ease of production, and stability must be considered. The United States determined toxicity levels of many pathogens in mice during its offensive biological weapons program in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Comparing those values with the quantity of the agent needed to provide sufficient aerosol exposure in an area of one hundred kilometers, the effectiveness of an agent was calculated. To make an effective weapon, an agent had to be of adequate toxicity; otherwise, the amount needed to produce even one weapon would reach into the tons! Required amounts of effective toxins in weapons, on the other hand, are only measured in kilograms.
Bacillus anthracis or anthrax was responsible for nationwide panic.
When using a biological warfare agent, there are several options for its dissemination. An explosive device, like a bomb or a missile, could be used, but there is a large probability that the agent would be deactivated by the blast. An attempt to place the agent in a food or water supply is another possibility. However, the large amount of toxin that would be needed to make the attack successful would be impractical. While its level of success is dependent upon optimal weather conditions, the most effective way to deliver a biological weapon agent is through aerosolization. Methods of delivering toxins in this manner include using agricultural crop-dusters, aerosol generators on boats, trucks or cars, or even, on a very small scale, a perfume atomizer.
For an agent to be prepared for aerosol delivery, it must fall within specific size parameters. To reach the inner areas of the lung, particles must be in a size range of 0.5-5.0 microns. If they are larger than this, they will be cleared from the lungs by respiratory mucus, and if they are smaller, they will simply float in and out of the lungs without settling. A toxin can only be used as a biological weapon if it can be manufactured to be within these specific size parameters.
Stability plays a large role in the effectiveness of aerosol toxins. While it may have high toxicity, the agent may simply be too unstable in air to be used. An agent must have the ability to be suspended in the atmosphere for extended periods of time to be utilized as an efficient biological weapon. After evaluating all of the factors, many toxins exist that would be suitable for use in attacks. Anthrax, botulism, smallpox, ricin, and plague are a few of the most toxic agents that experts believe would be first used in biological warfare.
Large-scale defense against biological attack is extremely difficult since most biological weapon strikes are covert. However, extensive research is underway to protect our country in the event of a biological attack. Detectors to measure the amounts of toxins in the air are being developed. Vaccines and antibiotics are being produced, and continuing research yields increasingly effective drugs. Programs to educate physicians and hospitals about the symptoms and treatment of persons infected by biological toxins are being developed. Municipal governments are being educated on the procedure for handling a localized epidemic. On a more personal note, you can help protect yourself from an attack by purchasing a gas mask, since biological weapon strikes are mainly aerosol. Be sure to have your gas mask leak-tested, and make sure that the mask fits you properly, forming an airtight seal about your face.
Due to moral and ethical reasons, the vast majority of governments have banned biological weapons development. In an attack, thousands of innocent civilians could be placed at risk, and the possibility of mass panic could cause the toxin to spread far beyond the initial area of attack, setting off a subsequent chain of infection. Tragically, ethical concerns have not hindered the development of advanced biological weapons by some countries and terrorist groups. Today, the world must hope that a large-scale biological attack from one a rogue group does not occur, and prepare itself in case the worst does happen. (source)
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