PDA Bulletin 01:05 - reassurance on bio/chem threat
- Special note from the editor -
a source of reassurance regarding the threat of bio/chemical
Fears of biological or chemical terrorism are rising following reports
of several cases of Anthrax in the U.S. Several weeks ago the media
picked up on the potential threat of bio/chemical terrorism. When
addressing the likelihood of future attacks there has probably been
more written recently about bio/chemical threats than there has been about
hijackings and bombings.
I think we all feel the anxiety. I have a daughter who commutes
daily on the NYC subways. Consequently I can't deny the fear that
creeps into my mind late at night that a chemical or biological agent
might be released in that confined space.
I also have had some scepticism about the bio/chemical terrorist
threat. I thought: Why would terrorists who have been so successful
with the lowest tech tactics (small knives to hijack airliners)
suddenly choose one of the most high-tech tactics? Maybe as
Americans with our culture of enthrallment with technology we just
can't stay with a sober assessment of the potential lethality of low-
tech and jump immediately to a different level of complexity to feed
In any case, I decided to read up a bit on bio/chemical terrorism.
What I found was somewhat reassuring to me and calmed my fear. I
thought I would share the reference with you. I think there is
plenty for us to fear at this moment; we don't need to carry around
unwarrented fears as well.
I recommend to you: "Likelihood of Terrorists Acquiring and Using
Chemical or Biological Weapons"
<http://www.stimson.org/cwc/acquse.htm> from the
Stimson Center's resident bio/chemical specialist Amy E. Smithson.
For a longer treatment of these issues you can read: "Ataxia: The
Chemical and Biological Terrorism Threat and the US Response"
If you find these helpful please forward this message to others who
you think might also benefit.
If you have the urge to really delve into the issue of terrorism I
refer you to the more than twenty fulltext articles and studies
available at the Project on Defense Alternatives' online compendium
collection, the Terror and Counter-terrorism Page
editor, PDA Bulletin