December 3, 2008
In the wake of Mumbai, Congress has decided to add to the terrorism hype by releasing yet another facetious report. “A bipartisan commission empanelled by Congress released a report today saying that terrorists are likely to carry out a weapons-of-mass-destruction attack somewhere in the world in the next five years,” reports CNS News. “The commission concluded that the terrorists are more likely to use biological weapons than nuclear weapons and that the United States is not prepared for such an attack.”
|Shoko Asahara of the 10,000-strong Aum Shinrikyo cult. Aum’s multi-million dollar attempt to kill thousands with aerosolized liquid anthrax in Tokyo was a total failure.|
Bush’s Homeland Security Council envisions “terrorists driving a truck with a concealed sprayer [that] would infect five different U.S. metropolitan areas with anthrax in two waves of attacks conducted two weeks apart.”
As with most government issued terrorist scenarios, this one is pure and unadulterated bunk.
In “Busting the Anthrax Myth” by Fred Burton and Scott Stewart, such brazen idiocy is put to rest. Burton and Stewart write that “obtaining a biological agent is fairly simple. Isolating a virulent strain and then weaponizing that strain is somewhat more difficult. But the key to biological warfare — effectively distributing a weaponized agent to the intended target — is the really difficult part of the process.”
Anyone planning a biological attack against a large target such as a city needs to be concerned about a host of factors such as dilution, wind velocity and direction, particle size and weight, the susceptibility of the disease to ultraviolet light, heat, dryness or even rain. Small-scale localized attacks such as the 2001 anthrax letters or the 1984 salmonella attack undertaken by the Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh cult are far easier to commit.
Somebody needs to remind the Homeland Security Council of the failure of the Japanese cult group Aum Shinrikyo. In the late 1980s, Aum managed to hire a team of trained scientists and spent millions of dollars to cook up a batch of botulinum toxin in state-of-the-art biological weapons research and production laboratories. In April, 1990, the group used three trucks rigged up with aerosol sprayers and released a massive amount of toxin on targets that included the Imperial Palace, the National Diet of Japan, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, two U.S. naval bases and the airport in Narita. It was a total failure. Aum had wanted to kick off a global Armageddon but their feeble attack did not result in mass casualties. In fact, beyond the members of the Aum cult, nobody was even aware an attack had taken place.
“When the botulinum operations failed to produce results, Aum’s scientists went back to the drawing board and retooled their biological weapons facilities to produce anthrax,” write Burton and Stewart. “By mid-1993, they were ready to launch attacks involving anthrax; between June and August of 1993, the group sprayed thousands of gallons of aerosolized liquid anthrax in Tokyo. This time, Aum not only employed its fleet of sprayer trucks but also used aerosol sprayers mounted on the roof of their headquarters to disperse a cloud of aerosolized anthrax over the city. Again, the attacks produced no results and were not even noticed. It was only after the group’s successful 1995 subway attacks using sarin nerve agent that a Japanese government investigation discovered that the 1990 and 1993 biological attacks had occurred.”
In other words, the technology required is beyond the reach of terrorists, especially fumbling cave-dwelling terrorists of the sort that attempt to bring down airliners with shoe bombs. Aum’s “team worked in large, modern laboratory facilities to produce substantial quantities of biological weapons,” not caves or huts in remote tribal villages in Pakistan, and yet they were unable to dispense biological agents effectively.
Operating in the badlands along the Pakistani-Afghan border, al Qaeda cannot easily build large modern factories capable of producing large quantities of agents or toxins. Such fixed facilities are expensive and consume a lot of resources. Even if al Qaeda had the spare capacity to invest in such facilities, the fixed nature of them means that they could be compromised and quickly destroyed by the United States.
If al Qaeda could somehow create and hide a fixed biological weapons facility in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas or North-West Frontier Province, it would still face the daunting task of transporting large quantities of biological agents from the Pakistani badlands to targets in the United States or Europe. Al Qaeda operatives certainly can create and transport small quantities of these compounds, but not enough to wreak the kind of massive damage it desires.
Even so, the Homeland Security Council offers the following absurd scenario:
This scenario describes a single aerosol [anthrax] attack in one city delivered by a truck using a concealed improvised spraying device in a densely populated urban city with a significant commuter workforce. It does not, however, exclude the possibility of multiple attacks in disparate cities or time-phased attacks (i.e. ‘reload’).
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
For federal planning purposes, it will be assumed that the Universal Adversary (UA) will attack five separate metropolitan areas in a sequential manner. Three cities will be attacked initially, followed by two additional cities 2 weeks later.
It is possible that a Bio-Watch [atmospheric sensor] signal would be received and processed, but this is not likely to occur until the day after the release. The first cases of anthrax would begin to present to Emergency Rooms (ERs) approximately 36 hours post-release, with rapid progression of symptoms and fatalities in untreated (or inappropriately treated) patients.
Nonsense. Obviously, this is a transparent effort to scare an ill-informed public into supporting the real “Universal Adversary,” the government and the corporatized military-intelligence complex. The release of this preposterous “report” arrives not coincidentally on the heels of the horrific Mumbai attacks, when images of rampaging terrorists wantonly killing innocents remains fresh in the minds of the unwitting public. It also follows closely the announcement by Def. Sec. Gates that the Pentagon will deploy troops around the country, supposedly to help in case of a terrorist attack.
It is an attempt to stampede the public into accepting the emerging police state and continued erosion of liberty. It has nothing to do with preventing a terrorist attack or safeguarding the populace. It is a parlor trick not only designed to get people to accept the high-tech surveillance state apparatus now going into place, but also accept the continued militarization of local law enforcement and the deployment of 20,000 military troops around the country.