Bioterror Threat Eminent Without More Security
DECEMBER 01, 2008
If urgent security measures aren’t immediately applied the U.S. will likely suffer a nuclear or biological terrorist attack because the current administration has not devoted sufficient resources to such threats.
A bipartisan congressional commission created after the 2001 terrorist attacks warns that nuclear and biological terrorism threats are growing and that bioterrorists might soon create synthetic versions of killers such as Ebola or germs genetically modified to resist vaccines and antibiotics.
Charged with investigating weapons of mass destruction, the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism conducted a six-month investigation before publishing an alarming report which will be released at a press conference this week.
It reveals that the U.S. has promoted the proliferation of domestic labs holding virulent pathogens without implementing adequate safeguards to prevent deadly germs from being stolen or accidentally released. The number of such "high-containment" labs in the United States has actually tripled since 2001.
Commission investigators conclude that if the world’s nations, not just the U.S., don’t take immediate steps to prevent a nuclear or biological terrorist attack such an incident is likely within the next five years.
"Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013," the report states in the opening sentence of the executive summary.
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