Terrorist attacks aimed at reducing the food supply by destroying crops using natural pests such as the potato beetle, animal diseases such as hoof and mouth disease and anthrax, molds and other plant diseases, or chemicals that defoliate vegetation, such as Agent Orange, used in Vietnam.
An infectious and often fatal disease contracted from animals. Cutaneous anthrax is contracted through a break in the skin. Infection spreads through the bloodstream causing shock, cyanosis, sweating, and collapse. Inhalation anthrax is contracted by breathing in anthrax spores, resulting in pneumonia, sometimes accompanied by meningitis, followed by death. Because its spores have a long survival period, the incubation period is short, and the disability severe, anthrax has long been developed as a biological weapon by several nations.
A missile for intercepting and destroying ballistic missiles.
A guided rocket-powered delivery vehicle for use against ground targets. A large portion of its flight in a ballistic (freefall) trajectory. Ballistic missiles are an optimal delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction because it is difficult to deter them.
Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)
Officially, the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction" (Biological Weapons Convention or BWC). It was opened for signature by the United Nations on April 10, 1972 and went into force in 1975 but no formal verification procedure was established. Since 1991 an ad hoc group of signatory states has been developing a rolling text of a verification protocol to the Convention.
The use of biological agents such as bacteria and viruses in a terrorist operation. The most likely biological toxins terrorists might adopt are anthrax, salmonella, e. coli, hoof-and-mouth disease, the plague, smallpox, botulism, and tularemia.
Terrorism that resorts to biological or chemical agents as weapons.
These agents cause incapacitation rather than death. These are unlikely agents to be used by terrorists but they might be used to to injure many people and overload regional medical facilities. Lewisite or mustard gas are the best known of these.
Blood agents are based on cyanide compounds. Hydrogen cyanide (AC) is a blood agent slightly more lethal than phosgen. Its rapid rate of evaporation makes it less a candidate for mass terrorism than for assassination.
The botulinum toxin is extremely lethal and easy to produce. A small quantity of this toxin can destroy the central nervous system. Botulism may be contracted by eating contaminated foods or by absorbing the bacteria through cuts in the skin. Fewer than 200 cases reported annually in the U.S. Intentional contamination of the food supply or aerosol dissemination of the toxin is the greatest concern of counterterrorists.
The use of chemical agents in a terrorist operation. The most worrisome chemical is the nerve gas, sarin, used in the Tokyo subway attack that killed 12 but injured thousands. Chemical agents are far easier to store and transport safely. The most likely to be used are blister agents, choking agents, nerve agents, and cyanide based compounds.
The chemical agents preferred in WW I have lost much of their destructive utility since the invention of nerve agents. Choking agents are lethal and are very easily obtained. Phosgene is a common industrial chemical that serves as a moderately lethal choking agent.
A guided missile that flies at a moderate speed and at a low altitude, following the terrain beneath it. The "Tomahawk" is a cruise missile.
Hydrogen cyanide reportedly was used by Iraq in the war against Iran and against the Kurds in northern Iraq during the 1980's. The Nazis used a form of hydrogen cyanide (Zyklon B) the gas chambers of their concentration camps. It colorless liquid which may be inhaled in gaseous form. Cyanide salts and liquid cyanide may be absorbed by the skin. Symptoms are dizziness, headache, palpitations and respiratory difficulty. These are later followed by vomiting, convulsions, respiratory failure, unconsciousness, and death.
An electromagnetic bomb that produces a high-power flash of radio waves or microwaves that destroys any delicate electronic circuitry it hits. It causes mass disruption without destroying life or property. An e-bomb could freeze transportation systems, wreck communication systems, and destroy computer networks. The U.S. will begin production next year on a sophisticated version but the cost to a terrorist for an e-bomb with no bells or whistles: an estimated $400.
Fear of the west
Information Warfare (IW)
Warfare against the information systems of an enemy with or without destroying large physical assets, such as buildings. IW without destruction of large physical assets has the advantage of rapid reconstruction after the war. E-bombs would be a valuable asset in a targeted IW.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Ballistic missiles have no guidance system but are dependent upon their ballistic trajectory. ICBM's have long ranges (from one continent to another) but are expensive. However, it is possible to equip them with multiple warheads, each of which is guided to different target. Four potentially hostile Third World countries are currently developing ICBM programs: Iraq, Iran, Libya, and North Korea.
Iraq launched 96 of its ballistic missiles, "Al Hussein," in the Gulf War. It is a modified Russian SCUD-B (surface-surface) missile with a range of about 650 km. Iraq has produced at least 80 "special warheads" for its Al Hussein missiles, 50 for chemical weapons, 25 for biological weapons, and 5 for trials. Sanctions were placed on Iraq after the Gulf War by the U.N. until it dismantled its biological and chemical weapons but the U.N. observation team left the country before confirming compliance after a long series of delaying tactics by president Sadam Hussein.
Mustard agents are blistering agents because the wounds caused by these substances resemble burns and blisters. Mustard agents cause severe damage to the eyes, respiratory system and internal organs. Mustard agent was produced for the first time in 1822 but its harmful effects were not discovered until 1860. Mustard agent was first used as a chemical warfare agent during WWI. Victims suffered lung and eye injuries and pain 30-40 years after exposure.
The original nerve agents were insecticides developed into chemical weapons by the Nazi military during World War II. Now sarin, tabun, soman, and a few others are the major chemical weapons currently stockpiled in several nations (including the U.S.) They are hundreds to thousands of times more lethal than blister, choking, and blood agents. These chemicals are the most useful to terrorists because of the small quantity needed to inflict a substantial amount of damage.
The permanent five members of the UN Security Council: China, England, France, Russia, and the U.S.A.
Pakistan began its ballistic missile program with Chinese help and expertise, but is now developing its own program. It currently owns around 120 ballistic missiles, some of which are capable of hitting anywhere in India, and is working on missiles with longer ranges.
The pneumonic plague (more likely to be used by terrorists than bubonic) results in fever, shortness of breath, coughing with bloody sputum. It can lead to septic shock and death. This disease is usually carried by rodents and fleas, but can be aerosolized and sprayed from crop dusters.
Any agent or organism that can cause disease.
The spread of biochemical, nuclear, and other weapons of mass destruction to countries not originally involved in developing them. "Primary proliferators" are the leading industrial nations like the U.S., France, Great Britain, Russia, who originally develop nuclear weapons and biological and chemical warfare agents. "Secondary proliferators" are those countries that have developed indigenous programs and that now may or do sell their innovations to other countries or terrorist organizations. The U. S. government think these include China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Russia, and Syria.
The symptoms of salmonella enteritis include muscle and abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and fever. The symptoms usually are not fatal but dehydration resulting from the diarrhea is a complicating factor, and the disease could lead to meningitis or septicemia. Salmonella enteritis is the result of ingestion of contaminated food or water. The incubation period is 8 to 48 hours after exposure, and the acute illness lasts for 1 to 2 weeks.
A colorless, odorless gas with a lethal dose of 0.5 milligram. It is 26 times more deadly than cyanide gas and is 20 times more lethal than potassium cyanide. A pinprick sized droplet will kill an adult. The vapor is slightly heavier than air, so it hovers close to the ground. Under wet and humid weather conditions sarin degrades swiftly, but as the temperature rises, sarin’s life-expectancy increases regardless of humidity.
The first infectious disease afflicting humans ever globally eradicated. Smallpox killed 300 million people in the 19th century. Human beings as a whole are extraordinarily susceptible to infection by smallpox right now, precisely because it has been eradicated. Within 48 hours, smallpox could travel from New York to Italy to Baghdad.
Syria has one of the largest ballistic missile arsenals in the Third World and the Pentagon believes that Syria has chemical warheads available for a portion of its SCUD missile force. It acquired its arsenal from Iran, Russia, China and, primarily, North Korea.
A highly infections disease with symptoms that include a high fever, pneumonia, pleuritis. it can cause respiratory failure and death. Because it is highly infectious, it is a possible terrorist bacteriological agent.
weapons of mass destruction
Any weapon, nuclear, biological, or chemical, that can kills large numbers of people. There are three types of delivery system usually considered for WMD— ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and combat aircraft.