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Biotechnology and terrorism

Western politicians have been lumping together the threat from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. They are wrong to do so

By George Poste   May 2002

The Al Qaeda terrorist attack on America was a stunning case of asymmetric warfare. The resources needed to develop the sophisticated weapons owned by many western countries are beyond the capacity of smaller nations and terrorist groups who oppose the global dominance of the US and its allies. The focus of these groups has thus shifted to exploring other means of inflicting great damage at low cost. Foremost among these is biotechnology.

A dauntingly large number of infectious organisms and biological toxins can be used to attack people, animals and plants. The most likely biothreats for humans encompass all branches…

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