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Small-Scale Chem/Bio Terrorist Attacks New CRS Report

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posted on Jun, 8 2004 @ 12:40 PM
A new Congressional Research Service Report has been published which deals with Small Scale Terrorist Attacks using Chemical or Biological Agents.
The report details attacks which although not initially causing mass casualties, could cause massive disruption.

The term "weapons of mass destruction," like "terrorism," is
often used as a rhetorical blunderbuss rather than to achieve
strategic clarity. There are so many qualitatively distinct
technologies and substances that qualify as WMD that basic
differences between threats of global apocalypse and minor
hazards which may result in few or no casualties are obscured.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service attempts
to unpack this loaded term and to evaluate some of its diverse
components, focusing on the potential for small-scale
terrorist attacks involving the use of chemical and biological
weapons (CBW).

See "Small-scale Terrorist Attacks Using Chemical and
Biological Agents: An Assessment Framework and Preliminary
Comparisons" by Dana A. Shea and Frank Gottron, Congressional
Research Service, May 20, 2004 (89 pages, 750 KB PDF file):

This report details everything you always wanted to know about the dangers of Chem/Bio terrorist attacks and is an essential research tool for all students of Chemical and Biological Warfare.

The report can be found here.

zero lift

[edit on 8-6-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 12:14 AM
Chemical weapons are not a Weapon of Mass Destruction without a fairly technologically advanced delivery device.

30 ICBM's would be so, but ICBM's are enormously more difficult to make than sarin---and in fact more difficult than nuclear warheads.

In a can, or in a truck, what a terrorist on hostile soil might be able to achieve, a load of poison gas is substantially less effective than a large truck bomb.

Which is, in fact, quite murderously good. I beleive the terrorists are sufficiently bloodthirsty that they want immediate results.

for the most part chemical weapons don't give this reliably.

And most biological weapons won't either. THey are fragile and difficult to use.

The most dangerous weapons are, in order,

1) a large truck bomb of high explosive
2) a detonated liquid natural or propane gas tanker
3) a fissile true nuclear weapon (as in detonating with fast fission).

posted on Jun, 9 2004 @ 08:27 AM
The CRS report made it quite clear that they were investigating the use of Chemical and Biological agents in small scale attacks. These attacks, as the anthrax incidents in the US during 2001 proved, can cause major disruption.
They can also cause widespread disproportionate terror in the population.
The report goes some way to dispelling some CBW myths.

As for your list of WMD, even a ballistic missile has its limits as proved by the use of Scuds in the 1991 Gulf War. Unless the Scud has a nuclear warhead they do not present a massive destructive threat.

I feel that the use of the soundbite "Weapons of Mass Destruction" is an unfortunate choice in describing Chemical or Biological warfare agents.

In a terrorist attack they are far more likely to be used as a sabotage weapon, a scenario the US Government has long understood.

zero lift

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