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    Weapons Of Mass Destruction Weapons Of Mass Destruction Document Transcript

    • Weapons of Mass Destruction Volume I: Chemical and Biological Weapons
    • Weapons of Mass Destruction An Encyclopedia of Worldwide Policy, Technology, and History Eric A. Croddy and James J. Wirtz, Editors Jeffrey A. Larsen, Managing Editor Foreword by David Kay Volume I: Chemical and Biological Weapons Eric A. Croddy, Editor Santa Barbara, California Denver, Colorado Oxford, England
    • Copyright 2005 by Eric A. Croddy, James J. Wirtz, and Jeffrey A. Larsen All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Weapons of mass destruction : an encyclopedia of worldwide policy, technology, and history / Eric A. Croddy and James J. Wirtz, editors. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-85109-490-3 (hardback : alk. paper)—ISBN 1-85109-495-4 (e-book) 1. Weapons of mass destruction—Encyclopedias. I. Croddy, Eric, 1966– II. Wirtz, James J., 1958– U793.W427 2005 358'.3'03—dc22 2004024651 0807060510987654321 This book is also available on the World Wide Web as an eBook. Visit abc-clio.com for details. ABC-CLIO, Inc. 130 Cremona Drive, P.O. Box 1911 Santa Barbara, California 93116–1911 This book is printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America
    • Contents Weapons of Mass Destruction An Encyclopedia of Worldwide Policy, Technology, and History Volume I: Chemical and Biological Weapons Foreword, vii Preface: Weapons of Mass Destruction, ix Editors and Contributors, xiii A-to-Z List of Entries, Volumes I and II, xvii Introduction: Chemical and Biological Weapons, xxv Chronology: Chemical and Biological Weapons, xxxi Chemical and Biological Weapons, Entries A to Y, 1 Key Documents: Chemical and Biological Weapons, 341 Bibliography, 395 Index, 413 v
    • Foreword David Kay Senior Research Analyst, Potomac Institute, The importance of this encyclopedia was under- Washington, D.C., and former Director, scored by the fact that virtually the only area of Iraq Survey Group (2003–2004) agreement in the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign between the two major candidates, President George W. Bush and Senator John F. Kerry, was that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction poses the most serious national security threat with made new classes of weapons possible. But scientific which the next president would have to deal. progress marches at a very fast rate, leaving behind While the prospect of chemical, biological, radi- old, but still dangerous, knowledge. For example, ological, or nuclear weapons falling into the hands the secrets regarding methods for enriching ura- of terrorists or regimes hostile to the United States nium were simply bought by the Iraqis from the and its friends is indeed a frightening prospect, how U.S. Government Printing Office. That office could many of us understand exactly what this means? not imagine that there was anything important in a When were such weapons first developed? Which 40-year-old project from the dawn of the U.S. nu- states and scientists are leading these developments? clear program. Have these weapons actually been used in the past? In another remarkable case, uranium enrichment How often and with what consequence—not only technology was stolen from a commercial company for the populations they were used against, but for in Holland by A. Q. Khan—a rather ordinary Pak- those that used them, as well? Do these weapons re- istani who went to Germany to earn an engineering ally give states a decisive edge over their adversaries? degree. Khan subsequently used this technology to How easy are they to develop and use? Does the ease develop Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and then sold the of development or use of such weapons by states, same technology to North Korea, Iran, and Libya. like North Korea, differ from the obstacles faced by The techniques of gene modification, which less than terrorist groups, like al-Qaeda? What are the tools 20 years ago were the stuff of Nobel prizes, are now available to the United States to halt the spread of routinely taught in American high schools and com- such weapons? Have we had any success in limiting munity colleges and have opened up whole new the spread of these weapons? Are there any protec- classes of biological weapons. As this study also tive measures that individuals can take to lessen makes clear, even the safe disposal of weapons of their vulnerability if such weapons are used? mass destruction following a state’s decision to aban- These are but a few of the questions that the au- don or limit their programs presents serious chal- thors of this authoritative two-volume study at- lenges of preventing the weapons and associated tempt to answer. This encyclopedia will have endur- technology from falling into the hands of terrorists. ing importance as states and societies attempt to The thousands of Soviet-era nuclear weapons and come to terms with the consequence of the collision the engineering talent that created them represent a of scientific progress with the failure to develop a re- clear and present danger with which the world has liable global security structure. The initial develop- not yet completely dealt. The readers of this work will ment of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, find numerous examples of the lowering of the bar- as this study makes clear, often involved scientific riers to the acquisition by states and terrorists of these and engineering breakthroughs of the highest most terrible of weapons. order. The paths to enriching uranium and geneti- But this study does not simply present the horrors cally modifying pathogens are but two examples of of a world filled with weapons of mass destruction. It such successes, scientific breakthroughs that have also catalogs and illuminates the various methods of vii
    • viii FOREWORD attempting to control and constrain these weapons— the few efforts made in this regard, it is hard not to including treaties and agreements such as the Nuclear come away with a sense of dread for the future. Most Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Chemical Weapons control efforts have been aimed at states, not at ter- Convention, as well as intrusive inspections, such as rorists operating outside of the control of states. the efforts of the United Nations to hunt such Hopefully students and policy makers using this weapons in Iraq after the first Gulf War. As will be book a few years hence will be able to record more clear to the reader, such endeavors have had both suc- progress toward meeting this new challenge. cesses and failures. Much remains to be done to en- The authors and editors have done an important sure that their effectiveness matches the problems service by pulling together such an illuminating posed by the proliferation of such weapons. The study at exactly the point when there is a broad po- largest gap in effective mechanisms of control and re- litical consensus of the importance of the problem. sponse to the acquisition of such weapons is with re- One can only hope that our citizens and our politi- gard to the efforts of terrorists groups to acquire the cal leaders take the time to explore the depth of in- means of mass murder. While these volumes identify formation presented here.
    • Preface: Weapons The term “weapon of mass destruction” (WMD) is of Mass Destruction a relatively modern expression. It was probably first used in print media following the interna- Eric A. Croddy and James J. Wirtz tional uproar over Germany’s aerial bombardment of the Basque city of Guernica in April 1937. (The latter event was famously depicted in Picasso’s painting Guernica y Luno.) Only a year before, an- never particularly enamored by chemical or biolog- other Axis power, Italy, had begun using mustard ical weapons and treated them as a deterrent to be and other chemical warfare (CW) agents in used in retaliation for the use of chemical or bio- Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia).1 During the logical weapons used by the opponent. By the early anxious years leading up World War II, WMD re- 1990s, the U.S. military had abandoned offensive ferred to the indiscriminate killing of civilians by use of these weapons, although it maintained a re- modern weaponry, especially aircraft. It also search and development program designed to pro- echoed the fear of chemical weapons that was un- duce effective equipment, procedures, medications, leashed by World War I, which had come to a con- and inoculations to defend against chemical and bi- clusion just a few years earlier. ological attack. Following the development of the atomic bomb Over the last decade, much has been written in 1945, the term “WMD” came to include nuclear about WMD. The meaning of the term itself is and eventually biological weapons. WMD was ap- somewhat controversial, although there is a formal, parently first used to describe nuclear warfare by legalistic definition. According to U.S. Code Title Soviet strategists. In 1956, during the 20th Commu- 50, “War and National Defense,” per the U.S. Con- nist Party Congress in Moscow, the Soviet Minister gress, the term “weapon of mass destruction”means of Defense—and “Hero of Stalingrad”—Marshal “any weapon or device that is intended, or has the Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov prophesied that capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to modern warfare “will be characterized by the mas- a significant number of people through the release, sive use of air forces, various rocket weapons and dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous various means of mass destruction such as atomic, chemicals or their precursors; a disease organism; thermonuclear, chemical and bacteriological radiation or radioactivity.”4 For its part, the U.S. De- weapons.”2 In that same year, the Hungarian Minis- partment of Defense has a similar characterization ter of Defense echoed Marshal Zhukov, stating that of WMD, although in addition it includes “...the “Under modern conditions, the decisive aspect of means to deliver [WMD].”5 So, what makes a operational planning is the use of nuclear and other weapon massively destructive? Is it the type of inju- weapons of mass destruction.”3 rious agents involved, namely radioactive, chemical, When the West learned of Zhukov’s speech, na- or biological, or is it that the attack itself produces tional security strategists in the United States and significant casualties or destruction? Also what elsewhere became quite concerned. By inference, would “significant” mean in this context: ten, a hun- they concluded that WMD—nuclear, biological, dred, or a thousand casualties? What if very few and chemical weapons—were an integral part of people are actually killed or hurt by at attack? In the Soviet military doctrine. Partly in response to latter respect, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investiga- Zhukov’s ministrations on WMD, the United States tion has a rather unique and somewhat satisfying reviewed its offensive chemical and biological interpretation of the term “WMD,” invoked when weapons program in 1958. The U.S. military was the U.S. government indicted Timothy McVeigh ix
    • x PREFACE with using a WMD in his 1995 terrorist attack in ture and that civilized people everywhere reject the Oklahoma City. In this case, although the device use of chemical and biological weapons. Interna- used was a conventional bomb (employing ammo- tional law is replete with treaties, agreements, and nium nitrate-fuel oil explosive), “A weapon crosses regimes whose purpose is to proscribe the use of the WMD threshold when the consequences of its these weapons, or mitigate the consequences of any release overwhelm local responders.”6 such use. In particular, the world has successfully Some analysts, however, have suggested that kept nuclear weapons in reserve for almost sixty various technical hurdles prevent chemical and years as truly deterrent weapons of last resort. even biological weapons from causing casualties Our encyclopedia covers a wide range of topics, on a truly massive scale. Some point to the Aum some historical, some drawn from today’s headlines. Shinrikyo sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system We describe many of the pathogens, diseases, sub- on March 20, 1995, which resulted in eleven stances, and machines that can serve as weapons of deaths, as an example of the limits of WMD. They mass destruction, as well as their associated delivery note that high-explosives have been used with far systems. We also describe important events and in- greater lethal effects than sarin in the annals of dividuals that have been influential in the develop- modern terrorism. Others are increasingly con- ment of weapons of mass destruction and doctrines cerned about the destructive potential of even for their use (or control). We have encouraged our rudimentary weapons. Analysts today are worried, contributors to highlight ongoing controversies and for instance, that terrorists might try to employ ra- contemporary concerns about WMD and current diological dispersal devices or “dirty bombs.” international arms control and nonproliferation ef- These weapons do not detonate with a fission re- forts intended to reduce the threat they pose to action, but rather utilize conventional explosives to world peace and security. Even a work of this length, distribute radiological materials and contaminate however, cannot completely cover the history, sci- a given area. Few deaths are likely to result from the ence, and personal stories associated with a topic of effects of a dirty bomb, but the consequences—in this magnitude, so we have included abundant ref- terms of anxiety, clean-up, and the recognized abil- erences to help readers take those initial steps for ity of a terrorist to conduct the very act itself— further study of the topics we survey. would likely be far reaching. Acknowledgments About the Encyclopedia Our deepest debt is to the contributors who made The very presence of chemical, biological and nu- this volume a reality. Many of them joined the proj- clear weapons in international arsenals and the po- ect at its inauguration several years ago and have tential that they might fall into the hands of terror- waited a long time to see their work in print. It is im- ist organizations guarantees that weapons of mass possible for just three people to be experts on all of destruction will be of great policy, public, and schol- the subjects covered in this volume, and without the arly interest for years to come. We cannot resolve the hard work of our contributors, this encyclopedia debates prompted by WMD, but we hope that we would never have been completed. Thanks to our and our contributors can provide facts to help the research assistants, Abraham Denmark and Laura reader sort through the controversies that are likely Fontaine, who uncovered most of the key docu- to emerge in the years ahead. Much that is contained ments in both volumes and wrote a few entries for in these volumes is disturbing and even frightening; us, as well. We also want to express our appreciation it is impossible to write a cheery encyclopedia about to a senior government official who reviewed Vol- weapons whose primary purpose is to conduct ume II for accuracy and sensitive material. We owe postindustrial-scale mass murder. The sad truth of a special debt to Jeff Larsen, our managing editor, the matter is that chemical, biological, radiological, whose help was instrumental in the success of this and nuclear weapons reflect the willingness of hu- project. Not only did he provide editorial support to mans to go to great lengths to find increasingly both volumes, but he displayed a keen ability to deal lethal and destructive instruments of war and vio- with the publisher and our 95 contributors, keep lence. We are pleased to note, however, that much of track of timelines, requirements, and progress, and what is reported in these volumes is historical in na- gently push the two of us when we needed encour-
    • PREFACE xi agement during this multiyear project that involved Frederick R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and David over 500 separate parts. Finally, we also want to ex- R. Franz, eds., Textbook of Military Medicine, press our appreciation to Alicia Merritt, Martha Part I: Warfare, Weaponry, and the Casualty: Whitt, Giulia Rossi, and the behind-the-scenes Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological copyeditors at ABC-CLIO who worked tirelessly to Warfare (Washington, DC: Borden Institute, help get this manuscript into print. We discovered Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 1997), p. 54. 3. Quoted in the archives, “Report of Colonel- that nothing is a trivial matter when it comes to a General István Bata, Hungarian Minister of manuscript of this size. The commitment of our Defense, to Members of the HWP Central publisher to this topic, and the dedication of the Committee on the Conduct of the Staff- production staff at ABC-CLIO, greatly facilitated Command Exercise Held, 17 July 1956,” found at the completion of these volumes. the International Relations and Security We hope that this encyclopedia will help inform Network (Switzerland), documents collection, the public debate about weapons of mass destruc- http://www.isn.ethz.ch/ tion and international security policy, with the goal 4. Title 50, Chapter 40, Sec. 2302. of never again seeing such weapons used in anger. 5. Office of the Secretary of Defense, Proliferation: Threat and Response (Washington, DC: U.S. Notes Government Printing Office, 2001), p. 4. 1. Stanley D. Fair, “Mussolini’s Chemical War,” 6. U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), “The Army, January 1985, p. 52. FBI and Weapons of Mass Destruction,” 4 2. Jeffery K. Smart, “History of Chemical and August 1999, http://norfolk.fbi.gov.wmd.htm Biological Warfare: An American Perspective,” in
    • Editors Editors and ERIC A. CRODDY (EDITOR, VOLUME I, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS) Contributors Analyst with U.S. Pacific Command, Pearl Harbor, HI JAMES J. WIRTZ (EDITOR, VOLUME II, JEFFREY M. BALE NUCLEAR WEAPONS) Senior Research Associate, Monterey Institute Professor and Chair, Department of National of International Studies, Monterey, CA Security Affairs, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, and Senior Fellow, ZACH BECKER Center for International Security and Science Applications International Corporation, Cooperation, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA Arlington, VA JEFFREY A. LARSEN (MANAGING EDITOR, ANJALI BHATTACHARJEE VOLUMES I AND II) Research Associate, WMD Terrorism Project, Senior Policy Analyst, Science Applications Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey International Corporation and President, Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA Larsen Consulting Group, Colorado Springs, CO JENNIFER BROWER Science and Technology Policy Analyst, The Contributors RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA GARY ACKERMAN Deputy Director, Chemical and Biological WILLIAM D. CASEBEER Weapons Nonproliferation Program, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Monterey Institute of International Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO Monterey, CA KALPANA CHITTARANJAN JEFFREY A. ADAMS Research Fellow, Observer Research Senior Analyst, Analytic Services, Inc. (ANSER), Foundation, Chennai Chapter, Chennai, India Arlington, VA CLAY CHUN PETER ALMQUIST Chairman, Department of Distance Education, Bureau of Arms Control, U.S. Department of U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA State, Washington, DC WILLIAM S. CLARK ELIZABETH AYLOTT Defense Policy Analyst, Science Applications Plans and Policy Analyst, Science Applications International Corporation, Arlington, VA International Corporation, Ramstein Air Base, Germany CHRIS CRAIGE Graduate Student, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA xiii
    • xiv EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS MALCOLM DAVIS ANDREA GABBITAS Lecturer, Defence Studies Department, King’s Graduate Student, Department of Political College London, London, UK Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA ABE DENMARK Graduate Student, Graduate School of SCOTT SIGMUND GARTNER International Studies, University of Denver, Associate Professor, Department of Political Denver, CO Science, University of California–Davis, Davis, CA JOHN W. DIETRICH MICHAEL GEORGE Assistant Professor, Bryant University, Policy Analyst, Science Applications Smithfield, RI International Corporation, Arlington, VA ANDREW M. DORMAN DON GILLICH Lecturer in Defence Studies, King’s College Nuclear Research and Operations Officer, U.S. London, London, UK Army, Colorado Springs, CO FRANNIE EDWARDS DAN GOODRICH Office of Emergency Services, San Jose, CA Public Health Department, Santa Clara, CA LAWRENCE R. FINK PHIL GRIMLEY Corporate Export Administration, International Professor of Pathology and Molecular Cell Legal Department, Science Applications Biology, F. Edward Herbert Medical School, International Corporation, Arlington, VA Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD STEPHANIE FITZPATRICK Arms Control/Policy Analyst, Independent EUGENIA K. GUILMARTIN Consultant, Arlington, VA Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY SCHUYLER FOERSTER President, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, JOHN HART Pittsburgh, PA Researcher, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Solna, Sweden LAURA FONTAINE Graduate Student, Graduate School of PETER HAYS International Studies, University of Denver, Executive Editor, Joint Force Quarterly, National Denver, CO Defense University, Washington, DC J. RUSS FORNEY JAMES JOYNER Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry Managing Editor, Strategic Insights, and Life Science, U.S. Military Academy, West Washington, DC Point, NY AARON KARP MARTIN FURMANSKI Professor, Old Dominion University, and Scientists Working Group on Biological and Assistant Professor, U.S. Joint Forces Staff Chemical Weapons, Center for Arms Control College, Norfolk, VA and Nonproliferation, Ventura, CA KERRY KARTCHNER Senior Advisor for Missile Defense Policy, U.S. State Department, Washington, DC
    • EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS xv MIKE KAUFHOLD CLAUDINE MCCARTHY Senior National Security Policy Analyst, Science National Association of County and City Health Applications International Corporation, San Officials, Washington, DC Antonio, TX JEFFREY D. MCCAUSLAND BRET KINMAN Director, Leadership in Conflict Initiative, Graduate Student, Department of National Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA Security Affairs, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA PATRICIA MCFATE Science Applications International Corporation, KIMBERLY L. KOSTEFF Santa Fe, NM Policy Analyst, Science Applications International Corporation, Arlington, VA ROB MELTON Assistant Professor of Military Strategic Studies, AMY E. KRAFFT 34th Education Group, U.S. Air Force Academy, Research Biologist, Department of Molecular CO Genetic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rockville, MD BRIAN MORETTI Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, U.S. JENNIFER LASECKI Military Academy, West Point, NY Computer Sciences Corporation, Alexandria, VA JENNIFER HUNT MORSTEIN PETER LAVOY Senior Analyst, Science Applications Director, Center for Contemporary Conflict, International Corporation, McLean, VA U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA EDWARD P. NAESSENS, JR. SEAN LAWSON Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering Graduate Student, Department of Science and Program Director, Department of Physics, U.S. Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Military Academy, West Point, NY Institute, Troy, NY T. V. PAUL MICHAEL LIPSON James McGill Professor of International Assistant Professor, Department of Political Relations, McGill University, Montreal, Canada Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada ROY PETTIS Science Advisor to the Office of Strategic and BRIAN L’ITALIEN Theater Defenses, Bureau of Arms Control, U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC State Department, Washington, DC MORTEN BREMER MAERLI RICH PILCH Researcher, Norwegian Institute of International Scientist in Residence, Chemical and Biological Affairs, Oslo, Norway Nonproliferation Program, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of TOM MAHNKEN International Studies, Monterey, CA Professor of Strategy, Naval War College, Newport, RI ELIZABETH PRESCOTT International Institute for Strategic Studies, ROBERT MATHEWS Washington, DC Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • xvi EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS BEVERLEY RIDER ROBERT SOBESKI Senior Scientist, Genencor International, Inc., Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, U.S. Palo Alto, CA Military Academy, West Point, NY GUY ROBERTS JOHN SPYKERMAN Principal Director, Negotiations Policy, Office of Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. State Department, the Secretary of Defense, Washington DC Washington, DC J. SIMON ROFE TROY S. THOMAS Lecturer, Defence Studies Department, King’s Fellow, Center for Strategic Intelligence College London, London, UK Research, Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC KEN ROGERS Professor of Political Science, Department of CHARLES L. THORNTON Social Sciences and Philosophy, Arkansas Tech Research Fellow, Center for International and University, Russellville, AR Security Studies, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD STEVEN ROSENKRANTZ Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of Strategic and ROD THORNTON Theater Defenses, Bureau of Arms Control, U.S. Lecturer, Defence Studies Department, King’s State Department, Washington, DC College London, London, UK C. ROSS SCHMIDTLEIN ANTHONY TU Research Fellow, Department of Medical Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Biology, Colorado State University, Ft Collins, CO Center, New York, NY PETER VALE GLEN M. SEGELL Nelson Mandela Professor of Politics, Rhodes Director, Institute of Security Policy, London, University, Grahamstown, South Africa UK GILLES VAN NEDERVEEN D. SHANNON SENTELL, JR. Independent Consultant, Fairfax, VA Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY MICHAEL WHEELER Senior Defense Analyst, Science Applications JACQUELINE SIMON International Corporation, McLean, VA Independent Consultant, Ottawa, Canada JOLIE WOOD JOSHUA SINAI Graduate Student, Department of Government, Analytic Services, Inc. (ANSER), Alexandria, VA University of Texas, Austin, TX STANLEY R. SLOAN JACK WOODALL Visiting Scholar, Middlebury College, and Visiting Professor, Department of Medical Director, Atlantic Community Initiative, Biochemistry, Federal University of Rio de Richmond, VT Janeiro, Brazil JAMES M. SMITH ROBERT WYMAN Director, USAF Institute for National Security Arms Control Operations Specialist, Science Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Applications International Corporation, Springs, CO Arlington, VA
    • Volume I: Chemical and Biological Weapons A to Z List of Entries, Aberdeen Proving Ground Abrin Volumes I and II Adamsite (DM, diphenylaminochlorarsine Aerosol Agent Orange Agroterrorism (Agricultural Biological Chemical and Biological Munitions and Military Warfare) Operations Al-Qaeda Chemical Warfare Al Shifa Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Amiton (VG) Chlamydia Psittaci (Psittacosis) Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO) Chlorine Gas Anthrax Chloropicrin (PS, Trichloronitromethane) Aralsk Smallpox Outbreak Choking Agents (Asphyxiants) Arbusov Reaction Cholera (Vibrio cholerae) Arsenicals Conotoxin Atropine Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Aum Shinrikyo Crop Dusters (Aerial Applicators) The Australia Group CS Cyclosarin (GF) Bari Incident Bhopal, India: Union Carbide Accident Decontamination Bigeye (BLU-80) Demilitarization of Chemical and Biological Binary Chemical Munitions Agents Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Dianisidine (BTWC) Difluor (DF, Difluoromethylphosphonate) Biological Terrorism: Early Warning via the Diisopropyl Fluorophosphate (DFP) Internet Dioxin Biological Warfare Diphosgene Biopreparat Dual-Use Bioregulators Dugway Proving Ground Bioterrorism Bleach EA2192 Blood Agents EMPTA (O-Ethyl Methylphosphonothioic Acid) Botulism (Botulinum Toxin) Enterovirus 70 Brucellosis (Brucella Bacterium) Equine Encephalitis (VEE, WEE, EEE) Ethiopia (Abyssinia) C-4 Explosives Carbamates Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fentanyl (CDC) Fermenter Chemical Agent Monitor Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus xvii
    • xviii A TO Z LIST OF ENTRIES Fort Detrick Oklahoma City Bombing Fuel-Air Explosive (FAE) Organophosphates Osama bin Laden Gas Gangrene Oximes Geneva Protocol Glanders (Burkholderia Mallei) Parasites—Fungal Gruinard Island Parathion (Methyl and Ethyl) G-Series Nerve Agents Perfluoroisobutylene (PFIB) Gulf War: Chemical and Biological Weapons Phosgene Gas (Carbonyl Chloride) Gulf War Syndrome Phosgene Oxime (CX, Dichloroform Oxime) Pine Bluff, Arkansas Hague Convention Plague Halabja Incident Plasticized Explosives Heartwater (Cowdria Ruminantium) Point Source Hemorrhagic Fevers Porton Down, United Kingdom Herbicides Precursors Protective Measures: Biological Weapons India: Chemical and Biological Weapons Protective Measures: Chemical Weapons Programs Psychoincapacitants Inversion Pyridostigmine Bromide Iran: Chemical and Biological Weapons Programs Iran-Iraq War Q-Fever Iraq: Chemical and Biological Weapons Programs QL Japan and WMD Ricin Johnston Atoll Rift Valley Fever Riot Control Agents Kaffa, Siege of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Korean War Russia: Chemical and Biological Weapons Programs Late Blight of Potato Fungus (Phytophthora Infestans) Sabotage Libya and WMD Salmonella Line Source Sarin Livens Projector Semtex Lyophilization Shikhany Simulants Marburg Virus Sino-Japanese War Melioidosis Skatole Microencapsulation Smallpox Mustard (Sulfur and Nitrogen) Soman Mycotoxins South Africa: Chemical and Biological Weapons Programs Napalm South Korea: Chemical and Biological Weapons Nerve Agents Programs Newcastle Disease Spore Newport Facility, Indiana Stabilizers North Korea: Chemical and Biological Weapons Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B Programs Stepnogorsk Novichok Sverdlovsk Anthrax Accident
    • A TO Z LIST OF ENTRIES xix Syria: Chemical and Biological Weapons Programs Acheson-Lililenthal Report Actinides Tabun Airborne Alert Terrorism with CBRN Weapons Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty Thickeners Antinuclear Movement TNT Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Weapons Tobacco Mosaic Virus Arms Control Tooele, Utah Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) Toxins (Natural) Arms Race Toxoids and Antitoxins Assured Destruction Tularemia Atomic Energy Act Tuberculosis (TB, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) Atomic Energy Commission Typhus (Rickettsia Prowazekii) Atomic Mass/Number/Weight Atoms for Peace Unit 731 United Kingdom: Chemical and Biological Backpack Nuclear Weapons Weapons Programs Balance of Terror United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) United Nations Special Commission on Iraq Ballistic Missiles (UNSCOM) Baruch Plan United States: Chemical and Biological Weapons Bikini Island Programs Bombers, Russian and Chinese Nuclear-Capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Bombers, U.S. Nuclear-Capable Boost-Phase Intercept Vaccines Bottom-Up Review V-Agents Brilliant Eyes Vector Brinkmanship VECTOR: State Research Center of Virology and British Nuclear Forces and Doctrine Biotechnology Broken Arrow, Bent Spear Vesicants Vietnam War Canada Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) Reactor Vincennite (Hydrogen Cyanide) The Catholic Church and Nuclear War Chelyabinsk-40 Weteye Bomb Chernobyl World Trade Center Attack (1993) Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado World War I Chicken, Game of World War II: Biological Weapons Chinese Nuclear Forces and Doctrine World War II: Chemical Weapons City Avoidance Wushe Incident Civil Defense Cold Launch Xylyl Bromide Cold War Collateral Damage Yellow Rain Command and Control Yemen Committee on the Present Danger Ypres Compellence Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Volume II: Nuclear Weapons Conference on Disarmament Accidental Nuclear War Conference on Security and Cooperation in Accuracy Europe (CSCE)
    • xx A TO Z LIST OF ENTRIES Confidence- and Security-Building Measures Equivalent Megaton (CSBMs) Escalation Containment Essential Equivalence Cooperative Threat Reduction (The Nunn-Lugar European Atomic Energy Community Program) (EURATOM) Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Extended Deterrence Controls (COCOM) Correlation of Forces Failsafe Counterforce Targeting Fallout Countermeasures Fast Breeder Reactors Counterproliferation Fat Man Countervailing Strategy Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Countervalue Targeting Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Coupling Firebreaks Credibility First Strike Crisis Stability Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) Critical Nuclear Weapons Design Information Fission Weapons (CNWDI) Flexible Response Criticality and Critical Mass The Football Cruise Missiles Forward-Based Systems Cuban Missile Crisis Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) Fratricide Damage Limitation French Nuclear Forces and Doctrine Data Exchanges Fuel Fabrication The Day After Fusion Dealerting Decapitation G8 Global Partnership Program Declared Facility Gaither Commission Report Decoys Game Theory Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Gas-Graphite Reactors Dense Pack Geiger Counter Department of Defense (DOD) Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS) Department of Energy (DOE) Graphite Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Gravity Bombs Depleted Uranium (U-238) Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) Deployment Ground Zero Depressed Trajectory Gun-Type Devices Détente Deterrence Half-Life Deuterium Hanford, Washington Disarmament Hard and Deeply Buried Targets Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line Harmel Report Downloading Heavy Bombers Dual-Track Decision Heavy ICBMs Heavy Water Early Warning Hedge Emergency Action Message (EAM) Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Enola Gay Hiroshima Enrichment Horizontal Escalation Entry into Force Hot Line Agreements
    • A TO Z LIST OF ENTRIES xxi Hydrogen Bomb Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) Implementation Mobile ICBMs Implosion Devices Moratorium Improvised Nuclear Devices Moscow Antiballistic Missile System Inadvertent Escalation Multilateral Nuclear Force Indian Nuclear Weapons Program Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle Inertial Navigation and Missile Guidance (MIRV) Institute for Advanced Study Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nagasaki Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program National Command Authority Iraqi Nuclear Forces and Doctrine National Emergency Airborne Command Post Isotopes (NEACP) Israeli Nuclear Weapons Capabilities and Doctrine National Strategic Target List National Technical Means Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Negative Security Assurances (NSAs) Joint Declaration on Denuclearization of the Neutron Bomb (Enhanced Radiation Weapon) Korean Peninsula Neutrons Nevada Test Site Kiloton New Look Kwajalein Atoll Nike Zeus No First Use Launch on Warning/Launch under Attack Non–Nuclear Weapons States Launchers Nonproliferation Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory North American Aerospace Defense Command Light-Water Reactors (NORAD) Limited Nuclear War North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) North Korean Nuclear Weapons Program Lithium Nuclear Binding Energy Little Boy Nuclear Emergency Search Teams (NESTs) Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces Nuclear Fuel Cycle Los Alamos National Laboratory Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Nuclear Planning Group Nuclear Posture Review Maneuvering Reentry Vehicle (MARV) Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Manhattan Project Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers (NRRCs) Massive Retaliation Nuclear Suppliers Group Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles Nuclear Taboo Megaton Nuclear Test Ban Megawatt Nuclear Warhead Storage and Transportation Midgetman ICBMs Security (Russia) Military Technical Revolution (Revolution in Nuclear Weapons Effects Military Affairs) Nuclear Weapons Free Zones (NWFZs) Minimum Deterrence Nuclear Weapons States Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) Nuclear Winter Minuteman ICBM Missile Defense Oak Ridge National Laboratory Missile Gap On the Beach
    • xxii A TO Z LIST OF ENTRIES One-Point Detonation/One-Point Safe Research Reactors On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA) Restricted Data (RD) Open Skies Treaty Reykjavik Summit Outer Space Treaty Ride Out Overhead Surveillance Rocky Flats, Colorado Roentgen Equivalent Man (Rem) Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Program Rumsfeld Commission Pantex Facility, Texas Russian Nuclear Forces and Doctrine Parity Payload Safeguard Antiballistic Missile (ABM) System Peaceful Coexistence Safeguards Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Sandia National Laboratories Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (PNET) Savannah River Site, South Carolina Peacekeeper Missile Sea-Launched Cruise Missiles (SLCMs) Penetration Aids Second Strike Permissive Action Link (PAL) Selective Options Pershing II Sentinel Antiballistic Missile System Phased-Array Antenna Short-Range Attack Missiles (SRAM) Pit Shrouding Plutonium Silo Basing Polaris SLBMs/SSBNs Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) Portsmouth Enrichment Facility Skybolt Poseidon SLBMs/SSBNs South African Nuclear Weapons Program Post-Attack Command and Control System South Korean Nuclear Weapons Program (PACCS) Space-Based Infrared Radar System (SBIRS) Preemptive Attack Spartan Missile Presidential Nuclear Initiatives Sprint Missile Pressurized-Water Reactors (PWRs) Sputnik Preventive War Standing Consultative Commission (SCC) Primary Stage Stealth Bomber (B-2 Spirit) Proliferation Stockpile Stewardship Program Proliferation Security Initiative Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Strategic Pugwash Conferences Command (STRATCOM) Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I and SALT Quadrennial Defense Review II) Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) Radiation Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) Radiation Absorbed Dose (Rad) Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Radiological Dispersal Device Strategic Defenses The RAND Corporation Strategic Forces Rapacki Plan Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) Ratification Strategic Rocket Forces Reactor Operations Submarines, Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Reasonable Sufficiency (SSBNs) Reciprocal Fear of Surprise Attack Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) Reconnaissance Satellites Sufficiency Red Mercury Superiority Reentry Vehicles Surety Reliability Surprise Attack Conference Reprocessing Surveillance
    • A TO Z LIST OF ENTRIES xxiii Survivability Unilateral Initiative United Nations Special Commission on Iraq Tactical Nuclear Weapons (UNSCOM) Telemetry United States Air Force Terminal Phase United States Army Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) United States Navy Theater Missile Defense United States Nuclear Forces and Doctrine Thermonuclear Bomb Uranium Three Mile Island Three-Plus-Three Program Verification Threshold States Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) Warfighting Strategy Tinian Warhead Titan ICBMs Warsaw Pact Tous Asimuts Wassenaar Arrangement Transporter-Erector-Launcher Weapons-Grade Material Triad Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Trident Trinity Site, New Mexico X-Ray Laser Tritium Two-Man Rule Yield U-2 Zangger Committee Underground Testing Zone of Peace
    • Introduction: Chemical and In the United States, there are various legal and Biological Weapons academic definitions of weapons of mass destruc- Eric A. Croddy tion (WMD), although not everyone may agree on any of them. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) defines WMD as, “Weapons that are capa- ble of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers Army Marshal Georgi Konstantinovich Zhukov. In of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be fact, it was this speech that highlighted for U.S. pol- high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, icy makers the real or perceived threat from the So- and radiological weapons, but exclude the means viet Union, particularly in terms of the latter’s pre- of transporting or propelling the weapon where sumed arsenal of chemical and biological such means is a separable and divisible part of the weaponry. As such, Zhukov’s speech invigorated weapon.”1 United States Cold War research into WMD, in- According to the DOD, conventional explosives cluding biological weaponry.4 During the Cold War, also can be considered WMD. And this is reason- the United States—and, to a much greater extent, able, especially when one considers the cumulative the Soviet Union—amassed large chemical and bi- number of deaths caused by gunpowder since its in- ological weapons stockpiles. The threat posed by vention in the tenth century and by nitroglycerine these stockpiles has diminished greatly since the since its invention in the nineteenth century.2 But crumbling of the Berlin wall. the underlying assumption of what makes a Regional threats posed by state-funded mili- weapon massively destructive is the idea that these taries from chemical and biological weapons also weapons can cause simultaneous mass casualties. have declined. By the end of 2003, the U.S. govern- Nuclear weapons (dealt with separately in Volume ment had admitted that there was little evidence II) are an obvious category of WMD, but radiolog- that Iraq had possessed large chemical or biological ical weapons (such as so-called dirty bombs are less weapon stockpiles after the mid-1990s. This has likely to cause mass injury or death (see Radiologi- since led both the United States and British govern- cal Dispersal Device in volume II).3 ments to begin inquiries into the faulty prewar in- Highly toxic chemical compounds—the nerve telligence on Iraq that was in large part the basis for agents being prime candidates—could comprise justifying Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003.5 WMD, for example, if delivered effectively against Other regional threats, however, still remain. an urban target. Biological agents—that is, Among these, states such as Syria and North Korea pathogens and toxins derived from plants or ani- are suspected of possessing chemical and biological mals—might also constitute WMD if delivered effi- weapons. Their bellicose posture regarding their ciently. When compared to conventional and chem- immediate neighbors and regional rivals, as well as ical weapons, biological agents have the greatest their possession of long-range delivery systems potential to cause mass casualties, and, theoretically, (such as Scud missiles), make these threats impossi- theirs could easily exceed the casualties caused by ble to ignore. By contrast, Libyan leader Mohamar the largest nuclear weapon. Qaddafi stated in early 2004 that he would re- In terms of referring to nuclear, chemical—and nounce the possession of WMD, which demon- by inference, biological—weapons, the term strates how quickly the threat of weapons of mass “weapons of mass destruction” first came into use destruction seems to rise and fall on the global in 1956 when it was used in a speech by Soviet Red agenda. xxv
    • xxvi INTRODUCTION Individuals and terrorist organizations also are of chemical or biological warfare. In an excellent in- reportedly interested in using chemical or biological troduction to chemical weapons, a short book pub- agents in their operations. A salient example was a lished by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army dis- statement by a self-proclaimed spokesman for the cusses a case of CW (chemical warfare) from terrorist organization al-Qaeda, who said in June China’s early history: In the Zuochuan, it is written 2002, “We have the right to kill 4 million Ameri- that in the sixth century to about the fifth century cans—2 million of them children—and to exile B.C.E., “An official of the noble princes of the Xia, twice as many and wound and cripple hundreds of came from the Jin to attack the [forces of] Qin, and thousands. Furthermore, it is our right to fight them poisoned the Jing River, killing more than a division with chemical and biological weapons, so as to af- of men.” Another case is cited: “In the year 1000 flict them with the fatal maladies that have afflicted [C.E.], there was one named Tangfu, who made poi- the Muslims because of the [Americans’] chemical son fire grenades and gave them to the Chao court and biological weapons.”6 of the Song dynasty. The poisonous smoke ball, It is not clear as of this writing whether any indi- containing arsenic oxide (As2O3) and a type of poi- viduals or groups will be able to carry out an attack son derived from crotonaldehyde (see the Arsenicals using chemical or biological warfare agents, at least listing), looked a bit like a precursor to a chemical in a manner that could cause more deaths than the gas grenade. After alighting, this weapon would September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade issue forth smoke to poison the enemy and thus Center (2,749 dead) and the Pentagon (184 dead). weaken their ability to fight.”8 In 2001, the biological agent that causes anthrax These same authors also point out that this is a killed five people when an unknown actor or group far cry from what one expects in modern times, for mailed Bacillus anthracis spores through the U.S. back then chemical warfare “was just in its infancy, postal system. On February 3, 2004, envelopes con- and not only were its methods crude but its utility in taining ricin toxin were discovered at the office of actually killing people was limited. Because of this, the U.S. Senate majority leader and at a mail sorting chemical weapons were regarded as a method to facility for the White House. These incidents involv- generally assist in conducting warfare, and at the ing ricin resulted in no injuries, but justifiably time did not draw any particular attention. Coming caused much concern. into the recent era, as the developments in technol- ogy continued, chemical weapons then really began A Brief History of WMD to demonstrate their real menace.”9 The historical record shows that mass poisonings Another premodern military tactic that is often and the occasional plot to spread disease among described as a form of BW (biological warfare) is armies and civilian populations go back many cen- the siege of Kaffa (1346 C.E.), in modern Feodosia, turies.7 Still, chemical and biological warfare Ukraine. During a campaign by Mongol forces to (CBW)—sometimes referred to in military parlance defeat a heavily defended city of mostly Genoese as “bugs and gas”—is essentially a modern phe- merchants, bubonic plague struck the area: “The nomenon. It is modern in the sense that the science Tartars died as soon as the signs of disease appeared and industry required to produce these types of on their bodies: swellings in the armpit or groin WMD have only existed since the early 1900s. How- caused by coagulating humors, followed by a putrid ever, there may indeed have been designs to use fever. The dying Tartars, stunned and stupefied by chemical or biological agents as a means of warfare the immensity of the disaster brought about by the (or possibly terrorism) before the Industrial Revolu- disease, and realizing that they had no hope of es- tion. Before the late nineteenth century (the time of cape, lost interest in the siege. But they ordered Louis Pasteur and many developments in chem- corpses to be placed in catapults and lobbed into the istry), however, the requisite scientific knowledge city in the hope that the intolerable stench would and engineering capacity were insufficient to bring kill everyone inside. . . .”10 We note here that any such ideas to fruition. Obviously, this is no “stench” was considered in the pre-germ theory era longer the case. to be responsible for disease. Thus, miasmas, “nox- Many books and articles that discuss CBW often ious effluvia,” or “corrupt vapors” (febres pestilen- introduce the subject by bringing up past examples tiales) were synonymous with the spread of deadly
    • INTRODUCTION xxvii epidemics—plague (causative organism: Yersinia however, that horrific BW experiments were con- pestis) being among the most notorious.11 ducted upon Chinese civilians and prisoners of The suggestion later made by historians that the war.12 It is possible that some Allied soldiers, includ- Mongols were in fact able to spread bubonic ing American and British personnel, were experi- plague by hurling disease-ridden corpses over the mented upon by Ishii Shiro (see the Sino-Japanese fortress walls is an intriguing one. During the four- War listing) and his scientists, but this has not been teenth century, however, a germ theory of disease confirmed. Apart from the East Asian theater of op- did not exist. How would the people of that era erations, however, no offensive use of CBW was have known exactly how the disease could spread? conducted in World War II. Suggestions that the So- What they could not have known is that bubonic viet Red Army used tularemia (caused by the bac- plague is spread by fleas, which collect the bacteria terium Francisella tularensis) against invading Nazi Yersinia pestis (the causative organism of plague) forces at the Stalingrad front are not supported by through feeding upon infected rats. Fleas do not the available evidence.13 German and Allied military linger near the body once the temperature of the scientists did pursue the manufacture of CW agents host (be it rodent or human) cools following in very large quantities, but these never were used in death, making it rather unlikely that the cadavers conflict. would have done much to spread the plague. In the In the Korean War (1950–1953), Chinese offi- end, it was not the use of projectile cadavers, but cials, during armistice negotiations, accused the more likely the exceptionally large rat population United States of using biological weapons. Although around the Black Sea that led to a pandemic there is evidence that at least some of the commu- throughout the region (and indeed much of Eu- nist Chinese leaders truly believed the allegations rope). One could probably conclude, however, that concerning BW in Korea14, there is no evidence that the Mongols did have the intent to spread disease the U.S. military used chemical or biological among their enemy, and at least in this respect they weapons during the conflict.15 conducted an early form of BW. During the Cold War, chemical agents became even deadlier. The United States and the Soviet CBW in the Modern Era Union stockpiled the German G-series nerve agents The stunningly high rate of casualties that occurred (sarin and soman), as well as the newer V-agents. in World War I had much do with the machine gun Perhaps more dangerous was the development of and rapid-fire artillery, but it also was caused in weaponized biological agents. The United States large part by the great number of men that were and its allies during World War II had pursued a brought to the battlefields. World War I marks the rudimentary offensive and defensive BW program. emergence of “gas warfare:” the use of chlorine, Later, work continued using a variety of infectious phosgene, and other toxic chemicals. For the most agents, including the causative organisms of an- part, these were used in vain attempts to achieve a thrax, tularemia, and less deadly—but highly effi- breakthrough against well-defended armies in cient—microbes such as Venezuelan equine en- trenches. Later, chemical warfare agents such as sul- cephalitis. fur mustard entered the scene when previous com- The controversy over the potential use of CBW pounds were found to be less effective on the battle- grew increasingly protracted during the Vietnam field. Unlike chemicals used during the early stages War, particularly when the U.S. military used herbi- of the conflict, mustard is not gaseous, but an oily cides (such as Agent Orange) against Viet Cong- liquid. It did not kill large numbers of troops, but it controlled areas. In a variety of instances, riot con- caused debilitating injury by irritating the skin, eyes, trol agents (RCAs or tear gas) were used against the and upper airways. First used in 1917, it was re- Viet Cong and Viet Minh regular army. Although sponsible for the most injuries caused by chemical such forms of weaponry were not intended to cause weapons during World War I. death, their use in an unpopular war heightened the Japan conducted CBW against China from 1937 sensitivity of the U.S. government to public percep- to 1945. It is unknown whether the use of chemicals tions of its CBW policies. As a consequence of Viet- against Chinese soldiers gave the Japanese army a nam and high-profile incidents involving nerve significant advantage on the battlefield. It is certain, agents at storage facilities in Utah and Okinawa,
    • xxviii INTRODUCTION President Richard Nixon ended most U.S. chemical tended level of death and destruction, but it caused and biological programs in 1969. significant structural damage. Yousef reportedly When President Nixon renounced offensive BW considered the use of cyanide—a toxic “blood and the United States stopped the production of bi- agent”—during the 1993 bombing. However, tech- ological weapons, the Soviet Union was only getting nical difficulties and other unknown factors pre- started. In 1979, a mysterious outbreak of anthrax in vented Yousef from designing such a device.18 Sverdlovsk, Siberia (now Yekaterinberg) was sus- There was another “wake-up call” to the threat of pected by Western intelligence to have been caused WMD, this time in Tokyo, Japan, when a guru by a BW-related accident. (After many years of de- named Shoko Asahara instructed followers to use nials, Russia admitted in the 1990s that the nerve agents (sarin) against his real or perceived en- Sverdlovsk outbreak was caused by Soviet military emies. In 1995, Shoko Asahara’s cult (Aum Shin- work with BW agents.) By the late 1980s, the Soviet rikyo) struck at the Tokyo authorities by releasing a BW apparatus (Biopreparat) had assembled the nerve agent on the subway system. The death toll world’s largest infrastructure devoted to the devel- was 12, with thousands injured. The end result of opment of biological weapons. The Soviet arsenal the Tokyo subway attack was less than many experts included the standard agents, anthrax, tularemia, expected from a WMD attack. Still, it made a and a particularly virulent form of plague. But it tremendous impact, not only on Japanese society had also weaponized smallpox, placing it in a liquid but also on how governments around the world form to be delivered by intercontinental ballistic reevaluated the CBW terrorist threat. missiles.16 Boris Yeltsin formally ended the program Improvised devices made by Palestinian terror- in 1992.17 ists using toxic chemicals have been a particular Iraq had already used large amounts of chemical concern to Israel. But death and injury caused by (but not biological) weapons against Iranian troops shrapnel (ball bearings, nails, bolts, etc. made into and Kurdish populations during its 1980–1988 con- projectiles by an exploding device) comprise the flict with Iran. After the first Gulf War (1990–1991), largest portion of the casualties inflicted by Palestin- subsequent inspections conducted by United Na- ian suicide bombers. In 2002, however, it was re- tions personnel revealed that Iraq had undertaken a ported that Israeli intelligence believed Palestinian serious effort to develop chemical, biological, nu- homicide bombers to have put rat poison in their clear, and possibly radiological weapons. In 1995, explosive devices. According to this assessment, ter- the western world was particularly alarmed by the rorists put an anticoagulant type of rodenticide on scope of the Iraqi BW program. Suspecting that Iraq shrapnel. Following bombings that occurred in had maintained at least a remnant of its WMD pro- 2002, Israeli doctors made note of excessive bleeding grams, including CBW agents and missile delivery in certain bombing victims. This type of poison systems, the United States led a war against Iraq be- (warfarin) acts very slowly in mammals, making its ginning in 2003 that toppled the Iraqi regime. No utility and effect somewhat doubtful.19 There is caches of CBW agents have yet been found in Iraq other evidence that Palestinian terrorists have been by coalition forces since their occupation of Iraq. attempting to use other types of toxic chemicals in improvised explosive devices.20 The Chemical and Biological Threat Today Now that Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party has lost The world after September 11, 2001 has certainly control of Iraq and Libya has offered to abandon its changed, but even before then experts such as WMD programs, there is a lower risk of seeing Michael Osterholm, Jessica Stern, and Jonathan CBW on the battlefield among national armies. Tucker had worried about the prospect that terror- Syria and North Korea still retain a significant ists might obtain and use WMD. In 1993, Ramzi chemical weapons capability. But even skeptics of Yousef made the first attempt to destroy the World arms control treaties such as the 1993 Chemical Trade Center. Yousef and his cohorts might have Weapons Convention (CWC), the 1972 Biological hoped that the towers would fall over in domino and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), and in- fashion, killing upwards of 250,000 people. Instead, formal arrangements such as the Australia Group the bomb they planted killed six people and injured must concede that some progress has recently been more than 1,000. The attack failed to achieve the in- made on the nonproliferation front. It is increas-
    • INTRODUCTION xxix ingly apparent that the world community has sus- somewhat justified) fear of “radiation” by the tained the recent momentum toward the elimina- general public would no doubt cause great tion of chemical and biological weapons, despite anxiety at the very least, perhaps even panic. some notable setbacks. Thus, RDDs are sometimes referred to as Although the United States and other developed “weapons of mass disruption,” as opposed to countries seem to be headed toward complete (if WMD. 4. William Patrick, “Biological Weapons Historical slow) chemical and biological disarmament, they Overview,” Chemical & Biological Warfare continue to prepare their militaries for CBW de- Proliferation Course (Washington, DC: Central fense in terms of materials and training. This is pru- Intelligence Agency, Biological Warfare Branch, dent, but one could make the argument that mod- December 1995). ern militaries are not likely to encounter chemical or 5. Global Security Newswire, “Powell Says Knowing biological weapons in organized combat. The more True Iraqi WMD Capability Might Have likely threat is from terrorists using toxic chemicals Affected War Decision,” 3 February 2004, or infectious agents. This is unnerving, but terrorists http://www.nti.org. have thus far made little effective use of these types 6. S. Abu Gheith, In the Shadow of the Lances, of unconventional weapons. And yet, despite recent Middle East Research Institute, Special Dispatch gains in the war against international terrorism, Series no. 388, 12 June 2002, http://memri.org/. WMD will continue to pose a threat to society. It is 7. Erhard Geissler and John Ellis van Courtland Moon, eds., Biological and Toxin Weapons: difficult to conceive of a worse scenario than the ef- Research, Development and Use from the Middle fective use of chemical or biological weapons by ter- Ages to 1945, SIPRI Chemical & Biological rorists who act with little or no restraint. By foster- Warfare Studies, No. 18 (Oxford, UK: Oxford ing an understanding of CBW agents, weapons, and University Press, 1999); James S. Ketchum and their potential role in conflict, it is hoped that this Frederick R. Sidell, “Incapacitating Agents,” in volume will increase awareness—and vigilance—to Frederick R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and defeat these threats. David R. Franz, Textbook of Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, Weaponry, and the Casualty: Notes: Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological 1. U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Technical Warfare (Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Information Center (DTIC), December 2003, Medical Center: Washington, D.C.: 1997) pp. http://www.dtic.mil/. 289–290. 2. Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in 8. Cheng Shuiting and Shi Zhiyuan, Military China, vol. 5, pt. 7: Military Technology: The Technology Information Handbook: Chemical Gunpowder Epic (New York: Cambridge Weapons, second edition (Beijing: People’s University Press, 1986), p. 9. As a British Liberation Army Press, 1999; second printing diplomat (and to his death a committed January 2000), p. 7. Marxist), Needham was among the first to alert 9. Ibid. the world to Japan’s use of chemical weapons 10. Quoted in Mark Wheelis, “Biological Warfare against China during World War II. before 1914,” in Erhard Geissler and John Ellis 3. A radiological dispersal device (RDD) or “dirty van Courtland Moon, eds., Biological and Toxin bomb” employs a high explosive (such as Weapons: Research, Development, and Use from dynamite) to disperse radiological materials the Middle Ages to 1945, SIPRI Chemical & (such as cobalt–60, cesium–137, or Biological Warfare Studies no. 18 (Oxford: strontium–90) across a large area. This would Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 14. not result in a massive radiological hazard as no 11. Michael R. Gilchrist, “Disease & Infection in the fission takes place. Rather, the contaminated area American Civil War,” The American Biology would likely remain off limits to people until it Teacher, vol. 60, no. 4, April 1998, p. 258. was fully cleared of radiating materials—a time- 12. Hal Gold, Unit 731 Testimony. Tokyo: Yen Books, consuming and expensive process. The 1996. immediate effects of the explosion itself might of 13. Eric Croddy and Sarka Krcalova, “Tularemia, course cause death and injury, but few casualties Biological Warfare (BW), and the Battle for would be expected from the radiological sources Stalingrad (1942–1943),” Military Medicine, vol. themselves. Nonetheless, the disproportionate (if 166, no. 10, October 2001, pp. 837–838.
    • xxx INTRODUCTION 14. Chen Jian, Mao’s China and the Cold War 18. John J. Parachini, “The World Trade Center (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, Bombers (1993),” in John B. Tucker, ed., Toxic 2001), p. 110. Terror: Assessing Terrorist Use of Chemical and 15. “China’s Role in the Chemical and Biological Biological Weapons (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Disarmament Regimes,” The Nonproliferation 2000), p. 201. Review, vol. 9, no. 1, spring 2002, pp. 16–47. 19. Sue Shaw and Jeremy Anderson, “Warfarin 16. Richard Preston, “The Bioweaponeers,” The New Ingestion,” Evidence Centre Report, Monash Yorker, 9 March 1998, p. 63. Medical Center, Australia, 18 March 1999. 17. Ken Alibek, Biohazard (New York: Random 20. Andrew Chang, “Bombs and Bioterror,” 6 August House, 1998), p. 133. 2002, http://www.ABCnews.com.
    • Incidents of chemical or biological warfare (CBW) Chronology: Chemical in history are of great interest, but they are also quite problematic—at least until we arrive at mod- and Biological Weapons ern times (the post–World War I era). We say prob- lematic because until the twentieth century, science had not sufficiently explained the roles of toxic chemicals or infectious disease in order to effec- vice causing mass casualties, certainly not all events tively utilize them in warfare. Nor had industry would necessarily qualify. been developed in like fashion to exploit chemistry This will not stop us from trying to delineate a or biology for the purpose of waging battle. When it chronology of examples that are relevant to CBW. comes to chemical weaponry in particular, Augustin Here are listed a selection of historical events, with Prentiss put it quite well: an effort to describe them by category: either chem- ical or biological weaponry. History records numerous earlier but abortive at- tempts to utilize the powers of chemistry for mili- Sixth Century B.C. Assyrians reportedly used tary ends . . ..With the exception of Greek fire [use ergot fungus (Claviceps of petroleum-based incendiaries, ca. 7th century purpurea) to poison their C.E.], none of them produced important results enemy’s water wells and none permanently challenged the supremacy of existing weapons. They are of interest to us only as indicating man’s eagerness to experiment with 431–404 B.C. Spartan armies use sulfur any means that promise to promote his fortunes and toxic arsenic smoke in battle and his final dependence upon technical during Peloponnesian War knowledge to produce such means. (Prentiss, p. xvi) Fourth Century B.C. Chinese engineers use arsenic against Quite the same can be said of biological underground sappers. weaponry. In either case of chemical or biological weapons, the basic knowledge to understand the Circa 200 B.C. Officers in Hannibal’s army scientific disciplines behind them was inadequate adulterate the wine of until the nineteenth century, when significant ad- African rebels with vances were made in fields such as organic chem- mandrake, which contains istry and microbiology. Still, it then took the latter belladonna alkaloids stages of the Industrial Revolution for nations to causing hallucinations. develop the capacity for mass production of chemicals that would play a noteworthy—albeit 187 B.C. Ambraciots (Greece) overall insignificant—role in World War I employ irritating smoke (1914–1918). against Roman soldiers Another criterion to consider is the scope of the purported attack. Was this a poisoning of a few in- 7th Century C.E. The Byzantine architect, dividuals, or a whole army? Keeping in context with Callinicus (“Kallinikos”), a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), that is, a de- reportedly invents the first xxxi
    • xxxii CHRONOLOGY liquid incendiary—“Greek asphyxiating or deleterious Fire.” gases.” (Mauroni, p. 81) Circa 1040 Scottish king poisons wine 1914 French troops use tear gas using a belladonna-like grenades against German (“sleepy nightshade”) herb positions in World War I and gives to Norwegian enemies as “provisions” 22 April 1915 German military uses under pretense of barrage of chlorine gas surrender. Scots then against Allied trenches in slaughter the incapacitated Ypres, Belgium. Norwegians. 12 July 1917 Germany uses mustard 1347 Mongolians lay siege to agent against Allied troops Kaffa (in modern Ukraine) at Ypres, Belgium. and throw corpses over city walls to spread bubonic 1916–1918 German agents infect beasts plague. May have of burden—including contributed to Black Death, horses bound for use by which killed approximately Allies in Europe—using 50 million people through glanders and anthrax. the fourteenth century. 1919 In midst of the Russian civil 1672 Bishop of Münster war, British troops use attempted the use of adamsite atropine-like drug in (diphenylaminearsine, DM) grenades in siege against against Bolsheviks. city of Groningen. Attack backfires. 1922 The U.S. delegates at the Washington Arms 1767 British plot to supply cloths Conference table a proposal from a smallpox hospital to abolish chemical warfare, ward to American Indian but France ultimately rejects tribes in hopes of spreading the treaty because of disease. Unknown if this stipulations regarding strategy was ultimately submarines. successful. 17 June 1925 Geneva Protocol for the 1855 Sir Lyon Playfair suggests Prohibition of the Use in using cyanide-containing War of Asphyxiating, chemicals against Russian Poisonous or other gases, troops during Crimean and of Bacteriological War, but this tactic never Methods of Warfare is found approval by the signed by nearly thirty British High Command. countries. 29 July 1899 First Hague Convention 1936 German chemists synthesize signed, prohibiting “the use first nerve agents to be of projectiles the sole object weaponized, including of which is the diffusion of tabun (GA).
    • CHRONOLOGY xxxiii 1937–1942 During Sino-Japanese War, employs riot control Japan employs chemical agents—chiefly CS—in and biological weapons certain military operations, against Chinese troops and creating controversy, civilians. especially for war critics at home and abroad. 1939 Japanese attempt to poison water with Salmonella 1967 With possible support from enterica Typhi (causative the Soviet Union, Egyptian agent in typhoid) in the so- forces use chemical called Nomonhon Incident weapons, including mustard in a biological attack on agent and some kind of Soviet troops, but organophosphate (nerve apparently is unsuccessful. agent) against Yemeni royalists. 1935 Italian troops under Benito Mussolini begin using 25 November 1969 U.S. president Richard M. chemical weapons (mustard Nixon renounces the agent) against Ethiopians. offensive use of biological weapons, ordering that the 1942 United States undertakes U.S. program be study of biological warfare dismantled. (BW) agents, including defensive and offensive 10 April 1972 Great Britain, the Soviet preparations. Union, and the United States sign the Biological December 1943 German Luftwaffe attacks and Toxin Weapons Allied ships carrying sulfur Convention. mustard in Bari, Italy, leading to more than 600 1973 Following the Yom Kippur casualties. War (fought between Israel and Arab countries), 1956 Soviet Marshal and Defense U.S. military analysts Minister Georgy Zhukov discover that Egypt mentions the use of possessed armored “various means of mass vehicles equipped with destruction, such as atomic, protection against nuclear, thermonuclear, chemical chemical, and biological and bacteriological (NBC) warfare. This leads weapons,” stirring great to concern that Warsaw interest and anxiety in the Pact forces, supported by West. (Mauroni, p. 85) the Soviet Union, were prepared to use NBC 1962 The U.S. military begins weapons. herbicide operations in Vietnam War, including the 1973–1974 The Soviet Union initiates use of Agent Orange. and establishes Biopreparat, a civilian organization 1965 As the war in Vietnam devoted to producing escalates, the United States biological warfare agents.
    • xxxiv CHRONOLOGY 26 March 1975 The Biological and Toxin suspected links to the Weapons Convention enters terrorist organization al- into force. Qaeda detonate 1,500 pounds of explosive in the 1979 Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) basement of the World spores are accidentally Trade Center in New York. released from a biological The attack does not destroy weapons facility in the buildings, but kills six Sverdlovsk, Russia; at least people and injures more 64 people died from than one thousand. inhalation anthrax. Concerns arise over the possibility that the 1983 Iraq begins using chemical terrorists laced the high warfare agents, including explosives with chemical mustard, in the Iran-Iraq weapons in order to War (1980–1988). increase the number of casualties. January–March 1991 A United States–led coalition invades Iraq in 27 June 1994 Aum Shinrikyo, a new Operation Desert Storm. religious cult in Japan, uses The goal is to force Iraqi sarin nerve agent in an compliance with United assassination attempt on Nations resolutions calling three judges in Matsumoto, for its withdrawal from killing seven people and Kuwait and elimination of injuring over 200. its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) 20 March 1995 Aum Shinrikyo releases programs. A newly formed sarin nerve agent on the United Nations Special Tokyo subway, killing 12 Commission on Iraq people and injuring about (UNSCOM) searches for 1,000. Japanese police WMD and oversees the discover nerve agent destruction of known precursors at the cult’s chemical and biological home base near Mt. Fuji weapons arsenals and and also learn that Aum production facilities until attempted to produce 1998, when Iraq defies biological weapons. international mandates and forces UNSCOM 19 April 1995 Timothy McVeigh detonates inspectors to leave the a 4,000-pound ammonium country. nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) explosive device in a rented 13 January 1993 The Chemical Weapons truck, destroying the Alfred Convention (CWC) is open P. Murrah Federal Building for signature. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and killing 168 26 February 1993 On 26 February 1993, a people. small group of men from the Middle East with 29 April 1997 The CWC enters into force.
    • CHRONOLOGY xxxv October 2001 A still unknown perpetrator References: mails four letters containing Geissler, Erhard, and John Ellis van Courtland Moon, anthrax spores to eds., Biological and Toxin Weapons: Research, unsuspecting victims in Development and Use from the Middle Ages to 1945, Florida, New York, and two SIPRI Chemical & Biological Warfare Studies, No. 18 U.S. senators in Washington, (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1999). Kern, Paul Bentley, Ancient Siege Warfare (Bloomington, D.C. Five people eventually IN: Indiana University Press, 1999). die of inhalation anthrax, Ketchum, James S., and Frederick R. Sidell, while seventeen others— “Incapacitating Agents,” Frederick R. Sidell, Ernest T. having contracted either Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., Textbook of inhalation or cutaneous Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, Weaponry, and the forms of the disease—are Casualty: Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological treated successfully. Warfare (Washington, DC: Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 1997), pp. 287–305. Mauroni, Al, Chemical and Biological Warfare: A March–April 2003 Led by the United States, Reference Handbook (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, coalition forces undertake 2003). Operation Iraqi Freedom, Needham, Joseph, Science and Civilisation in China, Vol. with the stated goal of 5, Pt. 7 (New York: Cambridge University Press, ridding Iraq of its weapons 1986). of mass destruction Prentiss, Augustin M., Chemicals in War—A Treatise on (WMD) programs. Chemical Warfare (New York: McGraw Hill, 1937).
    • ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND Established in October 1917, Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland is the oldest active location in the United States for the design and testing of mu- nitions and protective military equipment. During A World War I, Edgewood Arsenal, the northern area of the proving ground, was the primary location in troops. During World War II, President Franklin the United States for chemical weapons research, Roosevelt condemned Japan’s use of chemical development, production, and testing. Aberdeen weapons in China, but he reserved the right to re- Proving Ground was also the center of United States spond in kind if such an attack were launched on offensive chemical weapons operations until pro- the Allies. This resulted in a military requirement duction of chemical warfare (CW) agents in the spurring more chemical weapons activity at Edge- United States ended in 1968. wood. But with the exception of Japanese chemical Among the chemical agents the Edgewood facility weapons used in China (1937–1943), and possible produced (in ton quantities) were the choking agents use of cyanide grenades against Allied soldiers in the phosgene and chloropicrin, the blister agent mus- Pacific, no other actor in World War II utilized tard, and the nerve agent sarin (see Choking Agents, chemical weapons on the battlefield. The only U.S. Mustard [military code: HD, for mustard, “H,” dis- chemical casualties suffered during World War II tilled, “D”], Sarin [GB, for “German” nerve agent were accidental (see Bari Incident). type,“B,” second in series]). Throughout the decades Following World War II, Edgewood continued to of the U.S. chemical weapons program, Aberdeen be the center for U.S. chemical weapons research, Proving Ground also has been central to defensive serving as the site for pilot production of the nerve chemical activities. Aberdeen is home to the U.S. agent sarin. In 1969, however, President Richard Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command Nixon stopped U.S. chemical weapons production, (SBCCOM), the Program Manager for Chemical and on November 25 he announced that he would Demilitarization, and the U.S. Army Medical Re- resubmit the 1925 Geneva Protocol for the Prohibi- search Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD). tion of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous, Finally, the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facil- or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of ity will dispose of 5 percent of the original stockpile Warfare to the Senate for ratification (it had been of United States chemical weapons, which is cur- rejected in 1926). The U.S. Senate, however, did not rently being stored at Edgewood, by 2006–2007 (see ratify the Geneva Protocol until the subsequent Demilitarization of Chemical and Biological Agents). Ford administration (1975). The Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) was cre- Throughout its history, Edgewood has played a ated in 1918 to oversee all United States chemical key role in defensive chemical weapons efforts, weapons activities; during World War I, Edgewood from development and testing of gas masks and Arsenal was the home of offensive weapons pro- other protective equipment, to researching and de- duction by CWS that comprised four production veloping medical treatments for chemical plants and four munitions-filling plants. In the in- weapons casualties. When destruction of the U.S. terwar years, almost all CWS activities were trans- chemical weapons stockpile began in earnest by ferred to Edgewood, where the emphasis shifted the 1990s, Edgewood became home to both the from agent production to defensive research and Program Manager for Chemical Demilitarization development and chemical defense training for (the office overseeing U.S. destruction efforts), and 1
    • 2 ABRIN the Chemical Demilitarization Training Facility, The abrin toxin itself consists of a large protein where personnel responsible for operating de- chain. Like ricin toxin, the abrin protein attaches it- struction facilities are trained. Destruction of self to a cell with its B portion, and the A segment 1,818 one-ton containers of mustard will take inserts itself into the ribosome, stopping protein place at the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Fa- synthesis. This leads to cell death and causes nausea, cility beginning in 2004. This disposal will be con- vomiting, and shock. If abrin particles are inhaled, ducted by first using chemicals to neutralize the abrin can cause the death of tissue in the lungs and agent. Afterward, the hazardous waste products airways, leading to severe inflammation and edema. generated will be detoxified by sewage treatment Death from abrin poisoning would likely occur bacteria at an off-site commercial facility. many hours after exposure. —Claudine McCarthy In a military manual published by members of See also: Demilitarization of Chemical and Biological the al-Qaeda terrorist organization (circa 2000), the Agents; United States Chemical and Biological reader is instructed that precatory beans (“red or Weapons Programs; World War I; World War II: black and used in prayer beads”) could be used to Chemical Weapons extract abrin for assassination purposes. The recipe References described in the manual was probably derived from Department of Defense, 21st Century Complete Guide to The Poisoner’s Handbook, an underground pam- the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground and phlet published in the 1980s. Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland (CD-ROM) —Eric A. Croddy (Progressive Management, 12 September 2003). U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground website, http:// See also: Al-Qaeda; Bioterrorism; Ricin www.apg.army.mil/aberdeen_proving_ground.htm. References U.S. Army Program Manager for the Elimination of Al-Qaeda, ‘I’alan al-Jihad ‘ala al-Tawaghit al-Bilad (no Chemical Weapons, available at http://www.pmcd. date; seized by British police in 2000, published in army.mil/default.asp. the United Kingdom). Olsnes, Sjur, and Alexander Pihl, “Isolation and Properties of Abrin: A Toxic Protein Inhibiting ABRIN Protein Synthesis,” European Journal of Biochemistry, vol. 35, no. 1, 1973, pp. 179–185. Abrin is a highly toxic protein that can be used as a Olsnes, Sjur, Karin Refsnes, and Alexander Pihl, poison. But like ricin (a toxin found in the castor “Mechanism of Action of the Toxic Lectins Abrin and bean plant, Ricinus communis), abrin is more likely to Ricin,” Nature, vol. 249, 14 June 1974, pp. 627–631. be used as a poison for murder or for assassinating certain targets than as a component in a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). ADAMSITE (DM, DIPHENYLAMINO- Abrin can be extracted from the seeds of the CHLORARSINE) Abrus precatorius plant, the beans of which are The chemical agent adamsite falls between the cate- known as Rosary peas, precatory beans, crab’s eye, gories of moderately toxic chemical warfare (CW) or the jequirity bean. Provided the bean is well mas- agent and riot control agent (RCA). For adamsite to ticated, one such seed from this plant can be enough be used as a WMD,large quantities would be required, to kill a human adult. Both abrin and ricin (another and such a scenario seems implausible. In enclosed plant lectin) share similar structures, toxicological spaces, however, many people could be affected by a properties, and approximately the same molecular release of adamsite. According to a Chinese military weight (60,000 and 65,000, respectively). Research book on chemical weaponry, the United States used conducted in the 1970s demonstrated that abrin adamsite in the Korean War (1950–1953), probably a was approximately 2.5 times more toxic than ricin reference to the use of tear gas—which included when administered to mice. Due to the much larger adamsite at the time—used to control rioting Chinese market for castor beans (as a source for vegetable oil and North Korean POWs. Today, no known modern and for use in lubricants), the worldwide availability military stocks significant amounts of this chemical. of jequirity seeds is relatively small. As a conse- Still, large quantities may remain (most likely in Rus- quence, and despite the disparity in their toxicities, sia) in existence, awaiting destruction as an old chem- ricin probably remains a greater overall threat. ical weapon (produced prior to 1946).
    • AEROSOL 3 Figure A-1: Adamsite sualty-causing effects of its shrapnel and explosive force are about the same as conventional munitions. This type of CW ordnance is often used intermixed with conventional munitions to produce disorder and exhaustion on the battlefield” (p. 26). There are numerous toxicological studies, but most are based on animal experimentation, and therefore it is difficult to arrive at a precise lethal dose for adamsite in humans. An accidental death was reported in one individual who was exposed to The German chemist Heinrich Wieland is cred- an estimated 1,000–2,000 milligrams per cubic ited with having synthesized diphenylaminochlor- meter of air (mg/m3) concentration of adamsite for arsine in 1915. Three years later in the United States, 5–30 minutes. The estimated median lethal concen- Major Roger Adams also synthesized this com- tration of adamsite is 11 gramsmin/m3, a toxicity pound while conducting his own independent re- which pales in comparison to that of most other search. Thereafter, the U.S. military referred to this CW agents. But adamsite is far more toxic than chemical as adamsite. During the early twentieth other RCAs such as CS tear gas (see Riot Control century, rapid advances in organic chemistry—in- Agents). CS is designator for the tear gas after its in- cluding the mass production of dye-base precursors ventors and chloroacetophenon (CN), both used by such as diphenylamine—made adamsite relatively civilian and military detachments for quelling pub- easy to manufacture in large quantities. Reportedly, lic disturbances. in 1919, the British employed adamsite against Bol- —Eric A. Croddy shevik forces during the Russian Civil War. During See also: Arsenicals; Riot Control Agents its war against China in World War II, Japan used References large quantities of related compounds such as Cheng Shuiting and Shi Zhiyuan, Military Technology diphenylcyanoarsine, and Japan may also have used Information Handbook: Chemical Weapons, second adamsite. edition (Beijing: People’s Liberation Army Press, Adamsite is a yellowish, crystalline solid that can 1999; second printing January 2000). be delivered by means of generating smoke with Sidell, Frederick R., “Riot Control Agents,” in Frederick high heat. Adamsite can also be delivered in the R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., Textbook of Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, form of a liquid (dissolved in solvent) or fine pow- Weaponry, and the Casualty: Medical Aspects of der. As the term vomiting agent suggests, adamsite Chemical and Biological Warfare (Washington, DC: has been known to cause severe nausea, although it Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, is not entirely clear why it has this effect in humans. 1997), pp. 307–324. Adamsite also has been referred to as a sneeze gas U.S. National Research Council, Possible Long-Term (sternutator) and an irritant smoke. Unlike other Health Effects of Short-Term Exposure to Chemical types of RCAs, the effects of adamsite—which in- Agents, Volume 2: Cholinesterase Reactivators, clude severe irritation of the upper respiratory Psychochemicals, and Irritants and Vesicants tract—are delayed by at least several minutes. (Washington, DC: National Research Council, 1984), Adamsite is practically odorless, and this, coupled pp. 203–211. with its ability to break through the protective masks of the era, was another feature that has made AEROSOL adamsite a potentially insidious and effective CW When it comes to the delivery of chemical or bio- agent. In the United States military, adamsite was logical warfare (CBW) agents, understanding the originally designed to be delivered in the M6A1 physical and chemical qualities of toxic or infectious grenade. The same Chinese military text referred to substances is crucial. One of the most important above describes a former Soviet munition that em- factors in delivering CBW agents is the formation of ployed adamsite: “The former Soviet [KRAV-25] aerosols. In nuclear warfare, aerosols represent a chemical munition is filled with 2.7 kg of adamsite, threat in the form of radioactive fallout. In conven- producing a vapor for about 9–10 minutes. The ca- tional weaponry, fuel-air munitions (thermobaric
    • 4 AEROSOL weapons) can employ liquid fuel in the form of an (such as fungi) and how these affect human health. aerosol that, upon ignition, causes great destruction Chemical-based aerosols are, of course, very rele- over a wide area. vant when assessing risks from industrial and Although their behavior in the atmosphere may household pollutants. share similarities, aerosols are to be distinguished Aerosols consist of particles that fall out of the from gases and vapors. A gas is an amorphous, mol- atmosphere, but at a low rate of speed. Although ecular form of matter. Vapors are those gases that gravity dictates that all particles must drop to the evolve from liquids, especially those that are in liq- ground, their fall is influenced by the atmospheric uid form at room temperature. Water vapor, for ex- interferences and aerodynamic fluctuations of vari- ample, evaporates from water and can condense ously sized particles. The chart below shows the rel- back into liquid. An aerosol can be briefly described ative rates of fall among particles ranging from 0.2 as a suspension of tiny particles in air, these particles microns to 1 millimeter in diameter. being either liquids or solids. Although some scien- tific disciplines have set strict guidelines on what makes a true aerosol, aerosols generally are airborne Table A-2: Particle Fall Rate at 20 Degrees Celsius particles that stay aloft in the atmosphere for a cer- Weight Terminal velocity tain period of time. Diameter (microns) (microgram) (cm/min) Smoke, mist, and fogs are examples of aerosols 0.2 4.2 x 10-9 0.014 consisting of very small (0.25 microns) to relatively 0.5 6.5 x 10-8 .06 large (40 microns) particles. (A fog is essentially a 1 5.2 x 10-7 .21 cloud formed by particles with water droplets ad- 2 4.2 x 10-6 .77 hering to them.) With strong light and a dark back- 3 1.4 x 10-5 1.6 ground, the human eye can see floating particles in 5 6.5 x 10-5 4.7 10 5.2 x 10-4 18 the air of about 30 microns in size. (For compari- 20 4.2 x 10-3 72 son, human hairs have an average diameter of 75 30 1.4 x 10-2 162 microns.) Atmospheric haze is thought to be largely 51 6.5 x 10-2 432 caused by particles of approximately 0.1 microns or 100 5.2 x 10-1 1,500 even smaller. Objects that are less than 0.2 microns 200 4.2 4,200 cannot be seen even with light microscopy. Com- 300 14 6,900 500 65 12,000 mon substances that can form aerosols are listed in 1,000 [1mm] 525 [.525 mg] 23,100 the table below. Table A-1: Representative Particle Sizes Brownian movement—motion of tiny particles caused by the ongoing dynamics at the molecular Some example particle sizes Diameter, microns level—thermal forces, electrostatic charges, and Tobacco smoke 0.25 other factors affect aerosol stability. However, when Flour dust 15–20 looking at the larger picture, wind and atmospheric Pollens 15–70 changes as well as precipitation dramatically influ- Talc powder 10 ence the nature of aerosols in a variety of contexts. The utilization of aerosols is important for max- imizing concentrations of chemical and biological The word aerosol itself is a throwback to World warfare (CBW) agents. Whether chemical or biolog- War I, when Professor F. G. Donnan first coined the ical, aerosols can be delivered in two basic forms: word. An aerosol in the older context referred to the line source and point source. A line source can be vi- behavior of irritating arsenical smokes. Today, the sualized by using the crop duster model: Aerosols science of aerosols has involved many disciplines, are released from a moving platform, an object that not the least of which concerns biological materials draws a line of cloud in its wake. Wind moving per- that exist in the air. Bioaerosol research involves, pendicular to this line source can then spread the among many other things, the characterization of aerosol over a large swath of territory. Point sources allergens (such as pollen) and infectious organisms rely on single bursts or from releases from a static
    • AEROSOL 5 position. After point release via spray or detonation volatile liquids present significant challenges to ef- with an explosive, air currents can carry these agents fective delivery. They do not form vapors quickly to saturate nearby targets. Point sources usually re- enough or in dense enough format to be effective. quire redundant applications to achieve wider area Therefore, modern CW has included the use of coverage. aerosols to maximize the effectiveness of delivery of Because their behavior is similar to that of toxic agents on the battlefield. By means of toxic gases, aerosols are greatly influenced by wind ve- aerosols, CW agents are more widely dispersed, and locity and thermal convection currents. CBW under favorable meteorological conditions, they re- agents generally increase their effectiveness as a main in high concentration over time. function of concentration (particles or milligrams Chemical aerosols can be produced by means of of liquid per cubic meter of air, etc.) and time. The explosive munitions, such as artillery shells or aerial longer an aerosolized agent remains on target, bombs, or through the use of spray tanks with spe- while maintaining a high enough concentration to cially fitted nozzles. When aerosols are produced by cause infection (if a biological weapon) or injury explosion, a certain amount of agent will be de- (if a chemical weapon), the more casualties will re- stroyed in the detonation energy and possible con- sult. Therefore, conditions of stable air with little flagration. Loss of CW agent is not expected to be mixing of different temperature layers are ideal for much more than 25 percent, however. A Chinese disseminating aerosolized agents. Such a state is re- People’s Liberation Army book on chemical ferred to as an inversion. An inversion is character- weaponry describes the percentages of droplets, ized by little vertical movement of air, and it usu- aerosol, and destroyed agent in a U.S. chemical mu- ally occurs near dusk or dawn. Aided by low wind nition in the following way: “In the case of the U.S. velocity, CBW agent aerosols released under these 155 mm VX explosive [howitzer] shell, about 60 conditions will linger over the ground and stay rel- percent of the agent is scattered within a 20 meter atively concentrated over time. Less ideal are con- area, 15 percent being disseminated in an aerosol ditions described as neutral, with little change in that floats downwind from the point of detonation air temperature as one reaches higher altitudes. in the air. The remaining CW agent is destroyed due Here, winds are often stronger, with minor convec- to the blast.” tion currents. Finally, air instability in the lapse Especially in the case of biological warfare (BW), phase is least ideal for aerosol delivery. Not only are aerosols are most effective when their average parti- the horizontal winds in this situation unfavorable, cle sizes fall between about 1 and 10 microns. Using but strong vertical gusts of air break up and dissi- experimental animals and corn oil droplets, early re- pate aerosols. search conducted by the United States BW program In chemical warfare (CW), the primary chal- in the 1950s showed the relationship of particle di- lenge in delivering toxic substances on the battle- ameter to particles’ ultimate fate in a model respira- field is to create concentrations high enough to tory system (see table below). cause a large number of casualties. Gases such as Particles that can effectively reach down into the chlorine and phosgene can expand quickly over an lungs and deposit in the alveoli—tiny air sacs where area, but they also disperse just as rapidly, reducing gas exchange takes place between the lung and the their toxic effects. Even those CW agents that are bloodstream—are absorbed more quickly. The Table A-3: Experimental Distribution of Corn Oil Particles in Mice Lungs % Terminal Bronchi and Size microns (Particle % Lung (Number of % Bronchi (Number of alveoli ducts % Alveoli (Number of diameter) particles found) particles found) (Number of particles found) particles found) 0.8–2.5 80 24 26 30 3.3–10 19 10 7 2 12–17 1 0 0 0 Total 100 34 33 32
    • 6 AEROSOL highest alveolar deposition is for particles from 1 to tion—the essence of BW—is best achieved by alve- 5 microns in diameter. Much smaller particles (such olar deposition of infectious particles. Experiments as the main constituent of tobacco smoke) can be so with animals and with human volunteers have small that they are inhaled and exhaled without shown the direct relationship between optimal par- landing upon inner surfaces of the bronchi or lungs. ticle size and the chances for infection to start via Those particles 10 microns or larger become more the lungs. prone to barriers in the respiratory system, deposit- Even more so than chemical weapons, biological ing on hairs in the upper airways or bronchial tree. agents are difficult to disseminate efficiently in For some agents, such as mustard, however, large aerosols for creating large casualties. First, BW particles will cause severe tissue damage in the agents are sensitive to heat and violent shock. Pro- higher regions of the throat, causing death from res- duction of aerosols by means of explosive devices is piratory blockage due to subsequent formation of likely to kill 99 percent or more of the BW agent. dead tissue. With its predilection for membrane sol- Therefore, to expect battlefield success, bacteria, ubility, VX nerve agent will absorb into skin and viruses, or toxins must be prepared in such a way upper tissues in the respiratory tract. Thus, even if that enough infectious or toxic doses remain effec- the particles are not dispersed in the size of 1–5 mi- tive following detonation. Second, the formulation crons, chemical casualties will still likely occur for of BW agents to retain shelf life and virulence—as unprotected individuals. The only difference may be well as having the right physical properties to create the time before onset and the degree of severity. effective aerosols—takes considerable expertise and development. Finally, the controlled release of aerosolized particles that fit the “sweet spot,” that is, Table A-4: Particle Size and Deposition in the Human in the 1–5 micron average diameter range, has been Respiratory System a difficult hurdle even for advanced BW programs. Areas where deposition is most In more conventional types of weaponry, Particle diameter likely to occur aerosolized explosives can be used to create devasta- tion. In the case of fuel-air munitions (or fuel-air Larger than 10 microns Throat and nasal passages 5 to 10 microns Upper to lower respiratory tract explosives, FAE), combustible fuels can be 2 to 5 microns Lung and bronchioles aerosolized over a target and detonated, causing a Less than 2 microns Alveoli massive detonation with significant overpressures. So-called thermobaric munitions can employ a highly flammable liquid/vapor such as ethylene For biological weapons, average particle sizes are oxide or propylene oxide. These large munitions are even more important, as most, if not all, modern normally dropped from aircraft, their rate of fall applications of BW agents—save the dermally active slowed by parachute, and their contents released trichothecene mycotoxins—utilize inhalation to over a large area. After a delay, this aerosol is deto- cause injury or death. With some notable excep- nated with another charge that, after the cloud has tions, the deliberate cause of disease through inhala- formed something of a pancake shape, ignites the Table A-5: Bacteria Required to Create Medical Conditions Number of bacteria required Number of bacteria required to Number of bacteria required to cause infection/Respiratory cause infection/Respiratory to cause infection/Respiratory virulence (RLD50) Francisella virulence (RLD50) Guinea pig virulence (RLD50) Rhesus tularensis Human volunteers, Particles, diameter (microns) Francisella tularensis monkey Francisella tularensis infectious dose (ID50, nonfatal) 1 2.5 14 10–52 6.5 4,700 178 14–162 11.5 23,000 672 NA 18 125,000 3447 NA 22 230,000 More than 8,500 NA
    • AGENT ORANGE 7 cloud in a very large blast. One can compare the are included in this discussion on WMD not only large force involved in grain elevator explosions, in because of the controversy surrounding their use, which small quantities of grain dust are ignited by a but also because of their capacity to cause extensive spark, which leads to a massive blast. In a thermo- destruction to forests and jungle. Although the baric device using aerosols, the resultant explosion short-term environmental effects can be devastat- creates very large overpressures capable of flattening ing, most herbicides (when used correctly) have lit- structures in the immediate blast zone and causing tle or no deleterious effect on human health. The considerable damage on the periphery. In addition same also can be said of Agent Orange. to targeting troop concentrations, this type of Spraying liquid herbicides in large quantities aerosolized fuel-air munition has found a role in from aerial applicators (such as crop dusters) was a clearing land mines. Both the United States and pre-World War II idea. In the 1930s, the U.S. Army Chinese militaries, for example, have fielded such Air Corps refined techniques that would prove use- systems for land mine removal. ful for the application of DDT, one of the most suc- —Eric A. Croddy cessful insecticides ever developed. During World See also: Biological Warfare; Chemical Warfare; Fuel-Air War II, the U.S. Army aggressively pursued research Explosive; Line Source; Point Source into producing compounds that could destroy References plants. More than 1,000 different compounds were Alt, Leonard A., C. Douglas Forcino, and Richard I. investigated at Camp Detrick, Maryland. One Walker, “Nuclear Events and Their Consequences,” in chemical code-named LN-8 stood out from the rest. Richard I. Walker and T. Jan Cerveny, eds., Medical This formulation, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, Consequences of Nuclear Warfare (Falls Church, VA: or 2,4-D, proved to be one of the most effective her- TMM Publications, Office of the Surgeon General, bicides ever synthesized. It is still a widely used her- 1989), pp. 1–14. bicide for weed control and other agrochemical ap- Cheng Shuiting and Shi Zhiyuan, Military Technology Information Handbook: Chemical Weapons, second plications. edition (Beijing: People’s Liberation Army Press, Highly effective herbicides based on the phen- 1999; second printing January 2000). oxyacetic acids (chiefly 2,4-D) were tested at bomb- Fothergill, Leroy D., “Biological Warfare and Its ing ranges in Texas and Indiana during World War Defense,” Armed Forces Chemical Journal, vol. 12, no. II. These trials were so successful that U.S. military 5, September-October 1958, pp. 4–28. planners considered the use of herbicides against Punte, Charles L., “Some Aspects of Particle Size in the Japanese during the war in the Pacific. The strat- Aerosol Studies,” Armed Forces Chemical Journal, vol. egy would involve using herbicides to mark the jun- 12, no. 2, March-April 1958, pp. 28–32. gle, leaving lines of dead foliage to guide bombers to Reist, Parker C., Aerosol Science and Technology, second Japanese troop concentrations. This stratagem and edition (San Francisco: McGraw-Hill, 1993). other plans that included attacking Japanese rice Urbanetti, John S., “Toxic Inhalational Injury,” in crops in preparation of a final invasion, however, Frederick R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., Textbook of Military Medicine, Part I: were eventually tabled. Warfare, Weaponry, and the Casualty: Medical Aspects During the Korean War (1950–1953), the U.S. of Chemical and Biological Warfare (Washington, Air Force made operational plans to use 2,4-D her- DC: Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical bicide with 2,4,5-T (which would eventually be Center, 1997), pp. 247–270. called Agent Orange during the Vietnam War) to destroy vegetation that could be of use to the enemy. AGENT ORANGE The plan was never implemented because the ecol- Agent Orange was the name given to one type of ogy of the Korean peninsula was entirely different chemical herbicide used by the U.S. military during from that of tropical zones, and there was no per- the Vietnam War. The 1993 Chemical Weapons ceived benefit in the use of herbicides in that con- Convention prohibits the use of herbicides as a flict. Spraying equipment that was initially shipped means of warfare. The United States, however, has to Korea was put in storage, and the chemical agents reserved the right to use these chemicals for weed were destroyed in 1955. control at airfields, for example, and in limited While fighting against Malaysian communist in- amounts for security of its armed forces. Herbicides surgents at about the same time, the British military
    • 8 AGROTERRORISM used trioxene and diesolene herbicides against the enemy protective cover, especially along the bor- enemy crops. Some operational lessons from this ders with North Vietnam, and to eliminate manioc conflict were useful for future U.S. military engage- (tapioca) groves that were being used by the Viet ments. In the late 1950s, artillery range exercises in Cong guerillas for both cover and as a food source. the United States were hampered with overgrowth, Less than 10 percent of the herbicides used in Viet- and Dr. James W. Brown was brought in from the nam and Laos were directed against enemy crops, U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories to devise the remainder being used to clear fields of fire for a solution to the problem. He supervised the aerial finding and fixing the enemy, and to maintain secu- spraying of sugar maples using a combination of rity around military facilities by removing vegeta- 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. These practical experiences led to tion that obscured sightlines. Results of the herbi- the use of this mixture in the Vietnam War, espe- cide campaign were mixed. Some studies showed cially during the years 1961–1971. that the Viet Cong were hard pressed to make up for As the United States became more actively in- the food shortages caused by the operation, but oth- volved in the South Vietnamese struggle against ers found Operation Ranch Hand to be politically communist forces, herbicides were considered for and militarily counterproductive. use against enemy cover and food. South Viet- The United States eventually abandoned the namese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother South Vietnamese, and it may be impossible to assess Ngo Dinh Nhu were enthusiastic supporters of de- fully the merits or demerits of Operation Ranch foliation operations. President John F. Kennedy and Hand. The ecological aftermath of Operation Ranch the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staffs, however, recalled how Hand also offers a mixed picture. Most of the devas- Chinese communist propaganda had (falsely) ac- tation occurred primarily in the mangrove forests; cused the use by the United States of chemical and some estimates claim that it will require 100 years for biological warfare against North Korea a decade ear- the forests to grow back. But most other areas recov- lier. Before authorizing the use of herbicides in Viet- ered within about a year after the last spraying sorties. nam, then, the Kennedy administration first looked Following the Vietnam War, many U.S. veterans into the legality of such a venture. In 1961, Secretary claimed that they suffered illness due to exposure to of State Dean Rusk assured President Kennedy that Agent Orange. Studies subsequently found that the use of defoliant did not violate international law dioxin, a highly toxic and carcinogenic substance, concerning CW and was an accepted tactic of war. was present in small concentrations within Agent Still, the use of herbicides in warfare, along with the Orange. No scientific evidence, however, has thus far use of tear gas (CS) and napalm, drew criticism been able to link Agent Orange and very small con- from both international and domestic circles. centrations of dioxin to significant human disease. Although the U.S. Air Force employed a number —Eric A. Croddy of herbicide formulations during the Vietnam War, See also: Dioxin; Herbicides; Vietnam War Agent Orange was used in the greatest quantity and References was arguably the most effective. Bovey, Rodney W., and Alvin L. Young, The Science of 2,4,5-T and Associated Phenoxy Herbicides (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1980), p. 372. Table A-6: Representative Herbicides Used in South Vietnam, Buckingham, William A., Jr., Operation Ranch Hand: 1965–1971 The Air Force and Herbicides in Southeast Asia, 1961–1971 (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force Herbicide Gallons History, United States Air Force, 1982). Orange (2,4-D and 2,4,5-T phenoxyacetic acids) 10,645,904 Gough, Michael, Dioxin, Agent Orange: The Facts (New White (80% 2,4-D and 20% picloram) 5,632,904 York: Plenum, 1986). Blue (cacodylic acid) 1,144,746 Matolcsy, György, Miklós Nádasy, and Viktor Andriska, Pesticide Chemistry (New York: Elsevier, 1988). The U.S. Air Force conducted a massive defoliant AGROTERRORISM (AGRICULTURAL campaign in Vietnam called Operation Ranch BIOLOGICAL WARFARE) Hand. The initial goal of the herbicide program in Agroterrorism, or agricultural BW, is also referred to Vietnam (and also in neighboring Laos) was to deny as agricultural bioterrorism. None of these terms,
    • AGROTERRORISM 9 however, seem to discriminate between military teats, as well as ulcerating patches on the hooves programs and smaller, less sophisticated attacks on (thus the name foot-and-mouth). The 1997 out- a food supply (e.g., bioterrorism or sabotage). Still, break probably began with the smuggling of an in- they are interchangeably understood to mean the fected animal across the Taiwan Straits from main- deliberate use of pathogens against crops or live- land China. Although some have suggested this was stock. The social and economic consequences of a a deliberate attack perpetrated by the Chinese, most concerted agroterrorist attack could be quite exten- Taiwanese veterinarians believe it was uninten- sive. Because industrialized countries are increas- tional. Another outbreak of FMD a few years later, ingly dependent upon large-scale, dense, and effi- this time in the United Kingdom, also led to billions cient mechanized farms, there is an acute of dollars in economic losses, primarily in the sheep vulnerability to deliberate attack using plant or ani- rearing industry. These examples of natural out- mal pathogens. Such attacks could cause huge eco- breaks of animal disease demonstrate the potential nomic losses. threat from agroterrorism. Vulnerability of Livestock Food Security: “Farm to Fork” For example, Newcastle disease (caused by a virus) There is another dimension to the threat from primarily affects birds, resulting in severe illness agroterrorism, namely that of food safety. In both with a high mortality rate (between 95 and 100 per- developed and developing economies, there has re- cent). Humans can also be infected with the New- cently been an increased focus on security sur- castle disease virus (though the disease is relatively rounding the “farm to fork” cycle of the food indus- benign in humans, unlike in birds), and it is possi- try—that is, the vulnerability of the food supply to ble for people to spread the virus to animals. In deliberate contamination with toxins or pathogens. 1971, southern California experienced a Newcastle Such an attack could occur at the locations where disease outbreak that led to the slaughter of 12 mil- crops or animals are first raised, at the midpoint lion chickens in an effort to control its spread. An- processing facility, or even on the grocery shelves other serious epizootic, avian influenza virus (fowl and at other points of sale. So far, the deliberate poi- plague), has been known to jump from one species, soning of food or beverages in modern societies has such as fowl or pig, to humans (and vice versa). In largely been a phenomenon reserved for criminal or 1983–1984, an outbreak of avian influenza (H5N5 malicious activity, and not organized warfare or ter- strain) in Pennsylvania led to a campaign to destroy rorism. During the late 1990s, in China, a substan- all infected birds in the vicinity. As a result, prices tial number of cases occurred in which jealousy or for poultry rose some $350 million that year. An- hatred led individuals to contaminate food or bev- other strain of avian influenza, H5N1, killed six erages with rat poison, including the acutely toxic people in Hong Kong in 1997, also demonstrating rodenticide tetramine (tetramethylene disulfote- the virus’s ability (albeit rare) to jump from one tramine). Mass poisonings have sometimes resulted, species to another. including a 2002 incident in which 40 people died In one of the most serious animal disease out- and 300 others were seriously poisoned with breaks to occur in the previous century, foot-and- tetramine. mouth disease (FMD) in 1997 devastated Taiwan’s Attacks on agriculture, however, could stem swine industry, leading to some $25 billion in direct from purely financial motives. For example, after and indirect losses to the country’s economy. Al- deliberately spreading a disease among cattle or though FMD is not nearly as deadly to animals as corn, and thus causing a dramatic rise or fall in other diseases such as rinderpest, a deadly viral dis- their prices on the world market, a malevolent actor ease that can wipe out whole herds of cattle, it is still might be able to take advantage by speculating on among the most feared disease in agriculture, espe- commodity futures. cially in the cattle and swine industries. The disease Like the categories of pathogenic organisms that generally results in many sick and, therefore unpro- affect human beings, BW agents that could be used ductive, animals. In addition to fever, anorexia, and against agriculture include bacteria, viruses, fungi, general malaise, infected animals manifest blister- and insects. Today, a number of possible BW agents like sores on and inside the oral cavity and on the have been recognized that could be used against crops
    • 10 AGROTERRORISM or livestock animals (see tables A-7 and A-8 below). I, Germany was probably the first to employ infec- These lists, however, are by no means exhaustive. tious agents (such as glanders, or Burkholderia mallei) against the Allies’ horses and mules. These were small-scale sabotage operations, and it is un- Table A-7: Potential Anti-Crop BW agents clear what the ultimate result was of these efforts. Bacterial diseases Bacterial agents Research programs among the Allies to defend against—as well as to offensively employ—crop and Rice blight Xanthomonas oryzae animal diseases began in earnest during World War Corn blight Pseudomonas alboprecipitans II. In 1938, the British scientist J. B. S. Haldane pro- Viral diseases Viral agents posed the notion that both Germany and England could be vulnerable to an attack on their respective Tobacco mosaic Tobacco mosaic virus agricultural industries by the highly destructive Col- Sugar-beet curly top Curly top virus orado potato beetle. In 1939, French veterinary and BW experts even proposed dropping potato beetles Fungal diseases Fungal agents on Germany’s crops. None of these plans, as far as it Late blight of potato Phytophthora infestans is known, were ever carried out. In the early 1940s, Rice blast Pyricularia oryzae the potential BW threat to Allied agricultural tar- Black stem rust of cereals Puccina graminis tritici gets, as well as possible weaknesses in Axis food sup- Brown spot of rice Cochliobolus miyabeanus plies, led to further research into a number of pathogens that could cause disease in crops and do- mesticated animals. Beginning with a recommenda- tion by U.S. governmental experts in March 1942, a Table A-8: Potential Anti-Animal BW Agents number of plant and animal pathogens were con- Rickettsial diseases (Bacteria) Rickettsial agents sidered as possible biological weapons for use by the United States (see table A-9). Heartwater of sheep and goats Cowdria ruminantium Viral diseases Viral agents Anti-Livestock Agents (World War II) Throughout the war years, animal diseases were Foot-and-mouth disease Foot-and-mouth disease very much a security concern for the Allies, as well (FMD) (FMD) virus as being potential weapons to be used against the Rinderpest (cattle plague) Rinderpest virus African swine fever African swine fever virus Axis powers. During World War II, as far as U.S. in- Aujeszky’s disease Herpes virus telligence was concerned, rinderpest (cattle plague) Newcastle disease (poultry) Newcastle virus was one of the most threatening of the animal Avian influenza Avian influenza virus pathogens, because it was largely unknown in the Western Hemisphere at the time. Falling into the Fungal diseases Fungal agents same group of viruses (morbillivirus) as human Aspergillosis (poultry) Aspergillus fumigatus measles and distemper virus in dogs, rinderpest only infects animals (primarily cattle). The virus can be transmitted via contact with infected mate- rial, especially animal urine, as well as by airborne Targeting Crops and Animals: World War I and droplets. Rinderpest is so deadly and spreads so fast World War II that—as in the case of FMD—the usual method of The devastating consequences of crop diseases were control is simply to destroy infected animals. In a keenly felt by Germany during World War I, when joint American and Canadian project conducted at large stores of potatoes were destroyed by potato Grosse Ile on the St. Lawrence River, studies were blight (Phytophthora infestans), the same disease led into developing large amounts of rinderpest that accelerated the famines in Ireland during the vaccine against a possible BW attack by Germany mid-1800s. Some have even suggested that this against Allied agriculture. Allied military scientists potato famine contributed to Germany’s capitula- also studied the foot-and-mouth virus during tion and the end of the war. Also during World War World War II.
    • AGROTERRORISM 11 Table A-9: World War II BW Research in Anti-Crop and Anti-Animal Pathogens (United States and Canada) Project Code Location Anti-crop agent Blight of potatoes LO Main Agricultural Experiment Station, Orono, Maine Rice diseases IR, E Texas Sub-Station No. 4, Beaumont, Texas Southern blight C Bureau of Plant Industry, Beltsville, Maryland Anti-animal agents Fowl plague OE Harvard University Foot-and-mouth disease OO Joint War Research Service–USDA Committee Rinderpest GIR-1 War Disease Control Station, Quebec, Canada The most concerted Allied military program to this disease as a potential weapon (code IR), but attack Germany’s agriculture, however, was dubbed found that the conidia spores—the means by which Operation Vegetarian, in which Great Britain un- the fungal agent reproduces and spreads from plant dertook to kill Germany’s supply of domestic live- to plant—did not survive well in warm weather stock. In 1943, an English soap factory molded some conditions. It was therefore not viewed as having 5 million cakes impregnated with a slurry of an- much potential. By end of World War II, such re- thrax (Bacillus anthracis) spores, which were de- search with fungal agents was largely inconclusive. signed to attract grazing cattle, horses, and sheep. The development of effective growth regulators for Upon consumption, the anthrax bacteria would herbicidal applications—primarily the chemical then cause a gastrointestinal form of the disease. herbicide 2,4-D—replaced schemes that would have (Although the primary goal was to destroy an im- used biological agents to destroy crops during the portant food source, this project also had the poten- war. (Another mitigating factor against targeting tial to cause human anthrax cases as well, via sec- rice crops was concern about the imminent military ondary infection.) The original plans required at occupation of Japan and about the future source of least 1,250 planes to fly across Germany, each air- food for the Japanese population.) craft dropping about 10 boxes of the anthrax cakes The Allies also observed at this time that Ger- per sortie. Ultimately, however, the plan to attack many was economically dependent on potatoes. Germany’s livestock with anthrax-laden cakes never The United States conducted research into Southern materialized, and 30 years later, the last of the re- blight (Sclerotium rolfsii, code C), a fungus that ap- maining cakes were destroyed. peared to have potential as a BW weapon. By war’s end, however, it was found to have little efficacy Anti-Crop Agents against resistant Japanese crops and was not pur- In 1943, Dr. E. C. Tullis at the Beaumont, Texas, fa- sued any further. Another fungus (Phytophthora in- cility noted that Japanese rice varieties grown in festans), the cause of potato blight that had de- Arkansas were often subject to a fungal disease stroyed Irish and German potato crops throughout called rice blast (also known as rotten neck or Pyric- the prior century, was known to be a potentially ularia blight), caused by Pyricularia oryzae. This powerful BW agent. But this fungus was difficult to fungal organism—along with another, brown spot store, and a method of devising its large-scale pro- of rice caused by Helminthosporium oryzae duction remained elusive. One method of delivery (Cochliobolus miyabeanus, code letter E), was re- devised for potato blight involved the use of navy searched for its possible use on Japanese rice fields. beans and specially made pellets. Again, these means Rice blast is a severe threat to rice crops, and an out- of warfare were never used. break of it was partly responsible for the 1942–1943 Bengal famine that led to the deaths of more than 2 Cold War Activity million people. Its fungal spores are now found in During the first half of the Cold War (1950–1969), the Western Hemisphere as well as Africa and Asia. work continued with anticrop agents in the U.S. of- During World War II, the United States investigated fensive biological weapons program. Having revived
    • 12 AGROTERRORISM earlier work with agents such as Sclerotium rolfsii used fine-powdered silica as a carrier for dry dis- (the cause of Southern blight or Sclerotium rot), the semination of a mixture of aflatoxin and wheat U.S. military later stockpiled some 30 tons of Puc- smut fungi. This could have served as a means to at- cina graminis tritici fungal spores (black stem rust). tack the food supply of Iraq’s neighbor Iran, or per- At that time, the United States considered the Chi- haps Iraq’s Kurdish populations to the north. It is nese rice plantations and the extensive wheat fields noteworthy that Iraqi scientists used silica to dis- in the Soviet Union (Ukraine) as potential targets. tribute the agent in fine particulates, an indicator of Early prototypes of delivery systems used feathers a rather sophisticated BW program. In other areas, that were to be dropped in 500-pound propaganda Iraq apparently worked with camel pox, a close rel- leaflet bombs. These were judged by American ative to human smallpox (Variola major). The ulti- bioweaponeers to “carry a sufficient number of mate goals of this research are unclear. It is possible spores to initiate a cereal rust epidemic” (Rogers, that Iraqi BW scientists were looking to employ an- Whitby, and Dando, pp. 73–74). The former Soviet tianimal attacks against an erstwhile enemy (e.g., Union also led a significant research and develop- Iran), or perhaps were looking for a surrogate for ment program into agricultural BW agents, many of smallpox to use against human targets. these being similar to those studied in the West. The Although vaccines are available for a number of full extent, however, of Soviet and Russian work in animal diseases, such as FMD, rinderpest, and peste offensive agricultural BW is still unknown. All U.S. des petits ruminants (e.g., “goat plague”), for various work regarding the use of BW agents against crops reasons these are not normally used in the devel- and animals was halted in 1969 with President oped world for prophylactic purposes, due to unit Richard Nixon’s announcement forbidding further costs of the vaccine and the demands of regulated offensive biological weapons research. livestock markets. Furthermore, as with human Charges against the United States of using agri- viral diseases, effective chemotherapeutic treat- cultural warfare continued throughout the Cold ments are lacking. Viruses also happen to be the War, however. These included allegations by Fidel cause of the most worrying of animal diseases— Castro’s government in Cuba that the United States FMD, Newcastle, highly pathogenic avian influenza, was deliberately disseminating an aggressive, fruit- etc. As a consequence, the primary defenses against burrowing insect (Thrips palmi) against Cuba’s cit- agroterrorism are early detection of disease out- rus crops. East Germany often accused the West of breaks, the separation of diseased animals (usually using Colorado potato beetles (the so-called Ami- by culling) from healthy ones, and vaccinating a Kafer) against Soviet bloc countries. Even in the late ring around the affected populations to stop the 1990s, the Russian BW expert General Valentin outbreak. In the United States, the primary defense Yevstigneyev suggested that the United States was against exotic and otherwise devastating diseases in responsible for past beetle infestations in the former plants and animals is the U.S. Department of Agri- Soviet Union. These and similar charges were never culture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspec- substantiated. tion Service (APHIS). The research and develop- During the 1980s, the Iraqi bioweapons program ment of diagnostic, surveillance, and detection also conducted investigations into the use of anti- techniques are conducted at the Foreign Animal crop agents, including Tilletia fungus. Recognized as Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Plum Island Ani- a serious disease in wheat since the 1700s (then de- mal Disease Center in New York. To develop an ad- scribed by the English agronomist Jethro Tull), vanced warning capability, the USDA also has estab- Tilletia grows in the kernel of grains and develops lished its own intelligence units to analyze and into a “dirty” black center that completely devours predict future animal disease outbreaks. the food portion of the plant. This wheat cover —Eric A. Croddy smut, or bunt of wheat, continues to devastate field See also: Anthrax; Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus; grains throughout the world. In their work with Glanders; Iran-Iraq War; Newcastle Disease; World fungi, Iraqi BW scientists tested wheat cover smut War I; World War II: Biological Weapons (Tilletia spp.) fungal spores in field trials, in combi- References nation with aflatoxin derived from Aspergillus Cochrane, Rexmond C., History of the Chemical Warfare flavus. During their experiments, Iraqi BW scientists Service in World War II, vol. 2: Biological Warfare
    • AL-QAEDA 13 Research in the United States (Fort Detrick, MD: Arab mujahideen that remained in the vicinity. After Historical Section, Plans, Training, and Intelligence Azam’s assassination in 1989, bin Laden took over Division, Office of Chief, Chemical Corps, these organizations, forming them into al-Qaeda November 1947). with the goal of developing a broad-based alliance Croddy, Eric, “Rat Poison and Food Security in the among former Arab mujahideen. People’s Republic of China: Focus on Al-Qaeda’s ideology is based on the Wahhabi Tetramethylene Disulfotetramine (Tetramine),” branch of Sunni Islam, which demands the strict Archives of Toxicology, vol. 78, no. 1, January 2004, pp. 1-6. application of Islam to every aspect of political and Frazier, Thomas W., and Drew C. Richardson, eds., Food social life. Additionally, al-Qaeda has elevated the and Agricultural Security (Annals of the New York concept of jihad (holy war) to a position of central Academy of Sciences), vol. 894 (New York: New York importance in its interpretation of Islam. Al-Qaeda Academy of Sciences, 1999). defines jihad as a duty for all Muslims to fight Parker, Henry S., Agricultural Bioterrorism: A Federal against kafir (infidels or unbelievers). For al-Qaeda, Strategy to Meet the Threat, McNair Paper no. 65 unbelievers include all non-Muslims, as well as (Washington, DC: Institute for National Strategic those Muslims it believes do not adequately uphold Studies, National Defense University, 2002). the teachings of Islam. The Saudi royal family is Rogers, Paul, Simon Whitby, and Malcolm Dando, among the Muslims targeted for destruction. “Biological Warfare against Crops,” Scientific Al-Qaeda has four main grievances. First, it American, vol. 280, no. 6, June 1999, pp. 70–75. claims that the Saudi royal family is corrupt and does not uphold its professed Wahhabi beliefs. Sec- AL-QAEDA ond, it opposes Saudi cooperation with and reliance Al-Qaeda (Arabic for base or foundation) is the Is- on the United States. Third, it sees the U.S. military lamic terrorist organization responsible for the Sep- presence in Saudi Arabia since the end of the first tember 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The Gulf War as an “occupation” of Islamic holy sites. history of al-Qaeda is closely tied to the life of its Fourth, it opposes U.S. support for Israel. Not only leader, Osama bin Laden, and is mostly shaped by is al-Qaeda geographically disparate; it is also ideo- his experiences as part of the Arab mujahideen (holy logically diffuse. In different geographical locations, warriors) in Afghanistan in the 1980s and his role as certain issues are given emphasis by local cells. In all a Saudi political dissident. cases, however, local conflicts between cells are seen In the early 1980s, the Saudi government sup- in the broader context of jihad against unbelievers. ported the mujahideen resistance against the Soviet This ideology of jihad, combined with al-Qaeda’s Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, recruiting and grievances against what it saw as insufferable Amer- sending Arab men from Saudi Arabia and other ican cultural influences, led bin Laden to declare countries to fight in the name of Islam. At that time, jihad against the United States in 1998, even though, bin Laden, with the help of the Saudi government, as a secular leader, bin Laden lacked the religious au- established the Islamic Salvation Foundation with thority to issue this type of edict. The original fatwa the same purpose. After the withdrawal of the Soviet specifically mentions the United States, but also in- Union from Afghanistan—which was seen by the cludes its allies: “The ruling to kill the Americans mujahideen as a victory for Islam produced by their and their allies—civilians and military—is an indi- efforts—many of these volunteer soldiers returned vidual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any to their native Saudi Arabia, only to be disaffected country in which it is possible to do it, in order to and alienated from a government that they felt no liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque longer appreciated them or upheld the values of from their grip, and in order for their armies to Islam. Sharing this sentiment, bin Laden became a move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and un- key player in the founding of a dissident organiza- able to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance tion known as the Advice and Reform Council. with the words of Almighty God, ‘and fight the pa- Meanwhile, bin Laden was also active in south gans all together as they fight you all together,’ and Asia. The World Muslim League and the Muslim ‘fight them until there is no more tumult or oppres- Brotherhood organizations in Peshawar, Pakistan, sion, and there prevail justice and faith in God’” led by Abdullah Azam, served as the center for the (quoted in Poonawalla, 2003, online). Even before
    • 14 AL-QAEDA Seventeen sailors on the U.S.S. Cole died in an al-Qaeda–sponsored suicide attack on October 12, 2000. (Reuters/Corbis) declaring jihad against the West, however, al-Qaeda logical weapons. In November 2001, U.S. forces in was on the path to war. Al-Qaeda is believed to have Afghanistan discovered the blueprints for a crude been responsible for attacks against Americans nuclear bomb in a house in Kabul. It has been re- worldwide: eighteen U.S. soldiers killed in Mo- ported that al-Qaeda has tried on numerous occa- gadishu, Somalia, in 1993; five U.S. soldiers killed in sions to obtain uranium or other radioactive mate- a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, bomb attack in 1995; and rials. Reports by both U.S. and British intelligence nineteen U.S. military personnel killed in Dhahran, sources indicate that al-Qaeda was successful on at Saudi Arabia (Khobar Towers), in 1996. Among the least one occasion. Under interrogation, a senior al- perpetrators of the Khobar Towers bombing was Qaeda official, Abu Zubayda, indicated that al- Ibrahim Salih Mohammed Al-Yacoub, who was in- Qaeda had in fact constructed a radiological “dirty” dicted in Virginia. (Suggestions made in 2003 im- bomb. British intelligence sources have confirmed plied that Iran also may have played a role in the this information, adding that the crude device was Khobar Towers bombing.) Al-Qaeda is also sus- constructed in an al-Qaeda laboratory in the town pected of being involved in the 1992 bombings in of Herat, Afghanistan. Aden, Yemen; the 1993 World Trade Center bomb- Al-Qaeda has also made attempts to develop ing; a 1994 plot to assassinate President Bill Clinton; chemical and biological weapons. Bin Laden has ex- and a 1995 plan to blow up a dozen U.S. jetliners pressed his desire for the group to develop a CBW over the Atlantic Ocean. More recently, al-Qaeda has capability. Files recovered from al-Qaeda computers been charged with perpetrating the U.S. embassy and equipment found in al-Qaeda laboratories in bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, as well as Afghanistan support bin Laden’s statements and in- the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2001. dicate that the group at one time had the capability Since its formation, al-Qaeda has attempted to to produce limited quantities of some CBW agents. acquire or develop weapons of mass destruction, For example, one lab near Kandahar was equipped including nuclear, chemical, biological, and radio- to produce anthrax. Finally, in August 2002, the
    • AL SHIFA 15 Cable News Network (CNN) broadcast al-Qaeda– ning in 1997, Human Rights Watch and various Su- produced videotapes that it had obtained in Af- danese opposition groups began to claim that three ghanistan that showed dogs being killed by clouds facilities within Sudan were involved in CW activi- of unknown toxic chemicals. These were probably ties: Kubar, Kafuri, and Shegarra. All three were lo- trials or demonstrations of hydrogen cyanide gas. cated near Khartoum. Neither Human Rights —Sean Lawson Watch nor the Sudanese opposition groups men- See also: Al Shifa; Osama bin Laden; Terrorism with tioned Al Shifa. CBRN Weapons; World Trade Center Attack (1993) After the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in References Africa, U.S. intelligence linked Al Shifa to Osama bin Ackerman, Gary, and Jeffrey M. Bale, Al-Qa’ida and Laden, his global terrorist network, and his attempts Weapons of Mass Destruction (Monterey, CA: Center to acquire WMD (see Osama bin Laden and Al- for Nonproliferation Studies, 2002), available at Qaeda). The United States alleged that the factory http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/other/alqaidawmd.htm. was a closed facility, guarded by elements of the Su- Fandy, Mamoun, Saudi Arabia and the Politics of Dissent danese military, and that it did not produce any (New York: St. Martin’s, 1999). commercial pharmaceutical products. The United Gunaratna, Rohan, Inside Al Qaida: Global Network of Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002). States claimed to have evidence indicating that Iraq Poonawalla, Aziz H., “Bin Laden’s Fatwa: A Call to was involved in CW activities at Al Shifa and that its Harabah,” The American Muslim, March-April 2003, new owner, Salaheldin Idris, was connected through online, http://www.theamericanmuslim.org. the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization to bin Originally published in Al-Quds al-’Arabi on Laden. Finally, the cornerstone of U.S. allegations of Febuary 23, 1998. CW activities at Al Shifa was a soil sample pur- ported to show high levels of a VX nerve agent pre- AL SHIFA cursor chemical (O-ethyl methylphosphonothioic On August 20, 1998, in response to the U.S. embassy acid, also known as EMPTA). U.S. officials claimed bombings in Kenya and Tanzania two weeks prior, that EMPTA had no legitimate commercial use and the United States struck the Al Shifa Pharmaceutical was therefore an indicator of illicit CW activities at Factory in Khartoum, Sudan, with twelve cruise the Al Shifa facility (see EMPTA). missiles, destroying the factory, killing one person, Within days following the U.S. strike on Al and injuring ten. Al Shifa was located in an indus- Shifa, U.S. allegations regarding the plant came trial area northeast of Khartoum. It consisted of under serious scrutiny. Since the incident, the four buildings, one for administration and three United States has been accused of acting hastily production buildings. Construction of the factory, based on limited intelligence and without the par- funded by Bashir Hassan Bashir and Salem Baboud, ticipation of the full U.S. intelligence community. began in 1992 and was completed in 1996. In March After the incident, U.S. documents apparently un- 1998, Bashir and Baboud sold the plant to Sala- known to those who decided to strike Al Shifa, as heldin Idris, a Sudanese-born Saudi businessman. well as eyewitness accounts from the factory, indi- Al Shifa was the largest of six pharmaceutical fac- cated that the factory did indeed produce com- tories in Sudan, employing approximately 300 peo- mercial pharmaceutical products. Eyewitness re- ple and providing 50 to 60 percent of the country’s ports from the factory before the strike also pharmaceutical needs. The factory produced veteri- indicated that it was not closed, nor was it guarded nary medicines, as well as medicines for the treat- by the Sudanese military. Furthermore, indepen- ment of malaria, diabetes, hypertension, ulcers, dent, unclassified reports were inconclusive as to rheumatism, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis. the relationship between the factory’s owner, Sala- Prior to 1998, the United States had neither offi- heldin Idris, and either Osama bin Laden or the cially nor publicly identified the Sudan as a chemi- Sudanese government. Finally, after the strike, cal weapons proliferation state of concern. There spokespersons for the Organization for the Prohi- had been previous accusations leveled by the West, bition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced including the U.S. government, of CW activity in that EMPTA is considered a dual-use chemical, Sudan dating as far back as 1989, however, although with applications in the production of fungicide, few of these charges had appeared credible. Begin- pesticide, and antimicrobial agents.
    • 16 AMITON Although the presence of EMPTA in the afore- Figure A-2: Amiton (VG) mentioned soil sample is persuasive, it is still unclear whether Al Shifa had been involved with the manu- facture of VX agent, whether at the time of the strike or perhaps several months earlier (see V-Agents). —Sean Lawson References Barletta, Michael, “Chemical Weapons in the Sudan: Allegations and Evidence,” The Nonproliferation etrating the skin. Therefore, considering its potency Review, vol. 6, Fall 1998, pp. 115–136. as a nerve poison, VG could be manufactured by Croddy, Eric, “Dealing with Al Shifa: Intelligence and state military programs trying to achieve a chemical Counterproliferation,” International Journal of weapons capability inexpensively, or perhaps by ter- Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, vol. 15, Spring rorist organizations looking for a simple method for 2002, pp. 52–60. producing a highly toxic OP compound. Rashid, Ahmed, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and —Eric A. Croddy Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven, CT: See also: Parathion (Methyl and Ethyl); V-Agents Yale University Press, 2001). Reference Marrs, Timothy C., Robert L. Maynard, and Frederick R. AMITON (VG) Sidell, Chemical Warfare Agents: Toxicology and Treatment (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996). Originally developed as a pesticide, amiton was among the first series of phosphonothiolate esters synthesized by Ranajit Ghosh, a chemist at British AMMONIUM NITRATE FUEL OIL (ANFO) Imperial Chemical Industries, in the 1950s. Later, a Ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) is a low-veloc- commercial insecticide included amiton in an ox- ity (meaning the speed of expansion following a alate salt for civilian uses. Although not as toxic as blast is less than higher-yield explosives such as other V-agent analogues, amiton (also known as TNT), pushing-type secondary explosive (see defin- Tetram; U.S. military code VG) had potential for use ition below) used primarily to move earth and rock. by the military as a nerve agent. A highly toxic Because the materials involved in its production are organophosphate (OP), amiton has since been readily available, it is easy for individuals in the agri- made obsolete due to safety concerns. Because of its cultural industry to produce large volumes of highly toxic nature and its potential for use as a ANFO without attracting attention. chemical warfare (CW) agent, it is listed as a Sched- In the 1650s a chemist by the name of J. R. ule 2 toxic compound in the Chemical Weapons Glauber prepared what he called “Nitrum Flam- Convention (CWC). The chemical structure of ami- mans,” now known as ammonium nitrate. He did ton is quite similar to that of VX nerve agent, the di- not recognize its utility as a component in explo- rect carbon-phosphorus bond being the significant sives. In the early nineteenth century, researchers chemical group separating VG from VX. Grindel and Robin looked to develop black pow- In mammals, the toxicity of amiton is signifi- der—the classic explosive of the time until smoke- cantly lower than that of VX. For example, tests on less powder was introduced—using ammonium ni- laboratory rats show the average lethal dose for oral trate instead of potassium nitrate. The results of this administration of amiton to be 5 milligrams per excursion are unclear. In the early years of mass pro- kilogram of body weight. The lethal dose for VX, by duction and use of ammonium nitrate, numerous comparison, is estimated at 12 micrograms for the and sometimes disastrous incidents including ex- same animal and route of exposure, or about 400 plosions occurred. Still, its utility as an explosive times more toxic than amiton. Still, amiton is rela- went largely unnoticed until the twentieth century. tively easy to manufacture, especially when com- pared to other nerve agents such as VX. Its chemical Texas City Disaster: 1947 structure is also likely to provide a relative degree of A French cargo vessel, the S.S. Grandcamp, docked at persistency in terms of physical characteristics, and Texas City on 16 April 1947, was carrying a supply of its moderate oil solubility makes VG capable of pen- ammonium nitrate fertilizer. (The shipment was des-
    • AMMONIUM NITRATE FUEL OIL 17 tined for use as fertilizer as part of the Marshall Plan selected ANFO for several reasons. The primary for the reconstruction of war-ravaged Europe).When components were easily acquired in bulk in the agri- a fire accidentally broke out on the ship, subsequent cultural communities of the American Midwest attempts to douse the flames resulted in pressurized without drawing any attention from law enforce- steam, and put the ammonium nitrate cargo under ment, and the materials for bomb construction were pressure. Meanwhile, black smoke issued from a inexpensive. McVeigh created a very large device be- bright orange flame, and local inhabitants decided to cause he believed that, due to the lower yield of go outside to witness the spectacle. Despite the fact ANFO in relation to other high explosives, a large that ammonium nitrate was known to be a poten- container would be needed to construct a very pow- tially hazardous oxidizer—known to react explosively erful weapon. McVeigh probably did not realize that with a variety of fuels such as oil and kerosene—none the compressed air shock wave produced by slower- seemed to be aware of the danger. detonating materials (e.g., ANFO) is highly effective At 9:12 A.M., the ammonium nitrate on the boat against rigid building components. detonated. Someone immediately speculated that McVeigh rented a delivery truck, filled it with “the Russians” had dropped an atomic bomb on the ANFO in 55-gallon drums, added booster charges, city of 18,000 people. The event registered as far and parked it at the curb next to the Murrah Build- away as Oklahoma City (480 miles) on a seismo- ing. The tricky part of the operation involved set- graph. Creating a two-thousand-foot mushroom ting all the detonators to go off simultaneously. cloud—and an explosion that could be heard for Due to the comparatively low sensitivity of ANFO, 150 miles—it probably could have been mistaken a single detonation might have pushed most of the for a nuclear device. Secondary fires erupted at the AFNO harmlessly away from the primary blast. Ul- Monsanto Chemical Plant, while additional confla- timately, McVeigh succeeded in creating a simulta- grations spread to nearby petroleum refineries. An- neous detonation of the AFNO, which produced other blast occurred early the next morning at about extensive damage to the Federal Building and hun- 1 A.M., when another vessel carrying ammonium ni- dreds of casualties. The federal courthouse across trate, the High Flyer, erupted in even more spectac- the street was severely damaged, and glass was bro- ular fashion. This time nearby oil depots were set ken in the windows of many downtown buildings. ablaze, along with warehouses and a grain elevator. Injuries in other buildings from the shock wave and In all, at least 581 people died, and over 3,500 were flying glass added to the numbers of victims. injured. Over 30 percent of the residential homes in The Murrah Building tragedy, coming just weeks Texas City, or about 500, were seriously damaged, after the Aum Shinrikyo attack on the Tokyo subway and two thousand people were subsequently made system, led the U.S. Congress to take action to help homeless. This horrific incident showed the obvious the nation’s largest cities to prepare to respond to ter- dangers of handling ammonium nitrate, while also rorist attacks. The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici amend- highlighting its potential utility as an explosive. ment to the 1997 Department of Defense Appropria- Ammonium nitrate fuel oil was developed in the tion Bill provided funding for the Department of 1950s as a low-cost earth-moving charge to replace Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, dynamite. The primary problem encountered in Department of Justice, Federal Emergency Manage- using this explosive is water ingress: ammonium ni- ment Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and trate readily absorbs water, which decreases its sen- Department of Energy to join the nation’s 122 largest sitivity and slows its detonation. The introduction cities in the Domestic Preparedness Program. of fuel oil helps to dissipate this effect, and it pro- motes uniform caking of the material, leading to Technical Aspects more efficient combustion. Ammonium nitrate fuel oil is a secondary explosive (the more powerful of the two types; see Explosives) Oklahoma City Bombing, 1995 and may require a booster to detonate it, depending The most horrific domestic use of ANFO as a on its water content. ANFO produces shock waves weapon has been the bombing of the Murrah Fed- that cause indirect shattering or compression of its eral Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. In seeking target (as compared to some other explosives, which out an explosive for his purposes, Timothy McVeigh work by direct shattering or “cutting” through the
    • 18 ANTHRAX target material). Ammonium nitrate has 42 percent References of the efficiency of TNT. Thus, it detonates at a veloc- Akhavan, Jaqueline, The Chemistry of Explosives, second ity of only 8,900 feet per second as compared to TNT, edition (Cambridge, UK: Royal Society of which detonates at 22,600 feet per second. Given that Chemistry, 2001). the prime ingredient of ANFO is ammonium nitrate, Blaster’s Handbook (Wilmington, DE: DuPont de most high-grade fertilizer is acceptable as a compo- Nemours, 1977). Ledgard, Jared B., The Preparatory Manual of Explosives nent. A minimum of 32 percent of the fertilizer, by (Columbus, OH: Paranoid Publications Group, weight, must be ammonium nitrate, and the material 2002). must be as dry as possible. The secondary ingredient, Military Explosives, Technical Manual No. 9-1910 fuel oil, can be either diesel fuel oil or a 1 to 1 mixture (Washington, DC: Departments of the Army and the of motor oil and gasoline. The less ammonium ni- Air Force, 14 April 1955). trate that is present in the fertilizer, the more fuel oil U.S. Army Field Manual 5-250, Explosives and is needed to offset the moisture. Demolitions (Washington, DC: Department of the As mentioned previously, ANFO is used in in- Army, 1992). dustry as an earth- and rock-moving charge for mining and earthworks. In commercial use, ANFO ANTHRAX is mixed at the site, and only as needed. The Ameri- Anthrax is an acute infectious disease and one of the can military also uses ammonium nitrate for earth- most feared BW agents, due, in part, to its high fa- moving and as a cratering charge to destroy build- tality rate. Anthrax is classified by the Centers for ings, fortifications, and bridge abutments. The Disease Control (CDC) as a category A bioterror military munition is a 40-pound device containing threat because it can be easily disseminated, it can 30 pounds of ammonium nitrate and 10 pounds of result in high mortality rates, it has the potential for TNT-based explosive as the booster. a major public health impact, it can cause public The simplicity of ANFO and availability of mate- panic and social disruption, and it requires special rials have made it popular among various terrorist action for public health preparedness. Although nu- groups for decades. In Europe, ANFO explosives have merous other category A threats are deadly, anthrax been used so widely that government regulations re- in particular elicits a sense of fear since September quire AN to be produced in prills too large to be able 2001, when it was deliberately spread through the to be used in explosives. Vehicle-borne ANFO bombs U.S. postal system. This attack caused twenty-two became a standard item, particularly with the Provi- cases of infection and five deaths. This act of bioter- sional Irish Republican Army. Over time, these vehi- rorism caused the first death from inhalatory an- cle bombs grew in size to include trucks. thrax since 1976. Ammonium nitrate is used every day by law- abiding individuals in their legal pursuits. Follow- Background ing the Oklahoma City bombing, increased law en- Anthrax was the first disease for which a microbial forcement awareness and legislation has been origin was definitively established (by Robert Koch pursued surrounding fertilizers with heavy ammo- in 1876). Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of an- nium nitrate concentrations. Due to the huge vol- thrax, is a disease of grazing mammals (sheep, cattle, ume of this material used in agricultural and com- etc.) that can be transmitted to humans (zoonose), mercial operations, it is highly unlikely that although this is uncommon nowadays. This large, complete control over its sale and movement will gram-positive (absorbs the color stain), nonmotile ever be established. Policing is left largely to the re- bacterium occurs in two distinct forms: the vegeta- tail fertilizer industry, and that policing relies on tive, rod-shaped form, which is the actively growing making note of individuals seeking this material and replicating phase, and the spore form, which is based on its composition and dryness, as well as the dormant, resistant phase. When conditions be- keeping track of the location, volume, and method come unfavorable for this microbe’s survival (e.g., of payment for each purchase. lack of nutrients), it forms a rigid outer shell through —Dan Goodrich and Eric A. Croddy a process called sporulation. These spores are oval, colorless, odorless, tasteless, microscopic, and hardy, See also: High Explosives; Oklahoma City Bombing capable of surviving in the soil for years.
    • ANTHRAX 19 An envelope tested positive for anthrax spores at the Daily Jang newspaper offices in Pakistan (November 2, 2001). (Reuters/Corbis) Although humans are more resistant to anthrax sulted in a fatality rate lower than previously esti- than grazing mammals (such as sheep), B. anthracis mated, however. can cause three distinct diseases in humans de- The second and most common form of anthrax, pending on the route of exposure. The first and making up some 95 percent of all cases, is cutaneous deadliest form, inhalation anthrax, is contracted by anthrax. This type usually occurs after contact with inhaling the spores and is the only form that poses infected animals or animal products and is usually a serious BW threat. Inhalation anthrax is charac- related to occupational exposure (anthrax was once terized by flulike symptoms including a sore throat, called wool sorter’s disease). The bacterium gains fever, muscle aches, and malaise. After this acute entry through a break in the skin, and infection be- phase, there is sometimes a brief improvement, fol- gins as a papule, progressing into an ulcer with a lowed by respiratory failure and shock, with central black necrotic area. Other symptoms include meningitis also frequently developing. Chest X-rays fever, malaise, headache, and regional lymph node usually show a characteristic widening of the medi- swelling. The term anthrax is derived from the astinum—tissues surrounding the lymph in the Greek word for coal, anthrakis, because of the char- chest—due to hemorrhaging of local lymph nodes. acteristic black skin lesions. Fatality of this type is (For more information on how anthrax spores less than 1 percent with treatment and between 5 cause disease in the body, see Biological Warfare.) and 20 percent without. Case-fatality estimates are extremely high even with The third form, gastrointestinal anthrax, is rare treatment, and close to 100 percent of those in- (no confirmed cases in the United States), usually fol- fected with inhalation anthrax will die without lows consumption of contaminated meat, and is treatment. In 2001, five of eleven inhalatory an- characterized by severe gastrointestinal symptoms. thrax cases ended in death. Improved treatment re- The fatality rate is 25–60 percent even with treatment.
    • 20 ANTHRAX Symptoms can appear within 7 days of contact for all risk. The government intends to make AVA more three disease types but can take up to 60 days to ap- widely available once further requirements are met. pear for inhalatory anthrax. The immunization involves six shots over a period of 18 months, with annual boosters. Diagnosis and Treatment During a quest for improved vaccines, the U.S. There is no rapid screening test for early inhalatory military researchers at Fort Detrick, Maryland, re- anthrax diagnosis, and because many illnesses begin quested a strain of anthrax from the Department of with flulike symptoms, the disease is difficult to Agriculture. They received a particularly virulent spot. Diagnosis is made by isolating and culturing B. strain from Texas A&M University in 1981 (but mis- anthracis from the blood, skin lesions, or respiratory takenly attributed it to the USDA laboratory in secretions, measuring serum antianthrax antibod- Ames, Iowa) and have since referred to that strain as ies, or DNA testing. Results are usually obtained the Ames strain. During the bioterrorist incidents in within 24 hours. 2001, this strain was the same used in the anthrax Upon infection, B. anthracis multiply fast, letters mailed in the United States. rapidly producing toxins and spreading from the Anthrax has played a long and devastating role in lungs into the bloodstream, resulting in death human history. An epidemic in seventeenth-century within days. Once flulike symptoms appear, the bac- Europe caused 60,000 deaths. Today, only approxi- teria have already produced copious amounts of mately 2,000 human cases are reported worldwide toxins, against which antibiotics are useless. There- annually; these are mostly the cutaneous type and fore, once a victim is symptomatic, anthrax has occur mostly in developing countries (rarely do any nearly always progressed too far for treatment. An- cases occur in the United States). The largest inter- thrax is usually susceptible to the antibiotics amox- national outbreak in modern times has been in icillin or doxycycline, but in a BW attack, antibiotic Zimbabwe (1979–1980), with more than 10,000 resistance is possible due to the potential of genetic people infected and over 180 deaths. Nearly all of manipulation by the weapon designer; therefore, al- these were of the cutaneous form of anthrax, al- ternate antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (“Cipro”) though some cases of inhalational and gastrointesti- may need to be used. Before the 2001 attacks, nal anthrax cannot be ruled out. ciprofloxacin was considered the first line of defense Before the advent of safer handling processes, for anthrax. To avoid individuals’ developing resis- vaccines, and improved veterinary management of tance to ciprofloxacin, however, the CDC now rec- domesticated animals, “wool sorter’s disease” was a ommends initially considering other antibiotics that relatively common occupational hazard in wool-re- are equally effective (in the absence of resistance), lated textile mills, especially during the eighteenth- are less expensive, and have fewer side effects. Treat- century Industrial Revolution. This deadly job-re- ment is continued for 60 days due to the possibility lated illness was caused by inhaled anthrax spores of delayed spore germination. liberated from newly spun wool, causing not only cutaneous but also the more deadly inhalational an- History thrax. This hazard became much less common in In 1876, Robert Koch first described B. anthracis as the twentieth century, however, and is nearly un- the cause of anthrax, which helped lead to the first heard of today. According to the Center for Non- animal anthrax vaccine, developed by Louis Pasteur proliferation Studies, between 1900 and 1978 only in 1881. Max Sterne developed an improved attenu- eighteen cases of inhalatory anthrax were reported ated (mutated) live animal vaccine in the 1930s, in the United States. Two of those occurred among which is still used today. researchers working in a medical laboratory. Human vaccines (live attenuated) were devel- One landmark case occurred in 1957 in Man- oped in the Soviet Union in 1940 and in the United chester, New Hampshire, when nine workers at a States and Great Britain (bacteria-free filtrates from goat hair processing plant became infected after attenuated strains) in the 1950s. An improved ver- handling a contaminated shipment of skins from sion called Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) is pro- Pakistan. Four of the five workers who contracted duced by BioPort and was approved in 1970 by the inhalation anthrax died. Interestingly, the individu- U.S. Food and Drug Administration for those at als who died were not vaccinated against anthrax.
    • ANTHRAX 21 Although the numbers of actual cases were too anthrax epidemic in this century. The official Soviet small for a proper scientific conclusion, one of the statistics reported years later that 96 people were in- lessons learned from this incident is that inoculating fected, resulting in 64 deaths. Others have estimated workers with anthrax vaccine probably protected that between 68 and 600 deaths were caused by this them from the inhalational form of the disease. accidental release of anthrax. Soviet officials attrib- uted the outbreak to contaminated meat, but in Bioterrorism 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged Evidence suggests that during World War I, Ger- that military-related anthrax study was conducted many used covert operations with anthrax-infected at the research institute. In addition, Soviet BW test- animal feed and livestock against the Allied forces ing was conducted on Vozrozhdeniye Island in the and injected anthrax into American livestock. Japan Aral Sea in the 1970s and 1980s. also conducted BW research in occupied In 1997, Russian scientists reported that they had Manchuria, China from 1932 to 1945. Approxi- created a genetically engineered vaccine-resistant mately 3,000 scientists worked to weaponize an- strain that caused anthrax in laboratory animals, thrax and other disease agents. The Japanese re- but have denied other researchers access to their dis- search program, designated Unit 731, tested anthrax covery. The Pentagon announced plans to copy the bombs on humans. Anthrax-contaminated food Russian experiment to test the efficacy of the cur- was dropped on Chinese cities, and anthrax-filled rent U.S. vaccine. Currently, the United States and chocolates were given to children in Nanking, Russia are in discussions over how to obtain this China. By the end of World War II, the Japanese BW strain for additional testing. program had stockpiled nearly 900 pounds of an- In 1985, Iraq began an offensive BW program thrax, to be used in specially designed fragmenta- and, after the Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the tion bombs. After the war, Unit 731 leaders were UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) that it had granted immunity from war crimes prosecution in amassed 6,000 liters of anthrax, deployed 5 Scud return for the disclosure of their research. missiles and several 122-mm rockets filled with an- The United States and Great Britain thrax, and produced 50 bombs filled with anthrax weaponized anthrax during World War II as a po- spores. They also had spray tanks fitted to aircraft tential retaliatory weapon against a German BW that could distribute biological agents over a specific attack. In 1942, the United States formed the War target. These “death-drones” were targeted during Research Service. About 5,000 anthrax-filled Desert Fox, the joint U.S./U.K. air attack on Iraqi bombs were produced at Camp Detrick, Maryland BW installations in December 1998. (now Fort Detrick). The British tested anthrax Aum Shinrikyo, the doomsday cult behind the bombs on Gruinard Island off the northwest coast deadly sarin gas attack in Tokyo’s subway in 1995, of Scotland (1942–1943). They also stockpiled an- tried twice to disperse aerosol anthrax from the roof thrax-laced cattle cakes. of Aum Shinrikyo’s office building in Tokyo in 1993. President Richard Nixon terminated the U.S. of- The attacks failed, partly because they used the non- fensive BW program in 1969, and the U.S. Army toxic vaccine strain (Sterne). Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases The threat from state-sponsored programs using (USAMRIID) was established to develop BW de- anthrax as a biological weapon is difficult to assess, fenses. The United States, Soviet Union, Iraq, and as many countries are capable of producing and de- many other countries later signed the 1972 Biologi- livering this weapon. But, as the case below demon- cal Weapons Convention (BWC). strates, even smaller groups or individuals are capa- Despite their treaty obligations, however, the So- ble of causing great harm and anxiety using anthrax viets maintained a huge BW program until at least as a weapon of terror. 1992. They built a production facility for anthrax bombs at Stepnogorsk (located in Kazakhstan). On The 2001 U.S. Anthrax Attack April 2, 1979, Military Compound 19 (the Microbi- Shortly after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade ology and Virology Institute) in Sverdlovsk (now Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, four Yekaterinburg) accidentally released anthrax spores anthrax-laced letters were mailed from Trenton, into the atmosphere, causing the largest inhalatory New Jersey, to the New York Post, the NBC Television
    • 22 ANTHRAX studios in New York, and Senators Tom Daschle and Table A-10: Chronology of Events in 2001 U.S. Anthrax Patrick Leahy. A fifth letter (sent to American Attacks Media, Inc.) was apparently discarded after being 9/18, Trenton, NJ Anthrax letters mailed to NBC, NY opened. An estimated total of 10 grams of spores Post, and probably to the were contained in the letters, leading to 22 anthrax National Enquirer (AMI). cases in 4 states (New York, New Jersey, Florida, and 9/19–25, NYC NBC received and opened anthrax Connecticut) and the District of Columbia. The letter; not recognized as dangerous and not reported by CDC confirmed that eleven victims were infected media. from inhalatory anthrax (five of these victims died), 9/22, NYC First suspected case of cutaneous and eleven others suffered from cutaneous anthrax. anthrax, 30-year-old woman, NY Genetic analyses of the anthrax in the letters Post employee. matched perfectly with Fort Detrick’s 1980 Ames 10/5, Boca Raton, FL First death from inhalatory anthrax (Stevens, 63, photo editor, strain. Therefore, the source of anthrax was proba- American Media, Inc. [AMI]). bly the U.S. biological warfare program, which had 10/8, Boca Raton, FL Second AMI person sick (Blanco, 73, officially destroyed its stores of weaponized anthrax mailroom worker); inhalatory in 1969. Given the origin of the anthrax and the anthrax later confirmed; FBI warnings contained in the letters (“We have this an- takes over investigation. thrax. You die now. Are you afraid?”), the perpetra- 10/9, Trenton, NJ Anthrax letters mailed to Daschle and Leahy. tor’s motive was probably not to kill large numbers 10/10, Boca Raton, FL Third AMI worker (mailroom of people but to raise public fear. Although the worker) tests positive for death toll was relatively low, the strikes crippled anthrax. Anthrax strain appears business, government, and postal services and to be Ames. strained the public health system. 10/12, NYC Cutaneous anthrax case reported at NBC (Tom Brokaw’s assistant). 10/13, NYC NBC anthrax letter first reported. Technical Aspects 10/13, Boca Raton, FL At least 6 workers at AMI have tested To reach the lower lung and be most effective, an- positive for anthrax. thrax spores need to be delivered in particles 1–10 10/5, Washington, DC Daschle's office opens anthrax letter. microns (µm). Particles of much larger size are 10/16, Trenton, NJ Two postal workers report more apt to stick in upper airways and the throat, symptoms; by 10/20 are diagnosed with inhalatory where a higher dose is required to cause infection. anthrax. As the spores measure approximately 1 um, a pow- 10/19, NYC Anthrax letter found unopened in der of individual spores is best, but natural surface mailroom. charges cause spores to clump and to stick to sur- 10/20 First mention that source is probably faces, making aerosolization difficult. domestic. 10/21, Washington, DC Several DC postal workers may have Anthrax “weaponization” is the purification, sep- anthrax. Second anthrax death aration, and concentration of spores into fine parti- (Morris, 55, postal worker). cles capable of aerosolization (i.e., having a neutral- 10/22, Washington, DC Third anthrax death (Curseen, 47, ized surface charge), with a very narrow size range postal worker). (1.5–3 microns in diameter) and an extraordinary 10/31, NYC Fourth death (Nguyen, 61, hospital concentration (one trillion spores per gram) and worker). Presumed cross- contamination of mail. purity. The anthrax spores contained in the 2001 11/6, CT Fifth anthrax death (Lundgren, 94). senators’ letters were uniformly tiny and had no sur- Presumed cross-contamination face charge, and were therefore weaponized. of mail. Inhalatory anthrax is the most likely form of dis- ease to follow a BW attack and will likely involve the aerosolized delivery of spores. An aerosol spray of spores would leave little to no indication of disper- ington, D.C., would result in up to 3 million deaths sal until a resulting, sudden outbreak of inhalatory (WHO Expert Committee, 1970). anthrax occurred. It has been estimated that a re- Current anthrax defensive research involves im- lease of 100 kilograms of spores upwind of Wash- proving rapid diagnostic methods and prophylactic
    • ARALSK SMALLPOX OUTBREAK 23 and advanced therapeutic regimens. Some new was a smallpox outbreak at Aralsk or that the Soviet treatment methods might include specially pre- Union had weaponized the smallpox virus was un- pared antibodies, and substances designed to block known until the 1990s. the anthrax toxin at the cellular level. From about 1936 to 1992, Vozrozhdeniye (Re- —Beverly Rider naissance) Island, located between Kazakhstan and See also: Aerosol; Bioterrorism; Sverdlovsk Anthrax Uzbekistan, was the site of open-air field testing of Accident BW agents developed by the Soviet military. At References various times, Soviet military scientists tested the Alibek, K., and S. Handelman, Biohazard: The Chilling BW agents Francisella tularensis (tularemia), True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Yersinia pestis (bubonic plague), Bacillus anthracis, Program in the World (New York: Random House, and smallpox virus (Variola major) at the Vozrozh- 1999). deniye Island facility. Vozrozhdeniye Island lies on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Aral Sea, as does the city of Aralsk, then a city anthrax website, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/ with a population of about 50,000. In fall 1971, an diseaseinfo/anthrax_g.htm. Department of Defense Anthrax Vaccine Immunization outbreak of smallpox infected ten people, three of Program (AVIP) website, http://www.anthrax.osd.mil. whom died. Officially, the Soviet Union had eradi- Friedlander, Arthur M., “Anthrax,” in Frederick R. Sidell, cated smallpox as a disease on its extended terri- Ernest T. Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., Textbook tory by 1940. (Cases of smallpox had been re- of Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, Weaponry, and ported by the Soviet Union in 1961, but apparently the Casualty: Medical Aspects of Chemical and these infections were brought into the country by Biological Warfare (Washington, DC: Borden travelers.) Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 1997), In 1952, concerned that the United States could pp. 467–478. use offensive BW against the Soviet Union, the So- Inglesby, Thomas V., et al. “Anthrax as a Biological viet military restarted a field testing program for bi- Weapon, 2002: Updated Recommendations for ological weapons at Vozrozhdeniye Island. Two Management,” Journal of the American Medical years later, the Soviet military established a center Association, vol. 287, no. 17, May 2002, pp. 2236–2252. for smallpox research at Zagorsk (now Sergiyev Meselson, Matthew Jeanne Guillemin, Martin Hugh- Posad). At first, the mission of the Scientific Re- Jones, Alexander Langmuir, Ilona Popova, Alexis search Institute of Medicine (now called the Virol- Shelokov, and Olga Yamplskaya, “The Sverdlovsk ogy Center of the Scientific Research Institute of Anthrax Outbreak of 1979,” Science, vol. 266, Nov. Microbiology) at Zagorsk was to develop smallpox 18, 1994, pp. 1202–1208. vaccine, but by the 1960s, intense efforts to World Health Organization, Expert Committee, Health weaponize BW agents, including Variola virus, were Aspects of Chemical & Biological Weapons, first underway. edition (Geneva: United Nations, 1970). On about July 15, 1971, a Soviet research boat began an extended voyage in and around the Aral ARALSK SMALLPOX OUTBREAK Sea, starting from Aralsk. It made about twenty- Although smallpox has been eradicated for more five stops at various research stations before re- than 25 years and was nearing extinction as a disease turning home. On board were a number of scien- in many parts of the world, an outbreak of smallpox tific researchers and staff, including an expert on occurred in 1971 in Aralsk, Kazahkstan (at the time fisheries (ichthyologist). The job of this individual, still part of the Soviet Union). Alan P. Zelicoff, M.D., who would turn out to be smallpox patient num- a researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s San- ber 1, was to cast nets and collect fish and plant dia National Laboratories, has reported (2002, specimens. Because her duties required her to be Tucker and Zilinskas) that the origin of the small- outside on the boat, it is possible that she was more pox outbreak in Aralsk was most likely the result of vulnerable to exposure to smallpox from Soviet Soviet biological weapons testing of Variola major open-air testing. On August 6, the researcher de- virus, the causative agent of smallpox. Other experts veloped symptoms that would later be diagnosed are more reserved, and some wholeheartedly dis- as smallpox, but only after she had infected nine agree with Zelicoff. In the event the fact that there more people.
    • 24 ARBUSOV REACTION If indeed the researcher had acquired her infec- ARBUSOV REACTION tion as a result of open-air testing of Variola major Two giants in the development of organophospho- virus, it was mostly a function of Soviet military se- rus chemistry—Carl Arnold August Michaelis (d. crecy that prevented early diagnosis of smallpox 1916) and Aleksandr Erminingeldovich Arbuzov (d. among the victims of Aralsk. Because the Soviet 1968)—are often cited in the scientific literature as Union had officially eradicated smallpox 30 years having described a chemical reaction that is typical prior to the incident, attending physicians first as- in nerve agent synthesis. Both Michaelis and Arbu- cribed the illness to various causes and did not ini- zov conducted groundbreaking research in the syn- tially consider smallpox as the source. Eventually, thesis and description of countless phosphorus- three of the ten people who became ill with small- containing substances. The German chemist pox died. The three who died had not been vacci- Michaelis was in many ways the founder of this par- nated against the disease and developed the most se- ticular subset of chemistry, and Arbuzov (as well as rious form of hemorrhagic smallpox. Thirty years his son and daughter) continued this work. Today, later, during an interview with the Russian press in there still stands the A. E. Arbuzov Institute of Or- November 2001, Dr. Pyotr Burgasov, former chief ganic and Physical Chemistry of the Kazan Scien- hygiene medical officer for the Soviet Union, said tific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences that a female researcher on a research boat that had (Volga region). neared Vozrozhdeniye Island had been infected with The Arbuzov (or Michaelis-Arbuzov) reaction smallpox and had subsequently spread the disease occurs when a carbon atom or chain (alkylation) is to others in Aralsk. Dr. Burgasov claimed that the combined to a trivalent phosphoric ester, that is, an outbreak was caused by the open-air test release of acidic phosphate surrounded by three alcohol about 400 grams of smallpox virus. Because Dr. groups. The carbon-phosphorus bond—a key fea- Burgasov had previously been known to deny the ture of the more toxic nerve agents (e.g., Sarin, VX, existence of a Soviet BW program (particularly con- etc.)—can then be produced by an alkyl halide (a cerning the Sverdlovsk anthrax outbreak in 1979), carbon group with a halogen), such as methyl io- his anecdote is especially important to support the dide. According to Japanese sources, the terrorist theory that the smallpox outbreak in 1971 indeed cult Aum Shinrikyo used an analogous route of syn- was caused by Soviet BW testing at Vozrozhdeniye thesis when producing sarin nerve agent. Aum op- Island. eratives disseminated sarin on at least three occa- Although the exact cause of the Aralsk small- sions, resulting in the deaths of seven people in 1994 pox outbreak has not been officially determined (Matsumoto City), and in twelve deaths and more by any government—including that of Russia— than 1,000 people being injured during an attack on the preponderance of evidence leads to the con- the Tokyo subway in 1995. clusion that an accidental exposure from open air Curiously, neither Michaelis nor Arbuzov them- testing on Vozrozhdeniye Island was the source of selves produced organophosphate esters that were the infection. exceptionally toxic to mammals—or if they did so, —Eric A. Croddy these went unreported. This would have to wait for See also: Biopreparat; Russia: Chemical and Biological German chemists who synthesized tabun (quite by Weapons Programs; Smallpox accident) and other nerve agents in the late 1930s. References —Eric A. Croddy Elkin, I. M., “Military-Epidemiological Doctrine (Based See also: Aum Shinrikyo; Nerve Agents on the Lessons from Anti-Epidemic Protection of References the Troops in the Great Patriotic War in Engel, Robert, Synthesis of Carbon-Phosphorus Bonds 1941–1945),” Zhurnal Mikrobiologii, Epidemiologii y (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1988). Immunobiologii, no. 5, May 1980, pp. 11–13. Kosolapoff, Gennady M., Organophosphorus Compounds Tucker, Jonathon B., and Raymond Zilinskas, eds., The (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1950). 1971 Smallpox Epidemic in Aralksk, Kazakhstan, and the Soviet Biological Warfare Program, Occasional Paper #9 (Monterey, CA: Center for ARSENICALS Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of Arsenic (As) has long been recognized for its highly International Studies, July 2002). toxic properties, as a pure metal or, more often, in its
    • ARSENICALS 25 oxide form. Chemical experts in the Chinese Peo- the American chemist Major Roger Adams in ple’s Liberation Army (PLA) have written: “In the 1918. This RCA is often referred to as adamsite. It year 1000 (A.D.), there was one named Tangfu, who is not likely to be considered a CW agent with made poison fire grenades and gave them to the enough toxicity to warrant being used as a WMD. Chao court of the Song dynasty. The poisonous Even so, this and other arsenicals are extremely smoke ball, containing arsenic oxide (As2O3) and a toxic, much more so than compounds such as CS type of poison derived from crotonaldehyde, looked tear gas (see adamsite). a bit like a precursor to a chemical gas grenade. After One of the first arsenic-based chemicals used as lighting its fuse, this weapon would belch out smoke a means of warfare was arsine gas (AsH3). Despite poisoning the enemy, and thus weakening their abil- its high toxicity, early efforts in weaponizing arsine ity to fight” (Cheng and Shi, p. 7). were frustrated by its flammability. (Attempts dur- Metallic arsenic (and its use as a poison) has ing World War I to use hydrogen cyanide [HCN] been responsible not only for countless murders, failed for the same reason.) Chemical weapons de- but it was also responsible for a horrific environ- signers in World War I then looked to organic com- mental catastrophe in Bangladesh. By the late twen- pounds containing arsenic, such as ethyldichlorar- tieth century, some 70 million people in Bangladesh sine, the effects of which had been well described as were at risk from arsenic poisoning from contami- early as 1880. As LaCoste wrote, “[Ethyl dichlorar- nated groundwater. sine] has a very powerful irritant action on the mu- In CW, numerous toxic compounds containing cous membranes of the eyes and nose, causes arsenic, roughly categorized as arsenicals, were de- painful blistering of the skin, and is very dangerous veloped during World War I. Arsenicals first ap- for those working with it, since its vapor causes res- peared in the form of substances that are immedi- piratory [distress], faintness, and long lasting paral- ately irritating to the eyes, nose and throat—such as ysis and [numbness] of the extremities” (Vedder, diphenylcyanoarsine—but blister-causing types of 1925, p. 173). Drawing upon this knowledge, Ger- agent (vesicant) also formed a significant part of the man chemical weapons scientists first used an ar- chemical weapons used during the war. (Lewisite, senical in an artillery munition called Blue Cross, arguably the most important arsenical agent, was which contained mostly diphenylchlorarsine and not used in World War I because it was invented too diphenylcyanoarsine. late for use on the battlefield.) The Japanese military There were specific, tactical reasons for choosing made use of arsenicals, especially diphenylcyanoar- arsenical compounds for battlefield use. By 1917, sine, against Chinese troops on the mainland and most belligerents were well prepared against inhala- Taiwan in the 1930s. Japanese forces also may have tion threats on the battlefield. Since the introduc- used lewisite (or a close analogue) during World tion of gas warfare in 1915, the use of improved pro- War II, but only against Chinese forces. Other refer- tective masks had reduced casualties produced by ences have suggested that lewisite has never been chlorine, phosgene, and other agents. Military used in appreciable amounts in warfare. By the end chemists had not been able to devise substances that of World War II, both the United States and Ger- could break through gas masks, directly attack the many had stockpiled large quantities of lewisite for skin, or both. The use of arsenicals such as chemical munitions, but those were later sup- diphenylchlorarsine (“Clark I”) and diphenyl- planted by more effective CW agents such as the cyanoarsine (“Clark II”) was intended to render gas highly toxic organophosphates (i.e., nerve agents). masks ineffective by delivering these agents in a fine It is difficult to conceive of most arsenicals in aerosol, producing very small particles that would the same vein as weapons of mass destruction penetrate the filters used in protective masks at the (WMD). Highly toxic lewisite is certainly a well- time. (In fact, the term aerosol has its origins in re- known CW agent, but other arsenic-based organic search in the early twentieth century regarding the compounds are better described as irritating or behavior of irritating arsenical smokes. See also riot control agents (RCAs, or tear gas). Also re- Aerosol.) Because of their extreme irritation of the ferred to as a vomiting agent, diphenylaminochlor- nose and throat, these CW agents earned the appel- arsine (DM) was independently invented by the lation of sternutators or sneeze producers. Their use German chemist Heinrich Wieland in 1915 and was intended to force removal of the mask, making
    • 26 ARSENICALS the enemy vulnerable to further assault with other some degree in World War I. By 1918, however, sul- toxic agents. fur mustard became the dominant blister agent on In September 1917, Germany launched the first the battlefield and the cause of most chemical casu- significant barrage against Russian troops using alties in the entire war. German military comman- diphenylchlorarsine at Uexhuell near the Dvina ders saw a potential role for a CW agent that was River. In July 1918, German military headquarters fast-acting, more volatile, and would clear an area reported the following about Blue Cross shells: “In more quickly than mustard. Ethyldichlorarsine had sufficient concentrations it penetrates the French such properties. In contrast, sulfur mustard caused mask effectively and the English mask to a lesser de- injury only after considerable delay but was much gree, in which case it forces the enemy to tear off more persistent, making it more suitable for defen- their masks. For this reason a mixture of blue and sive operations. Because Germany was planning a green cross [that is, pulmonary irritants such as major offensive by spring 1918, ethyldichlorarsine phosgene] is recommended” (Vedder, p. 174). was produced for the western front by March of that The German development of diphenylcyanoar- year. Referred to by the Germans as Dick and coded sine was even more effective than its predecessor, Yellow Cross I (differentiating it from Yellow Cross, diphenylchlorarsine. Augustin Prentiss, a World War which was sulfur mustard), its overall impact as a I contemporary and expert on chemical weapons, vesicant was largely overshadowed by its lung-irri- commented on this CW agent:“In diphenylcyanoar- tating properties. It is not clear how many casualties sine, we have the extreme limit of effectiveness in low were caused due to Yellow Cross I, including its less concentrations of all chemical agents used in the war. toxic relative, ethyldibromarsine. Thus, a concentration of 0.00025 mg. per liter is in- Dr. W. Lee Lewis, an American chemist, invented tolerable if inhaled for 1 minute. As a man at rest chlorovinyldichloroarsine, which was subsequently normally inhales 8 liters of air per minute, he would named lewisite in his honor in 1917. It also was absorb only 0.0002 mg of the substance in that time. called the dew of death, given its possible use by dis- This is, however, sufficient to incapacitate him for an semination from aircraft. Lewisite is a true vesicant hour. For an average man, weighing 154 lbs as well as a highly irritating CW agent, and it may (70,000,000 mg), this means that diphenylcyanoar- have been manufactured by Germany at the same sine is effective in the ration of 1:35,000,000 of body time of Lewis’s discovery. If Germany did manufac- weight, which makes it the strongest of all the known ture lewisite in quantity, it is unknown why they did irritants” (Prentiss, p. 211). not use it. Full-scale manufacture of lewisite by the It proved difficult, however, to deliver these Blue United States began at a facility in a Cleveland, Cross agents in particles small enough to achieve the Ohio, suburb in 1918. Before the Allies could em- desired effect of being a reliable mask breaker. ploy lewisite in World War I, however, the armistice Among the American Expeditionary Forces that had brought an end to the conflict. Lewisite had al- had by this time entered the fray, statistics compiled ready been shipped across the Atlantic, and due to found that only 577 casualties and 3 deaths were its instability, it was dumped into the ocean for caused by these respiratory-irritant chemicals. quick disposal. Other statistics from casualty reports of the war Lewisite is absorbed through membranes of the support the conclusion that Blue Cross agents were skin, causing extreme irritation and blistering, as not very successful. well as destruction of tissue in the upper respiratory By September 1918, Germany also had intro- tract. Lewisite has potent damaging effects on the duced phenyldichlorarsine, ethyldichlorarsine, and eyes, and exposure without adequate decontamina- ethydibromarsine as toxic lung agents. In addition tion may cause blindness. It is believed that the tox- to its highly irritating effects, ethyldichlorarsine was icological action of lewisite focuses upon inhibition recognized for its toxicological properties as a vesi- of enzymes in the body. cant or blister agent. Following World War I, military chemists com- pared the inhalation exposure toxicities of various The Arsenical Vesicants arsenicals and blister agents (e.g., mustard), ranking The blistering effects of some compounds, includ- them in order of most toxic to least toxic (figures are ing the arsenical ethyldichlorarsine, were utilized to from Prentiss, 1937):
    • ARSENICALS 27 Table A-11: Toxicity of Arsenical Vesicants treating victims of lewisite exposure is thorough de- contamination. But there is also a chemical antidote Agent using chelation therapy, that is, the use of chemicals Lewisite Most Toxic to “grab” arsenic from solution. Because arsenic has Mustard affinity for certain chemical groups, especially sul- Phenyldibromarsine fur, compounds such as dimercaprol, traditionally Phenyldichlorarsine Ethyldichlorarsine called British Anti-Lewisite (BAL), have been found Methyldichlorarsine effective in treating lewisite poisoning. Not enough Dibromethyl sulfide Least Toxic data exist on human cases, however, to determine the extent of its efficacy. More recent improvements upon BAL include therapeutics that can be admin- According to a Chinese text on chemical istered orally, namely the water-soluble dimercapto- weaponry, which draws upon a reference by Franke succinic acid (DMSA) and dimercapto–1-propane- (1967): sulfonic acid (DMPS). Although arsenic is poisonous, it has multiple Lewisite is a colorless, oily liquid that in its actual uses in civilian applications. Due to its ubiquity, production takes on a brown color. Very low con- some arsenic compounds are controlled out of con- centrations of Lewisite vapor produce an odor cern that they could be used to produce chemical similar to geraniums. The volatility of lewisite is weapons. For example, a common method of man- greater than that of mustard, easily forms high ufacturing lewisite is to start with arsenic trichloride densities on the battlefield, and one does not need (AsCl3), a precursor that is restricted by the Chemi- to add anti-freezing solvents to use lewisite during winter. Because of these properties, and the very cal Weapons Convention (CWC). By the same close relationship between lewisite and mustard, token, existing stocks of lewisite that are slated for they are often used in tandem. Lewisite hydrolyzes destruction may be recycled for peaceful uses. Be- in water faster than mustard, but in this instance cause the former Soviet Union had a considerably the degradation products are toxic. Additionally, large stockpile of lewisite-filled munitions (often lewisite in its liquid form penetrates the skin at a mixed with sulfur mustard), chemical demilitariza- rate 3–4 times faster than mustard (Cheng and tion efforts have focused upon extracting arsenic Shi, p. 17). from lewisite stocks for recycling. Arsenic is used in a variety of industrial process, including gallium-ar- The mixing of lewisite with mustard was, in fact, senide semiconductor chips, although it is unclear a common practice in the Japanese military’s use of whether such a venture is economically viable. Ar- vesicants, as well as in Soviet doctrine for chemical senic is still utilized in formulations for insecticides munitions. The need for this chemical cocktail was and in fungicidal treatments for lumber. caused by the fact that sulfur mustard congeals at a —Eric A. Croddy relatively high temperature. Mixing mustard with See also: Vesicants; World War I solvents, including not only lewisite and other chlo- References rinated hydrocarbons but also the nerve agent diiso- Cheng Shuiting and Shi Zhiyuan, Military Technology propyl fluorophosphate (DFP), has been done to Information Handbook: Chemical Weapons, second bring down the freezing point of mustard for use in edition (Beijing: People’s Liberation Army Press, winter. 1999; second printing, January 2000). In addition to the blistering and the irritant ef- Franke, Siegfried, Manual of Military Chemistry, vol. 1, fect on skin, eyes, and the respiratory system, Chemistry of Chemical Warfare [Lehrbuch der Militärchemie der Kampfstoffe], (East Berlin: lewisite also serves as a systemic poison. Skin dam- Deutscher Militärverlag, 1967). age as a result of lewisite exposure, however, is ex- Prentiss, Augustin M., Chemicals in War: A Treatise on pected to heal faster than that caused by mustard. Chemical Warfare (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1937). Effects of lewisite on skin, including extreme pain Sidell, Frederick R., “Riot Control Agents,” in Frederick and redness, occur within minutes of exposure, with R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., blisters forming about 10–15 hours later. As in the Textbook of Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, case of mustard exposure, the first approach to Weaponry, and the Casualty: Medical Aspects of
    • 28 ATROPINE Chemical and Biological Warfare (Washington, DC: effects include scopalomine. The latter drug has sig- Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, nificant hallucinogenic properties and is the toxic 1997), pp. 307–324. principle in Jimson’s weed (Datura). This family of Vedder, Edward B., The Medical Aspects of Chemical compounds has been thoroughly investigated by Warfare (Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1925). chemical warfare programs in the United States, former Soviet Union, and Warsaw Pact nations (in- ATROPINE cluding East Germany). Some analogues were The first line of defense against nerve agent poison- found to have potential value as incapacitating ing is a drug called atropine. This compound has agents, such as BZ, the code name of one of these been used for centuries in various ways, one of agents (3-quinuclindinyl benzilate). these being to cause the dilation of the pupils in the The effects of the belladonna and Datura alka- eyes. At one time, it was very fashionable in Europe loids on the human body have been known for cen- for women to have dilated pupils, and extracts from turies. Symptoms of atropine intoxication can be the belladonna plant were used for this purpose. described in well-known similes: Blind as a bat (The same is done today for eye examinations; at- (pupils become excessively dilated, blurring the vi- ropine is used to widen pupils to allow the practi- sion); dry as a bone (atropine shuts down the sweat tioner to see better into the patient’s retinal space.) glands); red as a beet (atropine causes the skin to This drug and others like it are still referred to as flush through dilation of the blood vessels); mad as the belladonna group of compounds, from the Ital- a hatter (for its hallucinogenic and behavioral mod- ian for beautiful lady. Atropine, a so-called alkaloid ification); and hot as a hare (lack of perspiration (nitrogen-carbon compounds that are noted for causes body temperature to rise). Although very their pharmacological effects), is found in the small amounts of these drugs can cause physiologi- deadly nightshade plant (Atropa belladonna) and in cal symptoms, humans can tolerate significant doses other related species of the genus Solanaceae, such of atropine. One immediate danger from atropine as henbane. Related compounds that have similar intoxication is the propensity for hyperthermia. Militaries and emergency responders can treat nerve agent casualties with atropine and oxime. (Reuters/Corbis)
    • AUM SHINRIKYO 29 Atropine is primarily known for its life-saving, tion of 2 milligrams of atropine. A Chinese military diagnostic, and therapeutic uses in health care set- textbook recommends the following doses for nerve tings. There have, however, been instances when at- agent exposure, which are typical of those found ropine has been utilized as a potential mass casualty prescribed by various armed forces: “1–2 mg for weapon, including a plot to cause mass poisoning. light injuries, 3–5 mg for moderate, and 5–10 mg for In the late 1950s, a large number of saltshakers in a serious exposures. If symptoms have not lessened in cafeteria that served employees of Radio Free Eu- their severity after 10–30 minutes, one should con- rope were adulterated with atropine, enough to have sider increasing the above dosage. Datura and other caused serious poisoning at least (although proba- Chinese medicinal herbs can also provide therapeu- bly not death). The plot was foiled when a spy tic benefit.” (Cheng and Shi, p. 82). alerted the authorities about the poisoned salt, later The effects of atropine injected in humans at assayed to find about 25 milligrams of atropine per varying doses have been described in the existing lit- shaker. erature. At 0.5 milligrams, there is dryness of the Relatively large doses (up to 1 gram) of atropine skin with a slowed heart rate. Between 1 and 2 mil- may be called for to treat cases of exposure to ligrams, one sees dilation of pupils (madriasis) and organophosphate insecticides, and there is a very faster heartbeats. Above 10 milligrams, there is delir- different set of treatment protocols and treatment ium, apathy, and hallucinations, followed by uncon- duration for these than for military nerve agents. sciousness. In the absence of nerve agent poisoning, Following exposure to a toxic organophosphate, ad- the doses delivered in autoinjectors (2 milligrams) ministration of atropine counterbalances danger- are tolerated quite well. In the false belief of a nerve ously high levels of the neurotransmitter acetyl- agent attack during the Gulf War (1991), many Is- choline, a condition brought on by the effects of raeli citizens self-administered atropine in the midst nerve agents (e.g., sarin). Nerve agents, having of Iraqi Scud missile raids. No untoward effects were blocked or inhibited the function of acetyl- reported. cholinesterase (AChE) enzyme that keeps the acetyl- —Eric A. Croddy choline levels in balance, results in an increase in See also: Nerve Agents; Psychoincapacitants acetylcholine molecules. This chemical stimulates References receptors in the nervous system, causing exhaustion Cheng Shuiting and Shi Zhiyuan, Military Technology in the breathing muscles, changes in heart rhythm, Information Handbook: Chemical Weapons, second and secretions in the throat that can asphyxiate the edition (Beijing: People’s Liberation Army Press, victim. Atropine, on the other hand, is a so-called 1999; second printing, January 2000). anticholinergic compound: it partially blocks recep- Franke, Siegfried, Manual of Military Chemistry, vol. 1, tors in the nervous system, protecting them from Chemistry of Chemical Warfare [Lehrbuch der Militärchemie der Kampfstoffe] (East Berlin: excessive levels of acetylcholine stimulation. Al- Deutscher Militärverlag, 1967). though atropine does little for involuntary twitch- Sidell, Frederick R., “Nerve Agents,” in Frederick R. ing in skeletal muscles, it does help to dry up secre- Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., tions and restore some normalcy to the rest of the Textbook of Military Medicine, Part I: Warfare, nervous system. Weaponry, and the Casualty: Medical Aspects of Longer-term treatment of nerve agent poisoning Chemical and Biological Warfare (Washington, DC: may include administering chemical compounds Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, called oximes. These help restore the normal activ- 1997), pp. 129–196. ity of AChE by releasing the enzyme (via dephos- phorylation, the breaking of the phosphate-enzyme AUM SHINRIKYO bond) from the nerve agent’s blockage. Oxime treat- The Japanese apocalyptic group Aum Shinrikyo ment in conjunction with atropine increases the (“Supreme Truth”) is generally credited with chances of survival for victims exposed to nerve opening the Pandora’s box of WMD terrorism agents. with its sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system Atropine for treatment of nerve agents is fielded on March 20, 1995. Although this was not the first in the form of autoinjectors. These are spring- ever chemical or biological terrorism attack, it was loaded syringes that deliver an intramuscular injec- of such a scale (5 trains on 3 separate lines attacked
    • 30 AUM SHINRIKYO nearly simultaneously, resulting in 12 deaths and Their preparedness to assume governmental func- more than 1,000 people seriously injured) that it is tions complemented their absolute opposition to generally regarded as the benchmark for the begin- the existing government, inspiring preparation for ning of modern WMD terrorism. The subway at- violent action to accelerate or augment the coming tack was not the first Aum Shinrikyo chemical ter- apocalypse and to protect the group until that day ror attack. It was preceded by attempts to develop arrived. Aum Shinrikyo developed hierarchical op- and employ biological weapons. Thus, Aum Shin- erational organs, a highly sophisticated infrastruc- rikyo stands as a valuable case study regarding both ture, and extensive support mechanisms. Using the the dangers of WMD terrorism and of the signifi- broader religious periphery for first-level recruit- cant difficulties that even a well-financed group ment and basic funding, Aum Shinrikyo developed with internal technical expertise might encounter business enterprises and internally selected techni- in employing WMD for mass casualty effects. cal experts to support its action program. These in- Aum Shinrikyo represented, at once, a “new reli- cluded both conventional, chemical, and biological gion,” a political movement, and a fanatical apoca- weapons labs derived from legitimate cover enter- lyptic cult willing to use mass casualty terrorism to prises. The Aum Shinrikyo weapons program was accelerate and achieve what it saw as its preordained ultimately as well financed and technically sup- destiny. Aum Shinrikyo was founded by Shoko Asa- ported as many smaller programs of Japan’s actual hara, based on the belief that Armageddon was in- government. So, although Aum Shinrikyo was a evitable and that only the devout believers in Aum broad-based and large, horizontal religious move- Shinrikyo would survive the end of the world. As a ment, it contained a vertically stratified and tightly religion, Aum Shinrikyo was successful in drawing disciplined action cadre at its political center. recruits and donations. The group specifically tar- The several violent actions carried out by the geted its recruitment at technical universities, and Aum Shinrikyo cadre looked much like traditional the group enjoyed a relatively well-educated and terrorism—the same individuals were involved in wealthy membership. At the same time that it was planning and executing the organization’s terrorist experiencing growth in membership and wealth, acts, this group acted in close concert with an Aum Shinrikyo was singularly unsuccessful as a le- equally small and disciplined direct support cadre, gitimate political movement, losing all of the Japan- and all were under the direct control of the central ese elections in which it fielded candidates. The leadership of the group. The major difference be- group was able to employ its wealth and some of its tween Aum Shinrikyo and traditional terrorists was technically expert members, however, to support its that Aum Shinrikyo only used WMD in its attacks. WMD terrorism program. Even though Japanese Aum Shinrikyo tried to develop and employ bio- authorities compiled a growing body of evidence on logical and chemical weapons as early as 1990. Tes- Aum Shinrikyo’s terrorist objectives and chemical timony during the legal proceedings following the and biological programs preceding the Tokyo sub- 1995 Tokyo subway attacks indicated that the targets way attacks, they hesitated to take action against the of the mostly unsuccessful attempts included the group because of provisions in Japanese law pro- general Japanese public, specific group rivals, disaf- tecting religious freedom and practice. Aum Shin- fected cult members, investigative journalists, the rikyo enjoyed the benefits as a self-described reli- Japanese legal system and government, members of gious organization in furthering its political agenda the Japanese royal family, and United States military through terrorism. installations in Japan. The inner cadre of Aum Shinrikyo’s leadership Aum Shinrikyo had extensive biological and was organized into a “shadow government,” with a chemical agent development programs, but their ac- structure directly mirroring Japan’s executive de- tual employment of WMD presents a very mixed partment and functions. Individual Aum Shinrikyo story. As early as April 1990, the group attempted to leaders were assigned positions in the shadow gov- employ botulinum toxin for mass casualty effects in ernment to prepare them to assume the corre- Tokyo. The attack coincided with an island retreat sponding duties in the new order. Aum Shinrikyo by the Aum Shinrikyo leadership and membership, blended a “new religion” veneer with a political core so that the group itself would not fall victim to the that was characteristic of traditional terrorism. attack. The group attempted to disperse the toxin
    • AUM SHINRIKYO 31 from truck-mounted dispensers: one outside the The group’s second sarin attack, in June of 1994, Diet (national parliament) building downtown, one also was not fully successful. It was intended to kill outside the U.S. naval facilities in the southern port three judges who were presiding at a trial involving suburbs, and one at Narita International Airport. Aum Shinrikyo. The plan to gas the judges, their The attack failed when the dispenser sprayers may courthouse, and an adjacent police station was have killed the toxin in the dispersal process, or meant to be an attack on the justice system that was more probably the toxin was ineffective from the posing a threat to Aum Shinrikyo. Poor planning beginning. Aum Shinrikyo was forced to return to caused the attack team to arrive after the judges had the drawing board. left the courthouse, and the subsequent plan to at- The group again attempted to disperse botu- tack their apartment complex failed when the gas linum toxin in June 1993, again from a truck- dispersed too widely and the wind shifted, leading mounted spray dispenser. The target in this attack to only limited effects on the specific apartments of was the gathering of world dignitaries in conjunc- interest. The target judges fell ill, but they were not tion with the wedding of Crown Prince Naruhito. among the seven who were killed in the attack. This attack suffered the same fate as the 1990 botu- The March 1995 Tokyo subway attacks repre- linum attack: The dispersal system exceeded the en- sented a direct application of terrorism for the vironmental parameters and would likely have ren- dual purposes of producing mass casualties and dered the toxin ineffective. intimidating the authorities for self-preservation. Aum Shinrikyo then turned to anthrax as its Japanese national police under the Ministry of Jus- agent of choice. Just weeks after the 1993 royal wed- tice had finally amassed sufficient evidence to ding attempt, the group dispensed anthrax from the mount a raid on the Aum Shinrikyo compound roof of a cult-owned building in downtown Tokyo. and chemical weapons laboratory. The raid was set Although a few people reported being affected by for March 22. Aum Shinrikyo first attempted to noxious fumes, this attack also failed to cause casu- cause mass casualties at the Kasumigaseki subway alties. The anthrax strain Aum Shinrikyo used was station using botulinum toxin on March 15. Be- an American animal vaccine strain, not a toxic sides the disruptive effects of a mass casualty at- strain. tack, Kasumigaseki station served as the Ministry Aum Shinrikyo’s initial unsuccessful experiences of Justice headquarters, and the timing would have with biological weapons caused the group to switch meant that many of the passengers on those trains to chemical weapons. Beginning in 1993, reports should be Ministry of Justice employees. Aum suggested they had successfully experimented with Shinrikyo hoped to delay or divert the Justice raid sarin employed against sheep on a cult-owned on their own headquarters, which they had been ranch in Australia. (Later investigations, however, tipped off was imminent. In this case, the group showed that tests on the sheep carcasses may have used dispensers hidden in briefcases, but the dis- confused sarin with commercial pesticides used in persal again failed. “sheep dip.”) Early in 1994, they chose the leader of Aum Shinrikyo then reverted to sarin, and they a rival “new religion” and its associated political again attacked the subway system on March 20. This party as their victims, but the field application of subway attack employed an unsophisticated disper- their chemical weapon was unsuccessful when their sal method—plastic bags of liquid sarin punctured effort to create a gaseous form of sarin resulted in by the pointed ends of umbrellas. The operation in- the dispersal van catching fire. Aum Shinrikyo con- volved rush-hour attacks on five separate subway tinued to rely on chemical attacks as their primary trains in the Tokyo system, trains that were all due to form of action, both to exploit their economic and arrive at Kasumigaseki station shortly before eight technical capabilities in this arena and to further o’clock on a weekday morning. The earlier purpose their end goal of creating broader effects to hasten and plan still applied: targeting Ministry of Justice the ultimate global conflict that would usher in their employees, many of whom would be on those trains. rise to power. Toward this end, Aum Shinrikyo was Because of the primitive dispersal method, the five certainly willing to accept mass casualties; however, attacks resulted in many fewer casualties (12 killed, they continued to encounter problems with disper- 1,000 injured) than might have been anticipated sal and application of WMD. given the quantity of sarin involved, and the attack
    • 32 AUM SHINRIKYO ultimately precipitated a much more complete inves- Although the Aum Shinrikyo leadership, terror- tigation and prosecution of Aum Shinrikyo. ist planning and operational cadre, and WMD tech- Finally, as the investigations and arrests follow- nical development personnel were arrested, tried, ing the March 1995 subway attacks began, Aum and imprisoned after the Tokyo subway attacks, the Shinrikyo returned to the Tokyo subway system one group as a religious movement still exists in signifi- more time. On May 5, 1995, the group attempted to cant numbers, primarily in Japan and in Russia. Es- employ cyanide in Shinjuku station. In this case, the timates from 1995 were that Aum Shinrikyo had dispersal system involved sequential use of acid, more than 40,000 followers, with almost 30,000 of then cyanide, but the device was discovered before it those in Russia, approximately 10,000 in Japan, and could do any harm. smaller numbers in other countries, primarily the Aum Shinrikyo had only limited success in four- United States and Germany. That same year, Aum teen separate biological and chemical attacks. The Shinrikyo’s financial assets were estimated at 1 bil- group employed or attempted to employ sarin and lion dollars. cyanide, as well as VX and phosgene gas. In terms of Aum Shinrikyo stands as the “poster child” for biological weapons, Aum Shinrikyo at various times both the extreme threat of WMD terror and the dif- was developing or seeking to develop anthrax, bot- ficulties faced by a nonstate actor in delivering on ulinum, Q-fever, and even Ebola for use as weapons. that threat. Aum Shinrikyo had several unique ad- Aum Shinrikyo had up to twenty people dedicated vantages that allowed it to advance its WMD terror- to biological weapon production and testing. After ism program. It had a multilayered organization the Tokyo subway attack, Japanese police found that allowed its religious component to serve as enough sarin precursors in the group’s possession to both cover and sponsor for its terrorism element. It produce tons of sarin nerve agent. At that time, had access to an array of resources—from millions work at Aum Shinrikyo labs also suggested that the of dollars in funding to member scientists to group- group was continuing to develop or experiment owned chemical companies for facilities and cover. with a variety of nerve agents—including VX, And, significantly, the nature of its religious founda- soman, and tabun—and other chemical weapons tion—particularly as interpreted after the breakup such as mustard and sodium cyanide. As many as of the Soviet Union and the concurrent display of eighty Aum Shinrikyo members worked on chemi- United States conventional military power in the cal weapons development. 1991 Gulf War led Aum Shinrikyo’s leaders to con- Aum Shinrikyo also was involved with, and had clude that a global apocalypse was not as imminent specific interest in, both nuclear and conventional as they once thought—allowed the group to turn weapons. Nuclear weapons represented the ultimate conventional wisdom that terrorists want many ob- apocalyptic tool to Aum Shinrikyo’s leadership. The servers and few casualties on its head. group widely sought nuclear weapons materials and Even with all these advantages, however, Aum expertise—from Australian uranium to Russian Shinrikyo’s experience highlights several of the lasers (an experimental technology for producing daunting obstacles that stand in the way of any fissile materials). They also showed interest in other group seeking to develop and employ WMD for the “exotic” weapons that had relevance to Japan, in- purposes of terrorism. First, although Aum Shin- cluding seismological weapons. They also procured rikyo was able to procure dangerous chemical and and produced conventional weapons, notably the biological agents, it was not able to gain access to AK-74 rifle. The group’s AK-74s were used for train- some of the highly lethal biological strains that it ing and arming a small paramilitary cadre, and they sought. Safeguards on these strains do provide some served as a source of some revenue to Aum Shin- significant protection against groups without state rikyo. The variety of weapons and systems that Aum sponsorship attaining specific materials. Second, the Shinrikyo procured, as well as insight into their fu- dispersal problem for chemical and biological ture plans, was demonstrated by their efforts late in agents is very real, and even a well funded and tech- the group’s action phase to employ a Russian mili- nically gifted cadre within a terrorist group will face tary helicopter as well as some unmanned drone air- significant challenges in agent dissemination and craft, all outfitted with aerial spray dispersal systems utilization in the field. Third, the cold scientific ra- for chemical weapons. tionality required to overcome these technical hur-
    • THE AUSTRALIA GROUP 33 dles can be overshadowed by the emotional and ide- attempts were being made to use this lack of uni- ological imperatives of terrorist leaders—the “ac- formity to circumvent these initial controls. This tion program” may not have the patience needed to led Australia to propose, in April 1985, that repre- allow the agent development side to complete its sentatives from the fifteen countries that had in- work. In the end, WMD terrorism remains a very troduced licensing for exports should meet to ex- real but difficult-to-deliver-on threat. amine ways to standardize the measures taken at —James M. Smith the national level to prevent illicit trafficking in See also: Bioterrorism; Nerve Agents; Sarin chemical weapons precursors. References The first meeting of what came to be known as Brackett, D.W., Holy Terror: Armageddon in Tokyo (New the Australia Group (AG) took place in Brussels, York: Weatherhill, 1996). Belgium, in June 1985. Participating countries Kaplan, David E., and Andrew Marshall, The Cult at the agreed that there was benefit in continuing the End of the World: The Incredible Story of Aum process, and meetings of the group are now held in Shinrikyo (London: Hutchison, 1996). Paris on an annual basis. The emergence of increas- Lifton, Robert Jay, Destroying the World to Save It: Aum ing evidence of diversion of dual-use materials to Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global biological weapons programs in the late 1980s led Terrorism (New York: Metropolitan, 1999). participants to take steps to address the increasing problem of the spread of BW. THE AUSTRALIA GROUP The Australia Group is an informal network of Technical Details thirty-three countries and the European Commis- AG participants have developed, through a consen- sion that aim to ensure that their exports do not sus approach, common export control lists, which contribute to the development of chemical or bio- specify items that each AG participant undertakes to logical weapons. The Australia Group does this by control through its respective national export li- licensing the export of certain chemicals, biological censing procedures. agents, and dual-use chemical and biological manu- Licensing procedures allow each participating facturing equipment that can be used in CBW pro- country to consider whether a particular export grams, based on common control lists. could contribute to CBW and therefore breach the country’s obligations under the Biological and History Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) or the Chem- In April 1984, a special investigation mission sent by ical Weapons Convention (CWC). Every export li- the UN Secretary General to Iran found that chem- cense application is examined by the national au- ical weapons (CW) had been used against Iran in thority on a case-by-case basis, with the decision the Iran-Iraq war, which was a clear and unequivo- about whether to supply the requested items resting cal violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. There solely with the country approached. An export re- was also evidence that Iraq had obtained materials quest is denied only if there is particular concern for its CW program from the international chemical about potential diversion for CBW purposes. industry. In response to these findings, a number of Australia Group participants have committed to countries placed licensing measures on the export of consult each other before exporting items that an- certain chemicals used in the manufacture of chem- other participant has previously denied because of ical weapons. proliferation concerns. This commitment to con- The countries concerned saw an urgent need to sult is referred to as a no-undercut policy, but it address the problem posed by the spread of CW and does not constitute a binding ban. Group partici- ensure that their industries were not, either deliber- pants also have implemented a catch-all provision, ately or inadvertently, helping other countries to ac- whereby a participant will not supply an item that quire and use such weapons in violation of interna- is not on export control list when there is particu- tional law and norms. lar concern about potential diversion of the item The measures originally imposed by these for CBW purposes. countries, however, were not uniform either in Group participants ensure that their countries’ scope or application. It also became apparent that private sectors are informed of the dangers inherent
    • 34 THE AUSTRALIA GROUP in the uncontrolled export of dual-use chemicals and biological products for peaceful purposes is not and biological materials and equipment. Chemical hindered, in accordance with Article XI of the CWC and biotechnology companies, and traders con- and Article X of the BTWC. scious of their public image and corporate respon- sibilities, have welcomed the assurances provided Future Developments by the controls implemented by Australia Group Since its inception, the Australia Group has proven participants. The transparency generated by the to be an important element in ongoing interna- Australia Group’s activities increases confidence, tional efforts to impede the proliferation of chem- creating an environment more conducive to the ical and biological weapons. Recent developments, normal flow of commercial goods, equipment, and however, have challenged the effectiveness of na- technology. tional export licensing measures. Economic glob- alization has seen the number of potential chemi- Current Status cal supplier countries grow considerably. The Participating countries in the Australia Group are rapid pace of technological change, particularly in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the biotechnology sector, also poses new challenges Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fin- for keeping common control lists up to date. Mon- land, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, itoring intangible technology transfer (know-how) Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, is being increasingly complicated by rapid ad- Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portu- vances in communications and information trans- gal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, fer. Terrorists, not state actors, are now seen as Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States. The being a potential CBW threat, but the Australia European Commission is also a participant. Aus- Group has not developed controls that are opti- tralia chairs the group and provides a secretariat mized to prevent terrorists from acquiring chemi- within its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. cal precursors. There are presently five common control lists In response, recent technical reviews of the Aus- covering fifty-four CW precursors: dual-use chemi- tralia Group’s common control lists have taken into cal manufacturing facilities and equipment and re- account changing technologies and chemical and lated technology; dual-use biological equipment; biological terrorism issues. In addition, group par- and biological agents, including plant pathogens, ticipants are encouraging all exporting and trans- animal pathogens, and toxins. shipping (that is, goods being shipped across na- The common control lists are reviewed and tional borders) countries to implement similar adjusted periodically to ensure their continued measures. In recent years, the group has maintained effectiveness. Australia Group members believe a practice of briefing a large number of nonpartici- that export control measures should be effective pating countries on the outcomes of its meetings. in impeding the production of chemical and bio- These briefings make available lists of chemical and logical weapons, be practical and reasonably easy biological agents and related equipment and tech- to implement, and not impede the normal trade nologies that are of proliferation concern, and they of materials and equipment used for legitimate have helped other countries to adopt export control purposes. measures. All countries participating in the Australia Although a small number of countries criticize Group are State Parties in good standing to both the the Australia Group for what they claim are restric- CWC and BTWC. These countries consider the im- tions on legitimate trade and technology transfers, plementation of national licensing procedures there appears to be an increasing acceptance by based on the various AG lists as an essential means most countries of the idea that adopting national to ensure that they are fully implementing their export licensing measures based on the Australia nonproliferation obligations under Article I of the Group’s common control lists raises the barriers to CWC and Article III of the BTWC. In applying ex- both chemical and biological weapons proliferation port licensing procedures, group participants also and chemical or biological terrorism. Many coun- seek to ensure that international trade in chemical tries also believe that the group provides a tool for
    • THE AUSTRALIA GROUP 35 implementing nonproliferation obligations under cal materials of concern are likely to increase in the the CWC and BWC. A number of group partici- years ahead. pants and other countries have also used the various —Robert Mathews common control lists as a basis for domestic moni- See also: Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention; toring of listed items, as a means to increase the bar- Chemical Weapons Convention; Dual-Use riers to terrorism. The importance of the Australia Reference Group and the use of lists of chemical and biologi- Australia Group website, http://www.australiagroup.net.
    • BARI INCIDENT On December 2, 1943, in what came to be referred to by some as a second Pearl Harbor, German JU- 88 bombers attacked the port city of Bari, Italy, sinking seventeen Allied ships and damaging sev- B eral others. Among the American vessels fatally struck that night was the Liberty class cargo ship Being oil miscible, liquid mustard released into the SS John Harvey, which, in addition to its typical harbor waters mixed with oil from stricken vessels. load of conventional arms, food, and other sup- This mustard agent came into contact with sailors plies, carried 2,000 one-hundred pound M47A1 who had dived into the water to escape their sinking bombs filled with the blister agent sulfur mustard ships. Sulfur mustard vapors were also released into (see Mustard [Sulfur and Nitrogen]). Due to the the air. Because medical personnel were unaware of sensitive nature of, and thus the compartmental- the mustard’s presence, rescued seamen were allowed ized information regarding this cargo, only a se- to remain in their oil-soaked clothing while those in- lect few crew members were aware of this danger- jured in the blasts were treated, prolonging contact ous freight. Unfortunately, all of these crew with the agent. Victims began to exhibit the delayed members were killed in the attack, leaving med- effects of mustard exposure within hours, with burns ical personnel ashore unaware of the need to treat on their skin, swollen eyes and genitals, and tempo- casualties for blister agent exposure. Of approxi- rary blindness. More serious casualties were those in- mately 800 American military casualties hospital- volving respiratory exposures of mustard agent. ized following the raid, more than 600 were even- After the bombing, medical personnel at Bari, tually diagnosed with gas exposure, and 83 of finding the symptoms exhibited by their patients to be those died. Numbers of civilian casualties are less consistent with blister agent use, called for an investi- well documented, but estimates run as high as gation. U.S. Army Medical Corps Lieutenant Colonel 1,000. Stewart Alexander, a chemical warfare expert, trav- Although he had issued a statement denounc- elled to Bari, where he determined mustard to be the ing the use of chemical weapons by any actor in source of the nonblast casualties. In February 1944, World War II, President Franklin Delano Roo- the U.S. government issued a statement acknowleging sevelt had also reserved the right to retaliate in the presence of mustard in the John Harvey’s cargo. kind if chemical weapons were used by the Axis. After the war, the United States disposed of un- He therefore ordered mustard-filled munitions to specified amounts of phosgene, hydrogen cyanide, be forward deployed in Europe to provide the ca- cyanogen chloride, and additional quantities of pability to launch a retaliatory strike in the event mustard off the coast near Bari. Studies performed that the Germans initiated gas warfare. In 1943, by the University of Bari as recently as 1997 have the Germans were on the defensive. As a conse- discovered cases of mustard exposure among fisher- quence, or so the Allies believed, Germany could man trawling these waters. have been desperate enough to use poison gas on —Claudine McCarthy the battlefield. To avoid triggering a preemptive See also: Mustard (Sulfur and Nitrogen); Vesicants; strike by Germany with chemicals, however, the World War II: Chemical Weapons presence of the Allies’ chemical munitions was References kept secret. This was to play a tragic role in what Infield, Glenn B., Disaster at Bari (New York: transpired off the Italian coast. Macmillan, 1971). 37
    • 38 BHOPAL, INDIA: UNION CARBIDE ACCIDENT Reminick, Gerald, Nightmare in Bari: The World War II chemical that has specific groupings of carbon, ni- Liberty Ship Poison Gas Disaster and Coverup (Palo trogen, and oxygen) pesticide carbaryl (marketed Alto, CA: Glencannon, 2001). under the trade name Sevin[r]). The Bhopal plant had experienced a number of BHOPAL, INDIA: UNION CARBIDE ACCIDENT incidents prior to December 1984. Between 1981 The Bhopal, India, Union Carbide accident is an ex- and 1982, two separate phosgene gas (a chemical ample of how industrial chemicals—whether in precursor of MIC) accidents claimed the life of one precursor, intermediate, or finished form—have the worker and injured twenty-four others. The plant potential to create massive casualties. The accident suffered its first MIC leak in 1982. That incident in- also provides a window into the possible outcomes jured four workers. Between 1980 and 1984, the of an intentional release of CW agents. number of UCIL operators assigned to the MIC On the night of December 3, 1984, Bhopal and unit was downsized to half its original strength. In its environs fell victim to the worst industrial acci- May 1982, a confidential safety audit was conducted dent in human history. As the city slept, approxi- by a United States-based team. The team identified mately 40 tons of the highly toxic industrial chemi- “61 hazards, 30 of them major and 11 in the dan- cal methyl isocyanate (MIC) escaped from two gerous phosgene/MIC units.” Corrective measures underground storage tanks, blanketing the highly were subsequently taken (Kalelkar, 1988). concentrated population in an invisible, choking The details of exactly how the lethal MIC was able cloud. The gas cloud, trapped under a nocturnal to escape into the atmosphere on December 3, 1984, temperature inversion, engulfed a 5-mile-wide are still contested today. Much of the attention has perimeter, claiming the lives of thousands of men, focused on activity in the plant involving the use of women, children, and animals in its wake. The dis- water to flush the lines in the MIC manufacturing aster is explained by the high toxicity of MIC, a unit. This water, according to the Indian govern- more potent choking gas than phosgene. To com- ment’s explanation, seeped inside the MIC storage pare, the safety limit for MIC exposure in humans tanks due to leaking valves. However, post-event in- over an 8-hour period is 0.02 parts per million vestigations conducted by Union Carbide, the parent (ppm), but phosgene is rated at 0.1 ppm. company, and by Arthur D. Little, an independent Union Carbide India Ltd. (UCIL), a subsidiary of chemical industry consulting firm, found evidence Union Carbide Corporation, first set up shop in of sabotage. In this scenario, a disgruntled worker 1934. Constructed in 1969, the company’s Bhopal may have deliberately introduced water into the facility was originally designed for pesticide produc- tanks containing MIC, knowing that this would ruin tion, which required the mixing of stable chemicals. the chemical used in the preparation of the final Finished pesticide would then be sold directly to the product. The individual probably had no inkling as Indian government. The factory was located in close to the ultimate consequences of his action. proximity to established working-class settlements Adding to the conditions that would portend in order to take advantage of the Bhopal-Ujain rail disaster, three essential safety measures had been line. offline at the time of the incident. The refrigera- In 1974, UCIL was licensed by the Madhya tion unit, which would have kept the tank temper- Pradesh (MP) government to manufacture 50,000 ature close to 0° centigrade, had been shut down in tons of pesticides per year. Soon, however, the mar- June 1984. Cooling the MIC to low temperatures ket for finished pesticides began to wane, due in part might have reduced the ultimate reaction rate and to a decrease in cases of malaria and therefore in the volatility, but this is only speculation. Also, months need for mosquito abatement measures, but also be- before the incident, process vents—exhaust units cause of aggressive competition from more than 300 for excess gases—were taken out for maintenance. smaller manufacturing firms. To cut production Thus, the flare tower used to incinerate chemical costs, UCIL began to manufacture key chemical in- exhaust that could have treated unwanted emis- termediates instead of purchasing them from a sep- sions was not available. Finally, the safety scrub- arate supplier. In 1978, the plant was reconfigured to ber—another means of treating toxic effluents— produce MIC, a volatile intermediate chemical used had been turned off, although it was usable at the in the production of the carbamate (a category of time of the incident.
    • BHOPAL, INDIA: UNION CARBIDE ACCIDENT 39 In December 1984, up to 3,000 people died in the Bhopal, India, methyl isocyanate gas release. (Alain Nogues/Corbis Sygma) The introduction of water into the tank with a duction facility was closed at the cost of 650 perma- volatile chemical at ambient temperature triggered a nent jobs. Months later, the neighboring research fa- runaway, exothermic reaction. Although desperate cility was cut to a skeleton staff. Two massive 3-week efforts were taken by workers to control the gas re- evacuations of the area led to business losses rang- lease, these were futile and may have even added to ing from $8–$65 million. Although the government the problem. Making the hazard worse still, numer- took steps to compensate the survivors, including ous shantytowns had been built up around the monetary reparations and the construction of area plant, mostly because the land was government- hospitals, these efforts paled in comparison to the owned and therefore rent-free. As a result, thou- traumatic effects brought on by the accident. sands of people were located close to the site of the At the same time, a number of lawsuits were filed MIC release. against the Union Carbide Corporation in both the Though the government reported that 3,800 United States and India. After a long legal battle be- people perished, other casualty estimates have tween the Indian government and the Union Car- ranged from 2,000 to 8,000 dead immediately fol- bide Corporation, which included a number of lowing the accident. The government also reported Congressional hearings and a battle over legal juris- that 40 people were left with permanent total dis- diction, an agreement was reached that ordered abilities and 2,680 people were left with permanent Union Carbide to pay $470 million to the Indian partial disabilities. Damage to renal, respiratory, re- government in compensation. By 1993, after a num- productive, and sensory systems compounded most ber of bureaucratic procedural hurdles, distribution of the immediate injuries. of the compensation finally began. As part of the The years following the Union Carbide accident dispersal plan, the Indian government intended to have seen a number of actions, each with varying re- use the award for general community rehabilitation. sults. In addition to medical recovery, the people of Because this was not the original intent of the set- Bhopal now faced economic disaster. Immediately tlement, a public uproar ensued over the govern- following the accident, the $25 million Bhopal pro- ment’s plan. As recently as 2002, the government
    • 40 BIGEYE backed down from this posture, stating that the flight (the bomb was to be delivered by plane). This money would be used for compensation to the vic- separation would have extended the storage shelf tims. Relatives of the dead, and survivors suffering life of the bomb and eased munitions maintenance serious injuries, received an average of $3,000 requirements. Bigeyes were to be carried by tactical apiece. fighters, such as the A-6 and F-111, and they were to UCIL maintained a low profile in the post- be used to attack second-echelon forces such as air- Bhopal period. The aftermath of the accident fields and ammunition dumps to disrupt enemy op- sapped the economic strength of the corporation, erations behind the front lines. leading to a buyout by its major competitor, Dow General Accounting Office investigations uncov- Chemical. Further lawsuits aimed at garnering addi- ered fusing, mixing, and detonation problems with tional compensation for the accident from Dow Bigeye, which led the U.S. Senate, especially Senator Chemical are currently pending. Richard Pryor (D-Ark.), to withhold funding and —Brian L’Italien production go-ahead for the Bigeye bomb. There See also: Carbamates; Choking Agents; Phosgene Gas were two other binary chemical weapons in the U.S. References arsenal: a multiple-launch rocket system submuni- Bhopal Medical Appeal website, http://www.bhopal.org. tion that never reached the prototype stage, and the Dow Chemical website, http://www.bhopal.com. 155-millimeter artillery projectiles called M-687, Kalelkar, Ashok S., and Arthur D. Little, Inc., which did reach full-scale production. “Investigation of Large-Magnitude Incidents: Bhopal The originally proposed deployment of the Big- as a Case Study,” paper presented at the Institution of eye bombs to Europe led to further controversy. The Chemical Engineers Conference on Preventing Belgian government nearly fell over the question, Major Chemical Accidents, London, May 1988. Mehta, Pushpa S., Anant S. Mehta, Sunder J. Mehta, and and the West German government only approved Arjun B. Makhijani, “Bhopal Tragedy’s Health the deployment in a subministerial forum. A full Effects,” Journal of the American Medical Association, ministerial approval would have led to a parliamen- vol. 264, no. 21, 5 December 1990, pp. 2782–2783. tary debate that the government in Bonn did not want on the heels of the bruising Intermediate Nu- clear Force deployment debate over deployment of BIGEYE (BLU-80) American nuclear weapons on European soil. The Bigeye was the code name for a 500-pound binary European NATO allies were also disturbed by the chemical bomb designed by the U.S. navy for the de- adoption of the AirLand battle doctrine, which livery of VX nerve gas. Binary refers to the concept called for the use of chemical and nuclear weapons of using two nontoxic but poisonous substances to achieve victory over Warsaw Pact forces in the that are mixed in flight to produce a lethal nerve event of war on the inter-German border. agent. (See Binary Chemical Munitions.) This was With the signing of the Chemical Weapons Con- done to ensure safer storage and handling of chem- vention, the Pine Buff facility (where Bigeyes were ical munitions. Munitions already filled with chem- produced) was inspected and then sealed in 1997 by ical agents—so-called unitary weapons—had the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical started to leak in the 1970s, and the Department of Weapons, the implementing body established by the Defense was well aware of the negative public re- convention. sponse to the dangers of these unitary chemical —Gilles Van Nederveen weapons. The Department of Defense needed a weapon that citizens would accept. See also: Binary Chemical Munitions; QL; V-Agent References The Bigeye concept was conceived in 1959. Test- 98th Congress, 1st Session, 13 July 1983; page S-9804, ing on Bigeye started in 1972, and about 200 test ar- vote no 184, Omnibus Defense Authorization/Binary ticles were produced at Pine Buff Arsenal, Arkansas. Chemical Weapons. (Production never commenced, however, because 100th Congress, 1st Session, 24 September 1987; page S- the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to a 12704, vote no. 269, Defense Authorization chemical weapons destruction plan in 1990.) One Bill/Bigeye Binary Chemical Bomb. canister of this binary weapon would be stored sep- Badelt, J., Chemische Kriegsfuehrung—Chemische arately from the bomb itself and added just prior to Abruestung: Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland und das
    • BINARY CHEMICAL MUNITIONS 41 Pariser Chemiewaffen-Uebereinkommen (Berlin: in any conflict. Another idea considered during the Berliner Verlag, 1994). 1940s included the formation of a vesicant (blister Hernahan, John F., “The Nerve Gas Controversy,” The agent). For this CW agent, a nontoxic molecule Atlantic Monthly, September 1974, pp. 52–56. would react with another to form the toxic chemical Zanders, J. P., “The Debate on Binary Chemical product, the nitrogen-based blister agent methyl N- Weapons in Belgium: The Act of 11 April 1962 (2-chloroethyl)-N-nitrosocarbamate (code named Revisited,” Vredeonderzoek 7 (Brussels: Vrije KB-16). As far as it is known, this design was never Universiteit Brussel, December 1992). fully developed into a chemical weapon. Since the advent of modern chemical warfare, BINARY CHEMICAL MUNITIONS chemical weapons scientists traditionally have con- Binary chemical munitions consist of two separate sidered binary forms of weaponry in order satisfy components that by themselves are relatively non- three basic requirements. The first was to build a toxic, but when mixed together produce a toxic chemical weapon that could combine components chemical warfare (CW) agent. Offering advantages to produce a constant and prolonged release of toxic particularly in their safer production and handling, chemicals. Another reason for binary designs was to binary chemical weapons are more advanced (if not add stability to the chemical components, avoiding generally superior) to unitary chemical munitions, the constant problem of shelf life found in unitary which simply contain the CW agent (the final toxic chemical munitions. The blister agent mustard and chemical product) in the warhead fill. Some binary- the blood agent hydrocyanic acid (HCN), for exam- type designs may be used in terrorist attacks, with ple, were notorious during World War I (and dan- simple designs most likely using more common gerous, in the case of HCN) for being unstable dur- chemical ingredients (e.g., cyanide). ing storage. Finally, from the production base to During the late 1980s, the United States pro- logistics on the field, binary chemical munitions duced a number of binary weapons, including ar- were designed to produce a weapon that was safer tillery projectiles (containing the nerve agent sarin) and easier to handle than highly toxic unitary and the Bigeye VX nerve agent glide bomb—a weapons. This has become especially important ground attack weapon that sprayed agent as it flew since the discovery and development of modern over a defined area. Since the signing of the 1993 nerve agents. One of the most important benefits of Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), all compo- producing nontoxic binary components is that nents of binary chemical weapons are undergoing these can be manufactured at chemical production destruction in the United States. It is possible, even plants without a special safety process and control likely, that the former Soviet Union also produced system. Furthermore, when the two parts are stored binary chemical weapons, including one that pro- in different locations (as is done in the United States duced a novel CW agent called novichok. As of this with its binary artillery shells), the chance of cata- writing, no details on Russian-held binary chemical strophic accidents during handling is less likely with weapons are found in the open literature. Russia, binary weapons than with unitary ones. like other CWC signatories, is enjoined to destroy all Maritime traditions are replete with exacting of its chemical weapons stockpiles. standards of safety. It should not be surprising that The idea of binary chemical munitions is not the hazards involved in transport and handling of new. Some concepts for binary chemical weapons chemical weapons were of special concern to the were devised during World War II. In one design of U.S. Navy. During the mid-1960s, the U.S. Navy had an aerial bomb, for example, military chemists sep- patented a design for a binary chemical weapon uti- arated two components, magnesium arsenide and lizing two chemicals—one liquid and one solid— sulfuric acid, into chambers divided by a partition. that would react to form a toxic CW agent. This was When the bomb struck the ground, the partition probably the prototype for the VX Bigeye bomb that would be shattered and the chemical components was developed two decades later. In 1969, the U.S. mixed to produce arsine (AsH3) gas, considered to Navy submitted requests for proposals to defense be a blood agent, that is, it attacks the blood-respi- firms that included research and development of “a ratory system in the body. It does not appear, how- chemical cluster weapon capable of mixing and re- ever, that this chemical ordnance ever found service acting two non-toxic chemicals to generate toxic
    • 42 BINARY CHEMICAL MUNITIONS agent within the cluster payloads” (SIPRI, p. 307). can afford the cost of producing large numbers of This was a requirement for a binary chemical muni- this type of ordnance. Also, as one would expect in tion, probably involving the production of nerve any synthesis, the chemical reaction in a binary sys- agents such as sarin (GB) or soman (GD). By 1972, tem is not instantaneous. Furthermore, portions of the U.S. military had been able to build a prototype the round consist of various non-CW chemicals, in- of a binary chemical weapon for use in land-based cluding some containing fluorine, which generate artillery. This would later become M-687, the 155- distinctive odors that could be quickly detected by millimeter howitzer projectile. an enemy. During the Cold War, the U.S. approach to bi- nary chemical ordnance focused on two types: bi- Other Designs nary sarin (for an artillery projectile) and VX (Big- Because of its ability to fire a large and redundant eye) agents. The M-687 projectile produced sarin by number of volleys, the multiple-launch rocket sys- mixing difluoromethylphosphonate (or difluor) tem (MLRS) has long been considered one of the and isopropyl alcohol. After the weapon was fired, more effective delivery platforms to increase the the membrane separating the component chemicals concentration of chemical warfare agent on a given would be shattered by the force of gravity. Now target. The U.S. Army had produced both sarin and spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute, VX unitary warheads for the M55 rocket used by the the weapon’s rotation in flight facilitated the mixing MLRS. of the binary components to form sarin. When the A binary design that only made it to the proto- projectile neared its target, a special fuse mechanism type stage was for a so-called intermediate-volatile ensured efficient dissemination of the agent nerve agent munition for the MLRS. Although exact through the back of the projectile. One component details are not available, it is possible that the binary of the M-687 projectiles was stored in Umatilla, components would have produced a nerve agent Oregon, and the other was held in storage at Pine that had moderate persistence, perhaps soman Bluff, Arkansas. All are soon to be destroyed pur- (GD) or cyclosarin (GF). When using rockets in a suant to the CWC. direct-fire weapon like the MLRS—as opposed to a During the 1980s, the Ronald Reagan administra- shell with a ballistic trajectory—one would have to tion revamped the U.S. military’s offensive chemical consider the target and trajectory, allowing for weapons arsenal as a means to better counter War- enough time for components to fully react. saw Pact forces. In part because of its relatively sim- Because of the ongoing interest by the United ple design, significant numbers of the M-687 how- States in refurbishing its chemical arsenal, com- itzer binary chemical round were produced until bined with the massive Soviet military threat in 1991, when offensive chemical weapons were re- the 1980s—or perhaps a combination of the nounced by the George H.W. Bush administration. two—China began to study the production of bi- The VX Bigeye glide bomb, developed under the nary chemical munitions for its People’s Libera- auspices of the U.S. Navy, was intended to spray VX tion Army. Whether or not these munitions went from an aerial munition that would glide over the beyond the blueprint stage is unknown. One dia- target. Two relatively nontoxic compounds, sulfur gram found in Chinese military writings on and a chemical code-named QL , would combine to chemical warfare depicts what appears to be a form VX within the bomb itself. Although a work- rough design for a binary warhead, perhaps a ing prototype was built, the project was plagued sketch of the HY-1 (Hai-Ying) cruise missile with technical problems, not the least of which was (based on the original Soviet Styx). It is not cer- a tendency for the munition to burst prematurely tain if such a design would be effective, or if its because of expanding internal gases. The BLU- aerodynamics would affect its trajectory. Chinese 80/Bigeye was designed to deliver some 180 pounds publications also have shown a design for a puta- of VX nerve agent. tive binary rocket for their MLRS that could be Although binary chemical weapons clearly offer based on a real prototype. It features the binary many advantages, they also have their drawbacks. components being mixed inside the rocket war- The design used in the Bigeye VX bomb was clearly head, and explosive charges along the center being difficult and complex to engineer, and few countries used to disperse the nerve agent.
    • BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS CONVENTION 43 Having signed and ratified the 1993 Chemical printing (Beijing: People’s Liberation Army Press, Weapons Convention (CWC), China has vowed to 1999). declare and destroy any past or remaining chemical Stockholm International Peace Research Institute weapons in their inventories. Little is known about (SIPRI). The Problem of Chemical and Biological past or present Chinese production or deployment Warfare, vol. 2: CB Weapons Today (Stockholm: of binary chemical weapons. Anecdotal evidence Almqvist & Wiksell, 1973). suggests that China considered producing binary chemical weapons, including those for artillery BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS rockets, but considered the associated per unit costs CONVENTION (BTWC) to be exorbitantly high. The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Conven- Western intelligence has long suspected that the tion (BTWC—often referred to as the Biological former Soviet Union developed binary chemical Weapons Convention, or BWC) prohibits the devel- weapons. It is likely that Soviet chemical weapons opment, production, and stockpiling of biological designers developed designs for sarin binary and weapons. There are currently 147 countries that are perhaps VX nerve agent munitions. Following the party to the BTWC. Although not explicitly stated in breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, an its preamble, by inference the BTWC prohibits the intriguing story that came to light was the research use of microbial or other biological agents, or tox- into novel CW agents conducted by Soviet chemical ins, whatever their origin or method of production. weapons scientists. These included novichok (Rus- Unlike the Chemical Weapons Convention (signed sian for newcomer) chemical compounds, some in 1993), however, as of 2004, the BTWC has no ver- being up to ten times more toxic than VX nerve ification protocol—that is, the BTWC has no set agent. According to Russian dissident scientists, rules or guidelines to verify compliance by its mem- novichok agents were to be used in binary weapons. bers. Although its current status as a “toothless” dis- The usual means of treating nerve agent casualties armament treaty does not make its obligations any would not be effective against this highly toxic less binding upon its parties, the BTWC is little chemical. Details on this and other novel CW agents more than a gentleman’s agreement. A verification reportedly developed in the former Soviet Union protocol for the BTWC is not likely to be concluded are still classified. by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first cen- Terrorists may also utilize the basic concept of bi- tury. Because it has thus far lacked verification pro- nary chemical systems for sabotage or even large- visions, confidence-building measures (CBMs) scale attacks. In 1995, immediately following the were adopted during the second BTWC Review sarin nerve agent attack on the Tokyo subway by the Conference in 1986, and parties to the Convention Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, cyanide binary de- are now submitting BW-related reports on an an- vices were discovered in subway restrooms. Consist- nual basis to the United Nations. After failed at- ing of two containers, one holding solid cyanide salt tempts to arrive at an acceptable protocol, the and the other a dilute acid solution, a crude timer United States and other treaty members are engag- was to have combined the components to form hy- ing in efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the drocyanic acid (HCN) gas. Fortunately, these chem- BTWC with biosecurity initiatives. ical devices were deactivated before they could do any harm. Another design found in the open litera- Background: CBW History ture proposes to mix two relatively nontoxic com- The first effort to prohibit the use of biological pounds that would form phosgene gas, a toxic lung weapons—albeit with important loopholes and ex- irritant. It is uncertain if such a system could create ceptions—can be found in the 1925 Geneva Proto- sufficient concentrations of phosgene gas to cause col, sometimes called the Gas Protocol. Its full title death or injury. was Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use —Eric A. Croddy in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous, or Other Gases, See also: Bigeye; Difluor; QL; V-Agents and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. The in- References clusion of the term bacteriological methods of war- Cheng Shuiting and Shi Zhiyuan, Military Technology fare was made nearly at the last minute by the sug- Information Handbook: Chemical Weapons, second gestion of the Polish delegate. (Viruses were poorly
    • 44 BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS CONVENTION understood in 1925, but they certainly would have concern about the threat posed by incendiary been included in the title, had they been better un- bombs or toxic biological and chemical mists in- derstood at the time.) As in the case of chemical creased. Elvira K. Fradkin, in a 1934 treatise called weapons, the Geneva Protocol of 1925 only prohib- The Air Menace and the Answer, described how bi- ited the first use of such weapons against other par- ological agents could rain death from the skies: “An ties to the treaty, and not the development, produc- airplane could carry enough of the botulinus toxin tion and stockpiling of such weapons. to destroy every living thing in the world if admin- Prior to the 1925 Protocol, there had been acts of istration of the toxin were as simple a process as sabotage in World War I that used bacteria. The production and transportation” (Fradkin, p. 57). German-American agent Anton Dilger conducted a And although never quite certain of what threat ex- number of attacks on Allied horses and pack mules isted from germ warfare, in 1938, the British scien- from 1915–1916, using the causative agents of glan- tist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane warned that ders (Burkholderia mallei) and anthrax (Bacillus an- yellow fever could be utilized as a biological thracis). Working from a makeshift laboratory in weapon. A year later, Imperial Japanese agents vis- Washington, D.C., Dilger hired other agents—in- ited the Rockefeller Institute in the United States in cluding longshoremen—to infect animals in their an attempt to acquire cultures of yellow fever virus. stockades along ports in the eastern United States. As yellow fever was not a disease endemic to the Far These acts of biological warfare (BW), however, East, these surreptitious inquiries aroused suspi- were barely noticed by Allied authorities. cions by Western intelligence. These reports of During the 1930s, biological weapons were still Japanese efforts to obtain and develop potential very much an unknown quantity. In December BW agents—as well as (often spurious) intelligence 1932, a report from the Special Committee on indicating that Nazi Germany had an interest in bi- Chemical, Incendiary, and Bacterial Weapons—for ological weapons—encouraged the Allies to initiate the Conference for the Limitation and Reduction of their own BW programs. Armaments—stated: “Chemical warfare is known During World War II, the United States, Canada, from actual experience; bacteriological warfare, on and the United Kingdom initiated substantial pro- the other hand, is a hypothesis. Nor are there any re- grams for BW defense and offense, including the sults of laboratory experiments on which knowledge production of virulent organisms such as anthrax can be based. The behavior of pathogenic microbes spores. Although committed not to use such intentionally transported from the laboratory to nat- weapons unless for retaliation in kind, Presidents ural media is practically unknown to us. It must nev- Roosevelt and Truman continued offensive research ertheless be admitted that such warfare is possible” and development of biological weapons. North (Fradkin, pp. 58–59). The Conference also predicted Korea and the People’s Republic of China alleged the future conundrum faced by arms control and that the United States used biological weapons dur- disarmament in the realm of biological weaponry: ing the Korean War (1951–1953). These allegations are not supported by any credible evidence. We are not at present in a position to subject bac- Throughout the Cold War and until renouncing teriological research to effective supervision. Viru- biological weapons in 1969, the United States tested lent bacteria, such as might cause epidemics, are to and weaponized several offensive BW agents, in- be found in all bacteriological laboratories (both cluding Brucella, anthrax, tularemia, staphylococcal public and private), and also in hospitals treating enterotoxin B, and anticrop agents. Although U.S. contagious diseases. There can be no question of military commanders were usually somewhat skep- hindering the progress of medical bacteriology, the objects of which are humanitarian (the prepara- tical of their utility, American BW scientists were tion of sera, vaccines, etc.), by supervising and re- confident by the 1960s that their validated biologi- stricting experiments with virulent cultures. Such cal delivery systems could be effective in shutting supervision, moreover, would never be complete down enemy ports, or indeed in bringing a whole and therefore always ineffective. (Fradkin, p. 59) country to its knees by the use of debilitating viruses, bacteria, or toxins. As military aviation made rapid advances dur- Until the late 1960s, for much of the U.S. public, ing the early twentieth century, public and official the idea of using chemical and biological agents was
    • BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS CONVENTION 45 not particularly controversial, or at least it appeared 1970, biological toxins (not just disease-causing that way. The use of chemical herbicides (including pathogens) were included in the unilateral renunci- Agent Orange) and CS tear gas during the Vietnam ation of BW by the United States. War, however, led to protests against the perception In the years 1970 and 1971, negotiations in that chemical warfare (CW) agents were being em- Geneva over a biological and toxin weapons treaty ployed by the United States in that conflict. In had been making little progress for a number of rea- March 1968, some 6,000 sheep were killed near sons, mostly having to do with an insistence by the Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Their owner Soviet Union that chemical weapons also be in- claimed that the U.S. Army was responsible when cluded in the treaty. The Soviets finally relented on aircraft dropped VX nerve agent during training this point, however, and the final version of the runs near Skull Valley, Utah. Although the U.S. BTWC was approved on September 28, 1971, Army paid the farmer $1 million in restitution, it opened for signature in April 1972, and put into did not admit to being culpable. Still, the impact of force in March 1975. this incident—and ongoing operations by the Five years following the treaty’s entry into force, United States in destroying obsolete chemical the first Review Conference of the BTWC was held weapons by dumping them into the ocean—led to in March 1980. Intense discussions at this confer- public questions concerning U.S. offensive CBW ence were spurred in part by the advances already policies. In response, the Nixon administration re- made in genetic engineering, as well as by the in- viewed the U.S. position with regard to both CW creased military interest around the world in the bi- and BW in May 1969. Two months later, a chemical ological sciences. Two controversies were brought spill on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan, ex- forward during this time: the Sverdlovsk anthrax posed twenty-four people (including one civilian) outbreak in 1979 and U.S. allegations of yellow rain to sarin nerve agent. Protests erupted in Japan as a (T-2 mycotoxin) being used by Soviet client states in result, and further revelations that U.S. chemical the Middle East and southeast Asia. Reports con- weapons were stored in West Germany added more cerning the Sverdlovsk outbreak appeared at the fuel to the controversy. same time as the first Review Conference took place. Not surprisingly, the then-suspected (now con- Makings of a Convention firmed) release of a biological warfare agent (an- As the public outcry in the United States against thrax spores) raised great concerns, not only about chemical and biological weapons grew, the United Soviet BW programs but also about the implica- Kingdom brought forth a proposal on July 10, 1969, tions of future verification, inspections, and BTWC to the UN’s Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Com- compliance. mittee that would ban production, development, During the second Review Conference in 1986, and stockpiling of biological weapons. In 1968, this four important confidence-building measures committee had considered a comprehensive ban on (CBMs) were established in order to increase the all forms of chemical and biological of warfare. At level of trust among signatories and improve trans- that time, however, Western countries such as the parency: (1) Annual provision by signatories of data United Kingdom did not believe that BW would be on high-containment facilities designed for work on as important as the immediate threat posed by dangerous biological materials; (2) Annual notifica- chemical weapons, and they preferred that CW and tion to signatories of outbreaks of unusual diseases; BW be treated separately. In 1969, President Nixon (3) Encouragement of publication of results of bio- made the decision to renounce biological warfare— logical research related to the BW convention; and specifically the use of disease-causing organisms— (4) Promotion of contact between scientists en- mostly because of their perceived technical prob- gaged in research, including exchanges of staff for lems, but also because enemies could plausibly joint research. threaten large populated cities in the United States. The overall response to the CBMs was tepid, By supporting biological weapons disarmament, with fewer than forty countries reporting regularly Nixon also hoped that this decision would improve on an annual basis since the 1986 review. Most de- the public image of his administration and the veloping nations either did not send declarations, or United States. After some further internal debate by their declarations were incomplete. Although China
    • 46 BIOLOGICAL AND TOXIN WEAPONS CONVENTION and the Soviet Union did supply information detail- biotechnology should also be included. Later, the Ad ing their BW-related programs, by 1991 only 40 sig- Hoc Group held three meetings in 1995, two sub- natories out of 117 had established their own do- stantive meetings in 1996, and other meetings dur- mestic legislation for implementing proper ing 1997–1998. The eleventh session (June 22 to July declarations, and only 70 (out of 135) had done so 10, 1998) involving the fifty-two-nation Ad Hoc by 1996. Group concluded with a 250-page “rolling text,” At the 1991 review, considerations for strength- which contained about 3,000 reservations from in- ening the BTWC were inspired by the recent Gulf dividual parties. War. Several proposals were made, including a mea- sure to extend Article 1 to cover BW agents against Current Status plants and animals. CBMs added to the convention In late 2001, BTWC protocol negotiations came to included: an impasse. In rejecting the last iteration of the draft protocol text, U.S. Undersecretary of State John • Declaration of data on national biological Bolton said on November 19, 2001: “The draft pro- defense programs and facilities, as well as tocol that was under negotiation for the past seven high-containment facilities years is dead in our view. Dead, and is not going to • Better definition of an unusual outbreak of be resurrected. It has proven to be a blind alley” disease (U.S. Department of State, 2001). This pronounce- • Emphasis on publication of results ment not only crystallized U.S. officials’ opposition • Promotion and publicizing of contacts to what they saw as a seriously deficient protocol; it between staff involved in BW defense also led to widespread doubt that little, if anything, • Declaration of legislation and other would be accomplished at the fifth Review Confer- regulations to implement the provisions of ence. Upon concluding the November 2002 review, the Convention and to control the export however, the parties were able to agree on some sub- of BW agents stantive issues and to plot a course for annual meet- • Declaration of past activities in offensive or ings before the next conference in 2006. In sum- defensive biological programs since mary, the parties agreed to the following scheduled January 1, 1946 agenda: in 2003, domestic legislative initiatives and • Declaration of production facilities for rules to govern the safe use and transfer of danger- vaccines against human diseases ous pathogens would be considered; in 2004, in- creased efforts for global disease surveillance and To develop the technical means to verify compli- better mechanisms to evaluate the cause of disease ance with the BTWC, the Ad Hoc Group of Gov- outbreaks would be discussed; and in 2005, an ernment Experts (Verification Experts or VEREX) agreed protocol for scientists and researchers con- was established at the 1991 review. Within the two ducting research relevant to the BTWC would be categories of on-site and off-site inspection mea- negotiated. sures,VEREX determined twenty-one means of ver- Although it seems naïve to suggest that criminal- ifying BTWC compliance. izing biological weapons will dissuade individuals Additional meetings of the VEREX group were or governments determined to acquire them, many held in Geneva between March 1992 and September believe that making the possession or use of biolog- 1993, resulting in a final report to the BTWC parties. ical weapons a universal crime could further biolog- Though VEREX was able to conclude that at least ical weapons disarmament. some combination of the measures listed above was —Eric A. Croddy promising, it did recognize that the dual-use nature See also: Australia Group; Chemical Weapons of BW-related technology, basic equipment, and Convention; Geneva Protocol starting materials made verification of the conven- References tion problematic. During the Ad Hoc Group meet- Fradkin, Elvira K., The Air Menace and the Answer (New ings in 1994, additional discussions called for mea- York: Macmillan, 1934). sures to strengthen the BTWC, suggesting that Sims, Nicholas A., The Evolution of Biological Disarmament challenge inspections and peaceful transfer of (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).
    • BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM: EARLY WARNING VIA THE INTERNET 47 Tucker, Jonathan B., “A Farewell to Germs: The U.S. 48 hours’ advance warning could have made a Renunciation of Biological and Toxin Warfare, vital difference in terms of alerting physicians to 1969–1970,” International Security, vol. 27, no. 1, look for suspicious symptoms in persons from the summer 2002, pp. 107–148. area, perhaps as they carried the disease to other U.S. Department of State, “Bolton Says BWC Draft countries. Protocol Is Dead and Won’t Be Resurrected,” 19 Smallpox virus is another agent that has been November 2001, http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/ listed as a potential bioweapon. All cases of suspi- pol/arms/stories/01112001.htm. cious smallpox-like rashes must be investigated and immediately reported to local health authorities and BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM: EARLY WARNING WHO. On June 7, 2003, the U.S. Centers for Disease VIA THE INTERNET Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a press re- The use of a biological weapon can be recognized by lease on its website: About seventeen cases of pox- the appearance of a deadly pathogen or toxin in an like rash had occurred in people living in the west- unexpected place or an unexpected season, or by the ern United States who had come into contact with appearance of a previously unknown agent. The key sick pet prairie dogs. Onset of the first cases had to containing the resulting outbreak of disease is been in early May 2003. The diagnosis was monkey rapid detection and reporting. In recent years, out- pox, a disease never before seen in the Americas, and breaks of the previously unknown viruses Hendra, the source was eventually traced not to bioterror- Nipah, and SARS (severe acute respiratory syn- ism, but to infected Gambian giant rats from Africa. drome) in Asia and of anthrax, West Nile, and mon- The rats, sold as pets, had been in contact with the key pox viruses in the United States have met the prairie dogs in pet stores and at pet sales. As a result above criteria. Although only the anthrax that ap- of this public announcement, fifty-four more cases peared in the U.S. postal system turned out to be a were identified and 3 more states were found to be terrorist attack, the Internet played a crucial role in involved in the outbreak of monkey pox. providing early warning of many of these disease On June 23, 2003, a report appeared on the In- outbreaks. ternet of an outbreak of a pox-like disease in a re- The free, independent, public Internet network mote area of the Republic of the Congo (Brazza- ProMED (Program for Monitoring Emerging Dis- ville). The report was sent in by a missionary doctor eases) was launched by the Federation of American working in the region. Patient specimens were sent Scientists in 1994 to give early warning of bioterror to the CDC, which diagnosed them to be cases of attacks. It is now operated by ISID (the Interna- monkey pox, not smallpox. That was the first public tional Society for Infectious Diseases). On Novem- notice of these cases, which had reportedly been oc- ber 18, 2001, Dr. D. A. Henderson, director of the curring since mid-April 2003. Public health officials Office of Public Health Preparedness of the U.S. De- across the globe need to be informed rapidly of all partment of Health and Human Services, wrote, such cases so that smallpox can be ruled out, or so “ProMED-mail with CNN was our main source of that vaccination can be provided if smallpox does information through most of the recent anthrax reemerge anywhere in the world. outbreak!” (Henderson, 2001). On February 10, 2003, both WHO and ProMED Plague is considered to be a potential biological received e-mail queries about an outbreak of a viru- weapon. On June 22, 2003, ProMED sent a lent form of pneumonia in Guangdong, China, sub- newswire report of an outbreak of bubonic plague sequently named SARS (severe acute respiratory in Algeria by e-mail to its 30,000 subscribers in syndrome). WHO immediately asked for official 150 countries, a report that was also seen by thou- confirmation, forcing the Chinese government to sands more who accessed ProMED’s website. Two admit to the outbreak, but clearance for WHO to days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) issue a public warning took 48 hours to obtain. in Geneva posted an alert on its website after it ProMED is an independent network, so it was able obtained clearance from the country concerned to to post the news by e-mail and on its website imme- publish the report. If this had been a terrorist at- diately. Once again, if this had been a terrorist at- tack—Algeria has suffered from a number of non- tack, advance warning could have made a crucial biological terrorist attacks in the past—the extra difference in terms of response and containment.
    • 48 BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM: EARLY WARNING VIA THE INTERNET The real importance of this episode was that indi- Health Organization (OIE is its French acronym) viduals, not governments or public health officials, posted news of the initial outbreak on its website, informed the world health authority and a public ProMED copied it by e-mail to its 20,000 U.S. sub- Internet list directly about a deadly outbreak. scribers, reaching a much broader audience. This in- It was later discovered that cases of SARS had cident suggests that a comprehensive early warning been noted at least as far back as November 2002, system for bioterrorism events must also cover ani- and news about them had been circulating on the mal and plant diseases. Early warning is important Chinese internet, so the early warning had been out because it enables owners to look for symptoms in there for anyone who knew where to look and could their animals and to take precautions. A warning read Chinese. Health Canada’s GPHIN (Global network can also raise suspicion in the minds of vet- Public Health Intelligence Network) had distributed erinarians treating sick livestock. reports of outbreaks in the original Chinese with Brazil is the world’s largest orange producer and English headlines to a closed subscriber list. exporter of frozen concentrated orange juice, gener- ProMED is developing a Chinese language website ating annual revenues of about $5 billion. The Brazil and e-mail list, and translations will feed into the orange crop is being progressively infected by citrus open English language list. sudden death (CSD) disease, which had by 2003 Internet reporting had earlier helped to uncover spread into the state of Sao Paulo, an area that ac- another new virus in Asia. In October 1998, fatal counts for 85 percent of Brazil’s 280 million trees. cases of encephalitis began to be seen in parts of There is no cure for CSD; trees simply have to be re- peninsular Malaysia where pig farming was prac- placed by planting resistant varieties, which take ticed. The outbreak was initially attributed to Japan- years to come into production. An attack on an im- ese encephalitis virus (JEV), but on January 17, portant food or export crop such as oranges would 1999, a virologist posted a message on the Internet therefore cause economic havoc and damage na- pointing out that the profile of the cases did not fit tional food supplies; hence, important outbreaks of that of JEV infection. List moderators continued to plant pathogens need to be reported widely in a query the official diagnosis thereafter, and two timely manner. Here, there is room for improve- months later, the Malaysian government officially ment. The European and Mediterranean Plant Pro- declared that a new virus was involved, which was tection Organization (EPPO) sends out a monthly named Nipah virus. report by e-mail, but other regional plant protection By contrast, the arrival of West Nile virus in the organizations have yet to connect their members United States was not uncovered on the Internet. through the Internet. ProMED picks up food crop When crows were found dead in the Bronx Zoo in reports from the newswires and its own subscribers, New York City in 1999, nobody thought to send a but it does not cover economically important non- report on them to an Internet list with a wide, inter- food crops. disciplinary readership such as ProMED. Such an alert might have alerted investigators to a possible Technical Aspects connection between the avian deaths and the con- Web spiders and bots have been created by a num- current epidemic of human encephalitis in New ber of organizations to comb the Internet for re- York City. ports of outbreaks, using keywords. One of them is GPHIN, operated by Health Canada, whose output Agroterrorism Warnings is made available to WHO but is otherwise closed to Agroterrorism, or terrorism involving attacks on the public. There also are a number of similarly con- livestock or crops of major food or economic value, structed military networks. The University of is now recognized as a potential threat. The huge Guelph, Canada, operates networks on food safety and costly outbreak of Newcastle disease in poultry and agriculture topics, FSNet and AgNet, which are in four western and southern U.S. states, which was open for paid subscription. San Diego State Univer- recognized in late 2002, probably did not enter the sity hosts MiTAP (MITRE Text and Audio Process- country through the commercial poultry trade, but ing), developed by defense contractors but open to via imported fighting cocks kept in private back the public. MiTAP monitors infectious disease out- yards. On the same day that the World Animal breaks and other global threats. Hundreds of infor-
    • BIOLOGICAL TERRORISM: EARLY WARNING VIA THE INTERNET 49 mation sources are automatically captured, filtered, also evident that even a global network cannot catch summarized, and categorized into searchable news- every outbreak of potential importance. It needs to groups based on disease, region, information be supplemented by national networks, preferably sources, person, and organization. Critical informa- with the same independence of operation. tion is automatically extracted and tagged to facili- ProMED-style networks have already been set up in tate browsing and sorting, and an information re- Brazil and the Netherlands, and one will soon be set trieval engine supports source-specific, full-text up in South Korea. Using subscribers’ own comput- keyword searches. The system processes thousands ers, university servers, and part-time staff, these na- of articles daily, delivering up-to-date information tional networks are highly cost-effective. to more than 600 users. The capability to handle The examples given here show that the Internet foreign languages is being developed. MiTAP com- has repeatedly proved its worth as a medium for plements GPHIN and ProMED in the outbreak early warning about outbreaks of disease that could early warning field, but both MiTAP and ProMED have been caused deliberately. face serious funding problems. —Jack Woodall MiTAP requires the user to visit its site and See also: Agroterrorism (Agricultural Biological browse, whereas ProMED, in addition to posting out- Warfare); Bioterrorism break reports on its site, sends reports by e-mail so References that subscribers get them as soon as they check their Damianos, L., J. Ponte, S. Wohlever, F. Reeder, D. Day, G. e-mail. ProMED is presently the only independent, Wilson, and L. Hirschman, “MiTAP, Text and Audio free to the user, publicly accessible, global network Processing for Bio-Security: A Case Study,” in that gives early warning of outbreaks of human, ani- Proceedings of IAAI-2002: The Fourteenth Innovative mal, and plant diseases that have the potential to im- Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, pact international trade and travel. It is unique in that Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, July 28–August 1, 2002, it receives reports not only from the major newswires, http://mitap.sdsu.edu/publications/MiTAP_IAAI02. but also from local media; from its subscribers pdf. Henderson, D.A., from November 2001 correspondence, (through forwarding of new items); and from physi- quoted in editorial, September 2003, http://www. cians, veterinarians, researchers, hospitals, and labo- infectiousdiseasenews.com. ratories working with actual disease outbreaks. For ProMED, “JE—Australia (First Record),” ProMED-Mail, instance, ProMED had contact with a physician in 27 April 1995, 19950427.0229, http://www. mainland China during the SARS epidemic, who was promedmail.org. able to put the official reports about SARS in context. ProMED, “Japanese Encephalitis—Malaysia (05),” It received clinical details of the smallpox-like cases in ProMED-Mail, 17 January 1999, 19990117.0074, the Republic of the Congo from the doctor who ex- http://www.promedmail.org. amined cases there. It received news directly from a ProMED, “Lassa Fever—Germany ex Nigeria (02),” hospital in Germany concerning a case of Lassa fever, ProMED-Mail, 5 April 2000, 20000405.0497, http:// a hemorrhagic disease that usually occurs in Nigeria. www.promedmail.org. It has also received reports on outbreaks in Australia ProMED, “Newcastle Disease, Game Birds—USA (CA): from chief veterinary officers there, including the first OIE,” ProMED-Mail, 4 October 2002, 20021004. report of Japanese encephalitis virus from that coun- 5468, http://www.promedmail.org. try.All reports posted on ProMED are prescreened by ProMED, “Newcastle Disease—Australia (Victoria) a panel of moderators who are experts in their par- (04),” ProMED-Mail, 29 May 2002, 20020529.4353, http://www.promedmail.org. ticular specialties, so that hoaxes and questionable re- ProMED, “Plague, Bubonic—Algeria (Oran),” ProMED- ports are not posted to the list. Mail, 22 June 2003, 20030622.1537, http://www. Thus, ProMED provides an important comple- promedmail.org. ment to official outbreak reporting networks such ProMED, “Monkeypox, Human—Congo Rep: as those of the WHO and CDC, with the advantage Suspected,” ProMED-Mail, 23 June 2000, 20030623. that ProMED is unconstrained by the need to re- 1545, http://www.promedmail.org. ceive official clearance from the countries involved. ProMED, “Pneumonia—China (Guangdong): RFI,” In addition, ProMED covers animal and crop plant ProMED-Mail, 10 February 2003, 20030210.0357, outbreaks, which WHO and CDC do not. But it is http://www.promedmail.org.
    • 50 BIOLOGICAL WARFARE ProMED, “Citrus Sudden Death, Oranges—Brazil,” loading onto warheads that could hit U.S.-based ProMED-Mail, 20 March 2003, 20030320.0696, targets (using intercontinental ballistic missiles). http://www.promedmail.org. During the Cold War, the two superpowers had the World Health Organization, “Plague in Algeria,” 24 June capability of inflicting hundreds of thousands of bi- 2003, http://www.who.int/csr/don/2003_06_24a/en/. ological casualties with the use of such weapons. Both countries, as well as many others who are party BIOLOGICAL WARFARE to the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Conven- Biological warfare (BW) refers to the use of living tion (BTWC), have since agreed to ban the posses- organisms, or of toxins produced by living organ- sion, research, and development of offensive biolog- isms, as weapons against humans, animals, or ical weapons. But there exists today the possibility plants. In the modern parlance, there is usually a that other states could develop BW programs that distinction made between BW and bioterrorism, the could attain or even exceed the level of devastating latter referring to the terrorist use of BW agents and potential once held solely by the United States and weapons. Although the effects of a bioterrorist inci- the Soviet Union. dent could have far-reaching ramifications, gener- ally speaking these would be smaller in scale and Biological Warfare in History would probably employ less sophisticated technol- There are historical cases of armies using infectious ogy than in state-level BW programs. BW agents disease as a weapon going back at least 600 years. have already been utilized in modern-day acts of One incident was the siege of the city of Kaffa by terrorism, albeit with a relatively small impact in Mongol forces in 1346 C.E. During this campaign, terms of total casualties (including both injuries and bubonic plague had already infected and killed deaths). For example, five people died and twelve many of the Mongol (Tartar) troops, and it was others were infected in 2001 by anthrax spores rapidly being spread by the ubiquitous presence of (Bacillus anthracis) that were mailed through the rats and their associated fleas. In a clever if some- U.S. postal system by an unknown perpetrator. what desperate move, the leader of the Mongols de- In the military sense of BW, however, one would cided to hurl his own dead soldiers over the walls expect to have large numbers of casualties (in the into Kaffa (presumably using siege engines). The thousands and even millions) caused by the large- intent was apparently to spread disease among the scale delivery of BW agents suited for military European traders who had made Kaffa their refuge (counterforce) or civilian (countervalue) targets. In (Karlen, p. 87). It is unclear, however, if this tech- fact, next to nuclear weaponry, biological weapons nique really worked (Wheelis, p. 13). Although the pose the greatest threat in terms of causing mass ca- tactic seemed to show the deliberate use of a BW sualties. The major differences between nuclear war- agent, one should note that this would not have fare and BW include the lack of persistent con- been an effective means to transmit plague. In the tamination following the use of biological weaponry case of bubonic plague, the causative bacteria (with some important exceptions) and the fact that (Yersinia pestis) are spread by fleas that will only biological munitions do not damage physical struc- feed upon live hosts, and so it not likely that plague tures (such as buildings or other infrastructure). Bi- could have been disseminated by using corpses as a ological weapons might therefore be more accurately delivery system. The presence of rats, and the fleas referred to as mass casualty weapons instead of that spread the disease, however, ensured that a weapons of mass destruction (WMD). pool of host animals brought plague throughout Before renouncing the use of BW in 1969, the Europe. As a classic text on disease vectors noted, United States possessed a significant stockpile of bi- “The rat, as transported in commerce, constitutes ological weapons systems. The Soviet Union had at the chief means of spreading the diseases [i.e., least a rudimentary program since the 1920s, and it plague], the infection being carried from rat to rat continued to develop BW agents and delivery de- by means of rat fleas. For this reason plague may vices long after pledging not to do so (from about appear in a city far removed from the original focus 1975 to 1990). The Soviet Union researched, devel- of infection” (Herms, p. 424). This was the likely oped, and produced large quantities of potent BW and ultimate source of disease transmission, not agents including anthrax, smallpox, and plague for human cadavers.
    • BIOLOGICAL WARFARE 51 Similarly, there was clear intent to spread disease means of conducting offensive BW depends pri- as a means of warfare during the French and Indian marily upon the use of aerosols, which are infec- War (1754–1767) (Fenn, p. A11). During the wars tious particles that can be spread through the air against Native Americans, British military advisors and inhaled into the lungs to cause disease (see in the New World plotted to use smallpox in order Aerosol). In the 1930s, however, the idea that disease to “Bring about the Total Extirpation of those In- could be spread through the air still had its critics in dian Nations” (d’Errico). The colonial armies ap- the scientific community. At Geneva, Switzerland, parently proceeded to obtain blankets from small- during negotiations on limiting armaments, a Spe- pox hospitals and to give these to the native tribes. cial Committee on Chemical, Incendiary, and Bac- However, as in the case of plague during the siege of terial Weapons wrote the following in December Kaffa (see above), it is not clear if the methods used 1932: here resulted in significantly higher rates of infec- tion among the native tribes in the Americas than by The problem of bacteriological warfare is entirely the natural spread of smallpox. After all, millions of different from that of chemical warfare. Chemical indigenous peoples had already died from the nat- warfare is known from actual experience [e.g., ural spread of smallpox following the arrival of the World War I]; bacteriological warfare, on the first Europeans to the New World. Also, the virus other hand, is a hypothesis. Nor are there any re- sults of laboratory experiments on which knowl- (Variola major) is not known to be transmitted by edge can be based. The behavior of pathogenic using bedding or linens that had contact with previ- microbes intentionally transported from the labo- ous smallpox victims, but it is highly transmissible ratory to natural media is practically unknown to from aerosols and infectious droplets from active us. It must nevertheless be admitted that such infections. warfare is possible. Furthermore, we can only These premodern examples of BW occurred in imagine what it would represent and how it could an era when infectious disease was not well under- be prepared, and deduce from such suppositions stood. Until the advent of modern microbiology, possible methods of defense. (Fradkin, pp. 58–59) particularly the groundbreaking work of Louis Pas- teur and others in the late nineteenth century, the During the 1920s and 1930s, other voices such as conception of disease was usually linked to “foul va- that of the British scientist J. B. S. Haldane warned pors” or miasmas that mysteriously caused epi- against the potential of biological weapons. Haldane demics. (The name malaria, for example, comes suggested that yellow fever could be utilized as such from the Italian meaning bad air.) The idea that a a weapon. Indeed, in 1939, Japanese agents at- germ could be the source of deadly disease took tempted to acquire yellow fever virus from the considerable time to find widespread acceptance. Rockefeller Institute in New York, but they failed in Only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were their somewhat awkward attempts to purchase the scientists able to isolate the disease-causing mi- virus. (Yellow fever is not endemic to Asia, and thus croorganisms and to confirm the identity of a Japan’s interest in the disease appeared quite suspi- pathogen. Thus, the historical references to BW are cious to U.S. intelligence agencies.) This incident set of relevance only in that there was the deliberate use off a warning for the United States security appara- of disease as a weapon. tus, particularly as American involvement in war By the 1930s, however, a number of scientists was looming on both the European and Pacific and military thinkers had begun to seriously con- fronts. As a consequence, the Allies began to collab- sider the potential threat from biological weapons. orate on developing, and defending against, offen- For example, in 1925, a Polish military officer per- sive BW capabilities. suaded the conference for the Geneva Protocol (or Although Germany had little in the way of an Gas Protocol) of that year to include a ban on “bac- ongoing BW program, the Allies could not be cer- teriological” weapons in addition to the prohibition tain of that at the time, and they therefore planned of chemical weaponry. And although the threat of for the worst. As for Japan, it had already begun an BW seemed real, the science and application of bio- active program in China, from about 1938 until the logical weapons still was very much terra incognita. end of World War II. In gruesome experiments that We know now that the only practical and effective sometimes included live vivisection of humans, the
    • 52 BIOLOGICAL WARFARE Japanese scientists in Unit 731 and related detach- States and its allies. Most Russian research in offen- ments of its hygiene and veterinary services re- sive BW essentially ended under the Boris Yeltsin searched plague, anthrax, gas gangrene, and other administration, although some Western security an- diseases. The Japanese military scientists also devel- alysts believe that such work continues even today, oped weapons, including bombs that delivered albeit on a much more limited scale. plague bacteria using the flea as a vector (transmit- ting organism). Delivery of BW Agents: Basic Principles of During World War II, the United States, Britain, Biological Weapons and Aerosols and Canada jointly researched antihuman, as well as The main operating principle of biological antiagricultural, BW agents. Although much of the weaponry is the use of infectious aerosols. This is research began as a means to defend against possible considered the most efficient method of delivering attack, bombs filled with anthrax spores were pro- BW agents to infect large numbers of people. In a duced and tested on Gruinard Island (off the coast less likely scenario, however, insects could be bred of Scotland). But in the European theater, no bio- near a living host (say, a rat) infected with disease- logical (or chemical) weapons were used. On D-Day causing organisms, such as plague bacteria (Yersinia in June 1944, the Allies had prepared enough botu- pestis). During World War II, for example, Japanese linum vaccine (toxoid) to administer to all of the BW scientists used fleas that were raised alongside troops getting ready to land in Normandy. This plague-infested rats. As fleas collect plague bacteria massive toxoid program was begun based on faulty in their foregut (proventriculus), under certain con- intelligence that the German military planned to use ditions these organisms form a blockage of their di- botulinum toxin against an Allied invasion. gestive tract. Desperate for nutrition, when these During the Cold War (1947–1991), the United hungry fleas find another host (such as a human), a States developed a number of offensive biological flea discharges the mass of bacteria into the opening weapons, the first being a bacterial munition loaded of its bite, causing an infection. In nature, animal with Brucella suis in the early 1950s. Anthrax, tu- and human diseases caused by bacteria are often laremia, Q-fever, and Venezuelan equine encephali- due to the contamination of food and water, as well tis (VEE) were also researched and produced for de- as transmission by arthropods (vectors). The bac- livery against Soviet or Cuban targets, and anticrop terium that causes tularemia or rabbit fever (Fran- agents were stockpiled for use on the grain fields in cisella tularensis), for example, can sometimes infect Ukraine and China. humans through ticks carrying the pathogen; the During this period, the Soviet Union also pur- organism is transmitted through the tick’s bite. But sued biological weapons development, but their bi- the use of vectors (or of contamination of food and ological sciences were held back by poor technology water) to spread disease on a large scale is not con- and a political climate that wreaked havoc on their sidered a significant BW threat. It is not an efficient scientific community. When President Richard M. mode of delivery to cover large targeted areas, and Nixon decided that the United States would unilat- on the defensive side of the ledger, there are now a erally disavow offensive biological warfare in 1969, number of insecticides available to combat mosqui- the Soviet Union had just started to come out of its toes and other disease-carrying insects. relative dark ages in terms of modern genetics as Biological weapons must therefore rely on well as other biological disciplines. To help catch up aerosols for effective dissemination. Nearly all to the West, the U.S.S.R. embarked on a massive known BW agents must be produced and delivered biotechnological initiative that was primarily touted in very small particles, ranging from about 1–10 mi- for being the foundation for developing strategic bi- crons in average diameter. (The one exception is the ological weapons. The Soviet Union developed dermally active toxin T-2 and related trichothecene many of the same BW agents as the United States, mycotoxins, although these toxins would also be ef- including anthrax, tularemia, and antiagricultural fective when delivered as aerosols.) Particles ranging biological weapons. The Soviet Biopreparat com- between 1–10 microns are more likely to lodge plex also researched and developed a plague themselves into the very small alveoli, the tiny air weapon, as well as producing tons of smallpox virus sacs in the lung where oxygen and carbon dioxide for use in the event of an all-out war with the United are exchanged during respiration. Here, the alveolar
    • BIOLOGICAL WARFARE 53 wall is only about 2 microns thick, and pathogens that exist normally in the human gut (such as Es- can pass into the bloodstream. Particles larger than cherichia coli), and anthrax bacteria (Bacillus an- 10 microns (0.010 millimeters) are more apt to be thracis) are all examples of bacterial organisms. caught in the upper respiratory tree and in the nasal Within the classification of bacteria is a family of passages. Many of these larger particles, instead of rickettsial organisms. These are bacteria that can starting an infection, are instead brought back up only survive in host organisms (i.e., living tissue); and out by cilia, the tiny hairs that line the inner sur- some rickettsia can cause serious disease in animals faces of the respiratory system. These particles are and humans, including typhus (Rickettsia then gradually taken away by the body’s own mech- prowazekii), Q-fever (Coxiella burnetii) and Rocky anisms for removing foreign matter, and they are Mountain spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii). All thereby rendered harmless. three of these organisms have the potential to be One should note in this discussion of particle used in biological weapons. The United States, for sizes that the bioweaponeer must work under cer- example, produced Q-fever as a weapon during the tain physical limits. Individual bacteria, such as Cold War and researched Rocky Mountain spotted Bacillus anthracis, for example, range in size from fever in a number of biological tests for weaponiza- roughly one-half micron to 2–3 microns or more in tion. Typhus bacteria also may have been a part of diameter. To fashion bacteria into some sort of the early Soviet BW program. weapon, therefore, requires that the pathogens be separated into small enough particles, averaging less Viruses than 10 microns in diameter. Processing the biolog- Viruses are usually much smaller than bacteria. One ical material to such a fineness while maintaining its of the largest viruses that cause disease in humans, viability is technically demanding. Although find- smallpox (Variola major) virus, measures about ing, growing, and preparing bacteria is not techni- 0.3–0.4 microns in diameter, or roughly one-tenth cally difficult, producing a complete weapon system the size of anthrax bacteria spores. Viruses also dif- to deliver these agents in the desired aerosol para- fer from bacteria in their structure, and they are de- meters is no easy task. pendent upon living cells (prokaryotic, e.g., bacteria Because BW agents almost exclusively require and eukaryotic, e.g., animal cells) for replication. In the utilization of aerosols to cause infection, one nature, viruses can be spread in ways similar to form of ready defense is simply filtering the air with those of bacterial infections, such as vectors (e.g., a mask or with the filters found in collective shelters. mosquitoes) and contact with infectious hosts. But One U.S. Army study showed that doubling over a also like some bacterial diseases, many viruses are towel once or twice and holding this over the nose spread by aerosols and large infectious droplets, par- and mouth was sufficient to filter out most particles ticularly through formation of infectious particles in the sizes necessary for causing infection through generated by coughing or sneezing. the inhaled route. But though such protective mea- Viruses can be harmless or can cause diseases, sures are effective in theory, in practice one needs to some more serious than others. Some viruses can first know that a biological attack is taking place. grow quickly and create symptoms of disease within Aerosols are silent, invisible, and at present can only days or weeks, but others may take a much longer be detected in real time with special light-scattering time to cause illness. The Human Immunodefi- techniques. Thus, it is unlikely that most people ciency Virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immun- under a biological attack would be able to don pro- odeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and the rabies virus tective masks in time to be of any use. are examples of infections that are fatal but that take considerable time before infected individuals may BW Agent Types become deathly ill. For use as a biological weapon, Bacteria the pathogen would need to be one that can cause There are three main categories of BW agents: bac- disease quickly and that is likely to infect most hu- teria, viruses, and toxins. Bacteria are organisms that mans following exposure. A viral BW agent would are more primitive than the cells making up animal also require a formulation that could be dissemi- tissue and that, with the right nutrients, can live and nated in the form of an aerosol to be most effective replicate by division. Bacteria used in yogurt, those in a biological weapon.
    • 54 BIOLOGICAL WARFARE Toxins Theoretically, any disease or disease-causing Unlike CW agents that are synthetically manufac- toxin could be fashioned into some sort of weapon. tured, BW toxins are molecules produced by living (See the sidebar for a list of potential BW agents.) organisms. One toxin, for example, is produced by However, only a small percentage of disease-causing the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and is the agents are practical for large-scale biological attacks cause of some very serious forms of food poison- on humans. Bioterrorism could also involve a num- ing (botulism). (Botulus is the Latin word for ber of disease-causing microbes (pathogens) or tox- sausage, as the disease has long been associated ins, although attacks using these would probably be with tainted meat products.) The toxicity of botu- on a smaller scale. linum toxin is variously estimated to be lethal in Because BW is essentially warfare by means of amounts ranging from about 0.1 micrograms (in- infectious disease—public health in reverse—it is gested) to 5 micrograms (inhaled), the latter fig- important in studying BW to understand how mi- ure being 200 times smaller than the estimated croorganisms or their toxins cause injury or death. lethal dose of the most toxic nerve agent, VX. Anthrax is often cited as a typical BW agent, and it However, the actual delivery of botulinum would has been used in acts of terrorism both in Japan and, present more difficulties than VX. Botulinum with more success, in the United States. Again, the toxin is rather fragile, and if its chemical structure importance of the aerosolized dissemination route and integrity are damaged (denatured), it will of exposure cannot be understated. Using Bacillus cause no harm. Also, whereas VX can act through anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, involves the skin, botulinum toxin must be delivered in the the production of anthrax bacterial spores. As op- form of an aerosol or introduced into the body posed to the growing and dividing phase of the bac- through wounds, injection, or ingestion. One bio- terial life cycle, spores are very similar in concept to logical toxin that is unusual in this respect is T-2, seeds of a plant. Although not part of a reproductive a compound derived from some species of Fusar- cycle, the bacterial endospore (or spore) is a means ium mold. This compound is especially toxic to by which a bacterium can ensure its own survival. skin upon contact. It is not clear, however, if T-2 When faced with a lack of food or when under other was ever produced or used in any form as a means physical stress, spore-forming bacteria like Bacillus of warfare, although it and other trichothecene anthracis and Coxiella burnetii can convert from mycotoxins are suspected as being the active in- their growth phase into a smaller, more spherical gredient in yellow rain. shape that includes a very thick, protective outer wall. This spore can remain in a stage of hibernation Using Biological Weapons until it finds another environment with nutrients, One major difference between CW and BW is that water, and more favorable conditions. For use in a biological weapons, all other things being equal, weapon, these spores are produced in such a way have much more delayed effects (measured in days that they can be easily disseminated in an aerosol. to weeks), whereas CW agents cause injury and When the victim breathes in anthrax spores, tens death much more quickly (measured in minutes to to hundreds to thousands of spores (data are in- hours). One can think of BW as the use of infectious complete with regard to infectivity in humans) are disease against an enemy. There is usually a certain necessary to cause disease, depending upon the in- latent or incubation period between exposure to dividual. (In the case of Q-fever, it may require microbes and the appearance of actual disease fewer than ten spores in order to cause infection. symptoms. Like CW agents, some biological toxins The resulting disease, however, is much less serious may have faster action than others, perhaps only than inhalation anthrax.) If they are of the right hours to a day or so before the effects become particle size, they can reach the alveoli in the lungs. known. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), for ex- Here, they may sit for a while and do nothing until ample, has a relatively short latent period. In cases of picked up by special cells that pick up foreign mat- SEB ingestion or inhalation, symptoms may appear ter. These macrophages will surround the anthrax in a matter of a few hours (or less). Botulinum spore and carry it to the nearby lymph. (The lym- toxin, on the other hand, requires 12 to 24 hours or phatic system is a special draining system that the more before it takes effect. body uses to rid itself of foreign bodies and
    • BIOLOGICAL WARFARE 55 SELECTED PATHOGENS Murray Valley encephalitis WITH POTENTIAL FOR USE Negishi (tick-borne group) Omsk hemorrhagic fever (tick-borne group) IN BIOLOGICAL WARFARE Powassan (tick-borne group) Rocio HUMAN/ZOONOTIC PATHOGENS Russian spring-summer encephalitis (tick-borne Viral Pathogens group) Arenaviridae (Old World) St. Louis encephalitis Lassa fever Sal Vieja Mopeia (Mozambique, Zimbabwe) San Perlita Spondweni Arenaviridae (New World) Tick-borne encephalitis Flexal hemorrhagic fever (Brazil) Wesselsbron Guanarito hemorrhagic fever (Venezuela) West Nile fever Junin hemorrhagic fever (Argentine) Yellow fever Lymphocytic choriomeningitis Machupo hemorrhagic fever (Bolivia) Hepadnaviridae Sabia hemorrhagic fever (Brazil) Hepatitis B Hepatitis D (delta) Bunyaviridae Akabane (hantavirus) Orthomyxoviridae Belgrade (Dobrava) Influenza (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Bhanja (nairovirus) Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) Paramyxoviridae (nairovirus) Hendra Complex viruses (equine morbillivirus) Germiston Menangle Hantaan (hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) Nipah (hantavirus) Oropouche Poxviridae Rift Valley fever Alastrim (Variola minor) Seoul (hantavirus) Monkey pox Sin Nombre (formerly Muerto Canyon) Smallpox (Variola major) Caliciviridae Rhabdoviridae Hepatitis E Piry Rabies Filoviridae Ebola Retroviridae Marburg Human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) Human T-cell lymphotropic viruses (HTLV) types 1 Flaviviridae and 2 Absettarov (tick-borne group) Simian immunodeficiency virus Dengue Hanzalova (tick-borne group) Togaviridae Hepatitis C Chikungunya Hepatitis G Eastern equine encephalitis Hypr (tick-borne group) Everglades Israel turkey meningitis Getah Japanese encephalitis Middleburg Kumlinge (tick-borne group) Mucambo Kyasanur Forest (tick-borne group) Ndumu Louping-Ill (tick-borne group) (continues)
    • 56 BIOLOGICAL WARFARE SELECTED PATHOGENS (continued) Mycobacterium simae Mycobacterium szulgai Sagiyama Mycobacterium tuberculosis Tonate Mycobacterium ulcerans Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) Mycobacterium xenopi Western equine encephalitis (WEE) Salmonella paratyphi A, B, C (paratyphoid) Salmonella typhi (typhoid) Unclassified Viruses Shigella dysenteriae (dysentery) Borna disease Vibrio cholerae (cholera) Hepatitis viruses not yet identified Yersinia pestis (plague) Transfusion-transmitted viruses Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) Rickettsiae Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad Coxiella burnetii (Q-fever) cow disease) and other related TSEs Ehrlichia spp. (e.g., Ehrlichia sennetsu, formerly Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variants known as Rickettsia sennetsu) Fatal familial insomnia Rickettsia akari Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome Rickettsia Canada Kuru Rickettsia conorii Rickettsia Montana Bacteria Rickettsia prowazekii (epidemic typhus) Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever) Bartonella quintana (formerly Rochalimea quintana), Rickettsia tsutsugamushi trench fever Rickettsia typhi (Rickettsia mooseri) Brucella abortus (brucellosis) Rochalimaea spp. Brucella canis Brucella melitensis (brucellosis) Fungi Brucella ovis (not known to be a human pathogen; Ad Blastomyces dermitidis (Ajellomyces dermatitidis) Hoc Group, BWC) (blastomycosis) Brucella suis (brucellosis) Cladophialophora bantiana (formerly known as Burkholderia mallei (glanders) Xylohypha bantiana, Cladosporium bantianum) Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis) Coccidioides immitis Chlamydophila psittaci (formerly Chlamydia psittaci) Coccidioides posadasii Closteridium tetani (tetanus) Histoplasma capsulatum (incl. var. duboisii) Clostridium botulinum ( “Botulinum neurotoxin- Histoplasma capsulatum var. farcinimosum producing strains of Clostridium,” according to Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum (Ajellomyces CDC [Centers for Disease Control]) capsulatus) Clostridium perfringens (gas gangrene) Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diptheria) Ad Hoc Penicillium marneffei Group, BWC Escherichia coli (enterohaemorrhagic, e.g., O157H7) Parasites Francisella tularensis (tularemia) (UKNCC list notes Echinococcus granulosus Type A only [class 3 pathogen]) Echinococcus multilocularis Legionella pneumophila (legionnaires' disease) Echinococcus vogeli Mycobacterium africanum Leishmania brasiliensis Mycobacterium avium/intracullulare Leishmania donovani Mycobacterium bovis Naegleria fowleri (naegleriasis, amoebic Mycobacterium kansasii meningoencephalitis) Mycobacterium leprae Plasmodium falciparum (malaria) Mycobacterium malmoense Taenia solium (pork tapeworm, cysticercosis) Mycobacterium microti Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense Mycobacterium scrofulaceum Trypanosoma cruzi
    • BIOLOGICAL WARFARE 57 Toxins Animal Bacteria Abrin Mycoplasma mycoides var. capri (goats, i.e., contagious Aflatoxins caprine pleuropneumonia) Botulinum (botulinum neurotoxins, according to Mycoplasma mycoides var. mycoides (small colony: CDC) contagious bovine pleuropneumonia) Cholera Closteridium perfringens (APHIS: epsilon toxin) Animal Rickettsia Cobra venom Cowdria ruminantium (heartwater) Conotoxin Corynebacterium diphtheriae toxin PLANT PATHOGENS Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) Plant Viruses HT-2 Banana bunchy top Microcystin (cyanginosin) Plum pox potyvirus Modeccin Sugar cane Fiji disease (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Ricin Saxitoxin Plant Bacteria Shiga (includes shiga-like toxins, according to CDC) Citrus greening disease (Candidatus) Staphylococcus aureus toxins (enterotoxins) Erwinia amylovora, fire blight of apple (Ad Hoc T-2 (trichothecene mycotoxin) Group, BWC) Tetanus Erwinia carotovora (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Tetrodotoxin Liberobacter africanus and Liberobacter asiaticus Verotoxin (huanglongbing, yellow dragon disease) Verrucologen (Myrothecium verrucaria) Ralstonia solanacearum (Pseudomonas solanacearum), Viscum album lectin 1 (viscumin) tomatoes (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Volkensin Xanthomonas albilineans (leaf scald) Xanthomonas campestris pv. Aurantifolia (Ad Hoc ANIMAL PATHOGENS Group, BWC) Animal Viruses Xanthomonas campestris pv. Citri African horse sickness Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae (leaf blight, African swine fever bacterial leaf blight) Aujeszky's disease (porcine herpes) Xanthomonas citri (Highly pathogenic) avian influenza Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Bluetongue Xylella fastidiosa Camel pox Classical swine fever (hog cholera) Plant Fungi Foot-and-mouth disease Bipolaris oryzae (Helminthosporium oryzae, Goat pox Cochliobolus miyaeanus ), brown spot of rice Horse pox Colletotrichum coffeanum var. virulans (Colletrichum Lumpy skin disease kahawae) Lyssa Deuterophoma tracheiphila (Phoma tracheiphila), mal Malignant catarrhal fever secco disease Newcastle disease Dothistroma pini (Scirrhia pini) needle blight on/of Peste des petits ruminants pine (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Porcine enterovirus type 9, also known as swine Microcyclus ulei (Dothidella ulei), South American leaf vesicular disease (SVD) blight Rabies Moniliophthora rorei (Monilia rorei), cocoa moniliasis Rinderpest Peronosclerospora philippinensis (Philippine downy Sheep pox mildew) Simian herpes B Phakopsora pachyrhizi Teschen disease Phytophthora infestans, late blight of potato (Ad Hoc Vesicular stomatitis Group, BWC) Whitepox (poxviridae; African monkeys and rodents) (continues)
    • 58 BIOLOGICAL WARFARE SELECTED PATHOGENS (continued) Soybean rust Synchytrium endobioticum (potato wart) Puccinia erianthi (also known as Puccinia Tilletia spp. (wheat cover smut) (Ad Hoc Group, melanocephala), orange rust of sugar cane (Ad BWC) Hoc Group, BWC) Ustilago maydis, corn smut Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (rust fungus) Puccinia striiformis (wheat yellow rust) (Puccinia Destructive Plant/Fruit Insects glumarum) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann; Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Pyricularia grisea (formerly known as Pyricularia Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) oryzae, also Magnaporthe grisea), rice blast fungus Thrips palmi Karny (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Sclerophthora rayssiae var. zeae (brown stripe downy Western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis mildew) (Pergande; Ad Hoc Group, BWC) Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, sclerotinia rot (Ad Hoc Group, BWC) pathogens.) In some instances, however, when the more and more cells, killing them as they go in Bacillus anthracis spores infiltrate the lung, instead some cases, causing various disease symptoms of being dissolved and drained from the body, the such as headache, fever, chills, and nausea. Viral pathogenic bacteria begin to grow and multiply. BW agents include smallpox, viruses that cause se- These bacteria would ordinarily be captured and vere bleeding in tissues (hemorrhagic fevers), and killed by the body’s immune system. Disease-caus- viruses that cause severe disease in horses (such as ing forms of anthrax, however, produce a protec- Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis) but also produce tive covering (capsule) that prevents the body from illness in humans. VEE virus, grown in fertilized effectively finding, fixing, and destroying them. chicken eggs during the Cold War, was an impor- Anthrax bacteria then excrete a toxin complex: one tant BW agent in both the U.S. and Soviet biologi- component, called protective antigen (PA), is con- cal weapons arsenals. This virus can also be grown nected to another part called the lethal factor (LF) in other types of tissue culture and can be prepared component. PA binds with cell receptors in the in dry powder form for wide dissemination as an body, allowing the LF toxin to gain entry into the aerosol. Although most individuals exposed to this host’s cells. Cell damage and death due to the LF virus will contract the disease, and the symptoms toxin causes the body to make a frantic effort to (flulike and worse) are severe, few will die from fight off the disease, bringing about severe inflam- VEE infection. For use by militaries against large, mation and producing fever, nausea, vomiting, and well-populated targets, VEE virus can cause wide- swelling of tissues. Unless treated aggressively with spread incapacitation of the enemy forces and antibiotics, inhalation anthrax usually causes their civilian populations. death in humans if not caught in the early stages of disease. BW Defense Other bacteria, such as plague and tularemia, The first line of defense against BW is early detec- also cause disease by toxic elements built within tion of the toxin or pathogen. This is most likely to their cellular structures. Plague, unless treated with be accomplished by health care professionals and by antibiotics, is likely to be quite deadly, especially if laboratories designed to identify microbial diseases inhaled as an aerosol. Tularemia also can be deadly, and related toxins. (In 2004, work was underway to but with treatment most victims will survive this detect aerosols at a distance and to define those that disease. constitute a biological threat; however, these devices Also best delivered in aerosol form, viral BW are still in the early stages of technical reliability.) agents cause disease as they take over the cellular Probably, the first sign of a BW attack would be ac- machinery in the body and use these to replicate tual cases of disease that are diagnosed by physicians themselves. The viruses can continue to infect in a hospital, clinical laboratory, or medical office.
    • BIOPREPARAT 59 Once the BW agent has been identified, the next Fenn, Elizabeth A., “Biological Warfare, circa 1750,” The course of action would include treating the individ- New York Times, 11 April 1998, p. A11. ual patient but also starting an aggressive public Fradkin, Elvira K., The Air Menace and the Answer (New health action plan to treat other possible exposures. York: Macmillan, 1934). Some BW agents can be treated with vaccines if Herms, William B., Medical Entomology, (New York: the exposure to the agent is detected early. Smallpox MacMillan Company, 1950). Karlen, Arno, Man and Microbes (New York: G. P. is a good example. Being a disease that is easily Putnam’s Sons, 1995), p. 87. transmitted from one person to another, it would be Murray, Patrick R., George S. Kobayashi, Michael A. critical to vaccinate anyone near or in contact with Pfaller, and Ken S. Rosenthal, Medical Microbiology, the victim. This can both protect those exposed in- second edition (St. Louis: Mosby, 1994), p. 526. dividuals from smallpox infection and slow or stop Patrick, William III, “Analysis of Botulinum Toxin, Type the spread of smallpox in the community. Without A, as a Biological Warfare Threat,” unpublished adequate vaccination, smallpox could spread like report, 2001. wildfire and could rage out of control even with Wheelis, Mark, “Biological Warfare before 1914,” in strict measures to keep people from traveling or in- Erhard Geissler and John Ellis van Courtland Moon, teracting outside their homes and neighborhoods. eds., Biological and Toxin Weapons: Research, Vaccines can be used against anthrax and plague, Development, and Use from the Middle Ages to 1945, although at present it is not certain how effective SIPRI Chemical & Biological Warfare Studies no. 18 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 13. these would be against inhalation forms of either disease. Vaccinations also would have to be done well ahead of time, days or preferably weeks before BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROTECTIVE the actual BW attack. Some toxins also have vac- MEASURES cines (toxoids) for protection against exposure, such See Protective Measures: Biological Weapons as that used for botulinum. Again, communities need to have an accurate threat picture and ade- BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION quate time before the actual attack for these to be (BWC) successful. See Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention In most cases, vaccines would be most critical for contagious BW diseases like smallpox, and to a BIOPREPARAT certain extent plague (in its pneumonic form). During the latter half of the twentieth century, the Other BW agents, however, are not known to be Soviet Union (and later, to a much more limited de- contagious. Bacterial and rickettsial diseases are gree, Russia) possessed the largest and most ad- treatable with antibiotics. Viral diseases are for the vanced biological weapons technology and produc- most part not successfully treatable with tion infrastructure ever known. The Soviet chemotherapy, although some antiviral medica- organization known as Biopreparat was ostensibly tions have been shown to be efficacious in some in- devoted to civilian biotechnology. It was, in fact, the stances. But for most viral infections, all that can be research and development arm for the Soviet mili- done is to provide supportive care to the victim— tary to produce biological warfare agents and muni- fluid replacement, breathing assistance, and pain tions. Some open source documents provide regulation. These can be quite effective in reducing glimpses into past Soviet activities in offensive bio- overall mortality. logical warfare. Much of what is known from the —Eric A. Croddy open literature about the former Soviet BW pro- gram, however, is based upon the testimony of So- See also: Chemical and Biological Munitions and viet defectors, including Vladimir Pasechnik, Ken Military Operations; Kaffa, Siege of; Protective Measures: Biological Weapons; Vaccines Alibek, and other participants in the Biopreparat References program. d’Errico, Peter, “Jeffrey Amherst and Smallpox Blankets: Biopreparat—a parallel entity to the Soviet Min- Lord Jeffrey Amherst’s letters Discussing Germ istry of Defense (MOD), from which it obtained fi- Warfare against American Indians,” http://www. nancing—was officially subordinate to the civilian nativeweb.org/pages.legal.amherst/lord_jeff.html. Main Administration of the Microbiological Industry
    • 60 BIOPREPARAT (Glavmikrobioprom). Referred to as the Concern, developed by Soviet KGB scientists), little is known Biopreparat during its 20 years of activity (from 1972 about the role of this toxin and others in the Soviet until about 1992) served as the main technology and BW program. manufacturing base for the antihuman biological warfare (BW) agents in the former Soviet Union. Al- Brief History of Soviet Biological Weapons though its charge was to conduct offensive BW re- Following the establishment of the Bolshevik search and development, Biopreparat also produced regime in 1917, the Soviet biological weapons pro- civilian pharmaceuticals and was the second largest gram grew in fits and starts. Begun largely because manufacturer of antibiotics in the world. of the great losses Russia suffered in World War I, es- The civilian nature of Biopreparat and its con- pecially from chemical warfare, it is likely that past nection with military biology is not surprising. The experience with diseases (e.g., typhus) were was a creation of a civilian-styled organization for devel- deciding factor in the Soviet Union’s starting the oping biological weapons followed a Soviet pattern program. The Soviet BW program would be inter- established decades before Biopreparat was formed. rupted by Stalin’s purges and by the rise of Lysenko- For example, because of the endemic nature of ism (see below), and then it would be reborn with plague (sometimes called Black Death) throughout the dawn of new discoveries in genetics. the Eurasian continent, it was logical that Soviet sci- The Soviet biological weapons program can be entists had developed an extensive antiplague sys- roughly divided into two phases: 1) the initiation of tem for disease monitoring and surveillance. Such a a full-fledged biological warfare program in 1928, civilian-oriented system would actually have dual and 2) the resurgence in the pursuit of military roles: public-health-related research into infectious biotechnology following Lysenkoism in the early diseases, and militarily useful work in developing bi- 1970s. Serious efforts on the part of the Soviet ological warfare (BW) agents. By the 1950s, the sem- Union to develop biological weaponry took place blance of an infrastructure—again, civilian, at least just after signing arms control agreements meant to in outward appearance—for biological weapons de- stem such activity. velopment had already been established in the So- In 1928, Yakob Moiseevich Fishman recom- viet Union. Referred to in official-speak as Problem mended to Red Army Commissar Kliment No. 5, offensive biological weapons research and de- Voroshilov that the Soviet Union initiate biological velopment was carried out by these antiplague and weapons development. That same year, the Soviet related organizations. Union acceded to the Geneva Protocol of 1925, for- By the end of its biological weapons program bidding the use (albeit with many loopholes and ex- (1992), the Soviet military had weaponized several ceptions) of chemical and “bacteriological” warfare. viruses: smallpox, Venezuelan equine encephalitis Similarly, in 1975, when the Soviet government offi- (VEE), and Marburg. In the development stage cially ratified the 1972 Biological Toxin and were other hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola, Weapons Convention (BTWC), it had already Lassa, Russian spring-summer encephalitis, Argen- begun a massive project for military biological re- tine and Bolivian hemorrhagic fevers, and possibly search and weapons production. A year after signing others. Lethal bacteria in the Soviet biological the BTWC, an organization was formed by the So- weapons arsenal included an especially potent form viet government that would be tasked with biologi- of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis), with less deadly but cal weapons research, development, and manufac- still virulent tularemia (Francisella tularensis) and ture: the All-Union Science-Production Association, Brucella spp. bacteria. (The latter BW agent was or Biopreparat (Order No. 131, April 1974). later replaced by the incapacitating biological agent glanders, or Burkholderia mallei.) Another incapac- Prelude to Biopreparat: Lysenko itating agent, Q-fever (Coxiella burnetti), was also The Soviet Union’s decision to reinvigorate its offen- produced in the Soviet Union, but like Brucella, it, sive BW efforts followed a period termed Lysenko- too, eventually fell out of favor as a weapon. Ac- ism—or the Russian pejorative Lysenkovshchina. cording to Ken Alibek, work with botulinum toxin Until the 1970s, Soviet scientists had to their credit was conducted in the mid-1970s. But aside from many advances in applied and basic research. But in their roles as assassination weapons (such as those the field of biology, the Soviet Union had in many
    • BIOPREPARAT 61 areas fallen far behind the West. This state of affairs Unlike Lysenko, who derided scientific knowledge could largely be blamed on one person, the Ukrain- drawn from other countries, Ovchinnikov read the ian-born agronomist Trofim D. Lysenko (1898– foreign scientific journals and knew of the advances 1976). Lysenko relied on extensive self-promotion to in Western biotechnology. According to Ken Alibek, make up for a lack of knowledge in the scientific field who was former deputy director of Biopreparat in which he eventually chose to work. until his defection to the West in 1992, Ovchinnikov After receiving a certificate in agronomy in 1925, “decided to resolve the crisis in Russian biology by Lysenko started his professional career as an agricul- appealing to the self-interest of the masters of our tural technician in Azerbaijan. While Lysenko was [i.e., Soviet] militarized economy. In 1972, he asked growing a batch of peas, a Pravda (a Russian news- the Ministry of Defense to support a genetics pro- paper) correspondent took special note of the gram devoted to developing new agents for biologi- young scientist, impressed most of all by Lysenko’s cal warfare” (Alibek, p. 41). If many top Soviet lead- proletarian origins. Through means of journalistic ers were unimpressed by Ovchinnikov’s proposals, hyperbole, Lysenko was suddenly credited with President Leonid Brezhnev was highly receptive. making a qualitative leap in agricultural technique: After all, if the Soviet Union were falling behind in the ability to grow abundant yields of crops in the scientific technology—no less being surpassed by its winter soil. Emboldened by this publicity, Lysenko nemesis the United States and its NATO allies—this went on to claim that winter wheat could be grown would require decisive action. to fantastic yields if the seeds were exposed to cold That same year (1972), the Soviet Council of temperatures and were planted in spring instead of Ministers also convened the Interagency Science autumn. He was made responsible for directing the and Technology Council on Molecular Biology and planting of wheat in the collective farms, and exag- Genetics (ISTCMBG). This council was comprised gerated claims of his yields were widely distributed. of leaders from within the Soviet military, the Acad- But what would turn out to be disastrous methods emy of Sciences, and the Ministries of Health and of Stalinist collectivization would only make Ly- Agriculture. Chairing this secret body was Vladimir senko all the more famous. Zhdanov, an accomplished microbiologist whose Based on his own inchoate understanding of the specialty was viruses. The post of deputy director science and without diligent scruples, Lysenko then was held by Igor Domaradsky. Domaradsky had turned his sights on genetics. He would later claim earlier been the director of antiplague systems dur- that geneticists, and all of those who accepted ing the 1950s, and having expertise with plague Mendelian laws, were wreckers, enemies of social- (Yersinia pestis), he would play a critical role for later ism and therefore enemies of the state. With the un- research into weaponizing the bacterium. (This was failing support of Stalin (who had a talent for ruth- no mean feat. During the 1950s and 1960s, when the lessness and who, like Lysenko, came from modest, United States still possessed an offensive BW pro- peasant beginnings), thousands of Russian scientists gram, American scientists tried to devise a plague- who did not toe the official line—especially the ge- based weapon but were unsuccessful.) Along with neticists among them—were subsequently arrested Biopreparat, these individuals and organizations and sent to the infamous gulags (labor camps). would play a crucial role in the research and devel- Many more were simply ostracized. In 1953, when opment of biological weapons. Watson and Crick published their groundbreaking research on the DNA double helix, some of this Organizations and Laboratories within antigenetics campaign was halted. But Lysenko’s Biopreparat opinions on biology, particularly his animus against In 1973, Biopreparat had been formally established modern genetics, continued to influence the coun- under the code name Fermenty (Enzymes). Re- try until at least the mid-1960s, and ultimately, its quirements for biological weapons research and de- effects were still felt long after Lysenko’s death. velopment were set according to the decisions In the early 1970s, the forceful personality of a made by the ISTCMBG. Located in Moscow, Bio- well-regarded Soviet molecular biologist, academi- preparat was listed simply as Post Office Box A- cian Yuri Ovchinnikov, entered the battle over the 1063. The first director, a lieutenant general at the future of genetic research inside the Soviet Union. time, was Vsevolod Ivanovich Ogarkov. Thus, the
    • 62 BIOPREPARAT military biological activities of Biopreparat were in- the Microbiological Industry (Glavmikrobioprom) formally known in Russia as “Sistema Ogarkova,” or established Vector in March 1985. In the early 1990s, Ogarkov’s System. Despite its civilian trappings, Vector had a staff of about 3,000. Vector is one of Biopreparat’s institutes and production facilities two official repositories of the smallpox virus, the were actually run by the fifteenth Directorate of the other being the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Soviet Ministry of Defense. Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, Georgia. Alibek, who had been the organization’s first The State Scientific Institute of Ultrapure Bio- deputy director from 1988 to 1991, reported that logical Preparations was located in Leningrad (now Biopreparat was meant to be the primary produc- St. Petersburg). This facility was a crucial link in de- tion source of biological warfare agents in the event veloping a technological basis for weaponizing BW of a war footing or outright hostilities with the West. agents, particularly the creation of very fine Thus, in peacetime, Biopreparat was mostly on a aerosols. Under the leadership of Vladimir Pasech- “standby footing.” “Mobilization” facilities included nik—who in 1989 would defect and reveal to the the Scientific Design Institute and Factory of Bio- West many secrets of the Soviet biological weapons preparations Complex in Berdsk, Novosibirsk, program—the Institute was involved in the manu- Siberia; the Scientific Research Institute of Microbi- facture of cruise missiles capable of delivering infec- ology in Kirov (now Vyatka), 150 miles southwest of tious aerosols. Moscow; and the Center for Military-Technical The Scientific Experimental and Production Problems of Anti-Bacteriological Defense in Base was located in Stepnogorsk, Kazakhstan. Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinberg). There were several Stepnogorsk is a Stalinesque town built largely for other important elements of the Biopreparat net- uranium mining, located in the otherwise desolate work. The State Scientific Center of Applied Micro- steppes of northern Kazakhstan. It also held the biology was located in Obolensk (about 60 miles largest biological weapons facility in the world. Due south of Moscow). This facility was involved in bio- to an accident caused by a release of anthrax spores logical weapons research, including the genetic ma- at Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinberg) in 1979, produc- nipulation of microbial agents and their testing in tion of anthrax was moved to Stepnogorsk because aerosol chambers. Established in 1974 during the the Scientific Experimental and Production Base height of the Soviet BW program, the Center had a possessed superior air handling capabilities and was staff of about 1,500 people, half of whom were re- in a remote location. During a time of conflict, tons search scientists. of anthrax could have been produced there within The Center of Virology in Zagorsk (now Sergiyev two weeks. Built at an estimated cost of 1 billion Posad), was located 50 miles northeast of Moscow. rubles (approximately U.S. $1 billion), the massive According to Alibek, the Center produced smallpox complex of buildings, tunnels, bunkers, and 20,000- to meet an annual stockpile quota of 20 tons. Based liter fermenters at Stepnogorsk has since the end of on a highly virulent strain obtained from an Indian the Cold War been gutted and almost completely smallpox patient in 1967, this weapon had a refrig- destroyed. What remained of the equipment and erated shelf life of six months. In the event of a nu- staffing was converted to a commercial enterprise to clear exchange with the United States, smallpox produce commercial products (“joint-stock com- virus (and other BW agents) was to be loaded in liq- pany”) in 1993. uid form in bomblets on the SS-18 intercontinental In addition to the testing of a variety of other ballistic missile (ICBM). BW agents, including Marburg virus, the Stepno- The Institute of Immunological Design was lo- gorsk facility was charged with the manufacture of cated in Lybuchany (outside Moscow) and was weapons-grade anthrax and plague. With advances under the direction of Vladimir Petrovich Zav’yalov. made in the 1980s in producing virulent strains of In the 1980s, this institute was charged with the de- bacteria, it was here that Alibek managed the devel- velopment of tularemia vaccine and diagnostic test- opment of the 836 strain of weaponized anthrax, ing kits. probably the most lethal ever produced. The State Scientific Center of Virology and Also located in Kazakhstan near the Uzbekistan Biotechnology (Vector) was located in Koltsovo border was Vozrozhdeniye (Rebirth) Island. After (Novosibirsk, Siberia). The Main Administration of 1952, this was the Aral test facility, Aralsk-7, a bio-
    • BIOREGULATORS 63 logical weapons proving ground for the Soviet mili- propriately elevated levels (e.g., as a result of inten- tary. Biological weapons testing at this installation tional introduction into the body), a bioregulator was likely the cause of a smallpox outbreak in 1971 can overwhelm the body’s compensatory mecha- near Rebirth Island. nisms, and its actions can go unchecked. Potential At its peak, Biopreparat had an estimated consequences include the sensation of pain, loss of 40,000–60,000 personnel, with about 40 laborato- consciousness, altered blood pressure, and altered ries and production facilities spread across much of psyche. These consequences, although profoundly the former Soviet territory. Even during the Gor- incapacitating, are generally not lethal, although bachev years (1986–1990) of Perestroika, a five-year death is possible under certain circumstances. plan continued to weaponize the Ebola, Marburg, In theory, a bioregulator can be introduced into and smallpox viruses. As far as it is known, how- the body in one of two ways. First, it can be intro- ever, the biological-weapons-related activity and duced by using well-established genetic engineering associated elements of Biopreparat have largely techniques; the gene that codes for the bioregulator been disbanded. can be inserted into a microorganism, which is then —Eric A. Croddy delivered into the body via injection, ingestion, or See also: Aralsk Smallpox Outbreak; Russia: Chemical inhalation. Upon gaining entry into the body, the and Biological Weapons Programs; Stepnogorsk; microorganism produces the bioregulator, and its Sverdlovsk Anthrax Accident effects are felt. Second, the bioregulator itself can be References chemically or enzymatically synthesized in a labora- Alibek, Ken, Biohazard (New York: Random House, tory. Once a quantity of the bioregulator has been 1999). produced, it can be delivered on its own, again via Bozheyeva, Gulbarshyn, Yerlan Kunakbayev, and Dastan injection, ingestion, or inhalation, in the same man- Yeleukenov, Former Soviet Biological Weapons ner that any other biological weapon (or pharma- Facilities in Kazakhstan: Past, Present, and Future, ceutical agent, for that matter) would be delivered. Occasional Paper no. 1, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey, California, June 1999. Bioregulators lend themselves to rapid synthesis Miller, Judith, Stephen Engelberg, and William Broad, due to the abbreviated nature of their constituent Germs (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001). amino acid chains, and commercial and scientific Rimmington, Anthony, “Invisible Weapons of Mass developments have made the production of various Destruction: The Soviet Union’s BW Programme peptides possible on a large scale. For example, 4 and Its Implications for Contemporary Arms million kilograms of NutraSweet—a simple peptide Control,” The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, vol. consisting of two amino acids, aspartic acid and 13, no. 3, September 2000, pp. 1–46. phenylalanine—were manufactured per year in the Soyfer, Valery N., Lysenko and the Tragedy of Soviet late 1980s. Such production has become increas- Science (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University ingly affordable, and the synthetic techniques em- Press, 1994). ployed further allow for the enhancement not only of a bioregulator’s potency, but also of properties BIOREGULATORS such as its activity and selectivity, all of which helps Bioregulators, or bioregulatory peptides, are geneti- to create a powerful, highly specific, and potentially cally coded chains of amino acids that are produced very dangerous analogue. Given both the produc- naturally in the human body and are essential for tion and manipulation potential of bioregulators, normal physiological functioning. These substances the future illicit development—and subsequent resemble toxins in their nature and action, and in use—of these substances cannot be ruled out. technical terms can in fact be defined as toxins, in that they are “chemicals of biological origin.” Research in the Soviet Union Though the role of bioregulators in controlling bio- Soviet bioweaponeers engaged in extensive research logical processes has only begun to be understood, on bioregulators throughout the 1980s under the their effects are known to range from the mediation code name Project Bonfire. As reported during a of sensations such as fear and pain to the regulation conference of Soviet scientists in 1989, the project of the body’s vital signs, namely blood pressure, had been a success: the gene coding for the bioregu- heart rate, and respiration. When present at inap- lator myelin toxin, named as such by the Soviets for
    • 64 BIOTERRORISM its ability to damage the myelin sheaths of neurons later could not be accounted for, leaving open the and thus disrupt nerve transmission throughout the possibility that Basson embezzled the funds and that body, had been identified and—through the appli- these peptides were never produced by the scientists cation of advanced recombinant DNA tech- of Project Coast. niques—inserted into the bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. In laboratory tests, this single Bioregulators of Importance agent caused both the symptoms of the pathogen Though in fact comprising a very broad category of and the paralytic effects of myelin toxin. Notably, chemicals, for practical purposes bioregulators can Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is be narrowed in spectrum, based largely on their ac- closely related to Y. pseudotuberculosis, suggesting tion and amenability to synthesis, to those with bio- the possibility of transfer of similar genetic material logical warfare (BW) implications. A selection of into this potentially contagious, lethal pathogen to bioregulators often referred to in a BW context is create an enhanced and truly formidable biological represented in Table B-1. weapon. It has been reported that Soviet scientists did in fact successfully perform such a transfer be- fore the collapse of the Soviet Union, but that the Table B-1: Select Bioregulators and Some of Their Effects agent was not developed any further. It is not known Prototype whether other bioregulators were researched within Type Bioregulator(s) Primary Effect(s) the former biological weapons program. It is Algogen Substance P Sensory known, however, that a number of other bioregula- transmission of tors were studied, ostensibly for peaceful purposes, pain in the Soviet Union throughout the later years of the Endogenous opioid Endorphins, Analgesia similar to Cold War and in Russia today. enkephalins morphine Hormone Vasopressin Water retention, vasoconstriction Research in South Africa Endothelium- South Africa’s apartheid-era chemical and biologi- derived factor Endothelin Vasoconstriction cal weapons program, Project Coast, may have in- vestigated bioregulators. Although the claims are largely unverified and may, in fact, have been crim- —Rich Pilch inally motivated, it has been suggested by scientists References within the program (and in particular by program Bokan, Slavko, John G. Breen, and Zvonko Orehovec, leader Wouter Basson himself) that such research “An Evaluation of Bioregulators as Terrorism and was performed at two separate locations: the large- Warfare Agents,” ASA Newsletter, Issue No. 90, June scale chemical weapons research and development 28, 2002, p. 1. facility Delta G Scientific, and the clandestine labo- Leitenberg, Milton, James Leonard, and Richard ratories of Special Forces headquarters. According Spertzel, “Biodefense Crossing the Line,” Politics and to Basson, efforts at the Special Forces laboratory the Life Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2004, pp. 1-2. led to the successful production of a peptide de- rived from the human thymus gland (different BIOTERRORISM thymic peptides exist, each with various actions: Generally speaking, bioterrorism refers to the use of alpha-thymosin, for example, is active in the devel- biological agents—microbial pathogens or toxins opment of a beneficial immune response, and dif- derived from living organisms—as a means of per- ferent types of beta-thymosin have been linked to petrating some terrorist attack. This seems simple cancer), as well as growth hormone and other un- enough, although arriving at a noncontroversial specified peptides produced by the pituitary gland meaning of the very word terrorism can be fraught in the brain. with difficulty. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investi- It is theorized that Basson may have provided gation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use this information to substantiate his own claim that of force against persons or property to intimidate or he had spent a large amount of government money coerce a government, the civilian population or any on a peptide synthesizer. This peptide synthesizer segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or
    • BIOTERRORISM 65 social objectives” (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, concerted efforts made by nonstate actors to use bi- 28 Section 0.85). Forming a textbook definition of ological agents in the pursuit of some political bioterrorism is difficult. In discussing bioterrorism, agenda—that is, bioterrorism. No one died as a di- though, it may be much less important what one rect result of these biological attacks, although the thinks it is and more important to consider the po- Rajneeshee cult in Oregon was more successful in litical, psychological, and emotional impact that terms of actually carrying out a biological attack might be created by the use of the term to describe than Aum Shinrikyo. some disease outbreak. The Rajneeshee, a religious organization that es- The concept of bioterrorism might be seen as tablished itself in Wasco County, Oregon, made ex- different from simple criminality involving traordinary efforts to create its own society. Led by pathogens or toxins; one might call these types of an Indian national named the Bhagwan (Hindi for events biocriminality or malicious mischief. Unless “God”) Shree Rajneesh, in 1984 the cult sought to there is some clear motive that speaks to a wider po- control the Wasco County political establishment by litical or social statement, the simple act of murder- swaying upcoming local elections in its favor. The ing someone by using a biological agent is still tech- attack that followed in September 1984 was part of nically a homicide. a plan to make as many as possible of the noncult Often mentioned in the context of bioterrorism population stay away from the polls, chiefly by is the assassination of the Bulgarian dissident means of giving them diarrhea. Cult scientists con- Georgy Markov with ricin toxin. In 1978, the Bul- sidered a number of different pathogens that cause garian secret service (with technical assistance from diarrhea, including Giardia lamblia, a parasite that the Soviet KGB) assassinated Markov while he was causes giardiasis, and Shigella dysenteriae (bacteria working in London. The motive: Markov had criti- that cause dysentery). Both diseases can be serious, cized the tyranny of the Bulgarian authorities on but with modern health care they are usually self- Western radio. In a more legalistic view, this state- limiting. In the end, the cult’s technical advisor in sponsored assassination of a governmental critic the use of such pathogens, Diane Ivonne Onang (re- does not fit the typical definition of terrorism. The named Ma Anand Puja) decided to use Salmonella salient aspect of this case, however, is the fact that a typhimurium, a common cause of food poisoning. biological toxin—ricin—was used as the weapon. In November 1984, cult operatives took vials of Sal- Thus, bioterrorism is often ascribed to many delib- monella bacteria and contaminated food at super- erate acts using biological agents, even if the actual markets and restaurants. They especially singled out purpose does not exactly fit the terrorist model. salad bars at local restaurants for adulteration. As a Since the Markov case, there have been many result of this attack, 751 people became ill with sal- other instances of ricin being involved with terrorist monellosis. activity. Most notably, the Islamist terrorist organiza- An especially disturbing aspect of this case was tion al-Qaeda has instructed its adherents on how to that this deliberate act of food poisoning was not produce ricin from the castor bean plant. In 2003, discovered until at least a year later. Eventually, Ore- several terrorists linked with al-Qaeda were discov- gon prosecutors were able to arrest most of the key ered in Europe with homemade ricin toxin. These in- operatives involved in the biological attack. But long dividuals may have been planning attacks on civilians before the criminal proceedings were to begin, the or soldiers by poisoning their food. They were prob- cult’s political aspirations were ultimately defeated ably interested in ricin because it is relatively easy to by more prosaic circumstances. acquire, not because it has a great utility as a weapon Some commentators in 2001 referred to the Ore- of mass destruction.Aside from some instances when gon case as a terrifying incident (Miller, Engleberg food or beverages could be contaminated and dis- and Broad, 2001, p. 14). However, although there tributed to many people, ricin appears to be a weapon were a large number of casualties, none died as a di- of choice for assassinating individuals. rect result of the attack. Perhaps the important les- A 1984 Salmonella bacteria attack in Oregon, and son from the Rajneeshee case is that, instead of dis- the attempts by the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo to seminating microbes that cause gastrointestinal use botulinum toxin and anthrax bacteria in the upset, even more virulent or lethal toxins could have early 1990s (see Aum Shinrikyo), have