Biological warfare (BW) also known as germ warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacterial toxins or infectious agents such us bacterial, viruses, and fungi will intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war. Biological weapons often termed “Bioweapons” Biological threat agents or “ Bio-agents” are living organisms or replicating entities that reproduce or replicate with in their host victims. Biological weapons may be employed in various ways to gain a strategic or tactical advantage over an adversary, either by threats or by actual deployments, but biological weapons should not be developed, acquired, stockpiled or deployed by nation states or by non-national groups because biological weapons are effective means of spreading terror and may become the weapon of choice, it will have a significant impact on the resources of the healthcare system and it has a long lasting psychological effect and psych-social challenges for many people.
There are many reasons why biological agents are effective means of spreading terror and may become the weapon of choices. Depending on the choice of agent and method of dissemination, biological agents can be used as indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a means of targeting racial or ethnic groups, or a way to attack a population at a specific time. Even the treat of biological weapons can provoke widespread panic; and disruption of communities, health care systems and governments.
Biological attacks have occurred throughout history and are likely to continue in the future. Just as seen on 11 September 2001, terrorist used hijacked passenger planes loaded with jet fuel as explosion devices at the pentagon and world trade center, killing approximately 3000. This attack awakened the public to the idea that terrorist have the will and means of inflicting harm on citizens. Following the September 11th attack, letters with anthrax were mailed to targeted list of media and political personalities caused 22 infections and 5 deaths.
Another religious cult in Japan proved both the ease and the difficulties of using biological weapons. In 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo cult used Sarin gas in the Tokyo subway killing 12 train passengers and injuring more than 5000.
A government or an organization eager to incapacitate or kill and incite disorder might be tempted to use biological weapons because of their availability, lethality, dissemination techniques, and anonymity and difficulty of detection.
Availability
Biological agents are often simpler to acquire and produce than nuclear, chemical or some conventional weapons. The material for biological agents can be easily grown or purchased. Some agents, such as anthrax or brucellosis, occur naturally in animals in certain parts of the world, and individuals can easily travel the globe to acquire biological agents from regions where such diseases occur naturally. For example, the Aum Shinrikyo cult was reported to have gone to Zaire to collect strains of Ebola for use in its bioweapons program. Until recently, anyone could order agents from supply houses around the world. In 1995, American type culture collection (ATTC), a mail order company that provides biological products, shipped anthrax to Saddam Hussein’s Bio warfare program in Iraq,
Lethality
Biological agents can be extremely lethal, with some agents creating much more deadly affects than others. According to Department of Defense, ten kilograms of anthrax could cause more casualties that a 10 kiloton nuclear weapon. In a model comparing the lethality of a chemical, biological and nuclear attack on Washington DC, OAT estimated that an anthrax attack would yield between 30,000-100,000 deaths per kilometer squared. In contrast, an atomic bomb would result in 23,000-80,000 deaths per kilometer squared. And a Sarin gas attack would cause between60-200 deaths per kilometer squared.
Anthrax is a non-communicable disease, which means that only the people who are exposed to the initial attack will become ill or die. Communicable diseases, on the other hand, not only infect an initial cohort of exposed people, but then those individuals can transmit the disease to whomever they came in contact with, depending on the virulence and infectiousness of the agent. Smallpox was eradicated from humans in the 1970s, but samples of the agent were kept in storage in the United States and Siberia. Some of the samples kept in Siberia were used by the soviets to create weaponized versions