Richard Danzig, a former Navy secretary and now a biowarfare consultant to the Pentagon, said that while there are 1,000 to 10,000 "weaponeers" worldwide with experience working on biological arms, there are more than 1 million and perhaps many millions of "broadly skilled" scientists who, while lacking training in that narrow field, could construct bioweapons. "It seems likely that, over a period between a few months and a few years, broadly skilled individuals equipped with modest laboratory equipment can develop biological weapons," Danzig said. "Only a thin wall of terrorist ignorance and inexperience now protects us." --Washington Post, December 29, 2004
This letter to you is like the letter Dr. Albert Einstein wrote United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 2, 1939.
Dr. Einstein wrote, "...it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large quantity of uranium...," and "...it is conceivable...that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed."
This letter is to inform you that it is possible to set up a biological chain reaction with a highly contagious construct virus, and it is conceivable that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed by individuals.
Nuclear blindness is the mistaken belief that the bigger the bang, the more powerful the weapon. A highly contagious construct virus is a bomb that keeps exploding through the population at a geometric rate.
"A virus that has been engineered in the laboratory is called a recombinant virus. This is because its genetic material-DNA or RNA-has genes in it that come from other forms of life. These foreign genes have been inserted into the virus's genetic material through the process of recombination. The term construct is also used to describe it, because the virus is constructed of parts and pieces of genetic code-it is a designer virus, with a particular purpose." -The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston, 2002, page 220"In truth, it is possible to imagine a malicious use for virtually any biological research or production site. The difference between a lab for producing lifesaving vaccines and one capable of making deadly toxins is largely one of intent." -"Terrorism and the Biology Lab" by Henry C. Kelly, New York Times, July 2, 2003
- I estimate it is over ten times easier to construct a highly contagious virus than it is to enrich uranium using the gas centrifuge method.
- I estimate it is over ten times easier to set up a biological chain reaction with a highly contagious virus than it is to set up a nuclear chain reaction with a sufficient quantity of enriched uranium.
- I estimate it is over ten times easier for a terrorist to deliver a highly contagious virus than a nuclear bomb. A virus can be easily smuggled because it is small and nonmetallic, and can be used as seed stock to make an unlimited number of bombs.
- I estimate there are over one million people with the technical knowledge and access to the necessary lab equipment to construct a highly contagious virus. That number is growing.
"The main thing that stands between the human species and the creation of a supervirus is a sense of responsibility among individual biologists." -The Demon in the Freeze, page 227
"The National Intelligence Council, the CIA's in-house think tank, warned in a report (Mapping the Global Future) that terrorists were more likely to obtain and use pathogens and pestilence than nuclear weapons to cause mass casualties in the next 15 years. The council based its assessment on dramatic advances in genetic research and biotechnology, the availability of scientific information and supplies on the Internet, and the emergence of sophisticated terrorist "groups, cells and individuals" who may be "particularly suited" to brewing lethal germs at home. "Indeed, the bioterrorist's laboratory could well be the size of a household kitchen, and the weapon built there could be smaller than a toaster," the council wrote. "Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely, and the range of options will grow."" --Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2005