Is Israel a manufacturer of biological weapons

Obtaining biological weapons easily and cheaply

Anthrax and plague pathogens on offer

For some time now, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction have been considered the "weapons of the common man" with which new forms of war are associated. Anyone can manufacture and use them with little effort. While there are international treaties outlawing the manufacture of such weapons, a number of states are probably still busy developing them. The USA is increasingly seeing a connection between information warfare and bio-war or cyberterrorism and bio-terrorism and are integrating both into the security strategy for the next century under the title of protecting the infrastructure (for the threat from bio-weapons see e.g. Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction) by non-explosive weapons.

The first suspect is of course Iraq, which had already used chemical weapons in the war against Iran and later against the Kurds. Since Saddam Hussein has so far successfully managed to fool the UN inspectors over and over again, it is unknown what such means he really has or still has at his disposal. In any case, Iraq had large stocks of anthrax, the causative agent of anthrax. Ironically, Iraq seems to have drawn its supplies from American and English sources. In the UK, some Iraqi scientists also received their training, who then worked in military laboratories developing chemical and biological weapons. In Japan, the AUM sect sprayed the nerve agent sarin on the Tokyo subway in 1995 - thereby pointing out the dangers posed by small terrorist groups that come into possession of chemical and biological weapons. Allegedly, Israel is supposed to be working on an ethnic bomb, i.e. viruses that can only be dangerous to certain ethnic groups. At least such a weapon was wanted by the South African military, even if it could not be made at the time.

When the Iraq crisis worsened once again this year, there was an alarm for all ports in Great Britain because it was feared that Iraqis could smuggle the dreaded anthrax into the country in perfume bottles in order to carry out an attack. Sunday Times reporters posing as employees of a laboratory in Africa were "successful" in telephone attempts to buy anthrax and plague germs for a few hundred pounds from an Indonesian company that is the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the country. For $ 1,000 they would also be offered e-coli. The identity of the interested parties was not checked, nor were any questions asked about the purpose of the lethal means. They could have bought botulinum bacteria from a Czech research laboratory for just DM 50.00. Laboratories in Russia and India had indicated that they would consider the inquiries. At least research institutes in Mexico, China and Brazil have initially requested an export license.

As reported by the Sunday Times, which had 20 institutions inquired, there are around 450 laboratories worldwide that deal with the dangerous biological spores. 50 laboratories sell anthrax, 34 botulinum and 18 plague pathogens. That's quite a lot - and a single laboratory is enough to sell a dangerous pathogen to customers who then actually use it for any purpose. It won't fail because of money. So it is high time that the Biological Weapons Convention is not only kept on paper, but is enforced worldwide with efficient means of checking and sanctioning. But even if, for example, the United States and Iraq seem to be taking decisive action against the threat of biological weapons, the agreement has so far failed due to its resistance to granting an international commission of inquiry access to research facilities in its own country. (Florian Rötzer)

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