HS 365 History of Terrorism
History of Terrorism • Medieval siege: • 14th and 15th century • Use of wood-frame catapults loaded with diseased bodies • 1340- dead horses in catapults, France • 1346- plagued corpses over city walls, Caffa • 1422- decaying cadavers over castle walls, bohemia
Terrorism • A form of political violence in which terrorists have specific objectives that they are attempting to achieve and have chosen symbolic targets to draw attention to their cause. • It has been a tactic common in most nations.
History of Terrorism • American Revolution: • 1763- blankets and handkerchiefs infected with smallpox and given to Native Americans at a peace-making event • Use of smallpox by the British Military: Boston, Quebec .
History of Terrorism • World War I • Germ theory of disease well established • Germans shipped livestock (horses, mules, cattle) infected with glanders and anthrax from neutral countries to the Allies • Similar campaigns in U.S., Romania, Argentina, Spain and Norway (1915-1916) .
History of Terrorism • 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibited the use of chemical and biological agents in warfare, but not the research and development of such agents. • Japan refused to sign. • US signed, but senate ratified it only 50 years later.
History of Terrorism • World War II • Japanese military used biological weapons against Chinese army: anthrax, cholera, typhoid, plague • 1940 – paper bags filled with plague-infested fleas dropped; water wells contaminated; poisoned food distributed • By the end of WWII the US and Soviet Union were developing biological weapons
History of Terrorism • Cold War • US and Soviet Union reach new heights in the development of bioweapons • explored the use of hundreds of bacteria, viruses and biological toxin • Explored ways to disperse these agents in fine-mist aerosols, to package them in bombs and to launch them on missiles • 1969 – US celebrates the success of a massive field test in the Pacific; Soviet spies were in nearby waters collecting samples of agents tested.
History of Terrorism • Cold War • 1969, President Nixon terminated the offensive biological warfare program and ordered all stockpiled weapons to be destroyed. • US research shifted to developing detection methods • 1972, US and more than 100 nations signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the world’s first treaty banning the possession of deadly biological agents except for defensive research. • Soviet Union signed ands fired up its offensive program
History of Terrorism • Soviet “ Superbugs” • 1979, rare outbreak on anthrax disease killed 70 people in a Soviet Union city • 1992, US team investigated incident and found that anthrax spores were released from a military base • Biologist Vladimir Pasecnnik defected to Britain and released info about the Soviets’ biological weapons program: • Genetically altered “superplague” • Antibiotic-resistant anthrax • Long-range missiles designed to spread disease US and more than 100 nations signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the world’s first treaty banning the possession of deadly biological agents except for defensive research. • 1980s-1990s, many of the Soviet scientists became free agents, with knowledge for sale.
History of Terrorism • The cults • 1984, followers of the Indian Bagwan Rajneesh sprinkled Samonella on salad bars to prevent community members from voting (750 poisoned). • 1995, the religious sect Aum Shinrikyo released sarin gas in a Tokyo subway, killing 12 and injuring thousands. The same cult tried 10 times, in the next 2 years, to spray botulinum toxin and anthrax in downtown Tokyo.
History of Terrorism • Anthrax attacks • When letters were opened, the fine-grained anthrax within them misted into the air • World Trade Center attacks