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Bioterrorism. History of Bioterrorism. Medieval Sieges- 14 th and 15 th century dead bodies were catapulted over the walls of castles Or they were put in the water source to contaminate it. American Revolution.

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History of bioterrorism
History of Bioterrorism

  • Medieval Sieges- 14th and 15th century dead bodies were catapulted over the walls of castles

  • Or they were put in the water source to contaminate it


American revolution
American Revolution

  • British military deliberately infected the Continental Army with smallpox

  • 1763 Fort Pitt Pennsylvania…Jeffrey Amherst ordered blankets and handkerchiefs infected with small pox to be given to the Delaware Indians at a peace-making parley

World war 1 1915 1925
World War 1 (1915-1925)

  • Germ theory of disease well established

  • Target= contaminated livestock shipped to the allies (glanders and anthrax)

  • Geneva Protocol (1925)- prohibited the use of chemical and biological agents, but not research and development of these agents

  • U.S. signed, but took 50 years for U.S. Senate to ratify; Japan also refused to ratify agreement

World war 2 1936 1944
World War 2 (1936-1944)

  • Japanese Govt directed tests against China in a division of the Imperial army called Unit 731

  • Exposed civilians to anthrax, cholera, typhoid, plague

  • U.S. brokered deals—immunity to war crimes if Japan turned over their research to the U.S.

  • Soviets were developing the largest biochemical factory in the world

Cold war
Cold War

  • 1969 U.S. tested a bioterrorist attack on a fleet of ships and caged animals (called the Wargame)

  • Little did the U.S. know, but soviet spies were in the nearby waters collecting samples

  • At the end of 1969, Richard Nixon terminated the offensive biological warfare program and ordered all weapons to be destroyed…U.S. researchers switched to developing defensive measures

  • 1972 100 nations signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, first treaty banning an entire class of weapons

Soviet superbugs
Soviet superbugs

  • Soviets disregarded treaty and developed new weapons…1979 anthrax outbreak killed 70 people in Sverdlovsk

  • 1989 Vladimir Pasechnik defected to Britain and gave evidence of the creation of “superbugs,” antibiotic resistant anthrax, hybrid viruses; and long-range missiles to spread the diseases (Project Bonfire and the Hunter Program)

  • This research was later confirmed by 2 defectors: Ken Alibek and Sergei Popov

  • The Fall of the Soviet Union became a dangerous prospect

Iraq s secret weapons
Iraq’s Secret Weapons

  • By 1992, Iraq had managed to weaponize anthrax, botulinum toxin, and aflatoxin, and had several other agents in development

  • Inspectors from UNSCOM (UN special commission) found scud missiles created to deliver the toxins

  • 1980s Iraq used biochemical weapons against the Kurds in Northern Iraq

  • The existence of stockpiles of weapons are still in question

Secret cults
Secret Cults

  • 1984 Followers of the Indian Guru Bagwan Shree Rajneesh living in a compound in Oregon poisoned people with Salmonella in order to win an election (> 750 cases of food poisoning)

Secret cults continued
Secret Cults Continued

  • 1995 Religious sect of Aum Shinrikyo released sarin gas in a Tokyo subway killing 12 and injuring thousands

  • It was discovered that the cult has enlisted Ph.D. Scientists to launch the weapons

  • Refining of particle size for delivery became a concern

Anthrax attacks
Anthrax Attacks

  • 2001 Anthrax attacks…spores were mailed in letters to Tom Brokaw at NBC and Senator Tom Daschle

  • 18 people were infected and five people died

Making vaccines
Making Vaccines

  • 1776-English physician Edward Jenner developed an inoculation against smallpox

  • Armed with the knowledge that milkmaids who had been exposed to cowpox, Jenner intentionally infected an eight-year-old boy with cowpox

  • Two months later he infected the boy again, this time with smallpox.

  • As Jenner expected, the child didn't come down with the disease—he was immune.

  • Although Jenner's experiment was highly unethical, especially by today's standards, it did lead to widespread inoculations against the feared disease. He called his new procedure vaccination, after vacca, which is Latin for cow.


  • A vaccine works by generating an immune response in the body against some kind of pathogen—a virus or bacteria or some other agent that causes disease.

  • Types of Vaccines: Live Attenuated (altered pathogen); Killed (inactivated pathogens); Toxoid (toxins/poisons made by pathogen); Component (contain whole parts of pathogen); Naked DNA

  • Making Vaccines Flash:

Future of germ warfare
Future of Germ Warfare

  • Use of Genetic Engineering techniques

  • Behavior Modification warfare

  • Incapacity Warfare

  • DARPA Budget over $250 million

  • Dark Winter

  • Global Guide to Bioweapons

  • Video and Project