Bioterrorism

 
US on its own in biological weapons debate
By Gustavo CapdevilaThe Asia Times
November 24, 2001
“The number of different types of CB [chemical, biological] agents that potentially could be used by terrorists is staggering. However, those most likely to be used include, among the biologicals, anthrax, botulinal toxin, and ricin; and among the chemicals, various insecticides, hydrogen cyanide or mustard gases, and nerve agents such as sarin, tabun or VX. Even less toxic substances, such as off-the-shelf insecticides or household cleaning agents, could be used, however. Some authors also point to the danger of genetically engineered organisms, but most consider these to be too sophisticated and hence rather unlikely for terrorist use. CX or phosgene oxime, one of the original chemical warfare agents which once featured prominently in the Soviet chemical weapons arsenal, “is…now more widely known simply as a toxic industrial chemical and, as such, it is manufactured, stored, shipped, and sold throughout the United States like dozens of other toxic chemicals” *(Douglass and Livingstone 1987: 16).

GENEVA …at the meeting to review the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), now under way here through December 7….”In spite of its nearly 30-year history, the BWC lacks a system of obligatory verification to prevent the production and stockpiling of “bacteriological and toxin” weapons. An attempt to fill in that gap with a protocol on powers to inspect suspicious sites was frustrated last July, after seven years of negotiations, by strong opposition from the United States. Washington argued that the draft document opened the door for intellectual property conflicts, and particularly threatened the industrial secrets of the country’s powerful pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.  Other arms agreements, such as the treaty banning chemical weapons, establish strict verification mechanisms, but the BWC has no such legally binding inspection system…..The September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and the anthrax cases that subsequently appeared and which have claimed five lives so far in the United States have not changed Washington’s stance on the matter.http://www,anthraxinvestigation.com/misc2.html

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Regarding biological agents, experts believe that terrorists would be more likely to choose a bacteriological rather than a viral or rickettsial agent, since rickettsial infections can be readily treated with antibiotics and viruses are more difficult than bacteria to cultivate and often do not live long outside a host, making them more difficult to disseminate effectively. Some toxins have the advantage of being more stable, with some being both relatively simple to manufacture and extremely toxic. Anthrax spores are “attractive,” among other reasons, for their relative hardiness against adverse environmental conditions, as shown by their ability to survive for decades on the Scottish island of Gruinard after biological warfare experiments during World War II.” http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/pblctns/cmmntr/cm60-eng.asp

*America The Vulnerable: The Threat of Chemical and Biological Warfare, Joseph D. Douglass and Neil C. Livingstone, 1987, Lexington Books

 
From Thirdring ‘Timeline’ main article:
additions are marked with >>
—snips from the timeline  http://www.heartson.com/Politics/anthra … eline.html are added and marked with [snip]
1952
Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) in Ness Ziona (also Nes Ziona, Nes Tona) a few miles southeast of Tel Aviv. In 1952 the IIBR consisted of a single building hidden in an orange grove. Today, the IIBR has grown into a massive 14-acre compound with several hundred employees surrounded by high walls and electronic sensors.
1954
U.S. devises first anthrax vaccine
>> this vaccine was tested at the Arms Textile Mill in Manchester, N.H. beginning 1955 through 1957, when an “unexpected” outbreak occurred, killing 4 of 5 employees who contracted anthrax.
1957
Anthrax kills four New Hampshire factory workers
1970
Michigan Biological Products Institute makes the only licensed US anthrax vaccine, based on a formula devised in 1954 and tested at the Arms Textile Mill in Manchester, New Hampshire (from 1955 to) 1957 when an “unexpected” outbreak kills four workers.
1979
Bioweapon anthrax released from base ‘19′ in Sverlovsk –96 human cases, 68 deaths  http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/histc … de/82.html
>> the Sverdlosk release, called accidental, “is estimated to have killed between 400 and 1,200 people” according to http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/pblctns.cmmntr/cm60-eng.asp  [analysis by Canadian Security Intelligence Service, not known if related to CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies]
Zimbabwe anthrax on Tribal Lands in a civil war that included the use of bioweapons (1979-1980)
1984
Oregon,  followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh deliberately contaminated restaurant salad bars, leading to 751 cases of salmonella poisoning.
>> “Aum Shinrikyo (also known as Aleph) is a Japanese new religious movement. The group was founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984. The group gained international notoriety in 1995, when it carried out the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subways. The name “Aum Shinrikyo” (オウム真理教, Ōmu Shinrikyō?) derives from the Sanskrit syllable Aum (which represents the universe), followed by Shinrikyo written in kanji, roughly meaning “religion of Truth”. In English “Aum Shinrikyo” is usually translated as “Supreme Truth.” In January 2000, the organization changed its name to Aleph in reference to the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and Phoenician alphabets. It changed its logo as well.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo
1988
Russian scientists hold US conference to present anthrax data on the Sverdlovsk incident
>>1993 — Aum Shinrikyo attempts to disperse anthrax : “On the morning of July 1, neighbors reported loud noises and an intermittent mist emanating from one of two cooling towers on the building’s roof. As the day progressed, residents (mostly living south of the building) lodged 118 complaints about the foul odors…Intermittent misting continued until demands from local residents forced Shoko Asahara, founder of Aum Shinrikyo, to agree on the morning of July 2 to cease using the rooftop device and to clean and vacate the building….The true nature of the Kameido incident was not revealed to the public until Asahara was arraigned on May 23, 1996. Aum Shinrikyo members testified that the odors were caused by their efforts to aerosolize a liquid suspension of Bacillus anthracis in an attempt to cause an inhalational anthrax epidemic.” http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no1/03-0238.htm
—“They also tried, for four straight days that month, to spread anthrax from a rooftop in Tokyo…Aum Shinrikyo had a war chest estimated at more than $300 million, as well as half a dozen labs and experienced biologists. Growing anthracis is hardly more difficult than growing sourdough starter. But turning bacteria into spores, the only form hardy and stable enough to be spread, requires the tricky step of shocking the bacteria with heat or chemicals without killing them.” http://www.newsweek.com/id/75655/page/3  
 
>>1995 –March 20, Aum Shinrikyo cult perpetrated a SARIN gas attack in the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and injuring 5,500. See “Terror in Tokyo: Advent of a New Age?” http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/pblctns/cmmntr/cm60-eng.asp
and this:
“Among the most serious incidents reported in the past were a 1970s attempt by the Weather Underground to acquire biological agents from the US Army’s biological weapons facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland; the 1980s discovery of a Red Army Faction “safe house” in Paris containing quantities of botulinal toxin; the above-mentioned Oregon case, involving the Rajneesh cult; a number of assassinations or attempted assassinations using ricin-tipped umbrellas; the “Alphabet Bomber’s” threat to kill the American president with nerve gas; the 1980 discovery of an RAF safe house in Germany containing several hundred kilograms of organophosphorous compounds; the 1975 theft of a large quantity of mustard gas from an American ammunition bunker in West Germany, followed by threats of its use by the Baader-Meinhof Gang against Stuttgart and possibly other cities; the 1970s contamination of Israeli citrus fruit exports to Europe with liquid mercury, resulting in severe economic losses to Israel; and similar threats of contamination of South African products, also resulting in their removal from the market.”
…”To the extent that the [Tokyo sarin gas] attack was successful in creating enormous disruption with relatively modest effort (in terms of the 20 March attack itself), it may indeed encourage others to follow in Aum Shinri Kyo’s path. And to the extent that it and subsequent attempted attacks have failed, other terrorist groups may have learned valuable lessons from Aum’s “mistakes” that could serve them well in similar actions of their own in future.”
                                                                       
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The  AUM SHINRIKYO  ANTHRAX  ATTACK

From the CDC, published in 2004 [edited]: “The Kameido incident is the first documented instance of bioterrorism with an aerosol containing B. anthracis. Aum Shinrikyo members testified in 1995 that they were working with B. anthracis, but 6 years passed before the strain was isolated and characterized [in late 2001]….

In November 1999, after long negotiation, local environmental authorities agreed that the one remaining fluid sample, collected as part of the 1993 investigation, could be tested for microbiologic pathogens….This genotype was identical to that of the Sterne 34F2 strain, used commercially in Japan to vaccinate animals against anthrax.

 …Why the Kameido incident failed to produce any documented cases of anthrax has not been fully explained, but the basis may be multifactorial. A virulent strain of B. anthracis, a sufficient concentration to cause disease, effective aerosolization, and favorable weather conditions would all have been necessary to produce the anthrax epidemic Aum Shinrikyo members said they wanted… 

“In Japan, culture-confirmed human anthrax is on the national notifiable disease list, and physicians are required to report all cases to the government. During the 1990s, only four human anthrax cases were reported (4). One of these cases, in Tokyo in August 1994, was in a man in his eighties from Sumida-ward, adjacent to Koto-ward (the location of Kameido); however, this case had no apparent association with the July 1993 incident.

A retrospective case-detection survey was conducted to assess the possibility that some anthrax cases might have gone unrecognized or unreported. Using the official “foul odor” complaints as a guide, residences of the 118 complainants from July 1, 1993, were mapped to identify the area with the presumed highest risk for infection… None of these physicians reported having seen cases of anthrax, unexplained serious respiratory illnesses, or hemorrhagic meningitis, which is often a complication of systemic anthrax”…  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no1/03-0238.htm

reedited from the wikipedia:

“Aum Shinrikyo had started [in 1984] as a quiet group of people interested in yogic meditation, but later transformed into a very different organization. According to Asahara, he needed “to demonstrate charisma” to attract the modern audience. Following his decision, Aum underwent a radical image change…
In October 1989, the group’s negotiations with Tsutsumi Sakamoto, an anti-cult lawyer threatening a lawsuit against them which could potentially bankrupt the group, failed…The following month Sakamoto, his wife and his child went missing from their home in Yokohama…It was not until 1995 that they were known to have been murdered and their bodies dumped by cult members. (See Sakamoto family murder).
 
In 1992 Asahara published a book, within which he declared himself “Christ,”…He also saw dark conspiracies everywhere promulgated by Jews, Freemasons and rival Japanese religions.
…Asahara incessantly attacked the Jews and even the British Royal Family as principals in conspiracies. He named the United States as the Beast from the Book of Revelation, predicting America would eventually attack Japan.
Science fiction novels, specifically the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov were referenced “depicting as it does an elite group of spiritually evolved scientists forced to go underground during an age of barbarism so as to prepare themselves for the moment … when they will emerge to rebuild civilization.”
 
The religion’s practices remained shrouded in secrecy. Initiation rituals often involved the use of hallucinogens, such as LSD. Religious practices often involved extreme ascetic practices referred to as “yoga” These included everything from renunciants being hung upside down to being given shock therapy.
 
At 11:03 on May 28, 1993, a large seismic disturbance in West Victoria, Australia tripped sensors across the globe. However, truckers and campers saw a bright flash of light “like a far off explosion”. It was later discovered that Aum owned a large plot of land near the epicenter. Many scientists and authorities believe this could have been a bomb test or even possibly a nuclear bomb…
[the wikipedia neglects referencing the attempted anthrax dispersal from the roof of its headquarters in July of 1993]
At the end of 1993, the cult started secretly manufacturing the nerve agent sarin and later VX gas. They also attempted to manufacture 1000 automatic rifles but only managed to make one [2]. Aum tested their sarin on sheep at a remote pastoral property in Western Australia, killing 29 sheep.
 
On the morning of 20 March 1995, Aum members released sarin in a co-ordinated attack on five trains in the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 commuters, seriously injuring 54 and affecting 980 more. Some estimates claim as many as 5,000 people were injured by the sarin.
While on the run, Asahara issued statements, one claiming that the Tokyo attacks were a ploy by the US military to implicate the cult, and another threatening a disaster that “would make the Kobe Earthquake seem as minor as a fly landing on one’s cheek.” to occur on 15 April.
On the evening of 5 May, a burning paper bag was discovered in a toilet in Shinjuku station in Tokyo, the busiest station in the world. Upon examination it was revealed that it was a hydrogen cyanide device which, had it not been extinguished in time, would have released enough gas into the ventilation system to potentially kill 20,000 commuters. Several undetonated cyanide devices were found at other locations in the Tokyo subway.
 
Shoko Asahara was finally found hiding within a wall of a cult building known as “The 6th Satian” in the Kamikuishiki complex on 16 May and was arrested. On the same day, the cult mailed a parcel bomb to the office of Yukio Aoshima, the governor of Tokyo, blowing the fingers of his secretary’s hand off…
The reasons why a small circle of mostly senior Aum members committed atrocities and the extent of personal involvement by Asahara remain unclear to this day…
In January 2000, the group was placed under surveillance for a period of three years under an anti-Aum law, in which the group is required to submit a list of members and details of assets to the authorities.
 
…The group underwent a number of transformations in the aftermath of Asahara’s arrest and trial. It re-grouped under the new name of Aleph in February 2000.
In July 2000, Russian police arrested Dmitri Sigachev, an ex-KGB former Aum Shinrikyo member, and four more former Russian Aum members, for stockpiling weapons in preparation for attacking Japanese cities in a bid to free Asahara. In response, Aleph issued a statement saying they “do not regard Sigachev as one of its members”…
On 15 September 2006, Shoko Asahara lost his final appeal against the death penalty imposed on him after his trial for the sarin attacks…So far, 11 cult members have been sentenced to death, although none of the sentences have been carried out upon any of the members…
 
On 8 March 2007, former Aum Shinrikyo spokesman and head of Aum’s Moscow operation, Fumihiro Joyu, formally announced a long-expected split.[14] Joyu’s group, called Hikari no Wa (Ring of Light) is committed to uniting science and religion, thus creating the new ‘science of the human mind’ having previously aimed to move the group away from its violent history and toward its spiritual roots.”
               
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“On a number of occasions in the early 1990s, Asahara ordered the use of [CB] weapons to strike at enemies and to try to create disasters that would confirm his prophesies. In April 1990 Aum attacked the Japanese parliament with botulinum toxin aerosol, and in June 1993 it targeted the wedding of the crown prince. Later that month, Aum reportedly also attempted to spray anthrax spores from the roof of a building in Tokyo. There were no casualties as a result of these attacks…

…In 1992, Asahara claimed that a vast shadowy power, variously identified as Japan, the United States, and a conspiracy of Jews, Freemasons, the British royal family (which, allegedly, has remote Masonic ties) and rival Japanese religions, would launch a third world war…For several years, Aum’s activities went unpunished…

   In early 1994 Asahara accused the United States of masterminding and carrying out a series of chemical attacks on himself and on Aum facilities in Japan. That year the cult produced a video which claimed to document American poison gas attacks. An Aum spokesman reassured his audience that the sect was not the producer of sarin gas, but its victim. He charged that in the past few years some two hundred and forty Japanese and American aircraft had swooped low over Aum’s compound spraying the deadly gas.  …If America was Aum’s first target, the world Jewish community was its second. In the tract “Manual of Fear: The Jewish Ambition — Total World Conquest,” Aum claimed that the Jews had taken advantage of Japan’s devastation after World War II as a step in their conspiracy to achieve total world domination. Aum saw the United States as controlled by Jewish capital, which directed the Freemasons, while the Freemasons allegedly used the UN to achieve universal control. The “Manual of Fear” is actually a “declaration of war” on the Jews. “On behalf of the earth’s 5.5 billion people,” the editors wrote, “Vajrayana Sacca hereby formally declares war on the ‘world shadow government’ that murders untold numbers of people and, while hiding behind sonorous phrases and high-sounding principles, plans to brainwash and control the rest. Japanese, awaken! The enemy’s plot has long since torn our lives into shreds.’ …

…These citations make it clear that Aum’s anti-Semitism is influenced by and accords with writings and ideas prevailing in contemporary Japanese anti-Semitic circles and literature, including radical right-wing motifs. Interestingly, the Holocaust and Holocaust denial, themes of Western right-wing radicals and their Japanese counterparts, do not appear in Aum’s ideology…The motifs of the Jews being responsible…and their historical role in the development of capitalism is clearly influenced by Christian anti-Semitism. This concurs with other Judeo-Christian concepts Asahara has adopted, such as the Last Judgement and the final battle of Armageddon. 

   Although stripped of its legal status and tax privileges as a religious organization, following the poison gas attack in Tokyo, Aum Shinrikyo revived its activities in early 1997…For ex-followers there are tips on using false names and diversionary tactics to re-join. Sometimes Aum sells itself as a yoga group or sponsors animation film festivals…

…One of Asahara’s closest and most charismatic disciples, Fumihiro Joyu, who served as the cult’s spokesman before his arrest, was freed in November 1998 after serving time for forgery and other minor charges. His return could be a boost to Aum.

   Aum now has its own sites on the Internet, available in Japanese, Russian, English and lately also in German…Aum’s website makes no mention of the cult’s crimes. The death doctrine has reappeared on the website and in leaflets — despite Asahara’s vow to prohibit its dissemination…In light of Aum’s past anti-Semitic propaganda and its lethal terrorist attacks, It is important to analyze the content of this material. The chapter on “Freemasonry” contains three parts: an interview with Aum’s leader Asahara; a page which tries to prove, in a rather puerile manner, that Asahara was “prophesized”; and the “Freemasons’ conspiracy,” which is, in fact, The Protocols….

Dr. Ely Karmon is Senior Research Scholar and Director of the Internet and Database Project at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlia, and Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Haifa. 
 http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/aum.htm

Dr. Karmon makes no mention of the fact that Aum Shinrikyo reputedly ‘transformed’ in the 2-3 years after Asahara was jailed, changing its name to the Hebrew ‘Aleph’. In the same month that Aum Shrinrikyo’s anthrax sample was finally released by Japanese authorities for study (refer to the CDC), November 1999, the jailed leader quit speaking altogether:  http://www.cesnur.org/2003/aum_01.htm

[Mar 14, 2003] “Asahara has not spoken in court since November 1999 …He was talkative at his first trial session in April 1996, speaking for five minutes about his state of mind, but has since disrupted court sessions by babbling incoherently, often causing him to be removed from the courtroom…Now, he reportedly will not speak with his lawyers, even outside the courtroom.”  [Mar 27, 2003] “Asahara has denied masterminding the Tokyo subway attack, blaming his disciples….The cult’s guru has made virtually no statement at his trial since January 1998 apart from murmering incoherently while he has often appeared to doze during proceedings.”

Shoko Asahara’s real name is Chizuo Matsumoto

[Feb.17, 2003, Denver Post] “Japanese Cult Used Colorado Vaccine  –The world’s most popular animal vaccine, produced by a Colorado company…Colorado Serum Co.”

 
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