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Benjamin, Georges C. “Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Planning for the WorstPhysician Executive Volume 26 Issue 1. 80. January/February 2000.

  1. Chemical or biological terrorism is the use of pathogenic microbes or toxins derived from plants, animals, microbes, or chemical agents to achieve terror.” – page 80
  2. ”Chemical and biological weapons, like nuclear weapons, are categorized as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) because of the high number of potential victims that can result from their use.” – page 80 *
  3. ”While any chemical can be weaponized, the chemical agents traditionally of concern fall into four categories: nerve agents like sarin, which create an anticholinergic-like syndrome; vesicants like mustard gas, that cause a blistering or burn-like syndrome; cyanide, which interrupts aerobic metabolism; and riot control agents such as mace, which generally cause incapacitation.” – page 80
  4. ”Biological agents act like chemical agents but have a slower onset of action. Agents of concern include Ricin.” – page 81
  5. ”The ideal bioweapon is hard to detect from the usual microbial flora, has person-to-person spread, and is easy to aerosolize. There are two groups of organisms of public health concern: those that cause a high morbidity or a high mortality.” – page 81
  6. ”Examples of high morbidity organisms include salmonella, cholera, or E. coli. The number of highly toxic organisms is fortunately quite low and includes anthrax, smallpox, and the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers, plague, brucellosis, and tularemia.” – page 81
  7. “Clues that biological terrorist events have occurred include an unexplained increase in respiratory cases or deaths, or dead and dying animals. Epidemiological clues include diseases with the wrong mode of transmission, which occur in an inappropriate geographic distribution or infect a new or novel population.” – page 81
  8. “Components of a biological/chemical terrorism disaster plan: plan how to identify the threat; develop an effective public health disease surveillance system; link the public health system and the traditional medical care delivery system; develop command and control systems; determine hospital bed availability; define disease containment, isolation, and quarantine procedures; plan how to obtain extra life support equipment such as respirators; plan how to train clinical staff to identify high-risk unusual diseases; ensure non-clinical staff are trained on the management of suspicious packages and mail; identify experts; plan simple handling and transport; plan how to communicate high risk information; manage medical examiner cases; and maintain a crime scene.” – page 81
  9. ”Effective disease control strategies such as case finding, decontamination, prophylaxis and vaccination, and quarantine must be defined.” – page 82

Chemical, WMD, Bioterrorism, Public Health, Military, Sarin, Japan, Ricin, E. coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Anthrax, Smallpox, Hemorrhagic fever, Plague, Brucellosis, Tularemia, Prophylaxis, Vaccination, Quarantine


Smith, Stephen, “Bioterror Research Spurs Ideas In Medicine,” Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, pg. 1, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. “Boston-area scientists are developing a sensor capable of sounding an early alarm about acts of bioterrorism, a paperback-sized device that would be integrated into ventilation systems to detect trace amounts of Anthrax, Ricin, and other potentially lethal toxins.”
  2. “In an illustration of scientific cross-pollination becoming more common in Boston and nationally, the same technology is about to be tested as a way to diagnose disease.”
  3. “Brigham and Women’s Hospital plans to begin a study this summer of whether the sensor can pinpoint when patients are suffering from diabetes, a heart attack, a lung infection, or some other medical condition by analyzing gases in their breath.”
  4. “The device samples air drawn through heating and cooling systems.  Fine, airborne particles are broken down into their molecular building blocks, with electrical charges placed on those molecules so that they can be recognized by the detector.  Then, the charged components travel across a tiny electrical field tuned to allow only potentially threatening agents to reach the end.”
  5. “When one of the suspect molecules makes it through, the sensor compares it with molecular fingerprints of rogue agents stored in its computer.  If a match is made, an alarm sounds.”
  6. “The scientists working on the sensor said tests show it can successfully identify three harmless strains of bacteria that are cousins of anthrax.”
  7. “Stoto questioned the practicality of sensor systems, arguing that a terrorist could circumvent them.  Instead, he advocated investing in surveillance networks to swiftly identify outbreaks of unusual illness in patients by monitoring every cough, sniffle, and stomachache reported to emrgency rooms and physician offices.”

Biosurveillance, Bioterrorism, Anthrax, Ricin


Edward Despott, Mario J. Cachia, “A Case of Accidental Ricin Poisoning,” Malta Medical Journal 2004;16(4):39-41

  1. “Ricin is one of the most potent naturally occurring toxins known to man.”
  2. “With a LD50 of 3 g/kg body weight (aerosol and parenteral) and 30 g/kg body weight (ingestion)”
  3. “Ricin belongs to a class of proteins known as ribosomal inactivating proteins (RIPs). As their name suggests, these proteins interfere with the function of ribosomes, halt protein synthesis and thus induce cellular death.”
  4. “These worries have led to intensive awareness campaigns and research into the development of vaccines of antiricin and methods of rapid serological diagnosis by EIA.”
  5. “In this case the diagnosis was made using the clear evidence provided but in other scenarios where suspicion is strong but other corroborative evidence is lacking, the toxin can be detected by Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA), as ricin is very immunogenic.”

Ricin, Biodetection, Vaccination, Public Health


Knauss, Tim, “U.N. to Get Bioterror Agent Decontamination SystemsNTI. Dec. 13, 2005.

  1. “Two $60,000 machines capable of cleansing mail of anthrax and other biological agents were completed”
  2. “BioDefense said independent tests confirm that the system, which was created after the September 2001 al-Qaeda attacks, is capable of eliminating anthrax, smallpox, ricin, HIV, influenza, botulism and the plague”

Bioterrorism, Biodefense, Public Health, Anthrax, Smallpox, Ricin, Decontamination, al-Qaeda


Bradbery, Sally, “Ricin and AbrinMedicine 2007;35: 576-577.

  1. “Ricin is a globular glycoprotein derived from the beans of the castor oil plant ”Ricinus communis”.”
  2. “By inhalation or injection, the lethal dose is about 5–10 μg/kg but it is approximately one thousand-fold less toxic by ingestion”
  3. “Many of the features seen in poisoning can be explained by ricin- induced endothelial cell damage, which leads to fluid and protein leakage and tissue oedema, causing so-called ‘vascular leak syndrome’.”

Ricin, Public Health, Biodetection


Vijayaraghavan R. et. al, “Chemical Warfare Agents.” 2010, J Pharm Bioall Sci http://www.jpbsonline.org/text.asp?2010/2/3/166/68498 2:166-78, Last Checked 21 February 2011.

  1. “The birth of modern CW was ushered in by the German gas attack with chlorine on 22 nd April 1915 at Ypres, Belgium.”
  2. “The use of these toxic chemicals, including phosgene, sulfur mustard and lewisites caused 100,000 deaths and 1.2 million casualties in World War I (WWI).”
  3. “Botulinum toxin is also known as agent X.  It is estimated that if 1 g of this toxin is aerosolized, it would kill more than one million people.”
  4. “The lethal dose for a 70-kg human is estimated to be approximately 0.7 μg if inhaled or 70 μg if ingested.”
  5. “Ricin is a very potent toxin of plant origin, isolated from the seeds of caster oil, Ricinus communis. It inhibits ribosome proteins, and the toxic dose for humans is about 0.1-1.0 μg/kg, depending on the mode of administration.”

Chemical, Botulinum, Ricin


Editors, “Georgia Bioterror Suspects to Appear in Court,” Global Security Newswire, November 9, 2011 http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20111109_6793.php Last Checked November 9, 2011

  1. “Two members of a fringe Georgia militia accused of plotting to develop a lethal biotoxin for use in attacks aimed at bringing down the government.”
  2. “Ray Adams and Samuel Clump have been charged with plotting to produce ricin, using castor beans that Adams allegedly grew in his yard and provided to Clump.”
  3. “Ricin is deadly in even trace amounts and there is no known antidote.”
  4. “Its potential applications as a biological weapon have been considered by various terrorist groups, due to the relative ease of acquiring the ingredients and directions needed to produce the toxin.”
  5. “They potentially could have used ricin to poison a few people and used those attacks to fuel a widespread panic.”

Ricin, Public Health, Drug Resistance, Law Enforcement


Editors, “Militia Members Plead Innocence on Bioterror Charges,” Global Security Newswire, November 10, 2011 http://gsn.nti.rsvp1.com/gsn/nw_20111110_3748.php?mgh=http%3A%2F%2Fgsn.nti.org&mgf=1  Last Checked November 15, 2011

  1. “They planned to produce and disseminate a deadly biotoxin in attacks aimed at undermining federal and state governments.”
  2. “Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney said the accused had gone as far as surveying potential government targets in Atlanta and taking steps to generate ricin — a deadly toxin for which there is no known antidote.”
  3. “If found guilty of the charges, the four men could face prison sentences of over 10 years.”
  4. “Ray Adams and Samuel Clump denied they had plotted to generate ricin from castor beans.”

Ricin, Public Health, Drug Resistance, Law Enforcement


Editors, “Georgia Militia Members to Seek Bail Release,” Global Security Newswire, November 16, 2011 http://gsn.nti.rsvp1.com/gsn/nw_20111116_5878.php?mgh=http%3A%2F%2Fgsn.nti.org&mgf=1 Last Check November 16, 2011

  1. “A container of castor beans seized from the house subsequently tested positive for the presence of ricin.”
  2. “‘Prior to that there had been a lot of talk. Once we determined they had the main ingredient, it significantly increased our concern,’ FBI Atlanta office domestic terrorism supervisor Doug Korneski said.”
  3. “Recordings were aired in court on Tuesday of the men talking together about their desire to kill government officials.”
  4. “ Samuel Crump and Ray Adams are accused of taking steps to produce ricin, which is derived from castor beans, is lethal in trace amounts and has no known antidote.”
  5. “The four elderly Georgia men accused of scheming to build crude bombs and develop deadly biological toxins for use in attacks against government officials are scheduled on Wednesday to submit in federal court a request to be released on bail.”

Ricin, Public Health, Drug Resistance, Law Enforcement, Georgia


Schneidmiller, Chris, “Lab Prepares New Bioagent Infection DetectorGlobal Security Newswire. April 12, 2013 http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/lab-prepares-new-bioagent-detector/ Last checked April 15, 2013

  1. ”The Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico is preparing a hand-held device that hospitals could one day use to quickly test patients for infection by anthrax, ricin or other potential bioterror agents.”
  2. ”The enhanced version of the SpinDx device would allow emergency room doctors to analyze blood samples to determine within 15 minutes whether a person had been exposed to a potentially lethal disease material, said Anup Singh, senior manager for the Energy Department facility’s biological science and technology group in California.”
  3. ””There’s an urgent need to have screening devices in case there is a bioterrorism incident,’… Currently such responders in ERs are not prepared to deal with very large numbers of people all showing at the same time.””
  4. ”The U.S. National Institutes of Health in late 2012 provided $4 million over four years for further development of the device, which would be able to test small amounts of blood for up to 64 disease agents or toxins at one time, Singh said.”
  5. ”While a “mature prototype” is expected to be ready in about one year, the testing process to prepare the technology for FDA licensing is likely to take four to five years, Singh said. That last hurdle would be carried out by the company selected to market the instrument.”

Biodefense, Biosecurity, Emergency Response, Anthrax, Ricin


Zengerle, Patricia, “Preliminary tests show deadly poison in letter to SenatorReuters, April 17, 2013 http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/17/us-usa-congress-ricin-idUSBRE93F1ES20130417 Last checked April, 25, 2013

  1. “Authorities on Tuesday intercepted a letter sent to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker that preliminary tests showed contained the deadly poison ricin, and the Capitol police, FBI and other agencies have launched an investigation.”
  2. “It was postmarked from Memphis, Tennessee, and had no return address, Terrance Gainer, the Senate sergeant at arms, said earlier in a warning to members of the Senate.”
  3. “Members of the Senate were briefed on the incident by Gainer during a meeting with FBI Director Robert Mueller and Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, on Tuesday on the bombings in Boston.”
  4. “The ricin test came one day after the explosions at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 176.”
  5. “‘I don’t know if it’s a coincidence. It’s too early to tell. We don’t know enough about Boston,’ said Senator Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate.”
  6. “Wicker, a former member of the House of Representatives, has been a member of the Senate since he was first appointed to a vacant seat in December 2007. He won a special election to serve the remainder of that term, and was re-elected in November 2012 to a full six-year term.”
  7. “Several senators noted that the system of mail screening, begun after the anthrax attacks, had worked.”

Ricin, Bioterrorism, Biodetection


Williams, Pete., Welker, Kristen., and McClam, Erin., “Feds arrest suspect in ricin-positive letters sent to Obama, senator“, U.S News, April 17, 2013 http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/17/17794663-feds-arrest-suspect-in-ricin-positive-letters-sent-to-obama-senator?lite Last checked April 25, 2013

  1. “Federal agents on Wednesday arrested a suspect in the mailing of letters to President Barack Obama and a U.S. senator that initially tested positive for the poison ricin.”
  2. “The suspect was identified as Paul Kevin Curtis of Tupelo, Miss., federal officials told NBC News. They said he may appear in court as early as Wednesday night.”
  3. “According to the FBI bulletin, both letters, postmarked April 8, 2013 out of Memphis, Tenn., included an identical phrase, ‘to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.’ In addition, both letters are signed: ‘I am KC and I approve this message.’”
  4. “A federal law enforcement official said that the letter was “very similar” to one addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. Another letter was addressed to a Mississippi justice official.”
  5. “Two federal officials said late Wednesday that an initial laboratory test on the material in the letters was inconclusive. The test shows some level of ricin, they said, but the potency is uncertain. They cannot tell whether the material is actually harmful or not, so more tests have been ordered.”
  6. “The sender of the letters, one official said, ‘may have stumbled onto something,’ but it’s unknown if he actually made the full-blown ricin toxin.”

Ricin, Bioterrorism


Brown, Robbie, “Focus Shifts in Ricin Case as Charges Are Dropped“, NY Times, April 23, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/us/suspect-in-ricin-case-released-from-mississippi-jail.html Last Checked April 25, 2013

  1. “Criminal charges were dropped Tuesday against a Mississippi man accused of mailing poisoned letters to President Obama and two other officials.”
  2. “One day after the F.B.I. said it could find no evidence that the man, Paul Kevin Curtis, was behind the plot, a federal judge released him from jail and federal authorities shifted focus to another person of interest in the case.”
  3. “Lawyers for Mr. Curtis, 45, a celebrity impersonator, said he had been framed by a longtime personal enemy, J. Everett Dutschke, a martial arts instructor from Tupelo, Miss. F.B.I. agents raided Mr. Dutschke’s house but did not immediately bring charges against him.”
    *”On Monday, an F.B.I. agent, Brandon Grant, said that investigators had not found ricin or ingredients for making it while searching Mr. Curtis’s house or vehicle. The F.B.I.’s search of Mr. Curtis’s computer found no evidence that he researched making ricin, Mr. Grant said.”
  4. “On Tuesday, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said another ricin-laced letter may have been discovered at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington. Mr. Reid said he knew no details, and the base, where the Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters is, did not release any information.”

Ricin, Bioterrorism


Jansen, H. et al. “Biological Warfare, Bioterrorism, and BiocrimeClinical Microbiology & Infection, Volume 20, Issue 6. 488. June 2014.

  1. ”Biological weapons achieve their intended target effects through the infectivity of disease-causing infectious agents.” – page 488
  2. ”The Geneva Protocol, ratified as early as 1925 and currently signed by 65 of 121 states, prohibits the development, production, and use in war of biological and chemical weapons.” – page 489
  3. ”The ability to use biological agents in warfare is prohibited by the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention (BTWC). The BTWC has been signed and ratified by 170 nations.” – page 489
  4. ”According to the CDC, bioterrorism is defined as the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria or other agents used to cause illness or death in people, and also in animals or plants.” – page 489
  5. ”Bioterrorism aims to create casualties, terror, societal disruption, or economic loss, inspired by ideological, religious or political beliefs. It is carried out by terrorists.” – page 490
  6. ”Biocrime implies the use of a biological agent to kill or make ill a single individual or a small group of individuals, motivated by revenge or monetary gain through extortion, rather by than political, ideological, religious or other beliefs.” – page 490
  7. ”Countering bioterrorism, from a responsive and policy-making point of view, usually focuses on measures to mitigate human casualties.” – page 490
  8. ”Requirements for potential agents for use in bioterrorism include: High morbidity, and potentially highly lethal, highly infectious or high toxicity, suited for mass production and storage until delivery without loss of pathogenic potential, suited for methods aimed at wide-area delivery, and hardy enough to withstand the delivery process, relatively stable in the environment after dissemination for a period long enough to infect humans, and suitable for having the potential as a BW agent improved by genetic engineering and weaponization processes.” –page 490
  9. ”The US CDC recognizes three categories of bioterrorism agent. Category A includes the highest-priority agents, which pose a risk to national security because of the following features: They can be easily disseminated or transmitted person-to-person, causing secondary and tertiary cases, they cause high mortality with the potential to have a major public health impact, including the impact on healthcare facilities, they may cause public panic and social disruption, and they require special action for public health preparedness” – page 491
  10. ”Even if the number of casualties is likely to be limited, the impact of a bioterrorist attack can still be high, will affect many lives, and is certainly to be costly in direct and indirect ways.” – page 494
  11. ”Measures aimed at enhancing public health in, among other areas, diagnostics, including microbial identification and typing, surveillance, generic antimicrobial therapeutics and therapeutics to overcome drug resistance, training and education will both enhance the ability of society to combat ‘regular’ infectious disease outbreaks and mitigate the effects of bioterrorist attacks. Such an approach is likely to be the most cost-effective” – page 495

Military, Public Health, WMD, Chemical, BWC, Bioterrorism, Anthrax, Ricin, Drug Resistance, CDC


Oppenheimer, AndyCBRN Terrorism: Threat Becomes RealityMilitary Technology, Volume 40 Issue 3. Pages 60-61. 2016.

  1. “The long-heralded threat of CBRN terrorism became real in 2015 following several reported incidents of mustard gas used in IEDs and mortars by the so called Islamic State (IS) mainly against Kurdish forces.” – page 60
  2. “IS has acquired more wealth and territory than al-Qaeda in setting up its proto-caliphate and hence has been rapidly attracting regional and international affiliates; acquiring an arsenal of weapons and purloined resources unprecedented for any insurgency or terrorist group in modern history.” – page 60
  3. “… IS applies means of conventional warfare, such as bombing and artillery, while also relying on ways of non-conventional warfare and the tried and tested terrorist MO of numerous suicide bomb attacks” – page 60
  4. “Areas under attack are spreading in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).” – page 60
  5. “IS is said to be actively recruiting experts with a background in physics and chemistry, and has already proven its capability to use CW against its adversaries. In Libya, Syria, and Iraq they control facilities that stored raw CB material, including traces of sarin-type chemical weapons, ricin-type biological weapons and mustard agents.” – page 60
  6. “Several organisations such as the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and the NATO WMD Non-Proliferation Centre have urged that Europe must prepare for the possibility of a chemical or biological attack by IS…” – page 60
  7. “Major terrorist plots in the Middle East, Europe and the USA show that IS successfully infiltrated local societies with either comprehensive sleeper cells or lone wolves. The consequences in European security and defence policies were severe: IS’ new tactics lead to a lockdown of Brussels the week after the Paris attacks.” – page 60
  8. “Apart from arresting and putting on trial returnees from Syria with suspected IS allegiance, several EU countries have set up de-radicalisation programmes with varying degrees of limited success” – page 6

Libya, Iraq, Syria, Europe, Africa, Military, Chemical, Nuclear, WMD, Sarin, Ricin, Terrorist/Offender, Al-Qaeda, Isis, NATO, Bioterrorism