Earlier this week, we reported on the arrests of of two terror suspects in Kenya, part of an extremist cell of medics loyal to ISIS who had plans of an anthrax attack in the country.
This followed other “terror medics” arrested in May who were planning a “large-scale” biological terrorist plot.
Outbreak News Today reached out to Laboure College professor and bioterrorism expert, Lawrence Roberge, PhD to get his thoughts on what happened in Kenya:
“I would be very concerned”, Dr Roberge said. “This is an example of how developing countries with limited detection resources- and certainly less robust biodefense budgets-would become vulnerable to bioweapon attacks.
“It is possible bioterrorist attacks will come to these countries before moving to more robust western nations as these nations have limited resources for biodetection and rapid response to bioterrorist attacks.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if a bioterrorist attack were to happen, Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, would be one of the biological agents most likely to be used. Biological agents are germs that can sicken or kill people, livestock, or crops. Anthrax is one of the most likely agents to be used because anthrax spores are easily found in nature, can be produced in a lab, and can last for a long time in the environment; anthrax makes a good weapon because it can be released quietly and without anyone knowing. The microscopic spores could be put into powders, sprays, food, and water. Because they are so small, you may not be able to see, smell, or taste them and anthrax has been used as a weapon before.