Weapons of mass destruction have been always considered as the worst weapons ever, especially if we analyze the possible effects of biological and chemical terrorism. People cannot be prepared enough for that kind of weapon and consequences are unlimited. Just one simple thought about the militarizing of microbes or chemical agents and the abuse of those in some new asymmetric war, lead us to the one dark, cold and scary world. In such a kind of world, security drowns itself into the ocean of insecurities and instead of feeling that we are safe, we have the feeling that we are endangered all the time.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, we usually call it ISIS-ISIL-DAESH is one of the parallel subjects in the global politics. It is enough big and somehow institutional to be taken as a state actor but, at the same time, it is based on terrorism and should be understood as a terrorist system. It adopted the previous state infrastructure of the region it rules but it also implemented new terrorists schedule, which keeps the community overall into the permanent fear. Terrorist attacks that have happened recently in Paris, and the rising of jihadist’s patriotism around the Europe and the US, show us that terrorism has its own seed in our fields. Terrorism is not anymore the fictional rhetoric of some unknown counter terrorism experts, it is reality which knocks on our doors, hits our neighborhoods, and ruins our lives and the future of our societies. The war in some far away Middle East transfers itself into our ground. Terrorism is here as well as the terrorists are among us.
The years of wrong ME policy, made by many western countries, caused that diplomacy to fail. As a result of that, we have thousands of immigrants who want to come into our lands and to bring their chaos into our yards. Instead of some kind of peace over there, we have now terrorism spots everywhere.
The terrorists of DAESH changed their modus operandi. All terrorists play on fear. These terrorists play on chaos, based on fear and inability of the states to deal with the security risks. They don’t want to attack national symbols of the country they chose as a target; they want to attack the weakest chain, people by themselves, on the ordinary places and in the normal time. They want to infect the blood of the state, its residents.
They can shoot at the people who are having a nice time in the park, or at those who are having dinner in restaurants or who are partaking in sports. Nobody is safe but also nobody specifically is endangered. The method of their terrorist engagement is somehow changed but the goal is still the same – panic. To open the door for a panic among people who become aware that state is not capable to protect them and that there is no cure for terrorism.
Now, let’s ask ourselves how far the terrorists of DAESH could with their intention to hurt us in the name of their religious beliefs? We already know that they will do all they can to cause distortions in our systems but it is also very important to have in mind that giving them too much attention in media and glorifying their “skills for destruction” give them some sort of power to do what they do or at least to not give up. The similar power was discovered among the typical psychopaths. They could only feel alive through the public attention. They would consider it as an admiration, grown from fear. They would feel themselves as masters of some person’s destiny. They would go further and further….till the moment they make a mistake and they are caught. Unfortunately, many of innocents pay for that “sick theater”. Terrorists don’t have targeted individuals and typical deep psychopath’s elements, but their fanatical convictions and death cult ideology, open the Pandora box for all of us.
Some journalists claim that DAESH extremists could be able to produce and to misuse biological or chemical weapons against population in the chosen western country. Some experts believe that they posses conditions for producing effective chemical agents and also to develop biological weapons program. From my point of view, all of these stories should be kept in cheap tabloids because non-conventional terrorism is not as easy as it is presented to the public.
Besides, for a biological and chemical terrorist attack, there must be some know-how and background and a professional approach, which is so far away from inpatient aggressive Islamic terrorists gathered in DAESH. They want fast track acts and fast track results. For a nerve agent, they need to have technical conditions and skilled scientists with previous successful projects on developing ricin, lewisite, and mustard gas in such quantity and quality what would be enough for causing real damage.
German intelligence service informed in August that some Kurdish fighters have been exposed to the mustard gas in the battle ground in northern Iraq, against DAESH. That amount wasn’t much so it couldn’t be taken as a serious threat to the rest of humanity by DAESH terrorists. We could also think that old biochemical facilities in Iraq and Syria could be transformed in the military objects for biological and chemical start up program. Some Israeli sources came up with information that Syria has had Bacillus anthracis and ricin but that there is no evidence it was used offensively.
On the other side, Iraq has had long history of non-conventional weapons policy and attempts to develop it and take regional power for itself. Under Sadam Hussein, both programs were upgraded through the daily research and very intelligent biotechnology engineers. Those objects for those weapons of mass destruction were more than successful in producing the blister agent mustard, nerve agent tabun, sarin, cyclosarin and VX. The Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) is also famous as the first battle ground in the history, with use of the nerve agent. Referring to the collections of pathogens, Iraq was recorded as a possessor of hemorrhagic conjunctivitis virus, human rotavirus, camelpox virus and Bacillus anthracis.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative analysts write that during the Saddam Hussein’s government, Iraq produced at least 19,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 8,500 liters of anthrax solution, and 2,000 liters of aflatoxin. The question is what happened with all of these quantities and where were they stored?
Nowadays with DAESH attempting to get the biological and chemical weapons, we are faced with the shadow of the new non-conventional terrorism. We should divide the real threat and the war propaganda. It is a real fear that DAESH terrorists could find a way to make or to buy biological and chemical agents, but the chance is a very low. Not many terrorists are professionals in this field of warfare, not many of them know how to deal with it. They need great logistic and expertise and lot of time to plan and to perform all they want which is not their choice at this moment.
They rather choose to be “praised” in media hoax like they are able to discover the deadliest virus ever and they is so intelligent to start the real Apocalypse. The worst they can make is to test small amount of chemical agent against the ground fighters or to experiment with biological agents which could be used against agriculture of some country or its water supply. The serious biological terrorism incidents or heavy bioterrorism attacks with misuse of the deadly bacteria or virus, I wouldn’t expect so soon in the future or wouldn’t expect from them. They do not have capability for such a kind of act. They do not have expertise. They are too much religious obsessed to choose to use scientifically advantages against the kafirs.
But, we need to be prepared for anything what comes down the road. We need to enhance the cooperation among intelligence service network so the possible top information regarding this issue could be exchanged and shared in the short period of time. Borderless terrorism requires borderless intelligence service work too. It is the end of the year and many states are making budget projects for thenext year. It is very logical to note that some of them misuse the “fear from terrorism “in the public to increase the defense budget under the explanation that terrorism must be stopped.
Terrorism should have been stopped earlier than it transferred itself into the fictive state. Now, it seems to be a hyper terrorism and like a cancer metastasizing, it is everywhere. Considering weapons of mass destruction mobilized in the Islamist s war machinery, we need to consider first the lack of technical equipment and professional background so we would be able to conclude that the future of that kind of terrorism is so far away from local media predictions.
Sandra Maksimovic-Sara, has an MA in Biological Counter Terrorism Studies, with special interests of researching and writing about Biological Weapons, Biosecurity and Biodefense. Sandra hails from Serbia.